Monday, June 23, 2008

The Weekend That Was; Our Shortstop Problem...

After a successful home stand where they won an incredible six out of seven, the Orioles are now on the road on a nine-game interleague swing.

Well, the Birds’ first stop had them in part of America’s heartland – Wisconsin – where they kicked off a three game set against the Milwaukee Brewers. Baltimore won on Friday night; however, they got kicked around in the final two games of the series and are now in a two-game skid as they have go into Chicago to face the Cubs.

Lest we forget, the Cubs swept the AL Central leading White Sox over the weekend in the inter-city rivalry.

The Milwaukee series may have exposed some of the Orioles' weaknesses -- young pitchers who are still learning to be consistent on this level (item: Garrett Olson and Daniel Cabrera), not being able to do much with hitters in scoring position and a bullpen that has had a lot of pressure put on them.

Needless to say, the Orioles have been playing well; however, their weaknesses may undo the success they have had so far.

One of the glaring problems in their lineup has been shortshop, and this weekend the team released Freddie Bynum. Obviously, he was not doing the job (he was batting under .200), and was versatile, but being unable to hit at the major level cost him his job.

Alex Cintron will be the shortstop, as he's better at the plate than Bynum or Hernandez ever was; however, his glove is suspect along with his range. In addition, will his throwing arm, which has been a problem, hold up?

I expect MacPhail to make a move for a better, everyday shortstop in the weeks ahead. The shortstop position has been a problem offensively all season, and something needs to be done.

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