It’s been awhile since Blog rapped at ya, but Blog thinks it’s pretty clear things have been busy. Also Blog did fantasy baseball again this year, which cuts into Bloggin’ time. Overall this 2014 vintage seems like a genetic hybrid of magical 2012 squad and frustrating 2013 squad.
Which strain ultimately will assert itself? There is reason to be hopeful.
Blog was confused when Caleb Joseph got nod over Steve Clevenger after team traded for Nick Hundley. But Blog now is starting to see why. Caleb is using his time with the big club to hone a good skill set. He appears confident that he will – sooner or later – establish himself in the big leagues.
Did Wei Yin Chen hit 96 on the gun Friday night?
Image via MASN
It’s not a mirage! And, more importantly, he’s working consistently in the mid-90s. Blog saw Chen as being a crucial component this year and, so far, he has been up to the task. Blogs far more sophisticated than Blog of Team suggest he’s working down in the K-zone more effectively — and more often — this year.
Chris Davis has turned into a complete ballplayer. Watching him run bases and play defense is a pleasure. And, unlike some Orioles, he does not disdain the base on balls. The massive gulf between his low batting average and high OBP suggests he simply gets game-planned by opposing managers every night. (“Don’t let Davis beat you with the long ball.”) We certainly know he gets shifted by opposing defenses.
Struggling a bit with the game this season is young Manny Machado. But numbers aren’t that bad and defensive talent is still on on display. Speaking of defensive …
Image via MASN
Also from Friday’s game. I’m not mad at it. Manny normally is reserved on field of play but – well – not that time. He’s going to put it all together as season progresses and re-assert himself as one of the truly dangerous hitters.
And, even though Blog complains about Adam Jones, the guy is just so dangerous with the bat that, one can conclude, you simply have to live with the first-pitch ground-outs in situations where you’d expect selectivity? Probably hitters like Adam, who are used to being aggressive, can’t just turn that off and on.
There are at least four guys playing outside of the spotlight and putting together the kinds of seasons that can only be seen as building blocks toward a playoff run. They are Nick Markakis, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day. Workmanlike, effective, reliable and talented.
It’s hard to know what’s going on with Matt Wieters except that the organization clearly believes it must be exceedingly careful with his throwing arm. It’s a shame, too, because of the way Matt started with the bat. But, dumb question, either the tendon is busted or it ain’t?
All told it really appears to be all there for Team this year. It really does. Signs of hope are real. If downsides melt away and upsides reassert themselves, then the sky is the limit.
And Nelly Cruz.