A few thoughts after a road trip that put a real damper on the Orioles’ playoff chances, as the Birds lost three series against three teams that they are competing with for postseason berths.
* Michael Morse has started just two of the five games he has been an Oriole. Even if we don’t count Saturday since he had a long travel day and there was not a plan to start him then, it is still two of four games. Now the O’s have only faced one lefty in that stretch, but I thought they might just put Morse in the five-hole in the order and let him play.
We should see a lot of Morse over the next few days with three lefties scheduled to start the next three games for the White Sox. But why not let Morse play every day and see if having a legitimate power threat batting after Chris Davis and Adam Jones can help the offense?
* I think the time has come to put Kevin Gausman in the rotation and let him pitch every fifth day. He certainly has plenty of innings available. I see him as a starter on this team all next year and the time is now to let the kid pitch. He may have the best arm in the entire organization. Time to take the gloves off and turn him loose.
* The Orioles need to add variety to their offense for the 2014 season. This is a team that can really hit home runs, but some recent games have hammered home the point that they don’t score much without the longballs.
Dan Duquette tried to add some on-base percentage to the team last winter and he should look to do that again this offseason. They could use more speed and some guys that can play small ball as well. The O’s have to find a way to do what we see other teams do just about every night: employ good situational hitting, taking the extra base, working the count and finding consistent ways to score without a home run.
* It is still possible for the O’s to make the playoffs? The math still works, but now they are behind New York and Cleveland. The division title certainly looks out of reach. They don’t seem capable of making the run that will be needed now.
Yes it is still possible, but is it probable?