We apologize for the general lack of activity lately, it has been hard to write about what has transpired recently. We have also begun our very strenuous, borderline professional, softball league schedules which definitely detracts from O’s viewing and writing time.
As most of you know by now, this team has been hit with a lot of bad news lately. It’s getting a bit ridiculous actually. Felix Pie tore his lat and he’s now out for 3 months. He was really hot at the time of the injury and had really been playing well. Despite the occasional mistake he is a very exciting player to watch and this is a big blow to the team. Brian Roberts is apparently not making much progress and they now expect him to miss significant time with no time table for his return even being discussed yet. There is also not much word on the progress of Koji Uehara who appears to be composed entirely of Charmin Ultra Soft. Miguel Tejada has missed the last couple of games with a hip injury though that really hasn’t been much of a loss. As usual, this team is continually cursed. Ty Wigginton is the only guy hitting anything right now, Adam Jones looks absolutely lost at the plate and in the field, Markakis isn’t hitting anything with authority, Wieters just doesn’t look like he’s made any progress, Reimold looks like shit, and we are getting pretty much what I expected from Tejada, Atkins, Lugo, and Izturis. How can a whole team just forget how to hit? I don’t have an explanation. I’m not sure anyone does.
The latest, great news is that Brad Bergesen is an excellent batting practice pitcher, so he may be able to help everyone out. Seriously though, we knew Brad was due for a bit of a fall. It was unlikely he could maintain the success he had last year with the peripherals he was putting up. His groundball rate was okay but not dominant and he didn’t strike enough guys out to keep it going at that level. I had no idea it would be this bad. Guys like Bergesen who rely completely on one pitch and soft contact to get their outs have a very small margin for error. (See also Wang, Chien-Ming; Carmona, Fausto) Brad is not commanding any of his pitches and he looks to have completely lost his sinker, which means he’s got nothing and that’s exactly what he has looked like so far. He got beat around for the 3rd straight start yesterday and now he’s being optioned back to Norfolk. When he got pulled from the game last night he looked like he was on the verge of a breakdown, a guy who has lost all confidence in his ability. Word is that Alberto Castillo is going to be called up to fill in in the pen until the 5th starter is needed again on May 1. The interesting question is who will make that start? I have to guess the options are Jason Berken or Jake Arrieta. Berken has been very solid in the pen so far and I still think that is his future value but I could see them giving him a start or two just to give the guys in Norfolk a couple more starts down there. However, I would really like to see Arrieta just for the excitement. He has been absolutely dominating so far in 3 starts at AAA. He threw 14 straight scoreless innings in his first 2 starts and gave up a run in 6, in his latest start last night. He has been posting an absurd groundball rate while still missing a decent number of bats. Either move is defensible, but I would prefer to see Arrieta just because we need something to be excited about and this team is lacking that right now.
But hey, we still get to watch Brian Matusz every 5th day. That may actually be the only games I watch for a while.