Rik Schneider Online

Saturday, July 14, 2012

WNST BSMS "Will The Baltimore Orioles Make The Playoffs in 2012?: What to Expect From The Orioles in The 2nd Half



About when the 2012 MLB Season started around late February or so, I predicted that the Orioles would once again finish in last place. Which unfortunately has been a common place for them the last fourteen years, fourteen straight losing seasons and chances are you are going to finish in last place in at least a few of them. Especially considering that the Orioles play in the best division in Major League Baseball the AL East. Where currently no one including the Orioles has a losing record, I just thought and I'm glad I'm wrong at least so far. That the AL East with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Rays and even Toronto Blue Jays, was too tough of a division for them. Especially considering how young but talented the Orioles Pitching Staff is, plus with all the questions they had about their infield going into Spring Training. Who was going to be their First Basemen, would Leadoff Hitter Brian Roberts bounce back from the concussions he suffered last year. Would Right Fielder Nick Markakis bounce back from an off year in 2011, would Nolan Reimold emerge as the everyday Left Fielder. Could Jim Johnson handle being the full time Closer. No clear ace on the Pitching Staff, winning teams don't tend to have all of these questions going into one Spring Training.

But the Orioles have surprised me so far and I'm glad they have being 45-40 going into the All Star Break, despite the amount in injuries they have suffered. And with an up and down starting Pitching Staff, with only Jason Hammel and Chen Mi Won being Pitchers they can rely on so far. Jake Arrietta, Brian Matusz, Zack Britton and Chris Tillman are all in the minors right now and they were suppose to be the Orioles Starting Pitchers. But the Orioles have the first or 2nd best Bullpen in MLB, lead the American League in Home Runs and have done well but not lately with Runners in Scoring Position. So when Hammel or Won are pitching, with their Bullpen and Jim Johnson closing, the Orioles can shut you down and blow you out with their offense. They can hit 1-9 and all hit for power and when one of the other pitchers are pitching well that I mentioned. They are a very good team.

Going forward for the Orioles to remain a contender in the AL East and for one of the two AL Wild Card in the AL Playoffs. They need at least one more Starting Pitcher and probably are going to have to trade for one and hopefully Jake Arrietta who has the stuff to be an All Star and an ace, throws 93-95 with movement, with a wicked curveball to go with that. Needs to bounce back and their offense needs to continue doing what they are doing and the Orioles should be looking to trade. For Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hammels who would fill a major void for them and then the Orioles will be in the thick of the AL Playoff Race.