« Simon, Atkins likely for Saturday, Sunday; lineups | Main | Orioles' news, notes and opinions: Rotation, Matusz, staff struggles, Guerrero/Lee, Hardy »

July 7, 2011

Is Arrieta the latest Orioles concern?

With how bad the Orioles' pitching has been -- and that trend certainly continued in the 10-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox tonight -- it's probably unfair to single out Jake Arrieta's recent struggles.

But as of about two weeks ago, Arrieta was perhaps one of a handful of positives to come out of the Orioles' dreadful first half. But I'm not sure that can be said anymore, or at least as strongly.

The young right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks while striking out one in 4 1/3 innings tonight. Everybody wants to look at Arrieta's staff-leading nine wins, and that's fine, though it has to be pointed out that he entered tonight's start receiving the fourth-best run support in the American League at 6.87 runs per game.

But you also have to consider that after 18 starts, he now has a 4.90 ERA. He has gone five innings or fewer in three consecutive starts and hasn't gone beyond six innings in 15 of his 18 outings. He has also walked three batters or more in 10 games this season.

"Jake is out there, and you can see it. His tempo slows down, the wheels start turning," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I think he’s overthinking a lot of things and he’s just not getting in the rhythm of throwing the ball over the plate and trusting his stuff. It’s just not very good right now."

Arrieta has been dealing with elbow troubles related to a bone spur for the past couple of weeks. His velocity has been pretty good in his past two starts, but his command has certainly sputtered at times.

"One of the only things I can control is going out there every fifth day and keeping us competitive and keeping us in the game," Arrieta said. "The last three starts, I really haven’t been able to do that, and that’s not me, that’s not the pitcher or the kind of guy I am. So, just got to do whatever I can and try to get back to where I need to be and help the team in any way possible."

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 11:55 PM | | Comments (15)



I've gotta say - I've never - in the last 14 years - felt worse about this team and organization.

Beyond all the foolishness posted on this site - my biggest cause of disappointment and pessimism is the progress of the young pitchers - Matusz, Tillman, Bergesen - and now, Arrieta.

And it's not just the poor stats. They have all seemed to lose their stuff. Matusz and Tillman look like they are at the end of their careers velocity-wise, Bergy hasn't been the same since his injury 2 years ago, and now Arrieta - who like you said was one of a few bright spots - is falling off the wagon too.

Who's to blame? Management? Trainers? Players?

I came into this year fully believing that there would at least be some promise. Competitiveness, spirit - but most of all - solid young pitching.

Seeing the team totally implode the last few weeks has been beyond disheartening. It's painful.

Watching the game tonight, seeing Adrian Gonzalez in the three-hold launching a moonshot - knowing full well Carl Crawford has been a bust for the most part - is just too much to bear. The fact that organizations like NY and BOS can make huge free agent signings that fail, brush it off - and still win divisions and go to endless playoffs - is ridiculous. Seeing a guy like Pedro Viola give up back to back to back bombs. Seeing Arrieta struggle. Seeing Derrek Lee at first instead of Gonzalez or Teixeiera. I'm just tired of it all.

I'll still always be a die-hard fan of the O's. I just don't know what to say anymore. It's just beyond digestible any more. I was almost hoping Viola would throw behind JD Drew. This team needs something. Obviously Buck's lashing last night did little.


the Red Sox traded for Gonzo

Who can blame Billy Connors if he took a powder and disappeared into the night? The regularity of the starting rotation giving up three run home runs and grand slams is stunning and I don't ever recall any rotation being so adept as this rotation at doing it.

Since Jake pitched last night my guess is he was not at the closed door meeting unless he Skyped in or Buck called him.

The good news is there are only three games left before the break, at which time we can find something better to do than watch this train wreck of an organization.

Remember all the fuss & optimism about these pics ? Look at the names listed below the pics.

