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First Impressions On The 2013 Season

First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #1 by ofahn » April 22nd, 2013, 2:02 pm

After 18 games (exactly 1/9th of the season) we're on a pace to win 90 games, but you have to wonder if that rate is sustainable with the shaky SP we've had. This may just be slow starts by some of our SPs, but the showings by Tillman and Arrietta have done little to instill confidence that they can turn it around.

The offense has been a mixed bag. They ARE scoring runs, but they haven't been consistent in manufacturing them. With our core run producers (Jones, Davis, and Wieters) being all or nothing kind of hitters you have to wonder how long their cold streaks will be. I like the three run homer as much as Earl Weaver did; however, with solid pitching and defense we really only need to score four runs or so a game to be able to win. As such, I would feel much more confident about the long term prospects of this team if we would just bring home the runner from 2B with no outs and/or the runner from 3B with less than two outs consistently.

The bullpen has had some under performers and those pitchers are out of options. If those players straighten themselves out we'll be fine, but we may have to consider trades to resolve the issue.

The defense has generally played well with the two glaring exceptions of Adam Jones dropping the ball.

It's WAY too early to predict which way this season will go, but there's clearly work to do.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #2 by birdwatcher55 » April 22nd, 2013, 3:17 pm

We're playing like a .500 team right now. We desperately need someone to step up and be a quality starter in this organization 8-)
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #3 by LA Detective » April 22nd, 2013, 6:33 pm

Defense and the back end of the bullpen are top notch.

Line up is not bad and we can live with Hardy and a defensive type of 2b as long as the DH starts hitting. It was predictable that Reimold would have a slow start due to regaining strength and the rust of a long layoff. I didn't count on him hitting until May. He looks he is starting to hit now. How productive he is and moves up in the line up and/or who we eventually trade for will go a long way toward being a very good lineup.

Its all in the Starters. Were not off to a good start here. I do expect Hammel to pitch better as the season goes on but there is a real problem in the 4th and 5th starters. If we dont make drastic improvement here then we are a .500 team which will include a breakdown in the bullpen. Two of the starting options will have to step up to Chen,Gonzo level and we will probably need to trade for a soid #2 type of guy to have a chance of winnig the division.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #4 by ofahn » April 22nd, 2013, 6:45 pm

LA Detective wrote:Two of the starting options will have to step up to Chen,Gonzo level and we will probably need to trade for a soid #2 type of guy to have a chance of winnig the division.


If we could make a reasonable trade for a solid #2 SP that would control for at least two years then I would, but I wouldn't buy a rental for just this season. at this point this is not a team I would waste talent on.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #5 by Old Sneakers » April 23rd, 2013, 4:09 am

The SP is what it is. I do not see the team making a trade to acquire a short term solution. The team's rotation seems to run up pitch counts high the first three innings and it shows. I suspect our arms are going to have to put the ball in play a little more and try to induce double plays to correct the pitch count issue. Yes, there is a down side to a double play (more base runners). However at some point you have to "Play ball"

Roch Kubatko's article yesterday http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2013/04/showalter-on-arrieta.html does make a good point. Arrieta will be back. His stuff is good. Put the ball in play and more often than not good things will happen. There was far too much nibbling the strike zone and ghastly pitch counts. Yes, he will be back at one point and likely will be better.

The remainder of the rotation needs to do much the same. You can not ask these men to go out and throw seven or eight shut out innings. They will surrender runs. So long as they aren't surrendering lots of home runs and are being pitch efficient they will keep the team in the ball game. Tillman had a good game last night. If the rest of the rotation has games like that then good things are going to happen. It's not easy, it's really tough. Throw strikes! Just don't put it where the hitter wants it.

As for run production... Here we go again. No true lead off hitter. Then you have Manny Machado batting second. I know the team wants him getting a huge amount of at bats this season as he's going to become a great hitter. However, he's not had 50 at bats against most SP in the AL and it shows. Time will heal that however, he will have to draw more walks, fight off pitches to stay alive. We are going to have to live with "some limitations" for the reasonable foreseeable future. As far as that goes, he's done better than I would have expected.

Jones, Davis and Markakis have been for the most part, great at the plate. I would have thought Jones might draw a few more walks but it's a push. Perhaps the team needs to go with whoever is hot batting cleanup. I would say Weiters has to be really hot to bat 4th or 5th though. He's a great Catcher capable of have great games hitting. But I would not put him down as that cleanup guy.

With JJ Hardy I just think he's either off to a slow start or is simply not the same player anymore. I don't know that he's going to drive in 75 or more runs again. That is OK if he can score that many. He needs to get on base. You can say much the same about the rest of the team. Casilla, Reimold and all the rest. Get on base, fight off pitches to stay alive. Win by attrition. Where down the opposing SP early and good things will take place.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #6 by birdwatcher55 » April 23rd, 2013, 12:29 pm

I like the trade idea but I certainly would not give up any of our top prospects and that includes Bundy, Gausman, Schoop and Delmonico. Anybody else would be on the table in trade discussions 8-)
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #7 by A_K » April 23rd, 2013, 1:09 pm

There's just nothing remotely rational to suggesting Nicky Delmonico should be off the table in trade discussions. You have to give up value to get value. If you can't trade someone like Delmonico, you can't negotiate a trade in the first place.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #8 by osforlife » April 24th, 2013, 8:11 pm

I'd say we are playing like a .500 team.

-Our hitting has been very good, but that is large part due to the hot start by Jones & Davis. They'll have to cool off at some point; I could see Reimold and Wieters stepping up.
-Our 5th starter spot could be a disaster all year. We finally got that joke of a major league pitcher in Jake Arrieta sent down where he belongs. I never thought Josh Stinson would be the first starter up from the minors. I think that really shows the lack of quality depth we really have in the minors. Steve Johnson will likely step in soon, but I don't expect him to be anything great. Our first four starters are nothing great, but as long as they pitch reasonably(4.00 ERA/1.2 WHIP) we should be okay.
-Nate McLouth looks very confident in everything he does; I really like watching him play.
-Steve Pearce & Ryan Flaherty have been atrocious, and if they don't pick it up, they could be easily replaced.
-Outside of Strop, our bullpen has been exceptional, but I don't really expect it to last.
-We need a #2 hitter.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #9 by ofahn » April 24th, 2013, 9:06 pm

osforlife wrote:I'd say we are playing like a .500 team.


Agreed.

osforlife wrote:Our hitting has been very good, but that is large part due to the hot start by Jones & Davis. They'll have to cool off at some point


No question.

osforlife wrote:I could see Reimold and Wieters stepping up.


I still believe Riemold is the best natural hitter on this team and he seems to be finding his game.

osforlife wrote:Steve Johnson will likely step in soon, but I don't expect him to be anything great.


Why? He's shown he can be a successful ML pitcher.

osforlife wrote:Nate McLouth looks very confident in everything he does; I really like watching him play.


So far he's played better than Melky Cabrera.

osforlife wrote:We need a #2 hitter.


Machado now has a .760 OPS and is looking more and more confident at the plate every game. Until (IF) Roberts comes back he may be the best choice.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #10 by Zach » April 25th, 2013, 7:51 am

Why? He's shown he can be a successful ML pitcher.


I'm not sure where Steve Johnson has proven that he will be successful. He is started 4 games in his career. Yes he was very good, but a lot of the pitchers that get piled on from these forums have had 4 game stretches that would allow us to call them successful.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #11 by ofahn » April 25th, 2013, 7:58 am

Zach wrote:
I'm not sure where Steve Johnson has proven that he will be successful. He is started 4 games in his career. Yes he was very good, but a lot of the pitchers that get piled on from these forums have had 4 game stretches that would allow us to call them successful.


Notice that I said pitcher. He hasn't been given much of a chance to show what he can do as a SP; however, almost every time he's been asked to do that he's done well at it.

I don't know what more this guy has to do to prove himself.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #12 by Zach » April 25th, 2013, 9:00 am

Fine take away the starts and he has a 3.58 ERA in 7 relief appearances. Still not seeing how this proves himself as a MLB pitcher, starting or relief. Lets break down his outings. He faced four teams that ranked in the top 10 last year in Batting average in MLB. Against Texas he gave up 1 run in an inning of relief. Against the Tigers he gave up 1 run in 2 innings of relief. Against the Yankees (his best appearance) he gave up no runs in 3 innings. Against the Red Sox he gave up no runs in his relief appearance and 3 in his start. He faced 4 teams that ranked in the top in last year in Runs scored in MLB. We have been over the Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox. Against the White Soxs (who were middle of the road average wise) he gave up no runs in 1 inning of work. 4 of his appearances (3 of his starts) were against the Mariners and Blue Jays. The Mariners, I think it is safe to assume, we can all agree are a terrible offensive team. The Blue Jays were in the bottom quartile in terms of team average on exactly in the middle of the league in terms of runs scored.

7 of the 9 runs that Johnson allowed last year were as a result of the 4 long balls he gave up. If he can limit these to solo blasts this could be okay, but it is a troubling trend especially for OPACY. His 51.8% FB% will need to come down. In addition, he had an extremely low BABIP (.229) that is lower than his career average and should come up should he start pitching regularly this year.

I am not trying to say that I don't think that Steve Johnson can't be a good pitcher, just that he has not proven himself yet at the big league level by any stretch of the imagination. Orioles fans should be more cautious than most in proclaiming someone as proven given our track record with pitching prospects. Johnson has numbers that indicate that he will be good: decent strike to ball ratio, good strikout/walk ratio, an above average swstr%. All i am asking is to temper expectations on Johnson.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #13 by ofahn » April 25th, 2013, 10:09 am

Zach wrote:All i am asking is to temper expectations on Johnson.


I'm sure I understand what expectations you're referring to. I never said Steve Johnson would be a long term SP solution. I said that he was a ML pitcher and was as good (if not better) than many of the other options we have available at this time.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #14 by Old Sneakers » April 25th, 2013, 11:05 am

I still like him in long relief role and using him as a spot starter. One, we don't have to burn an option on another player to send him on the Norfolk express and Johnson's proven worthy in that role. Is he a guy you want in the rotation through 3 or 4 turns? I do not think so. However, he's good enough and batters have not seen so much of him that they know what they are going to get. The guy is a competitor.
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Re: First Impressions On The 2013 Season

PostPost #15 by ofahn » April 25th, 2013, 11:40 am

Old Sneakers wrote:The guy is a competitor.


IMO those five words best describe Steve Johnson.
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