Joseph fumes as Orioles complete awful road trip - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Joseph fumes as Orioles complete awful road trip

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Caleb Joseph was disgusted. He’s the third most senior member of the Orioles, behind Adam Jones and Chris Davis, and he’s watched the team he joined in 2014 come apart.

Joseph knew once the July trades were made, it would be a challenge, but after the Orioles lost for the eighth time in nine games on this road trip, 8-3, to the Tampa Bay Rays, the veteran catcher had some points to make.

The loss pushed the Orioles to 41-102. The team will have to win 15 of its remaining 19 games to avoid its worst season.

This weekend, the Orioles were outscored, 32-10. Only two errors were listed on the scoreboard, but there were countless miscues.

“It’s one thing if you’re playing clean games that you can see everybody kind of improving, and you can see guys moving in the right direction and kind of taking advantage of opportunities, but that’s just not what we’re seeing,” Joseph said.

“It’s extremely disheartening when you kind of play this sloppy game, extra bases, missed coverages, missed execution on all kinds of different things. It’s tough for a guy that’s been here for a number of years; it’s quite a change. But we’ve got to pull it together. This is an opportunity to take advantage of some time for these young guys and even the older guys, to get some stuff ironed out, and we’re not doing it and we’re wasting time, we’re wasting opportunity to turn this thing around in terms of the rebuild.

“These are valuable moments to start making adjustments and figuring out how to do things correctly. We keep making similar mistakes over and over and over, and it’s just not going to cut it.”

Joseph doesn’t like what he’s seeing.

“It’s stuff that, it’s fixable, a lot of it is mental, and even physical issues that we know we can fix,” Joseph said. “It’s not like it’s a lost cause — there’s tons of talent in here. It’s just time for this talent to start showing itself. …In spurts it has, and we’ve seen it.

“They always talk about in hockey, put together a full 60 minutes. They can play 55 minutes and if they stink for five it’s over. We’ve got to put together a full nine-inning game, period. How many times have we seen it this season where we’ve put in a full nine innings of good, crisp clean Baltimore-style game? The games we’ve been known to play. It just hasn’t happened. Forget the home runs, forget all that stuff. Play a good, clean game and see where we are after that.”

Showalter takes longer view

Manager Buck Showalter stopped looking at the standings a long time ago.

There are 19 games remaining in his dreadful season, and 13 are against the four teams with the best records in the American League (Boston, Houston, New York and Oakland). Six games on the upcoming nine-game homestand are against non-contenders: Chicago and Toronto. The Orioles recorded their only three-game sweep of the season last month against the Blue Jays.

It looked as if Sunday’s game might be different when Ryne Stanek, who opened the game for Tampa Bay, walked Cedric Mullins, Joey Rickard and Jonathan Villar to start the game, though Mullins was thrown out stealing.

“That stolen base is probably not there,” Showalter said. “I’m going to let these guys run so they can learn from these things. That’s a bag we should probably stay there for.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash yanked Stanek, who has opened four games against the Orioles, and was one of eight pitchers used in the 10-5 Tampa Bay win Saturday.

Yonny Chirinos followed with 6 1/3 innings, holding the Orioles scoreless until he allowed three runs in the seventh.

The Orioles could be headed for 115 losses—maybe more—based on the schedule. Although that wouldn’t be the worst in major league history, it would be the worst since Detroit recorded a 43-119 mark in 2003.

Those Tigers turned things around quickly and were in the World Series by 2006, though few of the players from the 119-loss team were still with them.

Showalter, who has managed 20 seasons in the majors, has had some poor teams, including the expansion 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks, who lost 97 games in their first season. Showalter does have concern that this season could affect some of his team’s young players.

“You’ve heard me talk a lot about spring and fall being a great fooler,” Showalter said. “You can actually make a lot of mistakes on players negatively in something like this. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. It’s never as good as it seems, somewhere in between that. Instead of casting a negative blanket over everything, there’s some quality. You’ve got to keep that in mind. You really do. It’s something you look for.

“Everybody’s morale is challenged. Your whole life, you’ve lived in an arena where you’re competing and trying to win a game …I t’s something that you have to be, not sensitive to, but at least be aware of. I call it a negative feeding frenzy and a positive feeding frenzy. You’ve got to be careful about drinking too much Kool-Aid on either side.”

Rogers 2018 finale?

Josh Rogers started for the third time since he was recalled from Norfolk. Rogers, who was acquired as part of the Zach Britton trade with the New York Yankees, allowed six runs in just 1 1/3 innings. Brandon Lowe, a University of Maryland alum, hit a three-run home run in the five-run first. Mallex Smith stole home as part of a double steal in the second, the first time a Ray stole home since July 3, 2012.

In three starts, Rogers is 1-1 with an 8.49 ERA.

“It’s pretty unfortunate because I’ve had two pretty OK outings starting my career off and trying to build off those,” Rogers said. “This will sink in and it’ll be a long offseason thinking about this one, but just taking away the positives of the experience of being here so far. It’s a learning experience and it’s a great opportunity here and I’m excited about it.”

