Sitting at a 51-50 record, 6 games back from the New York Yankees for the AL East crown, and only 2 games back from the second spot, from a glance it would seem like the Baltimore Orioles are ready to make a push for the postseason. That’s why it’s rather disappointing the lack of trades the Orioles were making to try to improve their lineup. That was until the acquisition of Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers, who is the dominating offensive player the Orioles need.
Parra is has played in every game this year, and has a .369 batting average, .517 slugging, and already 9 home runs (he had only 9 home runs last year). The Orioles have been looking for a outfielder that can hit the ball, especially since letting Nelson Cruz walk in the offseason. The Orioles are hoping that Parra is the missing piece they need to get themselves into the postseason, and from Parra’s performance so far this year he very well could be.
The Baltimore Orioles schedule for the remainder of the season is going to be a tough one. Of the 18 remaining series for the Orioles, only five of them are against ‘sub-par’ teams that won’t be making the postseason this year. The other 13 are against high quality teams that are in the top of the field and are competitively competing for their postseason bids. Only the five series against the Oakland A’s, Seattle Mariners, and the Boston Red Sox are ones that the Orioles won’t be fighting for their live in.
Graphic via athlonsports
Out of the games remaining in the Baltimore Orioles schedule, 26 of them are against teams in the AL East, and only 6 of them are against the Red Sox. That’s 20 games against either one of the best teams in baseball New York Yankees, or against the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays who are only one game behind the Orioles in the wild card race. Outside of the AL East, the Orioles also play a series against the Washington Nationals, two series against the Kansas City Royals, and one against the Twins, Mets, and Angels. All of those series are against teams that are close to already punching their postseason ticket or will be soon.
Looking at the rest of the Baltimore Orioles schedule, maybe it’s not that hard to see why they didn’t go crazy in the trading market. Until the Orioles traded for Gerardo Parra, speculation was going around that maybe even the Orioles might be trying to sell some players instead of buy. With the Orioles playing in about 13 tough series in the next few months, it’s hard not to feel like even though Baltimore is only two games out of the wild card spot, they might not make it. The American League is a very crowded field this year; even the dead last place Red Sox with a laughable 45-58 record is only 9 games out from the second wild card spot.
With that much of a competitive field, maybe the Orioles knew that unless they spent the bank they wouldn’t even have a chance, and they didn’t want to spend the bank. Gerardo Parra is a great player, but with only one year on his contract for $6.24 million. Since his contract expires at the end of this year, some team that’s not the Orioles will make him one of the highest paid players in baseball. So the Orioles are thinking somewhat short term with acquiring Parra, but it would have been nice to see them try to get more.
The pitching staff almost needs no adjustment, again having one of the best bullpens in baseball. Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen is having a great year while Ubaldo Jimenez is starting to do good again. With the Orioles having a good pitching staff, statistically the best defense in baseball, and now a batting lineup that just got a energy shot with Gerardo Parra, the Orioles will definitely be contenders for a postseason bid. While the Baltimore Orioles schedule looks tough, one of the toughest remaining in baseball, if they can beat these great teams during the regular season, they know they can beat them in the postseason.
Graphic via isportsweb