Even though I've been an O's fan all my life, it's been an on-and-off affair for many years; baseball news is hard to come by here. In my short time of intensive O's fandom, I've never started a season with such "high" expectations. I was drinking the orange Kool-aid by the gallon, and as much as I hated the Gregg and Vlad signings, I could see the young pitching improving, Roberts coming back healthy and playing his usual solid second base, and Reynolds providing the power bat we've lacked for so long.
All I wanted was 82 wins, apparently, that was too much to ask.
Brian Matusz: So much was expected from Matusz this season. He was meant to build on his late success last season and become the power lefty we all hoped for. Instead he got injured, lost a ton of velocity off his fastball, lost his control and has just been an awful mess.
Kevin Gregg: I don't know if he can be called a disappointment because I didn't expect much of him, just competence. Oh, wait - now I remember why he's a disappointment: he's not even competent. He's has a 1.69WHIP and has walked 15% of the batters he's faced (6.31 BB/9). Oh, and he's a complete douche who always finds excuses for why he sucks.
Buck Showalter: After getting everyone's hopes up last year with a great end to the season and good bullpen managment and timely decisions, Buck has left Vlad as cleanup and Gregg as a high leverage pitcher all season long. Some of this must be pressure from above, but doesn't Buck have a limit?
Mark Reynolds: We were promised homers. We got homers. His offensive production has matched what everyone thought we would get, with a slightly better K/BB ratio than expected. But his fielding at 3rd was easily the worst in the majors by any standard and has sapped all of his on-field value.
Nick Markakis: I love Nicky, but I think I've come to terms with the fact that he will never again be more than a slightly-above-average player. Only 26 doubles this year. Sigh.