Arrieta's demise was predictable. His passing on corrective surgery for his elbow pretty much is a window into his competitive nature, or lack of.

Lack of commitment.

Lack of strikes.

Lack of heart.

Goes for the whole team with few exceptions.

The coaching in the minor leagues doesn't appear up to par. Im not sure how Buck yelling at the pitcher is gonna do any good when he has no control or velocity to get the other team out.

The whole deal with Arrieta and the elbow spur have me confused. If the team knew it was there and it would possibly affect him why would the team not demand him getting the spur filed down? Instead the player called the shot on this. Is this also going on with offseason workout regimen?

Arietta is just the latest demonstration of poor management. First, they allow "miracle boy" Scott play for 3 months with a torn labrum. Any other team would have insisted on surgery to fix the shoulder, rather than have the player take charge at the cost of hurting the team.

Then, they allow a promising young pitcher to gut it out with a bone spur in his elbow, at the cost of ruining his mechanics and risking a serious shoulder injury from altering his delivery. Over and over again, the organization's bumper sticker is

Baltimore Orioles, where young prospects come to die.

The whole deal with Arrieta and the elbow spur have me confused. If the team knew it was there and it would possibly affect him why would the team not demand him getting the spur filed down? Instead the player called the shot on this. Is this also going on with offseason workout regimen?

I watched Arrieta for a while last night. He seemed tentative, like he was waiting to feel the pain. Also, he stretched out his arm after every pitch, like there is some discomfort. Likely he will be shut down soon.

Things are getting Oriole-ugly again. The team looks like pre-Buck, where they play sloppily and expect to lose. I've been a fan for over 50 years and they are once again almost impossible to watch.

I don't have the answers but you'd think they'd just get lucky once in a while and hit on a prospect that actually exceeds expectations. I feel sorry for Matusz. He looked sooo good late last year. I think everyone was looking for him to be the savior, to make the Orioles the .500+ team that fans are hoping for. Really!

The team seems snakebit. They're trying to emulate the Rays and Twins and other successful small market teams, but the organizations seems snakebit. You'd think that the Lee or Guerrero acquisitions would at least bear some fruit. Instead they look like Sammy Sosa repeats.

What's JJ Hardy thinking? Why would he want to sign up for 2 or 3 more years of this? I think the O's should try to sign him by July 31. If Machado is ready in a year or two, I think there are plenty of ways to still get him on the field.

Heck, even the pitching coach couldn't make it through half the season. There are still lots of good pieces here but the team is underachieving again. They don't believe in themselves.

Buck had control of who the pitching coach was going to be. Didn't he bring in the new pitching coach with him. The pitchers seemed alright last year. I thought they were really going to show a lot of progress this year. Instead the staff back slid. What was done to our pitching staff.


I do know that, and realized after I re-read my post that it would read that way, but thanks. My point - which was murky - was that either via trade or free agency or the draft, the O's keep coming up losers.


Maybe it's not that our players suck so much as our coaching/developing them does. Forgot the pitching coach's name in Norfolk (Griffin or Griffith??), but wasn't he in the Red Sox org. and highly respected. Bring him up and I know Palmer doesn't want to do more than he already does but throw some money at him to entice him to work more with the young pitchers. I know he doesn't want to be pitching coach but he has got to be more involved with them. Trembley is probably laughing at us now.


Is it possible that Connor's departure has had the staff take steps backwards?
What is the ERA pre-Connor leaving and post?

Does anyone out there remember "Benny the Fan" from the 1950s? What would he be saying now?


Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

Baltimore Sun coverage
Most Recent Comments
Photo galleries

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

Minor league resources
Web links to official sites, stats, schedules and more for O's affiliates and other area teams

International League (AAA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Eastern League (AA)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Carolina League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

South Atlantic League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

New York-Penn League (A)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics

Appalachian League (R)
News | Scoreboard | Standings | Statistics
Sign up for FREE Orioles alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Orioles text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed
Stay connected