* This was written for MASN’s Oriole Buzz last week…
It has not been a good week for the Baltimore Orioles, as they have struggled in interleague play, losing two out of three games to the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Much like the Orioles, the Pirates and Nationals have been your traditional bottom-feeders recently; however, they have improved greatly this season. They are not seen as contenders, but they are no longer doormats, either.
That same notion can be also applied to the Orioles. A lot of people at the start of the season though they could perhaps have an outside shot at winning more than they lost and finishing ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays.
As the month of July approaches, the Orioles are still mired in last place in the American League East.
That is a position they have gotten used to for way too long. At this point, although the team is far and away a lot better than it was last year, I do not sense any happiness over the situation with fans.
With that being said, one could say the Orioles are way too talented, even with the young pitching and injuries, to be six games under .500.
They are still making silly mistakes from time to time and yes, the offense is so inconsistent.
Are the Orioles what we thought they were?
I still project the Orioles to win between 75-78 games. However, it is particularly disconcerting to see the offense still struggle, especially considering the additions made.
Derrek Lee had been scuffling at the plate seemingly all season and has recently gotten hot; meanwhile, fans know what they have gotten out of Mark Reynolds so far – offensively and defensively – and Vladimir Guerrero has been suitable at the plate, but has not hit with power.