Orioles continue to impress despite a inconsistent roster
Nick Fuller | May, 15, 2012 | 2012 is shaping up to be the first season in a long that might have Orioles fans more excited about the wins and losses column rather than dollar dog day heading into the dog days of summer. The Orioles just finished a 15 game series against the Yankees (twice), Red Sox, Rangers, and Rays going 9-6. Going 9-6 during that 15 game stretch deserves some recognition considering before that stretch fans and radio personalities were saying they would be impressed if the Orioles went 6-9. What is most impressive to date is the way the Orioles have been winning with so many injuries, player fatigue, and slumps.
Since the marathon 17 inning game in Fenway, the Orioles have made 22 roster changes. Once more, 22 roster changes. In comparison, the Texas Rangers have made zero since Opening Day. The bullpen has been overused as a result of the Orioles’ starting pitchers failing to go late into the game. Injuries to Reimold, “The Sherriff” Mark Reynolds, Lindstrom, Endy Chavez, and Jim Johnson have all resulted in Buck Showalter having to re-arrange the line-up a multitude of times. Buck deserves credit for putting together a line-up that has been producing a winning team. Filling the void in left-field due to Reimold’s back injury has been difficult, but having players on the team that can play an array of positions effectively has been beneficial. The void in left field has been filled by Ryan Flaherty, Wilson Betemit, Xavier Avery Endy Chavez, Bill Hall and Steve Tolleson with all of having a good performance.
Possibly the player with the most agility in regards to positions is Wilson Betemit. Betemit has taken on more roles than Nicholas Cage. When Buck releases the line-up for each game, it is a guessing game as to where he is playing. He will DH, play first, third, or left-field. With all of the roster changes, the Orioles are still getting attention from the baseball world as they sit atop the arduous AL East. Many people in the Orioles organization are much deserving of credit to the early success. Credit Buck Showalter for putting out a competitive line-up each and every game. Credit Dan Duquette for making trades that make him look like a genius at the same time bolstering the farm system. Credit the team’s sport psychologist Seth Kaplan who started with the team in the off-season to teach the players how to overcome barriers and how to display mental resiliency. Finally, credit the players for their continuous competitive performances from MLB veterans and those that have just recently been called up to the show.
This summer, fans at Camden Park will surely have something to cheer about in the later months if their play continues and their roster strengthens with the return of Britton, Reimold, Reynolds, Roberts, Chavez, and Lindstrom.