Baltimore Orioles: Sound of silence
At times in 2017, Adam Jones was one of the only players hitting and producing. Again, I said one one the only players. Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop obviously had great years. as well as a couple of others. However one of the hallmarks of this past season was that the offense hibernated all at once in various points of the season.
And that’s something on which we should spend some time this off season. Obviously the main problem was the pitching. But there were quite a few games that the pitching did in fact hold up their end of the bargain. And the bats let the Orioles down. It’s fine and dandy to pitch a quality start, but if your offense can’t help you out and you lose 3-0, it’s still a loss.
First off, every team is going to go through dead periods at the plate. The Los Angeles Dodgers had that happen in the beginning of September. It was kind of laughed off because they were light years ahead in their division and at no risk of missing the post season, but it still happened. So you can’t totally head off these types of problems in terms of having it not happen.
But it seemed to happen to the Orioles across several different periods of the season. May was a dead period, however the Orioles have had a couple of bad May’s at the plate over the past couple of years. And that almost attests for it happening. Perhaps guys are starting to settle into the grind of the season and so forth, realizing the long haul that it’s going to be.
The O’s also had a slew of injuries over the course of the entire summer. Davis, Hardy, Castillo, and Flaherty all found themselves on the DL (some more than others). That’s not an excuse, but a fact. And that was true throughout the entire year. Adam Jones missed in essence the entire last week of the season due to sore legs that had plagued him all year.
Instead, the Orioles’ competition seemed to get stronger and healthier. Boston and New York didn’t have to contend with those types of injuries. In general, I’m in favor of a veteran team like what the Orioles have. However if half your infield AND your depth (Flaherty) are hurt, you see the downside very quickly. And in fact, you look at the season that Trey Mancini had, and when you realize he was a rookie perhaps youth can sometimes make a difference.
Lackluster pitching will be the end story of this Orioles’ season. But the silent bats at times played just as big a role. Hopefully for the O’s a long winter’s rest will help them to spring anew come March.