BY DILLON ATKINSON, @DAtkinsonOU
Week two of the season is done. Let's take a look how the Orioles did.
In case you missed it: Week One Review, Highlights, Reactions
Week Two Review
Week Two Start Date: Tuesday, April 11
Week Two End Date: Sunday, April 16
Games Played / Total Games Played: 6 / 11
Week Two Record: 4-2
AL East Standings:
- Orioles (8-3)
- Yankees (8-4)
- Red Sox (7-5)
- Rays (6-7)
- Blue Jays (2-10)
Top Three Highlights of the Week
Boom-Boom gives O's the lead with a monster shot
Hardy's first -- and probably last -- glove flip double play is a sick one
Hardy gets two highlights -- gives the Orioles the lead off Sanchez
Six Games, Six Reactions
Orioles Show Who Is King Of The Home Run Hill
Through the first week of the season, the Orioles hit a total of five home runs. That put them on pace to hit 162 homers this year, which would've been a huge decrease from last season, when they led Major League Baseball with 253 long balls.
Well, this past week, the club launched 13 homers over the span of six games.
That's more like it. Now the Birds are fourth in MLB in home runs, and we should expect them to stay in the top five throughout the rest of the year, if not number one.
Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom
This kid just can't help himself. Trey "Boom Boom" Mancini is on fire to start his young MLB career. He made history, joining Trevor Story and Dino Restelli as the only players in Major League Baseball history to hit seven home runs through their first 12 career games. And he certainly did it in "Boom Boom" fashion, hitting some big boy bombs.
It's fair to say Mancini has earned himself some more playing time following his hot start this season, slashing .364/.417/.955 with five homers in 24 plate appearances, but it's only a matter of how they are going to get him that playing time.
Buck Showalter Has A Good Problem On His Hands
Speaking of Mancini, Buck Showalter has a problem that he's going to try to resolve, but I'm sure it's a problem he's not upset about having.
With the current roster, with Joey Rickard on the disabled list, Showalter is platooning Hyun Soo Kim and Seth Smith (facing right-handed pitchers) with Craig Gentry and Trey Mancini (facing left-handed pitchers), respectively.
However, with Mancini playing so well to start the season, fans -- along with Showalter I'm sure -- want to see Mancini being used as an every day player. The only issue is, this would result in the O's skipper having to bench one of Kim and Smith, both who have been consistent on-base threats from the left side of the plate, a category in which the majority of the offense lacks, so their presence is important.
It's easy to just keep everyone in their respective platoons if the Orioles face a decent amount of left-handed starting pitchers. But if the O's have a week when they're facing seven-straight right-handed starters, it's going to be interesting to see who gets the most -- and least -- playing time between Kim, Smith, and Mancini.
Whatever Showalter chooses, he's going to be criticized by a crowd and cheered by another. Unless one of the three fall off soon, he really can't go wrong.
The Starting Pitching Will... Carry This Team?
Okay, maybe not. But it's still worth noting that the Orioles starting pitchers turned in five quality starts out of six games (you're killing me Ubaldo).
- Dylan Bundy (two starts @BOS & @TOR): 12 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 12 H, 3 BB, 9K
- Kevin Gausman (@ TOR): 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Wade Miley (@ TOR): 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 8 K
- Alec Asher (@ TOR): 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
Well done, gentlemen. That was much needed. As for you, Mr. Ubaldo Jimenez... It would be nice if you wanted to go back and perform like second half of 2016 Ubaldo Jimenez. Or maybe half as good as that would be helpful. Well, at least the Orioles offense has carried the team to 2-0 with 18 total runs scored in Jimenez's two starts. At least the offense knows when they need to bring the big bats.
You Had A 10-Run Lead. What Are You Doing, Buck?
Sunday afternoon, the Orioles were beating the Blue Jays 11-1 in the eighth inning. A long fly ball was hit, the ball tipped off the glove of Adam Jones, who was fully extended trying to make the catch, and then he slammed into the right-centerfield wall. The veteran centerfielder was slow to get up, but he convinced Showalter and the training staff to let him stay him the game.
What's wrong with this picture?
Buck, you had a 10-run lead. Even if Jones told you he was faking the injury for some odd reason, there's no reason to leave him in the game. Up 10 runs, with over 150 games left in the season, there's too much risk in leaving him in the game. You know Jones is going to be hard-headed and will say he's fine, but you've got to step up and take him out anyways.
In the end, however, at least it seems like Jones is OK.
Overreaction: Hitting The Panic Button On Zach Britton
I have bad news and good news:
Bad news -- Zach Britton has been place on the 10-day disabled list with a left forearm strain.
Good news -- It doesn't sound like it has anything to do with the elbow.
My reaction -- I'm still going to freak out until he's healthy.
Week Three Preview
The Orioles have six games in week three, from Tuesday April 18 through Sunday April 23. Here are the likely probable pitchers for those games (will update as needed).
- Tuesday: at Reds, Kevin Gausman vs Bronson Arroyo
- Wednesday: at Reds, Ubaldo Jimenez vs Amir Garrett
- Thursday: at Reds, Wade Miley vs Scott Feldman
- Friday: vs Red Sox, TBA vs TBA
- Saturday: vs Red Sox, TBA vs TBA
- Sunday: vs Red Sox, TBA vs TBA
See you all next week.