The Orioles are first in the AL East, 1.5 games in front of the Red Sox and 4.5 up on the Jays.
They have a pretty good offense, averaging 4.75 runs per game, good for 5th in the AL. Jays are at 4.13 runs per game, 10th in the AL.
On the defensive side, they have allowed 4.25 runs per game, 7th in the AL. Jays are 3rd with 4.05 runs per game allowed.
I sent off some questions to Mark Brown, manager of Camden Chat, SB Nation's Orioles blog and he was kind enough to send back answers.
So you guys had some excitement the other day. Any thoughts you might want to share on Ventura and Machado? What was Ventura's ‘reasoning' for throwing at Machado? What are you expecting for suspensions?
I wish that whole thing hadn't happened because I don't want the best Orioles player to have fastballs thrown at him and I don't want him to get suspended for being in a fight, either. It seems clear to me (through these orange-colored lenses) that Ventura just decided he didn't like something about Machado and had his mind made up to throw at him. No one on the planet believes it was an accident, and even Ventura's manager and teammates have been offering less than the bare minimum defense in quotes about it.
As far as suspensions, I don't know what the league will do. The pitcher is usually punished worse, as he should be. I'd like to see at least ten games for Ventura but I don't expect to get my wish. Maybe 3-4 games for Machado? Even if they hand down the suspensions during this series, I expect Machado to appeal so he won't be serving any time to have any impact on this series.
Can you give us a quick scouting report of the starting pitchers we are likely to see?
Tyler Wilson is set for Thursday. He's in the mold of a pitcher who gets by with wits and guts more than stuff. I like him because who doesn't root for a 10th round pick? But there's a reason he was a 10th round pick, of course.
Friday is Kevin Gausman's game. Our first round pick (#4 overall) in 2012. In Birdland we have high hopes that this is the year he's going to make The Leap - so far this year going along with a solid 3.52 ERA but giving up too many home runs.
Saturday: Mike Wright. Hard thrower, possible future back end of the bullpen arm because it's not clear his arsenal can go three times through a lineup consistently. Gets rattled emotionally and then loses control.
Sunday: Ubaldo Jimenez. The less I talk about him, the better for my health.
With Caleb Joseph out with an injury the nature of which I'd rather not think about, Matt Wieters seems to be doing pretty good. With him coming up on free agency, do you expect him to be an Oriole next year?
I don't expect Matt Wieters to be an Oriole next year, but then, if you'd asked me that same question about him at this time last year I would have given the same answer and I would have been wrong. If he performs at his career levels I think the Orioles will slap the qualifying offer on him again and won't have many regrets if he decides to take it again.
Mark Trumbo is having a career year, at age 30, what is he doing different? Can he keep up this pace?
I'd like to know what Trumbo is doing differently so it can be bottled and sold. Trumbo is leading MLB with 20 homers and it's not because he's hitting Camden Yards cheap shots. Most all of his home runs would go out in any stadium on any day. I wonder whether there's some element at play that the Orioles are just finally the team that's letting Trumbo be Trumbo instead of trying to turn him into a different kind of player.
Chris Davis is in the first year of seven year, $23 million per contract, and he's not exactly, having a great start to the season. Are you worried? Do you think he'll give value for the length of the contract?
I'm not worried about Davis yet, though I do wish he was doing well this year. Davis sat out of the lineup on Wednesday night for the first time all season and manager Buck Showalter alluded to Davis having been battling some nagging injuries including something to do with his thumb. I doubt that one day off will solve whatever is wrong, but I guess you never know.
I don't know whether Davis will be giving $23 million of value in year 7 of the contract but I think he will do what the Orioles wanted him to do for the first three years, which are the years that really matter. I don't like to think about what the team would look like if they hadn't re-signed Davis.
The O's are at the top of the AL East. What do you think of their chances? What do they have to do to stay up top?
I like the Orioles chances right now better than I did before the season began - pessimist that I am, I predicted 82 wins. I do still worry about some potential major flaws, like most of the starting rotation being too bad for even the O's offense to overcome that, and I worry about how they would be able to handle any further injuries to key contributors. Depth in the high minors is almost nonexistent. With Boston proving to be better than I had thought, the Orioles are going to need to keep these problems at bay if they want to stay on top in a dogfight with one of Satan's favored teams.
Who is your favorite Oriole to watch?
Right now I think my favorite guy to watch is Hyun Soo Kim. The guy has been a hitting machine - this after having a horrible spring training, causing a minor stir by exercising his right to refuse a minor league assignment and then getting booed a bit in the Opening Day introductions. But now all he does is hit. He sprays the ball all over the field and doesn't strike out much and seems to have a good batting eye - and when you see him in the dugout he seems like he's having the time of his life over here in MLB. It makes me happy every time he does something good because I know he's earned everything he's gotten.
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