Carroll County Times

Orioles Faceoff: After first month, it's time for Orioles to worry

Last season, I used this space to defend the Baltimore Orioles. I said early the team would make the playoffs, they should bring up Dylan Bundy, and defended their lack of moves at the trade deadline.

After the first month of the season, I am nowhere near as optimistic about the teams' chances. In fact, I think it's already time for Orioles fans to panic.

Baltimore's starting pitching has been awful. Through the first 27 games of the season, the Orioles had the least number of starts go seven innings or more (one).

Before the season, I thought Baltimore could get along with the rotation carried by Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman. But Chen and Gonzalez have been inconsistent after a pair of strong rookie campaigns.

I predicted Tillman to win 17 games. But based on his April outings, it's looking more likely that co-worker Brian Haines' remark of calling me "insane" for forecasting that is accurate.

Joe Saunders would've been better than Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Josh Stinson or Zach Clark in the fifth spot in the rotation. His complete game against the Orioles this week, probably made Baltimore wish they would've brought him back.

Not to mention, their other big key loss, Mark Reynolds, hit .301 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs in April.

The Orioles aren't going to win games fueled by their bullpen as frequently this year either. Guys like Darren O'Day and Jim Johnson are getting overused because of the starters' short starts.

And Pedro Strop appears likely to get the "Kevin Gregg" treatment of never appearing in high-pressure situations in the future.

Baltimore's lack of offseason moves looks to be coming back to haunt them, as predicted by many.

It doesn't help the team not having a legitimate designated hitter. Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce just aren't cutting it.

The Orioles shouldn't wait for the trade deadline either. They need to bolster their rotation with a starter and add a true DH.

They also wouldn't be in this predicament if they would've spent money this offseason. Zack Greinke sure would have looked nice in their rotation.