Stats & Info: Dave Trembley

1st Pitch: What's wrong with the O's?

June, 4, 2010
6/04/10
12:30
PM ET
Quick Hits: The Orioles parted ways with Dave Trembley today. Let’s take a look at what else they’ll need to fix in order to become competitive again.
  • Their starting pitchers are 9-27 with a 4.91 ERA, 4th worst in the majors.
  • They’ve converted nine of 19 save opportunities (47.4 percent), worst in the majors.
  • They’re 6-21 against their own division this season.
  • They’re batting a league-worst .217 with runners in scoring position.
  • They’ve scored just 3.3 runs per game, worst in the AL.
Today’s Trivia: Today is the 36th anniversary of 10-Cent Beer Night at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. In the lineup that day for the Rangers were three future managers. One of them was Toby Harrah, who coached half of a season with the Rangers after replacing Bobby Valentine in 1992. The other two led their teams to World Series appearances in the 1990s. Can you name them?

Today’s Leaderboard: One of the only players getting the job done for the Orioles this season has been Jeremy Guthrie. One of the keys to his success has been battling back when he falls behind in the count. In three-ball counts, batters have a .400 OBP against Guthrie – the lowest in the majors.

Key Matchups: David Eckstein may be one of the most unlikely players to have success against Roy Halladay, but he is batting .407 with a .926 OPS in his career against the Phillies’ ace.

Nyjer Morgan is 5-10 in his career against Aaron Harang. In each of his last two games against Harang, both in 2009, Morgan led off the game with a hit.

Trivia Answer: Jim Fregosi, who led the Phillies to the 1993 World Series, started at first base. Mike Hargrove, who led the Indians to the World Series in 1995 and 1997, entered the game in the 5th inning at first base.

Trembley the least of O's problems

June, 4, 2010
6/04/10
10:21
AM ET
In a move that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, the Baltimore Orioles have fired manager Dave Trembley. Considering the O's are something like 8-109 since last year's All-Star break -- actually 39-88, which is still brutal -- it's hard to make a case that the guy deserves to stay. But as in most cases in which a manager is axed, this team's problems go far beyond the guy filling out the lineup card, and that's the case in Baltimore, where the O's current rebuilding project is already on the verge of going off the rails. And the crazy thing about their 15-39 record is that a lot of things have actually gone right for them.

For example, Ty Wigginton is hitting .282/.365/.548 with 13 homers, and Luke Scott is hitting .272/.344/.524. If you had told me on April 1 that those would be their lines on June 3, I'd have guessed the Orioles were in the midst of a promising year, with the likes of Wigginton and Scott fortifying the emergence of Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. Instead, the latter trio, the supposed building block of the franchise, hasn't held up its end of the bargain and is the reason Baltimore has scored the fewest runs in the AL. To wit:

Jones: .249/.271/.376, five walks, 45 strikeouts
Wieters: .240/.314/.347, nine extra-base hits
Markakis: .305/.400/.430

Obviously, one of these things is not like the other, and Markakis has actually been pretty good. But he's now 26 years old and his slugging has dropped in each of the past two seasons. He's dangerously close to being a singles-hitting right fielder. But he was supposed to be a superstar, and it's hard to say he hasn't been a little bit of a disappointment because of his lack of pop.

As for Jones, it's hard to know exactly what's happened to him since his fast start of a year ago, but he's simply been one of the worst players in baseball thus far. Last season, he swung at 35.2 percent of pitches outside the zone and 73.3 percent in it. This year, those numbers are 39 and 66.2, respectively. He's basically swinging at the same percentage of pitches, but more of them are outside the zone. And while he's increased his contact rate on balls out of the zone (57.3 to 64.9), that's not exactly a recipe for driving the ball.

Wieters' problem is that he can't seem to stop hitting the ball on the ground. He hit grounders 41.9 percent of the time last year, and this year he's hitting them 49.3 percent of the time, which is among the league leaders, most of whom are speedy top-of-order types. It's hard to be a power hitter, which is what Wieters is supposed to be, when you're hitting the ball on the ground. Those tend not to leave the park. There was no way Wieters was going to live up to the colossal expectations for him last year, and his .280/.344/.412 line was good, but not great. His failure to even approach those numbers this year is obviously concerning.

Is that Trembley's fault? It's hard to know for sure, but both Markakis (2008) and Jones (last year) had the best stretches of their career under Trembley, so it's hard to say it's all on him. The bottom line is that the guys who were supposed to be the cornerstones of the next great Orioles team simply aren't showing any signs of growth. Jones and Wieters are still just 24, so it's too early to give up on them, but if the next manager can't get these guys to live up to their potential, then the O's may have to start looking toward their next rebuilding project.

Matt Meyers is an associate editor for ESPN The Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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