The 2021 Baltimore Orioles season started on such a high note after sweeping the Red Sox in Fenway, but unfortunately, the season has come crashing back to earth. While most thought this would be a long and frustrating year, the season has had a few positives that provide hope for the future.
2021 Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini
To be honest, Trey Mancini could have come back to the stadium just to sell hot dogs and he would have made this article. Beating stage-3 colon cancer is an incredible accomplishment that always deserves recognition. The fact that he is playing major league baseball is nothing short of super-human. While his average has struggled, he has hit three home runs and is looking more comfortable in the box each at-bat.
The fact that he already has three home runs with the first of the season being back at Camden Yards is nothing short of special.
2021 Baltimore Orioles: John Means and Matt Harvey
Simply put, John Means has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. In three starts this year, he has a 2.16 ERA while striking out just under one batter an inning. His Opening Day start against the Red Sox was historic as he allowed only one baserunner to reach in seven innings. While his next two outings weren’t quite as good, he was still pretty electric. After a rough spring, he looks like he is back to his old self.
At this point, it is safe to say that he will eventually be representing the Orioles at the All-Star Game.
Meanwhile, Matt Harvey has been better than expected as the number two pitcher. While his ERA of 5.02 is obviously not good, it is a little misleading. In his second start, Harvey allowed only two runs through five innings. He was removed after a pair of singles where a ground ball found a hole and Christian Vazquez blooped a single. Paul Fry came into the game, and like most 2021 Baltimore Orioles relievers, proceeded to allow both runners to score.
Outside of that inning, Harvey has a 3.83 ERA. If he can start going a bit longer in games he will be a very good number two and interesting trade candidate.
2021 Baltimore Orioles: Rest of the AL East
While the Orioles have certainly not been good, the rest of the AL East, outside of Boston, has been struggling. The Blue Jays, a trendy pick to make the playoffs, are 6-7. The Yankees and their $200+ million payroll are .5 games ahead of the Orioles and tied in the loss column. The defending AL champs, the Tampa Bay Rays, are tied in the last spot.
Yes, those teams are likely to fix things over the long-run, but hey, misery loves company.
2021 Baltimore Orioles: Conclussion
While the team is struggling, there have been a few positives to watch. Guys like Santander, Mountcastle and Mancini will start improving as the season progresses. Plus, it’s nice to see baseball in person again and see fans in the stands at one of baseball’s best ballparks. And while things look down, the farm system is finally really good and the team is finally investing in international free agents.
With all that said, it’s looking like it’s going to be a long summer.
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