Inaction In Offseason Having Long-Ranging Impact On Orioles
Perhaps no team in playoff contention has as many holes to fill during the second half of the season as the Orioles.
Dan Duquette, executive vice president of baseball operations, has now publicly acknowledged the club needs a leadoff hitter and a starting pitcher. The Orioles are resigned to the fact that Brian Roberts is not going to return this season if he has hip surgery. To say that Roberts' brief return to the top of the order was a disappointment would be an understatement. Roberts was battling .200. The Orioles tried to shoehorn Nolan Reimold, who is out for the season with injury, into the leadoff spot at the start of 2012 and it worked during his brief healthy spells.
But, now facing the possibility of a Wild Card spot and maybe even more, the Orioles are back to a problem they've failed to address for more than a year. Duquette should have gotten a proven leadoff hitter during the offseason, but his inaction has caused problems still hanging over the team's head.
Duquette's right about one thing -- he can't part with top prospects such as Manny Machado or Dylan Bundy. Both of those players have a high probability of being stars, and while the Orioles are in a rare position to contend for a postseason berth, they're really not World Series good, and one pitcher and a leadoff hitter won't make them that way by season's end. That sounds fatalistic, but the Orioles must be responsible for the future. The likelihood of success lies in future seasons, and it must stay that way.
Posted July 12, 2012