Midterm grades (Part Deux)
When I did the midterm grade report on the individual Orioles, I did not assign any grades to the team's overall performance in key areas. This was brought to my attention by an anonymous poster, but it was a fair point so I'll do it now:
Pitching: C- -- The closer, setup guy and Danys Baez have been real good overall and the young pitchers have -- in total -- exceeded expectations. The veteran starters, overall, have been a definite disappointment, even considering that a couple of them came with no expectations. Hard to ignore the fact that the O's rank 28th in the league with their 4.94 team ERA, but the staff has been a lot better than that recently. To keep the ERA in perspective, consider that the team that's ranked 27th is the first-place Angels and the team that ranks 25th is the defending world champion Philles, who also are currently in first place. And, yes, I'm an easy grader.
Hitting: B -- Last place team that ranks in the upper half of offensive ratings in most categories. Can't call that average. Certainly would benefit from more discipline at the plate, but only two teams struck out fewer times in the first half.
Defense: C+ -- I think people only remember the errors and stupid plays. Overall, this is a decent defensive team.
Baserunning: D- -- I'm guessing it improves in the second half, but a real trouble spot.