Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Truly, Adley, Deeply


2024 has been a year of successful contingency plans for the Orioles. So much has fallen into place that they've been able to save themselves with backups they didn't even know they needed.

For instance- Connor Norby is up from Norfolk, the 2nd second baseman rookie to aid this team, and the least-pressured one honestly. Jorge Mateo had actually improved on a down 2023 over the past two months, and had been more versatile than ever. Then, immediate injury. So now Norby's up and covering second. He hasn't done anything quite yet but he's looking to be a bit more ready than Holliday. 

And then you have the case of Albert Suarez, who hadn't pitched in the majors in about a decade. Suarez was slotted into a rotation spot to cover for Kyle Bradish, and was eerily unhittable, and he still has a 1.57 ERA. Bradish eventually returned, as did John Means...who got hurt after 4 games like he usually does. With Means and Tyler Wells gone for the year, that means there's a rotation spot open again. So Suarez is starting once again, and honestly isn't the worst choice for it. It's weird that both Cole Irvin and Albert Suarez are succeeding in rotation spots for the Orioles, but this team is just that good right now.

And then going back to last year you still have the contingency plan of Ryan O'Hearn, where the O's went 'hey why don't we just put this guy at DH and see if he has anything left', and O'Hearn proceeded to have the best season of his career and become a vital part of this team. He's having another nice year, hitting .270 with 18 RBIs. The funny part is he's the oldest guy in this lineup. Because of all the rookies, all the Colton Cowsers and Jordan Westburgs frequenting the lineup, O'Hearn, at 30, is the lineup veteran.

And then in the center you have Adley Rutschman, still one of the most important pieces of this team solely because he's succeeded in delivering the Buster Posey-style versatility to Baltimore. So far Rutschman's hitting .301 with 38 RBIs and 10 homers, and he's still a pretty good defensive catcher. He's not the immediate crowd-pleaser Gunnar Henderson has been, but he's the steady hero the fanbase can rely on, and the central piece that everything else has sprung from. They needed a guy like Rutschman, and he's delivered. The hope is that the new owner can extend him for a bit, and I don't see Rutschman wanting to play anywhere else.

The O's are in second behind the Yankees, but I think their goal is just to keep rolling steadily and hope the Yankees' streak hits a snag at some point. The O's have the talent, they have the consistency. They just need a little more luck and they may have something here.

Coming Tonight: A lot of Braves pitchers have been struggling with injuries, and this guy did worry some people briefly, but he's been having an incredible surge as of late.

No comments:

Post a Comment