The Orioles return home this weekend with a crowded disabled list, a shaky starting rotation and an offense that has been outscored 60-17 during a six-game losing streak before breaking out for 10 runs on Wednesday. Beyond the team's immediate worries, several key players have contracts ending in the next two years, causing concern among some fans about a potential regress to another dreadful 14-season drought.
Last year, the Orioles cycled through minor leaguers and trolled the waiver wire for left-handed depth, but it was a problem that didn't really go away. This year, however, the club believes its yearlong plan to rebuild its depleted stock of southpaws will bear fruit.
When major league rosters expand in September, it's hard for all of the players summoned to get into games, especially for a pennant contender. But part of the basic reason September call-ups exist is to reward players for strong seasons, and none fit that bill more than left-hander Jayson Aquino.