Manager Buck Showalter is taking heat from a lot of fans for the Orioles’ collapse, if that’s what we’re calling it, as we near the All-Star break, but I’ll give him major props for not burning out his bullpen.
He’s on the phone more than a teenage girl. I’m waiting for him to start texting instructions to bullpen coach Don Werner.
“OMG, get JJ 4 me. LOL!!”
Jason Berken replaced starter Jake Arrieta last night and gave up a home run. Pedro Viola replaced Berken and gave up a home run. And then he gave up another one. And another one.
Back-to-back-to-back back breakers.
A roster move later today to fortify the bullpen would make sense, since Showalter had to dig deep last night. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has been watching Triple-A Norfolk. Could a roster shakeup be far behind?
The Orioles haven’t gotten a win from their rotation in the last 10 games. This can’t continue.
I wanted to address two popular topics here: Rick Adair needs to go because the pitching has gotten worse, and Showalter needs to hold players accountable.
I’ll start with Adair.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for this horrific stretch of baseball, but Adair didn’t give up six home runs last night. I’m not sure what he could do differently to push the starters beyond the fifth inning.
They need to pitch better, and they certainly know it. They’ve watched video and reviewed the scouting reports. They throw in the bullpen between starts. But the execution is lacking, to say the least. And I don’t know how much of that responsibility can fall on Adair’s shoulders at the present time.
Over the winter, I endorsed Rick Kranitz’s return because of his familiarity with the young starters, their strong finishes and their desire for him to remain on the coaching staff. But I’m not sure what spell he could cast over the group right now.
The tinkering with deliveries in spring training is another matter. I never understood that one.
I’ll finish with Showalter.
He reportedly ripped into the club after Wednesday night’s loss.
In the past, he’s addressed various transgressions in one-on-one sessions.
Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, Jason Berken and Brian Matusz have been sent to the minors. Josh Rupe and Clay Rapada were outrighted.
The Orioles weren’t satisfied with Jake Fox’s work behind the plate, so they brought up a different backup catcher.
Derrek Lee began the season as the No. 3 hitter. He’s been batting sixth and seventh.
Showalter has dropped strong hints that Vladimir Guerrero will be lowered in the order after the break.
That’s just off the top of my head.
That sounds like players being held accountable.
Are there examples where it seems to be lacking? I can recall a few of them floating through the comments section on this blog. But I don’t think free passes are being handed out like fliers.