I found this article written Friday on Baseball Prospectus and thought it was interesting. The O’s won yesterday to raise their winning percentage to .281. They are 16-41 heading into Tuesday’s series against the Yankees.
In the article Steven Goldman has a chart of the worst 12 single-season teams in modern baseball history. The Orioles win on Sunday knocked them off this list (since 12th place has a .279 winning percentage) but talks about how this year’s O’s team even got in the conversation of being historically bad.
“They’re most similar to the 2003 Tigers in that they’ve finally reached the end of their ability to survive their farm system. The curious thing is that (a) it probably should have happened earlier and (b) it wasn’t supposed to happen now, as the farm, while still leaving Nick Markakis as the Lone Ranger among the position players, the pitchers had begun to arrive. Offense has been a huge problem. You would expect that if the hitting coach was anyone other than the greatly respected Terry Crowley he would have been canned by now, especially with young hitters like Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, and Nolan Reimold trending backwards.
The O’s have also been badly punished by the injury to Brian Roberts, which has led them to give Ty Wigginton more playing time–good for the offense, very bad for the defense. At 36, Miguel Tejada has neither the reactions nor the hands for third base, and Reimold’s injuries had rendered him a sub-Luzinski fielder before he was sent down. If the Braves of Tom Glavine’s early years showed anything, it’s that no matter how talented your young pitchers are, you can’t get them established in the big leagues if you put a poor defense behind them.
Unlike the teams above, whose seasons have long been in the clubhouse, the Orioles have a chance to turn things around and avoid permanent placement on this list. Jones and Wieters could find themselves. Andy MacPhail could locate a first baseman who could give the team more than the aggregate .217/.288/.273 (holy moly!) they’ve received at the position. Chris Tillman, who probably should have been in the bigs all along, could settle down and give them a third starter with decent numbers. That by itself would probably be enough to boost them off of this list and into the realm of the forgettable mediocre.”