The Orioles have spent most of the little time dedicated to the major league roster this offseason remaking what their infield depth chart looks like, from Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson to waiver claims Rio Ruiz, Hanser Alberto and Jack Reinheimer.
Without much incentive to pry their young players away from the end of the minor league season, the Orioles added only infielder Breyvic Valera from Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday, the first day rosters expanded past the 25-man limit.
Saturday night’s 5-1 loss to the New York Yankees that completed a doubleheader sweep at Camden Yards and extended the Orioles’ losing streak to seven games was only the latest example — and there have been no fewer than 30.
The gulf between where the Orioles are now and where they were — when Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy were winning Gold Glove Awards on the left side and Jonathan Schoop was using one of the game’s strongest infield arms at second base — is vast.
The Orioles could finish with the worst defense by some measurements in major league history. Buck Showalter tried to put that on players playing out of position, but the ideal scenarios he described don't show that.
The pending return of third baseman Tim Beckham could mean the Orioles have a daily lineup headache with too many players — Danny Valencia, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, Colby Rasmus and Trey Mancini — for the spots available.
The Orioles were beguiled by Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright, so they channeled comedian Steve Martin instead and decided to "get small." It didn't work because there was no one around to get a big hit.
The Orioles found a new way to lose Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre, sinking to a season-worst 25 games below .500 after dropping a 4-3 decision to the Toronto Blue Jays on reliever Mychal Givens’ bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning.