I know the baseball season is only 18 games old for the Orioles but that is long enough for me to turn pessimistic and get worried about things I would like to see changed.
The Orioles are 11-7 at the time I write this which seems in itself seems like a weird thing to write about because normally with that kind of record, I am more confident in the Orioles play and decision making. This season, not so much.
First, Brian Matusz needs a defined role. He is either the LOOGY (left handed one out guy) or a middle reliever. He cannot be both and be a successful pitcher in my mind. Matusz’s true value is a guy who is brought in to get one out and it is against a left handed power hitter, i.e. David Ortiz.
Matusz so far this season has appeared in two games pitching a total of one inning, allowing one earned run, two hits and three walks. As usual, his statline does not reflect how bad his appearances are made to feel like.
I truly wish Brian Matusz could have a defined role on the team, I just do not see one for him going forward this season.
Second, if Adam Jones is injured, he just needs to go on the disabled list and get back to full strength. It looked like Jones might have re-aggravated something on a swing late in the ballgame against the Rays on Monday night, a sight most Orioles fans do not want to see.
The good thing about Adam Jones is that he is tough but the obvious downside to that is; he is not the same player right now. Whether it is early season struggles, which Jones has had in the past, or simply him trying to play through an injury he knows he should not be, he is not helping the team to his best ability.
It is rough to see because if anything is consistent on the Orioles, it is Jones’ name in the lineup and manning center field. Hopefully this starts to become a non-issue and Jones returns to being the All-Star we all know he can be.
Third, play Hyun Soo Kim more. It is not fair to the guy that he is getting no playing time while playing relatively well in the games he has appeared in.
In the three games he has appeared in, he has five hits in 10 at bats with two walks and two strikeouts. He may be the goofiest player to watch on the Orioles too which just adds to me wanting to watch him more.
At this point, if Pedro Alvarez continues not to produce at the plate, I would prefer to see Kim in the outfield along with Jones and Joey Rickard and Mark Trumbo as the designated hitter.
Fourth, and speaking of Pedro Alvarez, it might be time to slowly get his bat out of the lineup every now and then. Naturally, I say this the day after he got two hits but knowing him, that might be all he gets for the next two weeks.
I have heard from every Pirates fan I know that Pedro Alvarez will be one of the most infuriating players to watch simply because when he is not producing, his spot in the lineup is a black hole that hits never come back from.
With how cheap the Orioles were able to get Alvarez for, I am not that mad over him playing as much as he does, but he does take at bats away from Kim in a way at this point, and he has shown more promise in the way of being productive.
Finally, the Yovani Gallardo experiment has most likely failed. After going on the D.L. for a shoulder injury, the very shoulder the Orioles doctors were worried about when they were signing him, his contract is looking to be a bad move by the Orioles in an attempt to desperately get rotation help any way they could late into the offseason.
All together, the Orioles team this season has shown flashes of being a really good team and a really bad team. With the return of Kevin Gausman, the possible move of Tyler Wilson to the rotation and other small moves, the Orioles could become more consistent in how they approach games and put together winning streaks like they did to open the season.