Did anyone think the Giants would jump out to a 3-0 lead on the Tigers in the World Series?
Tim Lincecum has been a beast out of the bullpen. Another starter-turned-reliever success story.
I’ve been asked who would replace Rick Peterson as the Orioles’ director of pitching development if he’s hired as the Red Sox’s pitching coach. I don’t know whether the club would fill that role. It’s unique. It’s been created for Peterson and his unique talents.
Not everyone carries around the same biomechanical analysis data.
OK, jumping topics, manager Buck Showalter was asked whether he feels comfortable going forward with the team that played in the American League Division Series.
“You don’t want to be disillusional about some things,” he replied. “You want to make sure you don’t drink some Kool Aid on some things you’ve got to get better at, even though you’re one game away from playing for the American League championship. But you’re always looking to improve. I know that’s Dan (Duquette’s) mode.”
Showalter was speaking one day after the Orioles lost Game 5 of the Division Series. And yes, he used the Kool Aid reference, one of my pet peeves, but he’s excused. Managers of the Year get a free pass.
So what do the Orioles need to “get better at?”
They have better pitching depth, but a frontline starter always ranks first on my list. However, it’s a challenge for the Orioles to obtain one without going past three years on a contract. As Duquette told reporters, they’re more likely to make a Joe Saunders-type acquisition. Maybe that’s good enough, especially with Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman on the horizon.
Showalter probably was referencing the offense, which shut down behind leadoff hitter Nate McLouth. Similar to what the Tigers are experiencing against the Giants.
Second base is vacant. Brian Roberts could fill the position, but the Orioles can’t count on it.
The Orioles need to improve on their .311 on-base percentage. They need to do a better job of manufacturing runs instead of relying on the long ball. Showalter knows it.
The Orioles ranked last in the majors with 58 stolen bases, one fewer than the Tigers. Adam Jones (16) and McLouth (12) combined for 28 of them. A healthy Roberts and a full season from McLouth would bring improvement, but again, the Orioles can’t count on either one right now. Not with Roberts recovering from hip surgery and McLouth a pending free agent.
Second base, left field and first base. Those are the unsettled positions, though Mark Reynolds could return. First base is unsettled while the Orioles decide what they’re doing with him.
Should bringing in another starter be the top priority, or is it second base, left field or first base? Is it something else?