Jones sits again

Adam Jones did not play in the three-game series. On Saturday, Jones said that he understood why the Orioles weren’t playing him, and he had no hard feelings. In the first two games of the series, 28-year-old John Andreoli started in left and Rickard, who is 27, in right. Jace Peterson played left on Sunday, and Andreoli pinch-hit for him.

In the series, Andreoli was 2-for-7 with five strikeouts.

Rickard, who was drafted from the Rays’ organization as a Rule 5 selection in December 2015, was 4-for-12 this weekend. Rickard hit .421 with four home runs and 17 RBIs against Tampa Bay this season. Overall, Rickard is hitting .244. He has four homers and six RBIs against teams other than the Rays.

Jones is expected to play Tuesday when the Orioles begin a three-game series against Oakland at Camden Yards.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Ekim

    September 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    A suggestion… why not release all the coaches and let the players play sand lot ball like we did as kids? It can’t get any worse. As I’ve posted here on many occasions, the coaches are ineffective in that they can’t get through to the players… so why keep them? But it’s painfully obvious that the owners aren’t paying attention because nothing is changing… and I’m at the point where it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s sad… and I’m

  2. Raymo

    September 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Did Josh Rogers really say he’s “had too pretty OK outings” or is that a typo?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      He said that, Raymo.

    • Raymo

      September 9, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      “Too” doesn’t make sense. You sure he didn’t say “two”? (Sorry. I’ve lost interest in the O’s so apparently I’m keeping myself occupied in other ways.)

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 9, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      It is a typo, thanks.

  3. Orial

    September 9, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    This sad grind is reaching it’s ugly end soon. What I find most dissappointing is that know matter who’s on the mound they get rocked. Nobody steps forward. How do you put your finger on it? Ironic that Jones sits to “audition” the younger OFers and the only one who looks reasonably decent is Rickard. I know,as I think you explained to me,that they want to get a long look Nunez at 3rd but other than occasional signs of hitting his footwork,glove work,and range really are lacking. All I know Rich is that it’s getting very hard to keep “the ol'” chin up. Need a 7 inning,8 K,zero runs pitching performance or a 3-4 3 RBI game by one of the youngsters to ease some of the pain. Either way–can’t wait till spring training.

  4. Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

    September 10, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Putrid and embarrassing.

  5. SpinMaster

    September 10, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Rich: It was very refreshing to hear one of our veterans (Caleb Joseph) step up and say some of the things we all are seeing. I think most major league baseball player know that you start to win with good pitching and good defense. Right now we have neither. For the last 3 weeks of this putrid season, I would really like to see some quality defense and if the players we have on the team now can’t play good defense, then we know what we need to do before next spring training.

    • willmiranda

      September 10, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      I’m a Caleb Joseph fan, so I’m glad to see him speak up although some would look at his offensive stats and question his right to speak. But at least he has the self-respect to be dissatisfied with poor performances characterized by carelessness and lack of urgency. How many times can you excuse “poor concentration” or “lack of consistency”? And it’s not just the new guys. For some time, the players’ and manager’s ability to make excuses and downplay failure has slowly sapped the zeal for winning and abhorrence of losing. Did any of those “stars” we traded ever seem challenged by the pathetic results in the first half of the season? For how many years did we read that Ubaldo made only 12 bad pitches in a two-inning stint? And the media never questioned their desire. They need a heart transplant, but I don’t think management even knows what heart is.

      • SpinMaster

        September 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm

        will: I was never a great Caleb fa,n, but when a veteran like him steps up and expresses the obvious, I think he is showing the leadership that the Orioles have been sorely missing, so I am now a fan. You don’t see Caleb “mailing in” a game when he is behind the plate as you see with others.
        I get that playing on the team right now and losing almost every day is very debilitating and all you want is for the season to be over. At least Caleb is calling out others on the team to step up and be professional and play as hard as you do when you are in a pennant race.

        • Rich Dubroff

          September 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

          Spin and Will, many fans have jumped on Joseph, saying he isn’t hitting well enough to call out others. He’s calling out himself, too. He’s deeply disappointed by his own performance,.

          If only players who were playing well were permitted to make these points, how many could be allowed to do so? Adam Jones?

          • SpinMaster

            September 11, 2018 at 8:15 am

            Rich: Adam is probably the only one who should call out the team for the way they are playing., but given his uncertain future with the team, he probably doesn’t feel like he is in the position to make such comments. Maybe that is why, Caleb said what he said.

  6. GSISDANNO

    September 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    This is so embarassing. When we swept Toronto, I actually thought we might finish the season on a strong note. I will always be an Orioles fan but I dont understand why this team is so non competitive.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 10, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      The talent just isn’t there, Danno.

    • Ekim

      September 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Rich… your comment also goes for the coach’s, GM and owner(s)… just saying…

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