A few observations after the Orioles were shut out 9-0 by Cleveland on Saturday afternoon. The Orioles have now lost five of their last seven and nine of the last 13 games.
The Orioles were shut out for the fourth time this season and for the first time at home against Cleveland since April 3, 2003.
If they lose today to the Tribe, they would fall to 10-13 at home and would drop back to the .500 mark for the first time since April 27 when they were 12-12.
* Ubaldo Jimenez has to pitch much better than he did yesterday. Captain Obvious here, with that one but that was one poor performance.
The Orioles are 2-8 when Jimenez has started this year and he already has six losses. He has gone fewer than six innings six times and he’s averaging 18.6 pitches per inning. Yeah, all those numbers are pretty bad.
He had three very strong starts to begin this month, going 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA. But Jimenez has an ERA of 7.43 in his other seven starts in 2014. Getting three good ones out of 10 is not what the club had in mind when they signed him to a big free agent contract.
* If Caleb Joseph heads back to the minor leagues - and he might after the O’s acquired catcher Nick Hundley - he has handled himself well in his first shot at the majors.
Joseph is just 1-for-20 at bat and there are no conclusions to be drawn about his offense in only 20 at-bats with sporadic playing time since he was recalled.
Making the majors was a feel-good story for a player that languished that long in the minor leagues, especially at the Double-A level. But he showed more defensive talent than some thought he had. Between his big year at Bowie in 2013 and what he has done over the last few weeks with the Orioles, Joseph’s career is trending up. Not bad for a player who seemed like he would never even get a chance at the Triple-A level at one point.
* Meanwhile, Jonathan Schoop’s bat is trending down. The kid is just 5-for-34 (.147) over his last 10 games and his average has dipped to .214
He is pressing, it appears, and he has struggled at times against offspeed pitches. Will the Orioles keep him with the team or send him back to the minors at some point?
My guess is that he stays for now. If the offense starts to hit, as it has over the last week or so, the club could carry a rookie whose bat is slumping. But Steve Lombardozzi is back on the roster now and some roster shuffling is going to happen over the next few days.
Will Schoop emerge through all of that still on this team?