Coming off a series where they scored four total runs, hit .184 as a team and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position, the Orioles begin a series at Fenway Park in Boston tonight. Maybe in a park famous for offense the Orioles will find some.
Some fans have said of the O's offense that they are just this bad and no one should be surprised.
I don't buy that for a second. While no one, me included, expected huge numbers from the offense, it would just be nice to see some of the players and team even match last year's modest results.
The O's team average was .268 last year. Now it is .225. Their slugging percentage in 2009 was .415 and now is .358. They averaged 4.6 runs per game last year and now that figure is 2.87.
The evidence suggests it has to get better, but all fans have probably been saying that for over a week now.
Most of the individual player batting stats are way off last year's production. I decided to compare some players' numbers, especially in two areas - slugging percentage and at bats per RBI from this year and last.
Right now the O's are not hitting with much extra-base power and certainly are not hitting in the clutch.
So how do the players stack up to their performance from last year?
2009 slugging & at bat per RBI - 2010 slugging and at bat per RBI.
Atkins: .342 and 7.4 - .315 and 10.8
Izturis: .328 and 12.9 - .279 and 43.0
Jones: .457 and 6.8 - .333 and 34.5
Markakis: .453 and 6.4 - .379 and 29.0
Reimold: .466 and 7.9 - .310 and 8.4
Scott: .488 and 5.8 - .362 and 9.4
Tejada: .455 and 7.4 - .413 and 6.6
Wieters: .412 and 8.2 - .368 and 14.3
Wigginton: .400 and 10.0 - .683 and 3.7
Only Wigginton and Tejada are near or top last year's levels. Jones goes from an RBI every 6.8 at bats to one every 34.5. Markakis from 6.4 to 29.0.
Jones, Reimold and Scott have lost over 100 points in slugging percentage. I don't think any of those players hit over their heads last year.
It all suggests the slump right now is every bit as bad as it feels. It also suggests that several players should break out of this.
Right now it looks like this team can't even score three or four runs per game. But in a game that uses statistics more than any other, those stats indicate the offense simply has to get better...and will.
The only question is when.
In a minor league roster move today the Delmarva Shorebirds placed IF Tyler Townsend on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, and catcher Michael Ohlman was activated off the DL. Townsend went 4 for 8 in his first two games with the Shorebirds.
Townsend tweaked his hamstring coming around third base in last night's game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. A timetable for his return is unknown at this time. Ohlman was placed on the DL April 13th with a shoulder injury. He played in just two games before suffering the setback.