Ten Reasons The Orioles Won't Keep Winning
Will it go to 15 years in a row?
People that have suffered through the last 14 years of losing baseball in Baltimore will tell you that this is the best they have seen the Orioles play and that this is the year it all turns around. As of today, the Orioles have the best record in the American League, lead the league in home run’s, and are looking like a team that could make a serious run at the playoffs.
Unfortunately, there are numerous things that are standing in the Orioles way of continuing this over-achieving play and giving the fans of Baltimore their 15th season in a row with a losing record.
1. No true #1 starter: The Orioles do not have a single complete game pitched yet this season. To be a true competitor you need ad true #1 and #2 starter. The Orioles have neither.
2. Who can they bring in?: The Orioles have never really been a buyer when it comes to mid-season trades. They have always been a seller. To truly compete, they need to go out and get some players to help them contend. The Orioles badly need a top SP( Oswalt is out there) and a 3B, and it looks like the Orioles will once again be looking to sell instead of buy.
3. Can’t count on a rookie: Wei-Yin Chen can not and will not keep this up all year. You can’t count on a rookie to carry a team through the summer. The league has not seen him and doesn’t have film on him. You are already seeing the league adjust to him and by the middle of the summer, the league will have caught up to him. He is going to struggle and his struggles are going to put more pressure and more innings on the bullpen.
4. Defense wins Championships: This is true for every sport. Sadly, the Orioles have awful defense and throughout the year, this is going to catch up to them and get them in trouble. Currently, they have committed 40 errors this year, and are .001 away from having the lowest fielding percentage in the majors. With defensive stats like that, there is no way the Orioles can keep winning at this rate.
5. The AL East is the toughest division in baseball: Currently every team is at .500 or better. The Orioles have 48 games remaining against teams from the AL East (41% of games left). These teams not only have better pitching then the Orioles, but have shown over the last 5-10 years, that when it matters, they will all beat the Orioles series after series. These teams know how to go out and get that arm or bat off the bench to help them down the stretch. As good as the Orioles have been, they are only 5 games ahead of the last place team in the division. All signs point to the Orioles going something like 19-29 in these games, and that will not get it done.
6. Adam Jones- Can he keep this up? He is playing out of his mind right now and you have to wonder if this can keep going. He is currently on pace to have 205 hits, 51 Home Run’s, 108 RBI’s, 22 steals and hit for a .315 average. His career highs for any year are 165 hits, 25 home run’s, 83 rbi’s, 12 steals and an .284 average. Yes, he is a very good player and he is getting better with age, but there is no way that the Orioles can expect this pace to continue.
7. No Speed: The Orioles have 13 steals in 27 attempts. That is dead last in the AL. They can not steal bases and they can’t stretch out an extra base. Along with that, the Orioles have grounded into fifty double plays, again leading the league in that category.
8. Expecting too much from a prospect: The Orioles currently have 2 of the top prospects in baseball in Machado and Bundy. The Orioles seem to be setting up to call them both up in September and are counting on one, or both of them to be able to step up and fill some of the holes that the Orioles currently have.
9. Losing is contagious: The Orioles have had 14 straight losing seasons. In that time, there have been times where they started off playing just as well. This constant losing has become the Oriole way of baseball. There has been no evidence, as of yet, that the Orioles have the mental toughness to overcome this culture of losing.
10. Pitching: The Orioles starting pitching is pitching way, way above their ability. This will not keep up. The second any of the starters struggle a little and come back down to earth, the Orioles record will start to fall. With the way the AL East can hit and the innings the starters have already pitched, pitching is the key to the Orioles keeping up this pace and contending in the East. That leads into the bullpen which currently have the 2nd best ERA in the AL and Jim Johnson is leader the league in saves. Again, these are not all-stars, and this is not a feel-good Disney movie, and this group of players can not and will not keep this up.
The Orioles play in the toughest division in baseball and yes, they are playing great baseball now, but sadly, there is no way they can keep this up. There are just too many things that are going perfect for them right now, and if one of those things starts to slide, that will start the downfall of the 2012 Baltimore Orioles season.