Can The Orioles Sustain Their Success With Their Current Roster?
The Orioles have surprised me to date in 2013. Unlike a lot of experts out there, I saw this team falling back to earth pretty hard. I didn’t think they had the quality or quantity in players needed to sustain. I also thought they missed out on bringing some interesting pieces to Baltimore for this year and down the road. So far, the O’s have done exactly what they did last year to achieve success. Win the tight ones and rely on timely plays from unlikely players. Can they sustain this type of play for another entire season? I’m not so sure and there are rumblings from the locals that the front office may need to make some moves for this team to make the playoffs again this year.
The folks over at Baltimore Sports Report wondered aloud if Yamaico Navarro could be the answer at 2nd base. Blerg. Just that sentence alone should make O’s fans cringe. And honestly, it’s not a bad thought, but it’s a bad option. Baltimore had to know that Brian Roberts wasn’t going to play a full 162, but they didn’t really secure the depth required for a guy with his injury history. Robert Andino was one of those guys, but they shipped him to Seattle in the off-season (though his play there may make him available soon.) Ryan Flaherty isn’t the answer and never will be. Real talk, they need to go out and make a splash to find their next 2nd baseman. They’ve been waiting on B-Rob to get healthy for too long and it’s starting to hurt them on the field.
Their pitching has also began to slip and by slip I mean they have little to no depth and that depth isn’t very good right now. There is still a chance that Arrieta rights himself and Britton figures it out, but at this point you can’t afford to hold your breath that long. Steve Davis over at CBSBaltimore wrote about possible rotation members. It isn’t pretty, take my word for it. It’s the usual retreads with a Jair Jurrjens thrown into the mix. Plus you can’t really bank on Freddy Garcia giving you more than 5 innings of not so good ball. With Wei Yin Chen headed to the DL, their strength from a year ago has begun to smell a little funky. The bullpen is still solid and can hold a lead, but they have to receive the lead in order to hold it. Getting to Jim Johnson has become a much tougher task this year. Again, Dan Duquette is going to have his hands full at the deadline if he hopes to get back to the playoffs.
Overall, this team lacks depth. McLouth is playing out of his mind right now and I imagine they are banking on him for the rest of the year with Reimold not producing. Most of the teams statistical success has come on the defensive side of the ball but they are going to need production as the season wears on. Perhaps most importantly, they need some legit depth. If anyone from the Davis, Jones, Wieters, Machado, Markakis and even Hardy group goes down, they’re screwed. If another pitcher goes down for an extended period of time, we may see Matusz starting a game again and we know how that goes.
What’s the point? I guess it’s that the Orioles are going to need help to repeat their 2012 performance. Dan Duquette is going to have to do more this year than pick scraps from the junk pile. There will be some intriguing names out there come trade deadline time. Matt Garza, Cliff Lee, and other established pitchers may be available. Players like Chase Utley and Jose Altuve may make sense at second base. However, Duquette will need to part with talent to get talent and I’m not sure that will happen. If the O’s are going to stick around this year and make a run through the playoffs, they need more firepower. Guys like Chris Dickerson and Ryan Flaherty can’t be logging solid innings in September.