After jumping out to a 22-10 record to begin the 2017 MLB season, the Baltimore Orioles have dropped 11 of its last 14 games.
Entering Saturday’s play, the slumping Baltimore Orioles are riding a five-game losing streak and have a record of 25-21. Their record puts them 2.5 games back from the American League East division leading New York Yankees and a half-game back from second place Boston Red Sox. As a result, the Orioles are now in third place in the AL East after falling to Houston Friday night 2-0.
In recent history, the Baltimore Orioles have shown they can turn things around quickly. Forty-six games into the season, is it time to panic and throw the season away? Of course not. But with one of the weakest starting pitching rotation in MLB, there’s reason to be worried.
The Orioles actually began the month of May atop the division ahead of the dreadful four-game series at Fenway against the Boston Red Sox.
Despite the fiasco in Boston, the Orioles won the opener and finale of the series which launched a five-game home winning streak, first sweeping the Chicago White Sox and two wins against the Washington Nationals.
Currently, the Orioles starting pitchers are ranked next-to-last in the American League for innings pitched with just 251.2 innings. The only pitching staff that’s thrown fewer innings is the team that just swept the Orioles at OPACY, the Minnesota Twins.
There are multiple reasons why the Orioles aren’t pitching well, more specifically the starting rotation:
- 190 strikeouts (27th in MLB)
- 6.79 strikeouts per nine innings (26th in MLB)
- 105 walks (sixth most in MLB)
- 3.75 walks per nine innings (third most in MLB)
- 12 wins (14th in AL)
Ubaldo Jimenez has begun his annual trip to the bullpen following a string of disastrous start. Who saw this coming? Despite Jimenez producing the same inconsistent numbers the past four years, the Orioles still cling on to the 33-year-old pitcher.
With Ubaldo out, in comes the 25-year-old pitcher Alec Asher, who is expected to start Sunday in place of Jimenez. Since transitioning to the bullpen, Asher has appeared in eight games with a 2.18 ERA including 16 strikeouts.
Regardless of what the Orioles current starting rotation does in the next couple of month, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette must find a way to acquire a veteran starter who can make an immediate impact.