It is one of the more rare match-ups in baseball history: the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres will face off for the 14th and 15th times in their histories this week with all signs pointing towards an easily obtainable mini-sweep for the Birds.
San Diego is not a good baseball team. They currently sit with a record of 29-42 and are fifth place in the National League West. Their offense has a joint batting average of .241 (23rd in MLB) and they have a team ERA of 4.50 (24th), but they do have some players to keep an eye on.
Jon Jay and Wil Myers are two players that would be welcome additions to any team. Jay is slashing .296/.345/.407 with 24 doubles over 68 games. Myers is their likely All-Star rep, slashing .292/.336/.535 with 16 home runs, 16 doubles and 44 RBI.
On the pitching side, closer Fernando Rodney is yet to allow an earned run over 25.1 innings and has racked up 14 saves while striking out 27 and walking 10. Southpaw Ryan Buchter has been a nice piece in the ‘pen as well, striking out 45 in 31 innings and holding batters to a .163 batting average.
They have some other guys you may recognize: Matt Kemp (ya know, the former NL MVP runner-up), Alexei Ramirez, Melvin Upton and Brett Wallace. But, for whatever reason, this group just kind of stinks together.
Tuesday, June 21 at 7:05 p.m., MASN
RHP Luis Perdomo (2-2, 8.79 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Wilson (3-5, 4.16 ERA)
Perdomo is a 23-year-old rookie who came up in the Cardinals system. This offseason he was selected by the Rockies in the Rule 5 draft and then purchased by the Padres. He has made only three starts but has 15 appearances out of the bullpen this year. The righty features a mid-90s fastball and has had some BABIP (.419) bad luck so far. But also walks a lot of guys (4.5 per nine innings).
Wilson has only ever faced one member of the Padres regular lineup (Ramirez, 0-for-3) so this is pretty much a crap shoot. He was really good against the Red Sox last week, tossing eight scoreless innings. Boston has a ridiculously good lineup, so he will probably really struggle against the mediocre bats of San Diego because, as always, sports defy logic.
Wednesday, June 22 at 7:05 p.m., MASN
RHP Erik Johnson (0-4, 7.66 ERA) vs. TBD
As the writing of this post, no one is penciled in to start for the O’s. But there are a few options on the major league roster. 1. Ubaldo Jimenez (HAHAHA!) 2. Throw Yovani Gallardo on three days rest; probably not the wisest decision for a guy just getting off the DL. Or 3.
Give Odrisamer Despaigne a go. He did pitch on Sunday, but only for 1.2 innings. He could probably throw 90 pitches on two days rest from that. Man, what tempting options!
Johnson made his way to San Diego at the beginning of June as part of the James Shields trade with the White Sox. So far, that deal is not working out for anyone involved. Over three starts in ChiTown, Shields is 0-3 with a (not a typo) 21.81 ERA. Since becoming a Padre, Johnson is 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA.
The Padres 26-year-old righty was a hot prospect with the White Sox a few years ago, rising to be their second most promising pupil, according to Baseball America. His arsenal is that of a soft tosser, though, as his fastball comes in at about 90 mph.
This “series” feels like a sweep waiting to happen, but the Orioles starting pitching remains a huge question mark. How many do you think the Birds will pull out? Zero, one or two?