The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. Each week, I hope to chat with one of them in a regular feature called Blogger on Blogger. This week, I exchanged emails with
MV: The Orioles entered Monday night's
AR: Certainly you don't want to enter a series against the Yankees having dropped five straight, but I don't think there's any reason to count this team out. The 2013 Baltimore Orioles are not considered to be overachievers, as the 2012 Orioles were categorized all of last year. Offensively all the pieces are there. Defensively this team is sound. The problem now is that the starting pitching hasn't been as consistent as it needs to be in order to win. This has caused a chain reaction, which has started to affect a normally solid bullpen. There is talent in the starting rotation, and plenty in Norfolk as well. Every team has its ups and downs over the course of a long season, and I am confident that things will fall back into place.
MV: How patient should the Orioles be with their rotation?
AR: I'm not convinced that
MV: Entering the Yankees series,
AR: Jim Johnson has great stuff, and he's got enough of a track record that no one should be worried about him. Every closer blows saves, though his timing is particularly poor -- while the rest of the staff is struggling so mightily. Orioles fans are spoiled by Jim Johnson. He's basically been automatic since he stepped into the closer role. Just ask Tampa Bay, or Detroit or really any team whose closer isn't named
MV: The Orioles, who have been looking to solidify the second-base position with
AR: Certainly I'm excited to have Yamaico Navarro's bat in the lineup over Ryan Flaherty's. Flaherty's hitting had been just plain awful, but his defense was really solid. Navarro missed two plays at second base in Sunday's game that Flaherty likely would have made. Remember that the Orioles really turned it on last year when their defense improved. Moving
MV: Another week, another impressive stat line for 20-year-old third baseman Manny Machado. How much of a joy has it been watching him do his thing at the plate and in the field every day (or night)?
AR: Manny Machado is simply one of the most exciting players I have ever watched. He proved himself with his glove last year, but despite collecting some memorable hits he hadn't really figured out big league pitching quite yet. I was surprised that Buck Showalter decided to bat him second in the lineup this season, but the results have been incredible. You can see how much work Machado has put into his hitting. He is much more patient at the plate, and shows such maturity in his willingness to use the whole field. What's most impressive to me though is his poise. He is not arrogant, he looks for and takes instruction well, and is willing to work hard. He seems to personify the "Oriole Way." I'm so proud he's an Oriole, and can't wait to continue to watch him play for many years to come.