Wei-Yin Chen could be all that stands between the Orioles and losing their way to the All-Star Break. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
The spinning roster merry-go-round continues. Brian Roberts has been placed on the disabled list with whatever groin injury had him out of the lineup last night. If that was something bothering him for a while, it would certainly explain the times we watched him not exactly bust it down the line on a ground ball. Perhaps he was simply incapable of doing so - which of course makes you ask why he didn't say something sooner, but after so long off for the concussion, I guess we can't blame him for wanting to play.
Meanwhile, the Orioles will face Felix Hernandez tonight. Good luck with that. Last night they mustered three hits against Hisashi Iwakuma, and two of those were Chris Davis. They were blanked by the bullpen for four innings. It doesn't particularly matter who is pitching for the O's because they will be facing a former Cy Young winner who's still among the best pitchers in baseball. This with the offense that has sunk down to where they have the lowest collective Fangraphs WAR of all teams in MLB. They also have the 5th-worst team OBP.
As with yesterday, they will be facing a team who is one of the four with a worse OBP. The Mariners get on base below the Izturis line (.300 OBP). Wei-Yin Chen will be trying to stymie these dubious batters tonight, and it helps that he is one of the two O's starters who have had good results on the whole so far this year. Not that any of the early season's good results helped Jason Hammel much last night. And as with most nights, the same, more or less, clown show defense that hurt Hammel last night will be taking the field tonight, with the exception of Xavier Avery returning to man left field. Perhaps the Orioles decided that too many incompetent outfielders was something they could not bear watching any more. I certainly can't bear watching it. Now we only have to keep watching Davis in right field.
The reality is that there is no defensive alignment that won't make you cringe with the current personnel. This appears like it will be the case for the balance of the season, though whenever Nick Markakis returns, it might make us feel better about the outfield (though UZR has rated Nick as a slightly sub-par OF since 2008, but let's not pick nits). The infield is going to be an adventure, a revolving clown show of guys who either can't hit or can't field, and sometimes can't hit or field.
Having written all of that, I am staying up to watch the game, and apparently so are you or you wouldn't be reading all of this. We need help, don't we? We're not going to get any help, but we are going to get an Orioles game. Even if they'll probably lose, that's good enough.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Xavier Avery - LF||Ichiro Suzuki - RF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Casper Wells - LF|
|Chris Davis - RF||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Jesus Montero - DH|
|Jim Thome - DH||Miguel Olivo - C|
|Matt Wieters - C||Michael Saunders - CF|
|Wilson Betemit - 1B||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Ryan Flaherty - 3B||Dustin Ackley - 2B|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Brendan Ryan - SS|