What’s next for the Orioles besides a 10-game homestand that starts with four against the Indians and the task of preventing a losing streak from reaching seven?
Included among the losses should be the “it’s still early” narrative, because seasons have imploded well before the break. A sense of urgency isn’t misplaced. This is an important series. No one is recommending wide-spread panic, but the Orioles need to get on a roll and cleanse themselves of this mess.
A roster move apparently is coming later today, with manager Buck Showalter telling the media in Detroit that the Orioles might go back to a three-man bench and add another reliever. Infielder Engelb Vielma has options and appears to be the most vulnerable.
A second left-hander could be headed to Camden Yards. It’s too soon for Donnie Hart to be eligible because he hasn’t been down the minimum 10 days, but Tanner Scott was optioned April 9 and can be recalled.
Scott threw 18 pitches Wednesday in a scoreless inning, allowing two hits and striking out two.
Tightening up the defense isn’t as simple as grabbing a tool box. You’re not going to find Manny Machado at third base on the next lineup card. If you accept that reality and still want someone other than Tim Beckham or Danny Valencia at third base, give me some names as replacements. And you can’t go back in time and sign Mike Moustakas or Todd Frazier.
You’re not going to sell me on anyone in the farm system or how Davis could play third and Trey Mancini could move to first.
Ryan Mountcastle is starting a hitting progression on Monday as he works toward a return from a hairline fracture in his right hand. He isn’t ready defensively to be a consideration, no matter his health, but he’s one of the organization’s top prospects and we need some positive news.
Dylan Bundy makes his fifth start tonight and he’s sporting a 1.40 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. So the Orioles have that going for them, which is nice.
If you’re still searching for something to make you feel better this morning that doesn’t require a prescription, the offense has perked up, with eight runs and 14 hits yesterday that normally would produce a win.
Machado homered twice and had three hits and four RBIs to raise his average to .338 and OPS to 1.037. Adam Jones busted out of his slump with three doubles yesterday and five hits in the series. Davis drove a two-run homer to left field, walked twice and has collected hits in four of his last seven games.
The latter stat may seem like a reach, but considering how lost he appeared at the plate, you should just take it.
The Indians began yesterday ranked last in the majors with a .208 average. Their .627 OPS was last in the American League and 28th overall. But their pitching staff’s 2.75 ERA and rotation’s 2.74 ERA ranked third in the majors.
Bundy is 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA and 1.406 WHIP in three career games (two starts) against the Indians. He faced them on June 19, 2017 at Camden Yards and allowed six runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 12-0 loss. Jason Kipnis homered off him.
Kipnis is 3-for-6 lifetime against Bundy.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer is 1-3 with a 5.86 ERA and 1.518 WHIP in five career games against the Orioles, with 18 runs and 32 hits allowed in 27 2/3 innings. He’s 0-3 with a 7.62 ERA and 1.565 WHIP in three starts at Camden Yards.
Machado is 8-for-12 with two doubles and three home runs against Bauer. Jonathan Schoop is 6-for-11, but he’s on the disabled list with an oblique injury.