Birds Up, O's Down for April 1-10

Guthrie deserves the spot of honor after a strong week.(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Who's hot and who's not among the Orioles this week

Rotation                                       

Jake Arrieta

Location, location, location.  Has great stuff, but needs to locate his pitches with more regularity to be effective.  Control was spotty his first start vs. the Tigers and gone by the time he got to the Rangers where he allowed 8 ER in just 3.1 innings.

Brad Bergesen

Location, location, location - part two.  Relies on a well-located sinker and just didn't have it against the Tigers.  Not a great start for a guy might be the odd man out once Brian Matusz returns.

Zach Britton

Could not be any more impressed with this guy.  Six BBs in two games, but made the right pitch when he needed to.  Has allowed just 7 hits in two games and one ER.  Handed the last remaining undefeated team their first loss before leaving to a much deserved standing ovation.

Justin Duchscherer

On the shelf for the near future with hip issues.  Getting the feeling bringing him in was a waste of money.

Jeremy Guthrie

Outstanding vs. the Rays on Opening Day, spent a few days in the hospital with BieberFever, then back for a solid, but relatively short outing vs. the Rangers.  Probably deserves an up arrow for his tweets alone, but this guy absolutely gave it his all this week and got it done on the mound. 

Brian Matusz

Out for another few weeks with an intercostal strain.  His return to the rotation will hopefully solidify the staff going forward.  Can we just wrap the whole pitching staff in bubble wrap?

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Chris Tillman

Decent in his first start, so-so in his second.  Fastball seems slow and straight, but had serviceable breaking stuff.  Some speculation he's injured based on a significant drop in velocity on his fastball.

Bullpen

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Jeremy Accardo

Did his best to make things interesting in two outings this season, but in the end, got the job done (with help from the offense).

Jason Berken

Slimmed-down Berken has been the Orioles best reliever over the first week.  Allowed just two hits in three appearances while striking out seven and not walking a batter.

Mike Gonzalez

Better in his most recent appearance, but c'mon man....earned runs in your first two appearances?  As the only lefty in the pen, the team needs this guy to get the outs.

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Kevin Gregg

Sigh.  Just another $10mil spent on relievers.  Stats are better than he actually pitched since he was bailed out by some nice defense.

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Chris Jakubauskas

Only one appearance, so we can hold off judging him (for now, at least), but let's hope we never have to see this guy start (we might this week).

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Jim Johnson

Up and down first week.  Hopefully the JJ we saw on Thursday vs. the Tigers is the JJ we'll see for the remainder of the season.

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Josh Rupe

Did what he was asked (clean up after two short appearances by the starters) and didn't look so bad doing it.

Koji Uehara

Good start for Koji, as he allowed just 1 hit over 3 appearances (2+ innings).  Depending on the success of Kevin Gregg (and the offense, for that matter), could be back in the closer role before long.
Lineup

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Robert Andino

Can anyone explain the need to have a backup backup middle infielder?  My guess is the health of Brian Roberts is a question mark (and apparently J.J. Hardy as well).  On the plus side, can play most of the infield as well as left, but provides little else.  Will get regular starts with Hardy on the shelf.

--

Jake Fox

Defense behind the plate wasn't very good in his first appearance.  His seven trips to the plate haven't looked any better.

Vladimir Guerrero

Probably doesn't deserve an up arrow, as he has looked very, very old in the first week, but as he leads the team in hits, one can make allowances.

J.J. Hardy

Looking good at short before a strained oblique landed him on the DL.  Not the best hitter, but already looks much much better than the alternatives and fielded the position well in limited action.  The weak throws we saw in ST haven't been an issue so far.  Hurry back, J.J.

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Cesar Izturis

Likely the starter at SS with Hardy headed to the DL.  Yuck.  Did have an RBI during the nice comeback victory over Detroit on Thursday....okay, yes...I'm just trying to keep you from gnashing your teeth at the thought of two weeks with Izzy in the lineup.

Adam Jones

At least has a few hits now after a very slow start, but just a .229 OBP.  That isn't going to get it done.  Also tied for the team lead in strikeouts (9) which is no small feat when K King Mark Reynolds is hitting behind you.

Derrek Lee

Great to have a real first baseman on defense, but needs to hit the ball if he's going to remain in the heart of the order.  Grabbed a couple of hits yesterday to get the OBP over .300, but still mantaining a sub-.700 OPS and .219 BA.

Nick Markakis

Made several dazzling plays in right over the first week.  UZR might be unfriendly to Nick, but you can bet Ben Zobrist hates him even more after he was robbed on a couple of occasions by the Oriole right fielder.  Nothing special at the plate, but did pick up 8 hits including a solo blast to the flag court which would be all Zach Britton needed to win the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.

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Felix Pie

Likely to receive more playing time with Scott hitting just .167 and Andino to be required more frequently in the infield.  Small sample size city, but he's leading the team in BA.

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Mark Reynolds

Avoids the down arrow this week for a couple of nice hits and a .782 OPS, but couldn't bring runners in during key situations yesterday and has made some routine plays in the field look much harder than they should be.

Brian Roberts

Not the best week, but this team is much better with him in the lineup.  The up arrow won't continue to be so easy for him, but having Roberts there is far better than Andino/Izturis.

Luke Scott

Off to a poor start.  Wasn't hitting well before missing a few games due to injury.  Has returned and still is not hitting.  A 2 for 12 week by no means screams "I should get playing time."

Matt Wieters

Love the guy, but he needs to start hitting.  Defense and handling of the pitching staff has been solid, however.
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