Time to tighten up the defense (Orioles lose 8-1)

While the Orioles began today in first place in the American League East, they began in last place in the AL in some defensive stats.

They rank at the bottom of the league in fielding percentage at .973 and have the most errors with 12 through Tuesday’s games. Matt Wieters has thrown out four of 13 base stealers so far to rank ninth in the league at 30.8 percent.

Yes, the Orioles need to tighten up on the D.

They do lead the AL with 16 double plays, so they’ve got that going for them.

Fielding isn’t everything, but it’s pretty important. The Red Sox, for instance, lead the AL in fielding percentage and have made just two errors, yet are 4-7.

Few teams are above average on defense at every position and third base clearly could be a trouble spot for the team this year. Mark Reynolds and Wilson Betemit have each made two errors already.

I expect to see fewer errors, Wieters begin to throw out a higher percentage and some of the miscues tighten up as this year goes on. The Orioles will likely not be the best fielding team in the AL during 2012, but I would expect they will be far from the worst.

What is your take?: Are you concerned about the Orioles fielding so far? How will they do on defense this year?

Final from Chicago: Jake Peavy allowed just one run and four hits over seven innings tonight as Chicago beat the Birds 8-1. The Orioles have won two of the first three in the series which ends on Thursday afternoon.

Losing pitcher Tommy Hunter allowed eight runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 to take the loss and is now 1-1. He gave up two homers and has allowed six homers over his past two starts.

The only O’s run scored on an Endy Chavez RBI double which scored Adam Jones, who had doubled, in the top of the second.

The Orioles are now 4-2 on this road trip and 7-5 on the year.

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