I can’t say that the Orioles have been a disappointment this season. Outside of their recent road trip, a lousy one for sure, they are who we thought were, so I’ll let them off the hook. But a handful of individuals have struggled, including Nick Markakis, who was recently named to one writer’s “All-Disappointment Team.”
Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated added Markakis to a star-studded roster of underperforming players, which includes All-Stars such as Albert Pujols, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez and Ubaldo Jimenez.
“One of the great mysteries of this decade is the loss of Markakis' power,” Sheehan wrote. “After slugging .491 as a 24-year-old, he's seen that figure drop three straight seasons all the way to .318 in 2011. This year, he's not hitting for average, either: just .244, after five straight seasons above .290. Even with his above-average defense, that makes him a liability for an Orioles team that was, to some extent, built around his bat. Look for the average to rebound -- Markakis is hitting a ton of line drives -- without the power.”
I have been surprised by this two-month-long funk that Markakis has been in. I thought he would thrive with a better supporting cast and the return of Brian Roberts. But things have gotten so bad, Orioles manager Buck Showalter started Markakis at first base on Wednesday to attempt to get him going. It didn’t work, as Markakis went hitless, but maybe that switcheroo and Thursday's day off will get him going during the upcoming homestand.
He is not alone, though. Mark Reynolds is batting .190 and hasn’t put up the power numbers needed to overshadow an awful average like that. Brian Roberts was slumping before he went on the disabled list with a concussion. Derrek Lee was hitting .231 before he went on the DL. And then there’s Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen -- who were demoted to Triple-A Norfolk -- and half of the guys in the Orioles bullpen.
That’s not to say there haven’t been bright spots -- Zach Britton, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Mustard in those between-innings condiment races at Camden Yards -- but we’re talking about disappointments today.
Your turn: Which Oriole has been most disappointing in 2011?Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun