Archive for the ‘Baltimore Orioles’ Category

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Indians

One of the great storylines of 2013 has been the play of Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles. A defensive wizard playing every day and hitting at the top of a playoff team’s lineup, Machado showed that he was one of baseball’s top prospects for good reason.

Just 21-years old and still filling out, Machado lacks the home run pop of his youthful contemporaries Mike Trout and Bryce Harper but, for most of the year, the story was his doubles. Machado was on a near-record pace, clubbing the second most doubles in the first half of a season with 39 at the break (albeit in many more plate appearances).

Rk Player Split Year G 2B GS PA
1 Edgar Martinez 1st Half 1996 85 42 85 393
2 Manny Machado 1st Half 2013 96 39 96 435
3 Craig Biggio 1st Half 1999 87 38 86 406
4 Lyle Overbay 1st Half 2004 86 37 83 371
5 John Olerud 1st Half 1993 87 37 87 372
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/4/2013.

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mclouth bunt

This may be hard to believe, but I am sometimes wrong. Not just occasionally, but pretty often. It comes with the territory of being, uh, whatever I am. Really, though, anyone who reads baseball blogs shouldn’t be surprised by this. One need not descend to the banality of “can’t predict ball” sloganeering to understand the situation. The name of this column was inspired by Bill James‘ phrase “measuring the fog,” which he coined in the context of discussing the task of sabermetrics. That is, the job of sabermetrics (“the search for objective knowledge about baseball”) is not just to figure out what we know about baseball, but to delineate what we do not know: “the fog.”

So I am accustomed to being wrong, even if admitting it is not necessarily fun. I pay a lot of attention to projections (and make no apologies for doing so) while keeping in mind that they are more reliable than personal intuition as a whole, on an individual level they will still miss a fair bit. Those who produce respected projections understand this, and those who use them should, too. If a player does much better or worse than he is projected to do, whether by a respected projection or by my own projection or analysis, it is not big deal. Win some, lose some. Sometimes, I go out of my way to praise or mock a player, and he does pretty much the opposite. Sometimes it is predictable, sometimes it is not. But some of them just sting.

If I wrote a post for everything I was wrong about prior to the season, I would never post anything else. For today, I will just take three cases in which things went very differently than I thought they would, three players that I (somewhat publicly, in two cases) singled out prior to the season as likely to be very good or bad, and have gone the other way, making me look, well, just like any other fallible human being. Or an idiot, depending on hour perspective.

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Well this is nothing if not interesting. The Orioles address their need in the starting rotation by acquiring Scott Feldman, taking catcher and Maryland-native Steve (not Tony) Clevenger along in the process. Baltimore sends yo-yo starter Jake Arrieta, formerly lights-out reliever Pedro Strop and international bonus slots to Chicago.

On the surface, looks like a good deal both ways. Is it so simple?

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If you asked J.J. Hardy, he would say he’s happy his team got the win. Because the Baltimore Orioles did, in fact, beat the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 3-2 tonight. The O’s pushed across the go-ahead run in the 8th inning and then held the Angels from scoring with two on in the bottom of the ninth.

But if you asked J.J. Hardy if, in his heart of hearts, he wasn’t a little peeved with the Angels outfielders, he’d be lying if he said anything other than “yes.”

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Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles

It should have been you, Dylan Bundy. After captivating the nerdy end of the baseball world last season with his effortlessly dispatching of the low minor leagues, Dylan Bundy eventually made his way to the big leagues at just 19-years old. It was Bundy’s world, he of the exorbitant contract demands as a high school pitcher from Oklahoma.

But an elbow injury slowed Dylan Bundy’s ascent to Major League stardom. In his place steps Kevin Gausman – the new hope for the next wave of Orioles starters. Unlike Bundy, who was brought up as a reliever, Gausman gets to jump right in and do the real thing: start against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday.

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OBVIOUSLY the second half of that headline is completely untrue and sensationalized and ridiculous. I mean, nobody would actually believe a single win in April somehow means more than a single win in a 162 game season.

But Rajai Davis gunning Manny Machado down at the plate is nothing if not awesome, as Machado represented the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninthtenth inning. Davis isn’t exactly known for his cannon but he certainly throws a strike here, getting the Orioles third baseman by a significant margin, prolonging a game the Jays would go on to win in the 11th inning.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

Dylan Bundy gets a lot of play here at Getting Blanked. Mostly because of his sky-high ceiling and rocket-to-the-moon path to the big leagues in 2012. There is a good chance Dylan Bundy becomes one of the best pitchers in baseball within the next few years.

He is, however, a pitcher. Which means there’s an equally good chance he becomes nothing. Or, worse yet, a reliever. The road to pitching stardom is riddled with pot holes and landmines that just surviving as a pitcher until age 30 is nothing short of a miracle.

Dylan Bundy is not 30, he is just 20-years old. He is, however, yet to throw a pitch in the 2013 season thanks to soreness and tightness in his right forearm. The problem resulted in a two-week shutdown. Bundy threw off flat ground again on Monday and the soreness persisted. The Orioles are concerned. The Orioles are sending Bundy to an expert. Not just an expect, THE expert.

Cue the dramatic music: Dylan Bundy is going to see Dr. James Andrews.

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