As Jays fans and erstwhile Jays bloggers, most of the editorial team here at Getting Blanked makes great sport of the Orioles and their specific struggles. We belittle their decision-making processes and we question the reasoning behind their free-agent signings. It’s all great fun, for the most part.
Nearly one full season into a complete infield shake up and nearly 100 losses later, I discovered a whole new layer to the Orioles schadenfreude.
The Orioles two biggest off-season acquisitions were J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds. They undertook a certain amount of risk in acquiring Hardy after two consecutive injury-plagued down seasons. Reynolds was more consistent but moving into the tough A.L. East and away from the homer-happy Chase Field suggested his numbers could also tumble.
Hardy and Reynolds responded with two excellent seasons. Between the two of them they lead the O’s in most offensive categories. Hardy in wOBA, slugging percentage and OPS, Reynolds in home runs and walk rate. They’re 1-2 in wOBA and wRC+. Reynolds is essentially the exact player the O’s thought they were getting (bad defense included) while Hardy is putting together a career year despite missing 30 days with an oblique strain.
In other words, these two signings have worked out almost ideally. They are nearly the best case scenario the team hoped for and the ORIOLES ARE STILL AWFUL. Terrible. They currently employ Jo-Jo Reyes and picked him up freely and of their own volition. Terrible.
They’re the Orioles. They need to play better than .500 baseball in September to win 70 games. It’s just kind of the way it works around there.