Helloooooo Baltimorons! How y'all doin'?
We’ve decided to start blogging in addition to our audio hi-jinks. We’re thinking Tuesdays and Thursdays to start, so calibrate your Drivel-Reader 5000’s accordingly.
Just checking: did we all stop to truly appreciate the moment in our American journey when Steve Pearce started consecutive games at second base for the Baltimore Orioles? We all noticed that happen, right? Frankly, the fact that more of us aren’t frantically packing for the apocalypse shocks me.
Asked following Sunday night’s 4-2 comeback victory over Tampa Bay whether Pearce might continue to play second, Showalter replied:
"If it's a necessity, sure…I’d rather not, but I would. It's still an option for us. It always has been…Stevie can play shortstop…The thing you like so much about Steve is he embraces it.”
I’m as appreciative of Steve Pearce’s enthusiasm and indomitable nature as much as the next fellow, but for a team that relies as heavily on rally-killing double plays as ours, I’m not sure enthusiasm and a positive attitude are going to replace Jonathan’s Schoop’s arm strength or Mr. F’s range.
Of course, it’s not like we need to go hunting for indicators that our boys are in the midst of yet another strategic high-wire act. Our DH duties, fulfilled so skillfully last season by Nelson “Babe Ruth Apparently” Cruz, appear to’ve been awarded to Jimmy Paredes, who until recently received more acclaim for his haircut than his .OPS, which suddenly stands at a Troutian 1.032. As the boys of Cespedes Family Barbecue recently noted, it's pretty likely he’s already peaked:
I know, I know - I shouldn’t be so quick to doubt Paredes. After all, no one thought Pearce’s offense was sustainable last season, and people keep predicting Chris Tillman will regress despite now-abundant evidence to the contrary, and everyone is convinced Zach Britton doesn’t get enough punch-outs to be an elite closer…and yet, here we sit, for the fourth consecutive year, right in the thick of the AL East after a month of play. But you’ve got to be at least a little bit concerned about a power-dependent offense being anchored by the likes of Jimmy Paredes, especially when the only imminent infusion of new life will be coming from J.J. Hardy, whose injured left shoulder doesn’t figure to help restore his wayward power stroke.
On the other hand, it’s worth pausing to note that entering play tonight, the Orioles rank 3rd in the AL in on-base percentage. That's right folks - your hack-tastic Birds, who finished 10th and 11th in that category in 2013 and 2014 - would seem to be altering their approach ever-so-slightly here in the early going. This little trend combines nicely with our .317 team batting average with runners in scoring position. We've always worried holding out for the home run ball wasn't sustainable, and perhaps 2015’s more patient, line-drive-centric approach can keep keep us afloat until Matt Wieters successfully throws one back to the pitcher without experiencing pain.
Just kidding! Matt Wieters is never going to play baseball again.
Who thinks Bud Norris can outpitch Bartolo Colon tonight? How is that a legitimate question in 2015?