Are Jones’ surprising Orioles more than just a flash in the pan?

May 29 [Tue], 2012, 10:17
A few years ago, the Tampa Bay Rays turned its franchise around, going from cellar-dweller to a contender in the American League East. That was a tremendous accomplishment, and since they have given the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox a serious run for their money. They are still a dangerous foe, but as the team has solidified itself as an annual threat another franchise has come along and surprised: the Baltimore Orioles. After struggling for years, the Orioles entered Monday’s play tied for the division’s lead with the Rays, touting the third-best winning-percentage in baseball.

How are they doing this? Their bullpen is one of the biggest reasons for the 29-19 record. For years it ranked among the worst in the American League, without effective middle relief or a consistently successful closer. Now, it is among the best in the majors, as the unit has a 2.38 ERA. Five of Baltimore’s main relievers, including closer Jim Johnson, have ERAs under 2.00.

Their offense has been far more potent than past years, too. Twenty-six-year-old center-fielder Adam Jones, who was recently signed to a six-year, $85 million extension, leads the team in every significant offensive category. He is getting plenty of help, too. While he has 14 homers and 31 rbi’s, five other everyday players have seven or more home-runs and 20 or more rbi. The offense in its entirety leads baseball with 70 home-runs.

Even though the offense is well-balanced, the 6’2″ right-handed hitting Jones is what makes the Baltimore Orioles go, and without continued production from him Baltimore may have a prolonged swoon. That doesn’t seem likely, though. He knows he is the guy, and he is motivated to help make this team a championship contender.
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  • アイコン画像 ニックネーム:Lucas Csubak
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