One theory of the 2009 Orioles was that the fleet legs and sure hands of Adam Jones, Felix Pie, and Cesar Izturis would make our questionable pitching look better than it was. As in last night’s 5-4 victory over Minnesota, in the course of which Jones, Nick Markakis, and even Lou Montañez made spectacular catches on some of the many, many hard-hit balls off Brad Bergesen, just enough to keep the Twins from breaking an inning open.
But in fact, the Orioles are leading the AL in unearned runs allowed and errors, and are second-to-last in double plays. (Bad statistics watch: you can get a lot of errors if your outfielders are fast enough to boot balls that other teams would just let drop. And team DP is strongly affected by the propensity of your pitching staff to induce ground balls. Still, baseball-reference also ranks us last in “defensive efficiency,” which is supposed to be an estimate of outs made per ball in play.)
There’s no easy fix for this team, and no real way forward except to put guys on the field and see what happens. Tom is right: play Felix Pie.