O's In A Precarious Position With Rotation
The Orioles, at 19-11, should be sitting on top of the world, but they've been blown out by the Texas Rangers during the first two games of a series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards this week and will play a doubleheader today in hopes of cleaning up the mess before starting a weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jason Hammel has knee soreness and will miss a start today, which is a crushing blow, because Hammel has the club's best arm this season. He's pitching so well that it would have been interesting to see him face off against the Rangers' hard-hitting lineup. Tommy Hunter, who was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk earlier this week, will pitch today's second game for the Birds after being recalled. That leaves uncertainty for tomorrow's opener with the Rays, though, and throwing another minor leaguer out there from Norfolk would be a gamble.
Wei-Yin Chen is facing some tough odds during the afternoon game today. He's facing some rare competition and if he answers the call well, the O's will know they have the real deal. If he flounders, he'll be just like Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, who were shelled earlier this week by Texas.
The Orioles rode the first month of the season smoothly because of strong pitching, just as they did last year. If things become unglued in May because the pitchers are figured out, the O's could find themselves in the AL East cellar quickly.
Posted May 10, 2012