After going 3-6 on a road trip to New York, Texas and St. Petersburg, the Orioles return home tonight to face Boston with a record of 35-80. They are playing .304 baseball with 47 games to go. At this win percentage they would finish 49-113.
Tonight they face this Boston team, which has almost the exact opposite record at 81-35. Boston lost to Toronto last night to see a six-game win streak end. But the Red Sox have won 10 of 12 and 25 of their past 31 games. They are 39-15 versus AL East teams and 10-2 against the Orioles.
The Orioles played three one-run games at Tampa Bay, losing two. They are playing a little better lately, going 7-7 the last 14 games. The team had some bullpen and defensive issues in Tropicana Field. But their starters threw well there, allowing five earned runs in 19 2/3 after the rotation got hit around in three of the four games in Texas.
No doubt we’ll see a few Red Sox fans at Camden Yards this weekend. The Orioles will try to give them something not to cheer about.
Farm notes: Double-A Bowie outfielder Yusniel Díaz is still trying to get his bat going. He got off to a slow start after the trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers. It looked like he might have his bat heating up when he went 6-for-15 during a recent four-game stretch. But now over his past four games he is 1-for-13. Overall, in 16 Bowie games, Díaz is batting .182/.297/.273 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs.
Right-hander Dean Kremer, who came with Díaz in the Manny Machado trade, made his fourth start for Bowie on Thursday afternoon. Against New Hampshire he allowed four runs (two earned) over six innings. Through four Baysox starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA. Over 22 innings he has walked 10, fanned 26 and allowed a .229 average against. For this season over three levels he is 8-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 21 starts, averaging 3.2 walks per nine innings and 12.6 strikeouts. Kremer made 16 starts in High-A ball earlier this year and now has made five at the Double-A level.
Triple-A lefty Josh Rogers, acquired from the Yankees in the deal for Zach Britton, has gone 1-1 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts for Norfolk. Over 20 1/3 innings, Rogers has allowed five walks with nine strikeouts and a .192 average against. He has thrown 14 1/3 scoreless in two home starts at Harbor Park.
Speaking of the Tides, they lost two of three in their series with Scranton and now find themselves in a three-way tie for the International League’s wild-card playoff berth. Norfolk and Scranton are 60-54 and Columbus is 61-55 and all three have .526 winning percentages.
After a two-hit game last night for Single-A Delmarva, new Shorebirds third baseman Jean Carlos Encarnacion is 10-for-25 over his first six games there with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and four multi-hit games. He’s batting .400/.423/.560. The 20-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic was acquired from Atlanta in the deal that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to the Braves. Atlanta signed Encarnacion for the small sum of a $10,000 bonus on May 10, 2016. MLBPipeline.com graded his tools this way: hit-50, power-50, run-50, arm-60, field-50.
Werth on what he calls super nerds: With the 22nd pick of the first round of the 1997 draft, the Orioles selected Jayson Werth, and they drafted him as a catcher. He would never play a major league game for Baltimore. Werth was traded by the Orioles in December of 2000 for pitcher John Bale. Werth played 1,583 major league games, producing a .267/.360/.455 slash line with 229 home runs and 799 RBIs.
He recently retired from baseball and yesterday he garnered attention for his take on analytics in the sport. He didn’t pull any punches during an interview on a Philadelphia-based podcast.
“They’ve got all these super nerds in the front office that know nothing about baseball but they like to project numbers and project players,” Werth said. “It’s to the point where you just put computers out there. Just put laptops and what have you, just put them out there and let them play. We don’t even need to go out there anymore. It’s a joke.
“When they come down, these kids from MIT, Stanford, Harvard, wherever they’re from, they’ve never played baseball in their life. When they come down to talk about stuff like (shifts), should I just bunt it over there? They’re like, ‘No, don’t do that. We don’t want you to do that. We want you to hit a homer.’ It’s just not baseball to me. We’re creating something that’s not fun to watch. It’s boring. You’re turning players into robots. You’ve taken the human element out of the game.”