Tap-In: Record aside, what's surprised you the most about the Orioles? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In: Record aside, what’s surprised you the most about the Orioles?


Maybe you don’t like Mondays. You feel sluggish. You don’t want to be at work.

So blow it off. You’re welcome at Connolly’s Tap Room. Grab a fake seat and I’ll get you a fake brew. Just try not to get real fired while you’re here.

Two weeks of the baseball schedule are history. That’s an eyelash of a regular season. It’s hard to draw a real conclusion about the Orioles – or any team for that matter – after two weeks.

But you have to be pleased with how they’ve played, for the most part, and with an 8-3 record, the best in the AL. Be honest with your barkeep, you have to be a little surprised about that, too.

We knew these Orioles could hit homers. We knew they play defense. And we knew they’d have strong relief.

We also feared that their starting rotation would struggle to go deep into games (they have) and that the offense would have its share of strikeouts (92 in 11 games).

From the standpoint of performance, though, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised. As for the record, yeah, it’s better than what most Orioles fans would have imagined.

Throw the record away for a second. And answer me this: What has been the most surprising thing about this team so far?

Some obvious suggestions:


Joey Rickard setting the table so well now the bright lights have come on?

Mark Trumbo looking like the second coming of Nelson Cruz?

A more patient approach at the plate resulting in more walks?

A starting rotation that has kept the Orioles in most games (but not really impressed)?

These are just suggestions – I want your answer. For the record, I’d probably say the more patient approach. But the moment we fixate on that, I expect it to go away.

Tap-In Question: Record aside, what’s been the most surprising aspect of the Orioles’ start?



  1. JohnBKistler

    April 18, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Rickard would be my choice at this very early point in the season. That he can come from seemingly no-where and perform at the big league level is certainly not what the Rays thought when they exposed him to the Rule 5 draft. Of course, it is waaay too early to call this anything other than a pleasant April revelation. It remains to be seen, as the scouting film on him builds up, and pitchers adjust, whether he can continue to surprise us into the summer.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Agreed on all accounts. Free drink chip your way. Been a revelation, but pitchers adjust. Should be fun to watch.

  2. DinaMarie

    April 18, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Not sure if this is a surprise but what I am loving about the start of this season is the comradery of this team that has been assembled. They seem to genuinely like each other- just my observation. But a ball club that likes eachother tend to do well. So nothing but high hopes for 2016

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Good one. What comes first: Winning or good chemistry? Hard to differentiate, but these guys do get along really well. And the new guys have fit in seamlessly.

  3. wack_city

    April 18, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Is it too early for an Orange Crush, Dan? I think the most surprising thing is Trumbo’s productivity at the plate. It’s even more surprising that we got him in a trade for Steve Clevenger. Also, going 5-1 while Adam Jones was injured is a good sign for this team.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Never too early Wack. And, yeah, winning without Jones definitely a good sign.

  4. CharlesVillageChris

    April 18, 2016 at 9:41 am

    It’s gotta be just how strong the lineup is. We were told that the age of the home run hitter was over, but these guys could stack up against any of those Yankee or Red Sox lineups from the early 90s to the end of the steroid era.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 9:52 am

      With a healthy season from Hardy, it’s not impossible that this team has eight guys with 20 or more homers. And, potentially, four with 30 or more. That would be something.

  5. 5brooks5

    April 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

    For me it has to be Rickard and his offense. In reality a .250 average ,good on-base and good defense would be a very good result.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 10:36 am

      You couldn’t have expected much more, for sure. And maybe that will be the end result.

  6. blarmac

    April 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Joey Frikkin Rickard for me. Not just batting but covering CF pretty well. Also, Manny’s continued plate discipline keeps me feeling warm and fuzzy. Unpleasant surprise, seeing Jones already hurt.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Makes sense all around

  7. JoeFundo

    April 18, 2016 at 10:48 am

    The biggest surprise so far is the whole Kim soap opera. Who knows how this will play out!

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Certainly one of the most interesting aspects so far. Worth watching all year

  8. Creatively_19

    April 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I gotta agree with you about the O’s batters patience at the plate being among the most surprising things so far. Furthermore, I’m surprised by that patience coming from Joey Rickard working some counts at the top of the order and getting the team an early exposure on the starter’s repertoire. I’ll transition that to Pedro Alvarez who, while not yet finding much success has seemed to have had a number of extended at bats.

    One other surprise so far: 11 games in and the Orioles have made ZERO roster moves!

    I’ll take a Natty Boh please.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Boh your way. And zero roster moves is pretty astounding for this club. That’ll change soon though.

  9. mikeg17

    April 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Under radar: Tyler Wilson. We all knew the rotation was gonna be the weakness, and has shown to be already. Wilson has thrown two impressive and scoreless outings out of the pen. My belief is that he’ll be in the rotation before long. If he can bring some stability to the 5th spot in the rotation, that’s huge.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2016 at 9:49 am

      I really like that kid. He has no fear and has won everywhere he has pitched.

  10. AlaskanOsFan

    April 18, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I think if Wilson and Bundy stay in the pen they should be Option 1 after the 5th inning, seems like we hold our breath in the 6th inning but 7-9 we know what is gonna happen.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

      The only problem there is that Buck is saving at least one each game in case there is a super-short outing the next day. It seems like a strange philosophy, but it has worked time and again for him. And it keeps everyone healthy, because he’s not sacrificing a tired arm.

  11. giggs32

    April 19, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    For me it is definitely being a bit more patient at the plate. Jones will never adjust but if other keep it up (BIG IF) then this team can grind down starters and also turn solo HR’s into 3 run shots. Earl Weaver special would do wonders for the shaky staff.

  12. 420rob

    April 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Alvarez the just is not hitting. I’m sure he will hit a hot streak but when.

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