Red Sox, AL East Roundup: April to May 2015
Baltimore Orioles (12-11, .522)
Overall Record & Last 10 games:
It’s still hard to say whether the Orioles play better at home or away, as both stat columns hold six wins, apiece. While they only have four losses at Oriole Park, they have seven losses on the road, if that means something to you. Winners of their last two games, they hold an even record in their last ten games, winning and losing five, apiece. Catching on to a trend, anyone?
If this relative balance keeps up, nobody will be able to tell whether the Orioles will miss the playoffs or be the favorite to win the whole thing. Right now, Orioles fans will want to see their team make a run. Will anyone, including the Red Sox, stop them? Boston’s last series with Baltimore didn’t end so well.
- Shortstop J.J. Hardy has been out with a left shoulder strain, which will keep him out of the lineup until possibly early May. He is scheduled for a rehab assignment in Double-A, tomorrow. Except for last season, Hardy has been an important RBI-man for the Orioles, so they will want to see him come back soon.
- Second baseman Jonathan Schoop tore his PCL and sprained his MCL. While he will be doing strength training for the injury, don’t expect him to return until July.
- Catcher Matt Wieters, who spent last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, is still trying to recover by doing extended Spring Training. He catches every other day, to this point. Wieters was the backbone to a lot of the Orioles’ success in seasons past and they would really like to see him come back 100% healthy as soon as possible.
- Starting Rotation – Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez
- With a team ERA of 4.31, the Orioles sit in the middle of the division pack. Sound familiar? None of their stuff is blowing anyone away (167 strikeouts puts them last in the division), but it does keep them in many ballgames. Sometimes they win; sometimes they lose. One thing is for sure: keeping opposing bats to only a .228 batting average, for second in the AL East, will give their team a chance, consistently.
- The Orioles have only given their relief pitchers eight opportunities to save a game, which they have done six times.
- The team’s .277 batting average and .335 on-base percentage lead the AL East.
- Their RBIs (114) and total runs scored (120) just edge out the Red Sox and Yankees, with only the Toronto Blue Jays ahead of them.
- The Orioles are, again, in the middle of the pack with 30 home runs; however, with Chris Davis and Manny Machado heating up long balls to put with Adam Jones‘ hot start to the season, expect them to surpass all of the AL East by the All-Star Break.
- Their team fielding has been suspect, with 17 errors, but with many key infielders out with injury, it also was expected. Just as long as you expect their fielding to get better, once more pieces get healthy, again.
Keep Your Eyes On:
- Manny Machado – If you guessed that center fielder Adam Jones was the player to watch in April, a .402 batting average and 21 RBIs would be the only evidence you would need. However, if we are to look at May, we need to keep our eye on a rising phoenix, returning from injury’s ashes, burning bright orange for Baltimore. In his last ten games, Machado has hit .371, with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. May could be the turning point where he joins Adam Jones as one of the most dominant players in the game, today.