MacPhail puts hitters on notice
After back-to-back 4-1 losses to the New York Yankees, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has seen just about enough from his struggling offense.
"There is going to come a time where we’re going to be obligated to keep making changes in terms of offensive personnel and they’re going to get the opportunity to head to [Triple-A] Norfolk and hone their swings because they’re not doing anything to help us now," said MacPhail. "I would say there isn’t a great deal of time left before they have to start doing more than what they’re doing now. I’m not staying with them forever. It’s not a suicide pact. They either have to start performing or they’ll go to Norfolk."
MacPhail didn't single out any specific hitter, but he doesn't need to. Luke Scott is hitting .177, Nolan Reimold is hitting .179, Adam Jones is batting .225, Cesar Izturis is hitting .230 and Julio Lugo is hitting .125. After a three-hit day on Tuesday, Garrett Atkins is hitting .270, but he has no home runs and only five RBI.
"The offense has been weak and I think the numbers will bear that out," MacPhail said. "We have some guys who are just, to put a kind word to it, underperforming and we’ve ended up having to push some people toward some roles that they are probably not ready for. While you can give them some allowance for the quality of pitching that we’ve faced, our patience isn’t inexhaustible."
Overall, the Orioles have scored three runs or fewer in 18 of 27 games, and one run or fewer eight times. Amazingly, they are not last in the American League in runs with 92. Seattle and Cleveland have scored 88 and 91 runs respectively.
MacPhail acknowledged the problems that the loss of Felix Pie and Brian Roberts have caused, and he understands the tough pitching that the Orioles have faced, but said that only goes so far.
"Sometimes you have to take in account the other half of the equation which is the other guy on the mound, but still, we’re not producing," he said. "If we’re going to have to rely on our pitchers to pitch a shutout to win a game, we’re in for a long season. There will come a time where really, sometimes you have to make a change for the sake of change if you’re not getting performance at this level. "