When looking at possible changes, does the club look at the big picture too?

Most reporters that cover the Orioles likely get similar questions, but here are some I have been getting lately:

* How long can the Orioles go with Ryan Flaherty struggling on offense?

* Is Jair Jurrjens the next minor league pitcher to get a shot in the rotation?

* When will the Orioles callup Kevin Gausman?

* Will Manny Machado be moving back to shortstop?

OK, haven't gotten that last one in a while but just wanted to make sure I had your attention. Bet that one did the trick.

My answer to the above questions and others like them may often not be very specific because, how can it be? For one, a lot of these moves are not planned out that far in advance and even if they are the team brass usually doesn't clue the media in on it.

The other factor is what manager Buck Showalter would call "moving parts." To me that means that there is a lot going on and and there are many factors involved in any roster decision.

For instance, when it comes to a rotation decision, how four pitchers are throwing at a given time could impact a decision with the fifth starter. If the first four are going well and the team is winning, maybe the club is more patient when the fifth starter struggles. Also, is the pitcher you are going to callup a better option? There is always the feeling among fans to make a change and the expectation that the new pitcher/player will be better but that may not be the case.

As for Flaherty and the situation at second base I look at the offense as a whole. As of Monday, the Orioles were the highest scoring team in the American League. Now Detroit was two runs behind and had played three fewer games, but the O's are among the top scoring clubs in the league.

When your offense is producing at that rate, you can withstand a weak link or two. Plus, almost no team has its whole lineup hitting well at any one time anyway.

Finally, the bottom line is always the won-loss record. The Orioles have now won six of their last eight games, and seven of their last eight series. They are close to first place and eight games over .500. They are on a pace to win 98 games.

Before changes are made, how necessary are they really?

A team run by Buck and Dan Duquette will be active. By now that should be clear. But they also need to look at the big picture and that always includes the win and losses.

Live chat today: Make sure to be here at MASNsports.com today at 1 p.m. when I will be hosting a live chat with O's center fielder Adam Jones. You can ask him questions later so be here then.


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