We’re two weeks into the season and the Orioles are off to a hot start, leading the AL East and as of 4/17, holding the best record in baseball. Here are some thoughts thus far. Am I the only one…
Who hasn’t lost complete faith in Wade Miley? I understand he got lucky in his first outing of the year by finding a way to avoid giving up an earned run despite seven walks. However, in his start against Toronto on April 14th, Miley looked impressive. He struck out eight batters and left the Orioles with a great chance to win the game (which they went on to do). Miley isn’t the ideal candidate for a 3rd or even 4th starter, but if he can go out on his days and hold his own for six innings, he gives this high powered offensive team a chance to win every time.
Who believes Adam Jones should have come out of the game after running into the wall in Toronto? Jones put 100% effort into trying to track down a long fly ball hit in the 8th inning of Sunday’s game against the Jays, but ultimately did not make the play and sent himself flying into the outfield fence. It caused an “uh oh” moment for fans watching as he struggled to get to his feet for a few minutes before finally waving away the trainer and Buck Showalter. However, the next inning, Jones was replaced defensively anyway. The Orioles were winning the game 11-2 at the time, and it doesn’t seem to make much sense for Showalter to risk further injury to his star center fielder and team leader by not playing precautionary measures in a blow out. The Orioles don’t have a viable long-term option in center if Jones were to go down with a lengthy injury, and so for a player who has had injuries in his past, it seems as if the better move would have been for Jones to come out right away.
Who sees Dylan Bundy on the fast track to becoming a better major league pitcher than Kevin Gausman? A Facebook friend smartly pointed out that “while Gausman is still developing from a thrower to a pitcher, Bundy seems to have already figured it out”. This is no knock on Gausman who has seen his share of big league success and the future is bright. But Bundy seems to be so natural at it. Of course, last year we saw a hot start for Bundy once he was inserted into the rotation and then an eventual decline as the season progressed, and no one is to say that won’t happen again. However, Bundy has five pitches that he can effectively use to fool major league hitters, as he has shown in his three starts so far in 2017.
Who is impressed with Chris Davis’ hot start? At this point, we all know what Davis brings to the table; He hits lots of homeruns in exchange for lots of (ugly) strikeouts. The strikeouts haven’t changed much this year, as he has whiffed 16 times in 11 games, which puts him on a rough pace to break his own single season record for the third straight year. But Crush is also finding ways to get on base more often. He’s got an early season OBP of .391, which is sixty points higher than his career average. Davis is streaky and will surely cool off at points throughout the year, but it is a good sign to see him producing thus far.