After finishing last season with a record of 75-87, the Baltimore Orioles were looking to have a bounce-back season in 2018. Unfortunately, thus far that has not been the case.
The Orioles have gotten off to a less than stellar start in 2018. As of April 25th, the Orioles sit in last place of the AL East with a record of 6-17 according to ESPN.com.
Thus far, the Orioles have had series against the Twins, Astros, Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Tigers. Out of these six series, the Orioles have only won one. Winning the series means winning two or more games out of the three games the two teams play against each other.
Their lone series win was their first series of the year against the Minnesota Twins, a series in which they had a walk-off win on Opening Day.
Their schedule gets no easier, unfortunately, as their next series is against the Cleveland Indians, a team which won the AL Central last year and is considered by ESPN.com to be World-Series contenders.
Thus far, the Orioles main problem has appeared to be their pitching. This was their main problem last year, however, they made strides to improve by signing Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb.
Yet these signings have yet to work out, as Cobb has gone 0-2 with a 17.18 ERA according to baseballreference.com to this point. Cashner, on the other hand, has gone 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA according to baseballreference.com. Although Cashner has a good ERA, he still isn’t producing wins, which is a major problem.
However, there is still reason to believe they can bounce back. They have the same main core as they did last year. Their offense will be led this season by Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, and Adam Jones.
Freshman Harry Genth is not a fan of Chris Davis and says that his only goal is to hit home runs. He also said his strikeout percentage is way too high.
Trumbo is not on the field yet, as he is dealing with a strain in his quadriceps. This provides a major hole in the Orioles lineup, and this could be accounting for some of the lack of production of the offense.
This year is a little bit different than last for the Orioles as they have a lot of pressure to win. Their superstar Manny Machado is set to become a free agent this year. He has stated he wants to play for a winner.
So for the Orioles, not making the playoffs this year could mean losing Machado in free agency to another team.
“I don’t think they should trade Machado because he’s a great defensive player and we can utilize him at shortstop and third base,” senior Brenden Crouse added.
Some people are also not in favor of the recent moves the front office has made. Senior Ned Ruffin has said that the front office is “ruining Orioles baseball” with their bad-decision making in the offseason.
One of the major criticisms was that the Orioles did not do anything to improve on their offense in the offseason.
Junior Ari Wister disagreed by saying that the Orioles did not need any help for their offense. He said they were stacked last year.