With Orioles, it's a matter of trust

With Orioles, it's a matter of trust
August 19, 2014, 9:30 am
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Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (left) talks to executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette (right) during batting practice prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

Another baseball pundit has taken a swing at one of the intriguing questions of this season: How have the Orioles, seemingly with an unimpressive set of parts, come up with a sum that means the largest division lead in the majors?

Anthony Castrovince of mlb.com, writing at Sports on Earth, gives the credit to the men running the show.

“The A's, rightly, have been given a ton of credit for their ability to blend in the full complement of their active roster and put egos aside. But really, the O's follow their own variation of this formula,” he writes. “General manager Dan Duquette works the margins of the roster as well as any executive in the game, and [manager Buck] Showalter employs that brain that is always thinking, always maneuvering, always perfecting what it has at its disposal.”

Castrovince credits the Orioles with not responding to a sudden need like replacing injured catcher Matt Wieters by adding the likes of A.J. Pierzynski but instead going with Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley, by “trusting their people.”

"I don't covet other people's players; I covet ours," Showalter said. "Because they are our 'what-ifs.' … That's why we were able to sign some of the top six-year free agents. One thing we can do here is out-opportunity other people."

Still, there are those who look ahead and see trouble for the Orioles – lacking overwhelming starting pitching – should they finish off the mediocre American League East and make the postseason.

“The 'what-if' from the outside is: What if the bats are suddenly silent on the postseason stage, as they were against Cleveland's Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco last weekend?” Castrovince says. “Or what if [Chris] Tillman and Co. can't deliver on the October stage?”

Showalter won't get caught up in such worries.

“I'm perfectly fine about knowing about it when it happens,” the manager said. “We can talk about it until we're blue in the face. But I'm all about knowing about something when it happens instead of trying to prognosticate it."