Friday, July 13, 2007

5 Keys To The Season Revisited: July

OK, the second half has officially begun. let's see if the O's were able to meet any of their preseason goal, arbitrarily assigned by Yours Truly.

1. The O's lower their ERA by a full run this season.

Team ERA as of today: 4.46. The target: 4.35. Leo Mazzone has done wonders patching together a starting rotation at this point but even some of those smoke and mirrors are wearing off. If not for the enormous bullpen struggles, Baltimore might be exceeding this goal but as it is, they haven't improved enough to contend, even before calculating in the woeful offense.

2. Markakis hits 25.

He's only 23. He's only 23. He's only 23....

I have to keep telling myself that. Nick's having a fine year for a player of his experience but it's easy to get a bit impatient when you see the talent he flashes. He's "only" slugging .435 while I was hoping for something north of .450 and he's only on pace for 16 HR on a team that could sorely use more power. His average, slugging and on-base percentage are all down from last year but I keep telling myself....He's only 23. He's only 23. He's only 23...

3. Increased production from LF

Our leftfielders are OPSing .640, hitting .248 with 2 homeruns. It's worse than last year and I didn't think that was possible.

How bad is it? We would get the same production if we put Jerry Hairston, Jr. out there full time! Or Howie Clark. Or Abraham Nunez.

The CF position is even worse (OPS of .627). Corey Patterson needs to go and since he's already under contract, put Jay Payton in center.

Again, outside of Markakis, the outfield is an offensive black hole.

4. Melvin Mora circa 2004....or at least 2005.

Mora has been better than last year (especially in power production) but well short of his 2005 numbers. In fact, his OPS is almost exactly in the middle of his 2005 and 2006 numbers. These aren't bad numbers but they aren't the numbers we would expect from Mora. At 35, this is probably what we can expect from him for the rest of the contract.

5. Health

We haven't had it. Case closed.

So at this point in the season, none of these goals that the O's could have reasonably hit, have been met.

Sigh.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you on the starting pitching. On most teams in the AL that # would be good enough for 45 or 46 wins instead of 39. As for Markakis he has yet to have a hot streak like last July and August. When his season ends he'll finish with 23 HR and 95 RBI. Not bad for his second season, not to mention his great defense. We all knew Jay Payton and Corey would suck. And we all said that to expect mid 30's Mora and early 30's Huff to suddenly stop declining (ala roid men Clemens and Bonds) was extremely unrealistic unless put in the bottom of a great lineup.
Eric

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hrb said...

Hey anonymous,

Who's we BTW? As far as Markakis, I did mention several times that he is still very young and has room to improve. We did not all know that Payton and Patterson would suck. The LF production for Baltimore last season was historically bad, there was no reason to think that Payton would improve that and I don't think anyone expected Patterson to regress quite so dramatically.

Mora, yes. Huff, no one expected him to be this bad either.