They Won’t Go Wire to Wire but the O’s are Looking Good

| April 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

The first week of the Major League Baseball season is in the books and our Baltimore Orioles stand at 5-3 and atop the American League East (and they actually won two games in Toronto!) In a 162-game season there a lot of ups and downs and the O’s have already experienced those in their first eight games.

Here are some of my thoughts on the Orioles season so far:

The Mark Reynolds 3rd base “experience” should be over: 

I will preface this by saying that I am a big fan of Mark Reynolds, but I think his days as a starting 3rd baseman should be over. I know that Wilson Betemit is not exactly Brooks Robinson but he is a better fielder than Reynolds and has yet to cost the O’s a game by committing costly errors.  Reynolds showed last season that he was an above average first baseman and I personally believe he should play there over Chris Davis. His bat is currently ice cold, but his power potential makes him a must in the lineup. Luckily this is the American League and the O’s can keep his bat in the lineup without putting him at the hot corner. Reynolds will likely hit more than 30 homers again this season, but his fielding will likely cost the O’s some games. Bottom line, they need to find another option at 3rd base.

Robert Andino is making us forget Brian Roberts:

I find it baffling that a football player can comeback from concussions in a week or two yet Brian Roberts has been out for about a year for the same reason. Roberts was an absolute beast at the leadoff spot for the O’s and they have yet to find the answer in that spot since he has been out. His replacement,  Robert Andino, however is more than holding his own this season. Last season Andino showed that he was disciplined enough to be an everyday major leaguer and so far this season his plate discipline has improved even more so – he has been a pretty reliable bat for the O’s so far.  Second base was a major issue for the Orioles last season, but Andino’s improvement suddenly makes it not a major necessity. By no means am I putting him in the Hall of Fame (he is only hitting .267) but I have seen major improvement in Robert Andino and I am fine with him being the Orioles starting second baseman even IF Brian Roberts ever returns. Note: I never thought I would ever utter that statement.

The Bullpen is much improved, outside of Kevin Gregg of course:

I know they got tagged with a couple of losses in the Yankees series but this Orioles bullpen is vastly better than it has been in the past few seasons. With Jim Johnson cemented as the closer, the Orioles now have the shutdown, reliable, ninth inning option that they have not had in years. This definitely creates confidence throughout the whole team. In addition to Johnson, I have been really impressed with arms of Lindstrom, Ayala and Strop and have confidence they can come in and hold leads, which has been a major issue for seemingly the last decade in Baltimore.  Then of course, there is Kevin Gregg. Do I really need to say anything else? I could write a whole three-page article on how bad he is, but I will just take it relatively easy on him in this piece and just let his numbers do the talking.  The name Kevin Gregg is not uttered in a complimentary tone by anyone in Baltimore and I am pretty sure you will get thrown out of a bar or restaurant just for even saying it.

It’s amazing what a difference a couple of wins make. If I had written this prior to the Blue Jays series many people would not have agreed and would have already written the O’s off, however two wins in Toronto – a place they never win – has fans excited. I see a lot of things I like about this team and I believe they have an attitude about losing that Orioles teams have not had in the last decade and despite being swept by the Yankees, they still have showed me a lot. Its only eight games but being in first place is certainly better than being in last (the Red Sox can stay in last for the whole year and I wouldn’t complain) and I will take a first place baseball team while I have them.

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About the Author:

I have spent my entire 30 years living in Maryland and I love everything about this city. Despite the bad reputation the city has, Baltimore will always be a special place to me and I love living here. There is nothing better then Sunday afternoons at M&T Bank Stadium and summer nights at Camden Yards when the Yard is packed. You can find me all over the city so don't hesitate to share your opinion of me good or bad. Who knows, if you see me out maybe I will buy you a Natty Boh. Lets go Ravens and Lets go O's!!! Follow me on Twitter at @MRomanell.
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