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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles offense continues to be up and down

A tough night for the bats, Tate finds a role, Plutko has been a surprise, and Galvis remains day-to-day.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning Birdland,

Hitting major league pitching is really difficult, and the Orioles offense is not the most potent of lineups in the world, especially with Anthony Santander on the shelf. But it sure does seem like they have a lot of games with either zero or one runs scored, doesn’t it?

In total, the O’s have scored 87 runs this year, which is tied for 25th in the league. Two of the teams below them are the Nationals and Mets, who have played three fewer games, so it could actually be even worse.

Much of this stems from two places: a black hole at second base, and Ryan Mountcastle being both bad and unlucky.

The second base issue is going to persist for the time being. Perhaps shifting Pat Valaika there at some point will solve some offensive woes, but it might also open up a few defensive concerns.

The Mountcastle issue, one would hope, will resolve itself. But that is not a guarantee. He has hits in back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two weeks. That’s good. He has also struck out six times in his last five games. That is not good. Worst of all: his only home run this season came all the way back on April 8th. The rookie is experiencing a serious power outage.

Links & Notes

How Dillon Tate, the 2015 draft’s top arm, is finally reaching his potential in the Orioles bullpen | The Baltimore Sun
The O’s relief corps was expected to be the best unit on the team, and they have met those expectations so far. Dillon Tate is a big reason why. So while it may be a bit disappointing that a top draft pick like him didn’t turn into a starter, he looks set to carve out a nice career for himself.

Galvis dealing with sore left adductor/groin |
There have been a lot of opinions about Freddy Galvis on the internet during the season’s first month. But regardless on what you think, there is a reason why the team signed him to be their starter. They do not have a ton of options to play the position outside of Galvis, and we will see that painful reality if he is out for any kind of extended period.

Bruce Zimmermann’s Baseball Career Comes Full Circle |
It has been discussed ad nauseam, but it’s still cool when someone grows up to play for their hometown team. It would be even cooler if Zimmermann could pitch well enough to stick in the rotation long term.

Plutko finds home in Orioles’ bullpen; Valaika called up; Kremer returning on Wednesday | Baltimore Baseball
For me it’s a toss-up between Cedric Mullins and Adam Plutko for who has been the biggest surprise of the season’s first month. Obviously, Mullins is more visible as a position player at the top of the lineup. But Plutko has been as dependable as could be out of the bullpen.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Jim Miller turns 39 today. The right-handed pitcher spent the first eight games of his major league career with the 2008 Orioles before bouncing around the league for a few seasons.
  • Sean Douglass celebrates his 42nd birthday. He was an Oriole from 2001 through 2003, appearing in 22 total games out of the bullpen in that time.
  • Happy 52nd to Jimmy Myers. His MLB career lasted just 11 games and they all came as a reliever with the 1996 Birds.
  • It’s the 55th birthday for southpaw Jim Poole. He stuck around the big leagues for 11 seasons and spent time with eight different clubs. From 1991 through 1994 he was with the O’s, accumulating a 2.86 ERA and 1.7 bWAR over 110 innings.
  • Jackie Brandt turns 87. The former outfielder had a six-season run with the O’s from 1961 through 1965, during which time he was named to one All-Star team and posted a .258/.323/.415 batting line with a 103 OPS+.

Orioles history

1988 - The Orioles lose their 21st straight game to set an American League record.

2015 - The Orioles-White Sox game is cancelled for the second straight day due to ongoing protests in the city.