Checkin in from Honduras, I can't help but wonder if this O's team is the most pathetic team in history. The "Calvary" (Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, and Jake Arrieta) are all finally in Baltimore, but I thought it would be under better circumstances. The Orioles winning percentage (.271) is only slighltly higher than Cesar Izturis' slugging percentage (.245).
1. Garrett Atkins - the "slugging" 1st basemen barely plays anymore, and no wonder. He's batting .214 with 1 HR and a .290 SLG%. I would say release him, but it's not like there's anyone who would do much better in his place. Rhyne Hughes hit .213 in his 47 ABs before being sent back to AAA, where Michael Aubrey is batting .250 and Brandon Snyder .246. Top 3B prospect Josh Bell is hitting .270 but has 54 strikeouts compared to 12 walks. And the most recent callup, Scott Moore has managed to hit just .227 in 22 ABs. Take your pick.
2. Koji Uehara's inability to move without injury. He was effective while he lasted - 6 games, but isn't expected to return (and stick around) any time soon. Add Jim Johnson and Brian Roberts to that list. Mike Gonzalez might come back, but I don't know if we want that. The only two players who are making headway and appear to be desirable are Alfredo Simon and Felix Pie. They sound like angels when you comoare them to...
3. Matt Albers, Alberto Castillo, Corey Patterson, and Lou Montanez. Albers is getting lit up, with a 5.53 ERA and 17 walks to 17 strikeouts. Castillo, who seems to have a daily bus route between Norfolk and Baltimore, started strong, but opponents are batting .356 against him and in his last 10 outings he has surrendered 11 runs in 6 1/3 innings! Patterson also got off to a hot start, but is 4 for his last 30 with 10 strikeouts. Montanez, who somehow managed to remain on the team despite not playing in a single game for 15 days, is batting .148 in 54 ABs and all of his hits are singles.
4. The O's are hitting .245 as a team. Superstars Matt Wieters and Adam Jones are right on par at .246, and Nolan Reimold, who hit .205 before being demoted is now dominating AAA pitching at a .179 clip. Izturis makes a .219 contribution to round things off.
5. Will Ohman, after 25 perfect outings in a setup role, surrendered 7 runs in 3 innings in a failed attempt to be the closer. No worries - that title now belongs to failed starter David Hernandez. Speaking of failed starters, Brad Bergesen will now be seen in the bullpen, where the most dreaded telephone in the world resides.
Hope you're feeling optimistic :)