This will be my last piece for a couple weeks, taking some time off and traveling.
Hoo boy. Three weeks ago the Orioles played perhaps the best week they've played since 2014. Two weeks ago they were competitive but inconsistent. But the last seven days saw the Orioles go 2-4 as the offense really struggled to score runs including setting the record for strike-outs in a three game series.
Of the seven games, the Orioles scored three or fewer runs in six of them.
The silver lining of last week was that the pitching really wasn't that terrible. In the six games the Orioles staff held opponents to four or fewer runs five times.
Chris Tillman: Took the hard luck no-decision after a strong 7 IP / 2 ER outing. He's continued to bounce back from his awful 2015 in a big way and has posted a 2.16 ERA in May while holding opponents to a .198 AVG. What's really impressive is the 77% ground ball rate for May.
Joey Rickard: After Rickard's incredible first four games in the bigs, he's hitting just .232/.294/.329. Even with the four games he's still only managed to post an 83 OPS+ which is below average. He's still managed to appear in every game the Orioles have played this year which makes less sense by the day.
Hyun Soo Kim: The controversial outfielder got two starts in a row for the first time this season and went 5-7 with two doubles and a walk. He also nearly hit one out to left field. With Pedro Alvarez still not doing much of anything could Buck consider letting Kim DH some until Alvarez gets it going? Can't hurt.
Matt Wieters: After the slow start, Wieters has been on fire the last couple weeks. He had 10 hits in five games this week and added another homer. Caleb Joseph has really been struggling at the plate this year and it's starting to look like at least for now Wieters is the starter rather than both catchers getting equal time. I imagine going forwards that's how it's going to be until Wieters cools off regardless of what Caleb does now.
Zach Britton: With Matusz gone, Britton is pretty much the last of the “grow the arms, buy the bats” era of Orioles front office strategy left that was actually an Orioles draft pick. So far he's posting career best ERA, FIP, and K/9. He truly is one of the most dominant closers in baseball and is starting to make the case that he's the top of the class this year. It's either him or the Dodgers' Jansen in my book.
Speaking of which, Adam Loewen is getting knocked around with Arizona's AAA affiliate after his awful comeback with the Phillies last year failed to get him an MLB roster spot.
Jonathan Schoop: After a dreadful April Schoop has slashed .310/.322/.524 in May with four homeruns. This is more in line with what we had hoped to see out of a healthy Schoop. Here's the thing about Schoop though: He refuses to see pitches or take walks. His aggressive can be an asset when he's seeing the ball well but when he's not it's a real issue as seen in April. He's approaching 1,000 career AB and only has 28 career walks. That's incredible.
Chris Davis: Crush looked really bad last week and it wasn't just bad luck. He's not seeing the ball well right now. He went .154/.241/.308 over the last six games while striking out 13 times. That's definitely a rough patch.
He's hitting just .222/.330/.407 with only three HR on the month and starting to teeter dangerously into 2014 territory. He's still productive, as his 117 OPS+ shows, but he's no where near $23 million productive right now.
I don't have any doubt that the numbers will come eventually, but when Crush gets cold he can stay there for a long time.
Pedro Alvarez: The fact of the matter is that, no, he's not heating up. He had a homer this week, which was one of only two hits he had in his four starts in the last week.
He's actually doing worse now that he was doing before. At the end of April he was sitting at .224/.333/.367. It wasn't good but he was treading water a little bit. The power wasn't there but he was getting on base a little bit and contributing in that way.