The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck’s April 30th article
Mr. Schmuck has an article today, with the premise being that The Orioles are showing their true colors.
That after their first month of play, where they finished with 9 wins and 13 losses… that this is who The Orioles are.
His conclusion is that while 70 wins will be difficult to obtain, that progress to brighter days in 2010 and beyond can be obtained.
I think it is an accurate depiction that this roster – as constructed – is mediocre to poor.
When Schmuck talks about the progress that can be obtained this year… he is talking about the increasing development of the core of players you want to move forward with. I completely agree with that.
I agree, and disagree with the point of view that 70 wins will definitively be difficult to obtain. That does not have to be the case.
Even playing in the American League East, and intra-league games against the National League East… 75 to 81 wins is still a possibility, depending on the construction of the roster during the remainder of this year.
Lets be clear on what I am saying here….. I believe there is enough talent on the roster, and within the organization for the O’s to have their best season since 1997.
I also believe that if the O’s are not aggressive about augmenting their roster from within… that another 66-70 win season is likely to occur.
There is no question in my-mind, that we have seen the worst of the Orioles this year… that the team will continue to improve their play (if not their record) on a month-to-month basis.
There is no question in my-mind, that the overall record of the Orioles in 2009, is a secondary concern to development.
Here are 5 ways the O’s will improve during the remainder of 2009:
1) Matt Wieters will arrive… and Zaun will head to the bench.
2) Felix Pie’s production will increase…. Or he will be replaced by Nolan Reimold.
3) Rich Hill will join the rotation… with Hendrickson moving to the bullpen..
4) Adam Eaton will be released… and be replaced with Troy Patton, or David Hernandez, or Chris Tillman, or Jake Arrieta…
5) Jeremy Guthrie will improve as the season progresses…
(By the way, I am sure someone will point out that in-reverse that Roberts, Jones, and Markakis will not continue to produce at their current levels…. No doubt that is true.. But expecting increasing production from Wigginton, Mora, Huff, and Scott is also with-in reason)
There is no question the O’s are going to improve as the season progresses… the question is when is that improvement going to occur?