2017 Orioles: A First Half Full of Frustration

Sports and Bets — July 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm by

When you look at the 2017 Baltimore Orioles, you can split their first half of the season in two very distinct sections.  The first 32 and the last 56, I know that’s a little uneven but it’s the way it worked out.  The First 32 the Orioles were once again exceeding expectations, they were 22-10 and in first place of the always competitive American League East.  The pitching was performing better than expected and the hitting was off to a bit of a slow start but the confidence was there it would be turned around, but then on May 10 everything changed.  The Orioles lost that day to the Nationals in extras and it started a stretch where the Orioles would go 20-36, dropping them to fourth place in the AL East, 7 and a half games back as we sit here in the All Star Break.  The Orioles from the outside look like a tweener, sort of still in the race but also kind of out of it as well.  Some big decisions are on the horizon.

So let’s look at the positives of the 2017 campaign so far.  The obvious place to start is Jonathan Schoop, the Orioles lone All Star.  Johnny Baseball is having himself a career year and is very deserving of his first All Star selection.  He’s only 8 home runs and 29 RBI shy of posting career highs and his .295 batting average is a career high.  In the first half of the 2017 season we’ve also seen the rise of Trey Mancini.  Mancini made his debut last season with the O’s and was battling to be a member of the 25 man opening day roster, thank god he made it.  Mancini has hit 14 home runs and drove in 44 and is the only Oriole regular hitting above .300.  Mancini has also shown his versatility in the field, playing outfield and first base for the injured Chris Davis.  Dylan Bundy was a bright spot early on, easily being our best starting pitcher but has hit a bit of a rough stretch over the last month or so.

Now for the not so good and unfortunately there is way too much to choose from here.  First off the pitching, it’s been really bad.  The Orioles tied a record set by the 1924 Phillies for most consecutive games of allowing at least 5 runs (20). Usually tying a 93 year old record would be impressive and I guess it kind of is just not in a good way.  The Orioles team ERA is 5.07, which just so happens to be dead last in all of Major League Baseball.  The hitting has been way too inconsistent.  Manny Machado leads the team in home runs and is second in RBI, but is batting way below what we are used to seeing, batting just .230.  Chris Davis has well been Chris Davis, he does have 14 bombs but only 26 RBI, which tells us unless he’s hitting home runs he’s not driving in a lot of runs.  Wellington Castillo impressed early on but injuries have slowed him down quite a bit.  Zach Britton’s injury put some guys in positions they weren’t used to in the bullpen and we’ve had a bit of a revolving door from Baltimore to Norfolk and back.

So with the ups and downs that have been the 2017 Orioles it leaves them in an interesting place.  They are 42-46 7 ½ back in the AL East and 4 back in the wild card.  Do the Orioles buy, sell or stand pat?  More than likely the Orioles will tell you they are buyers, but then they will bring in someone who is less than appealing and then sell the fans on how good a move it was *cough* Wade Miley *cough*.  The Orioles have some really big decisions to make in the coming weeks.  Personally I feel that they need to look at selling some pieces away and build toward the future.  Staying with what they have right now will only lead to the Orioles first losing season since 2011.  Their farm system isn’t deep enough to bring in quality talent to help the MLB team win right now.  So where does that leave you?  The Orioles currently have some good Major League players that other teams would value.  It’s the Orioles job to pick and choose which guys are part of the future and which guys are expendable.  It’s a tricky position to be in, if you tell the fan base you are selling some of the better players the fans look at it as the season is over, wait till next year.  Sell the right pieces for the right prices and maybe just maybe it pays off with a potential championship in the near future.

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