The Orioles have been a well-matched team as the season has progressed, and thanks can't go ungranted to players that have found their ways to the majors recently. Roster members such as Nolan Reimold and Matt Wieters have helped the O's progress, whether it is on the field or in the stands. Reimold, with his five homeruns (already 1/5 of what he hit total in AA Bowie last season) and Wieters, whose mere announcement of being called up led to 15,000 more tickets being sold for that game, are just a few of the bright spots in the O's future that have shown through early this season. And while we discover as fans that our patience is really going to start paying off sooner rather than later, there is still some waiting to do.
The pitching that has arrived in Baltimore is not what Andy McPhail has been waiting on; While Brad Bergesen has looked stellar in the majority of his starts (and one can hope that maybe he'll grow into a pitcher he wasn't expected to be), David Hernandez seems to be destined for the bullpen (again, not a bad thing; his strengths seem to rest within the personality of a solid setup man), and Jason Berken can only be considered a temporary option, the Orioles have the top pitching prospects still continuing to develop in the minors. Chris Tillman, who was acquired in the Erik Bedard trade, has been lights-out in AAA Norfolk. The organization is hoping that his strength can continue through a full season after watching his stuff start to fall off towards the end of last year while pitching for the Baysox. Troy Patton, one of the key figures in the Miguel Tejada trade with Houston, has looked excellent in AA. Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, who pitched for Team USA, are both gliding through the Baltimore minor leagues like a knife through hot butter.
Several of the Orioles fan-sites claim that Bergesen and Berken have a lower success rate than the likes of David Hernandez, but it's hard to fall into that line of thinking as an avid O's fan. While watching the stuff that these guys seem to claim, Bergesen has developed a confidence with Matt Wieters behind the plate. In his past two appearances, Wieters has called the game and Bergesen hasn't allowed anything to shake him. Baseball is a game of risks, and one can only hope that Bergesen will continue his success with Wieters as a battery mate and allow the offense to take over the game. Berken, while still unproven, will get his shots. Just like the other rookie pitchers that the O's have thrown out this year, Jason should see some opportunity. His experience with Wieters last year in Bowie should be helpful in his confidence and his ability to adapt to a higher level. Those two, along with Hernandez, will learn and grow together, even if just for a small bit of time. David Hernandez will most likely be the man demoted back to Norfolk when Uehara returns from the DL; this should be a blessing in disguise for him so that he can go back and develop his pitches more. He has a huge role ahead of him as a major leaguer.