Thursday, August 12, 2010

The new and improved Baltimore Orioles under Buck Showalter

The Orioles are 9-2 in August, and 8-1 since Buck Showalter took over on August 3rd (they lost on August 1 by a score of 5-4 in Juan Samuel's last game).

Offense (Runs)
April: 75 (29th)
May: 100 (27th)
June: 98 (25th)
July: 102 (21st)
August: 52 (5th)

Pitching (ERA)
April: 4.62 (23rd)
May: 4.68 (T-24th)
June: 5.72 (30th)
July: 5.60 (29th)
August: 3.56 (T-12th)

A lot of players on the roster are having good months (Luke Scott, Brian Roberts, Ty Wigginton, Adam Jones), but one of the most encouraging signs has to be the Felix Pie is playing well. 

Pie was a top prospect about 4 years ago, and was supposed to be a 5-tool player, but it hasn't worked out yet.  He started off well this year by winning the starting left field position with a strong spring, but he went on the 60 day DL in April and didn't come back until April. 

He had a weak July (.222 BA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 72 AB), but has turned it on in August (.350 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 40 AB), having one of the best months of his career (not that there's that much competition; he was excellent in August 2009).  He also also good in April before he went on the DL (.400 BA in 20 AB).  If he's finally coming into his own, the Orioles could be set in left field for a while.   With Adam Jones, Felix Pie and Nick Markakis, they could have a solid outfield for years to come. 

The Orioles are still going to finish dead last in the AL East, but who would have thought they could go 8-1 under any manager?  Standing in the way of them making huge improvements over the next few years is the unbalanced schedule and the fact that the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are in their division.  For the time being, I'm sure they'll settle for taking a shot at .500 (which they haven't been over since 1997).

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