Orioles April Recap

While the 2009 season started out great for the Orioles the month of April has turned out to be a harsh one for the team. They began the season by winning their first 3 series; with back to back wins preceding blow out loses each time. Unfortunately for the Birds they ended the month losing 10 out of 13 to finish with a 9-13 record.

The Good
  • The Orioles offense has been solid in most games and explosive in others. The top three of Roberts, Jones, and Markakis have all played at All-Star levels and the development of Jones as a hitter as been beyond this blogger's expectations. His OPS of 1.043 leads the team.
  • Koji Uehara has adjusted nicely to life in MLB. He has been arguably the Orioles most reliable pitcher in the early going. Throw out his start at the launching pad that is the Ballpark in Arlington and he has not given up more than 3 runs in any of his other starts. Let's hope he comes back healthy from that vicious line drive he took off the chest in his last start against the Angels.

The Bad

  • Adam Eaton is who we thought he is. The "veteran starter" (read: washed up piece of hot garbage) has pitched to an ERA over 7 in his first 4 starts. His stats are even more impressive/infuriating when you consider that he has the O's best outing of the young season - 7.1, 2ER, 9SO against the White Sox. It's starts like that make you wonder/understand why Philly fans threw batteries at this guy.
  • The bullpen, which was supposed to be a strength, has struggled. George Sherill has now blown two saves and made every appearance an adventure. Brian Bass and Matt Albers are putting out fires with gasoline. Radhames Liz accumulated a 67.5 ERA in his brief cameo.

The Ugly

  • The bottom 3 in the O's lineup - Zaun, Pie, Izturis - hit a combined .189 in April. This actually makes what the offense has accomplished so far even more impressive, considering they've done it with only 6 hitters.

The team may not be as good as their hot start but they are not as bad as their crummy finish would indicate either. 10 of their 13 loses are by 1 or 2 runs. Add to that the fact that the team might actually have more talent in the minors than is currently on their big league roster and the potential for improvement is there. Brad Bergesen made a solid major league debut. Nolan Reimold's hitting at AAA may end the Felix Pie experiment sooner than later. And Matt Weiters is waiting in the wings to bring even more pop to the lineup. This blogger fully supports Andy McPhail's decision not to rush the young players. And while filling in the gaps with players like Eaton, Pie, and Mark Hendrickson makes me want to stick my head in a wood chipper, the pay off down the line will be much more sweet.

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