Like many people, I expected the Orioles to have a much better offense this year than they have had in previous years. They added Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds, among others, to a lineup with Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Luke Scott and Brian Roberts. They weren't going to be the Yankees, but the new lineup was expected to improve on 613 runs they scored in 2010 (#27 in ML).
The team started strong (6-1 to start the season) because of strong pitching and the offense never took off. They are currently, you guessed it, #27 in runs scored again. They don't have anyone having a great offensive season, although Vlad, Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters aren't embarrassing themselves.
The blame lies mostly with a group of players with good track records: Adam Jones, Derrek Lee, Nick Markakis and Mark Reynolds. They're all struggling at the same time, but it's unlikely that they'll all keep it up for too long. They were all much better than this just a year ago, let along over the course of their career. While the Orioles might not be a top-tier offense, they should end up much better than 27th again.
OPS (2011, 2010, Career)
Nick Markakis (.580, .805, .824)
Derrek Lee (.584, .774, .862)
Mark Reynolds (.620, .753, .810)
Adam Jones (.674, .767, .743)
Update: The Orioles won 5-4 tonight, with 10 hits and 2 HR. Markakis, Lee and Jones combined to go 6-12 with 3 R and a HR (Jones).