For the better part of four months, the 2010 Baltimore Orioles were one of the worst teams in American League history. But the hiring of Buck Showalter as manager helped motivate the team to a fine 34-23 finish that not only helped them avoid a 100 loss season, it also lead to a renewed optimism for Orioles baseball.
When the team aquired proven vets like DH Vladimir Guerrero and 1B Derrek Lee in the off-season, it only increased the fan’s interest–and hope–in the club. With the young starters ready to compete it looked like the future of Orioles baseball was bright.
2011 has turned out to be a bigger disaster than 2010 was. The reasons for this are plenty.
Lee could never get going with the bat and was traded to the Pirates. Guerrero has been a major disappointment batting cleanup as he has yet to reach double figures in HR’s. Brian Roberts has played in only 39 games and can no longer be counted on as an everyday player.
The most alarming of all of Baltimore’s problems has been the demise of the starting rotation. Brian Matusz started the year on the DL and was terrible when he did return. Matusz wound up being sent to the minors. Also demoted was lefty Zach Britton who after a 5-1 start, stopped getting hitters out. Chris Tillman has been yo-yoing from the bigs to minors all season and Jake Arrieta was just shut down after elbow surgery.
Not good signs for a Baltimore team which currently sports the second-worst record in all of baseball.
These pitchers were supposed to be the real reason that the Orioles organization was on the verge of a comeback. But with all of the them now big question marks, the future of Baltimore Orioles baseball appears to be bleak.