Welcome to Connolly's Bar.
Nice Jimenez jersey you're wearing. Is it new?
I know the Orioles hope the real thing is new and improved.
Haven't decided which name I like better for our Jimenez-themed drink: Cybaldo (a Connolly original) or Newbaldo (which I stole from a Twitter follower).
Anyway, the Orioles are six games into the season. They are 3-3; only 156 more to go. Evaluating their season at this point is like evaluating the Ravens a few minutes after halftime of their first game in September.
There is a whole lot of season left and it's premature to make any evaluations right now. That said, we have seen six games now.
And here are some of my quick observations.
1. Boy, this team sure could use Ubaldo Jimenez consistently pitching the way he is capable. One game does not make a season; it sure doesn't erase last season's frustration with Jimenez. But shutting down the formidable Blue Jays offense Saturday was impressive (and something Bud Norris and Chris Tillman couldn't do.) If Jimenez is an effective big league pitcher this year, the Orioles have to be the favorites to win the East.
2. The Blue Jays are good. I initially picked them to win the division, but dropped them to third (and moved the Orioles into first) when pitcher Marcus Stroman was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Since I wasn't sold on the depth of the Jays' rotation, that injury was crippling in my opinion. And I wasn't sold on their bullpen. Well, I'm still skeptical of the rotation, but that bullpen -- now led by youngster Miguel Castro – looks tough. And their offense may be the best in the majors.
3. I'm not worried about the Orioles' starting pitching yet, despite an underachieving week. This group's strength is its consistency. It won't wow you, but it is a solid rotation for 162. That said, after a rough spring and rocky first start, Bud Norris needs to have some positive results soon. Little to no stock should be put into spring stats, but the games are for real now.
4. I like most of the offseason additions/changes so far. Everth Cabrera is solid, Travis Snider has hit the cover off the ball and I think Alejandro De Aza is going to have a really strong year leading off. Those additions (De Aza actually arrived last August but is new in the leadoff role for the Orioles) weren't sexy, but they look like they may fill obvious needs.
Now it's your turn. Head over to the comments section on the right side of the page and share one of your observations from the first week. Remember, it's one week.
Daily Think Special: Share one observation from the Orioles' first week.