Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: May 6th – May 12th

It was a bit of a lighter week for the Baltimore Orioles as they only had 5 games: 2 against the beltway rival Washington Nationals before coming back to Baltimore for a weekend series against defending NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks. The O’s went 3-2 over this 5-game week, which is a bit disappointing by their standards. The offense continued to struggle at times as they still rely heavily on the long ball to win games. However, there was still plenty to be excited about, including some intense extra-inning victories this week. Let’s take a look at this week’s who’s hot and who’s not:

Batting

Who’s Hot: Jordan Westburg

The Orioles’ star 3rd baseman, Jordan Westburg, has continued his terrific start to the season. Westburg hit .421 over the past week while collecting 4 doubles and 12 total bases. The highlight of Westburg’s week came on Saturday night as he had a walk-off base hit against the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings. It is Westburg’s second walk-off of the season.

Westburg has continued to prove that he is one of the top third basemen in the league and can come through in big moments. I mentioned it before and I’ll say it again, I believe Westburg is one of the most crucial pieces to the Orioles’ potential success late in the season. He is a phenomenal hitter, stellar defender, great base runner, and can come up big when it matters most. Westburg will look to continue his superb season next week.

Weekly Stats: .421 Avg / 0 HR / 4 RBI / 2 BB / 3 K / 4 2B / 0 3B / 12 Total Bases / 1 SB

Who’s Not: Colton Cowser

The cold stretch continues for Colton Cowser. The milk man had nearly identical numbers to last week when he was named the “Who’s Not” of the week. The AL Rookie of the Month for March/April batted just .167 this past week while only driving in 1 run. He did manage to walk 2 times, however, that was paired with 4 strikeouts.

Cowser continues to struggle against breaking balls, and the league has seemed to notice. He has seen a significant increase in off-speed pitches which has led him to these recent struggles. With Austin Hayes set to return soon, I’d suspect we see Cowser split time until either he or Hays can consistently provide a spark to the offense. For confidence’s sake, it would be great for Colton to get going a bit against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Weekly Stats: .167 Avg / 0 HR / 1 RBI / 2 BB / 4 K / 1 2B / 0 3B / 4 Total Bases / 0 SB

Pitching

Who’s Hot: Albert Suarez

It was difficult not naming Yennier Cano this week’s Who’s Hot. In fact, many bullpen pitchers could have received this honor. However, we have to shout out someone who has come in and performed fantastic for the O’s this season, Albert Suarez. Suarez is coming off a few seasons in both Japan and South Korea and has made a huge impact on this Orioles bullpen. In fact, with closer Craig Kimbrel’s recent struggles, many fans have called for Suarez to potentially fill the closer spot in the interim.

He has been lights out this season so far, and this week was no exception. He ate up 5.1 innings, including 2 in the extra innings victory over the Nats on Wednesday and 3 in the week finale on Sunday against the Diamondbacks. In those 5.1 innings, Suarez only allowed 3 hits and 1 earned run, while striking out 4 batters. He has proven that he can pitch in high-leverage situations, as well as eat up innings when others in the pen need a rest. He has been a pleasant surprise for the O’s and could continue to play a big role as the season progresses.

Weekly Stats: 5.1 IP / 3 H / 1 BB / 1.76 ERA / 4 K / 1-0 / 1 Hold

Who’s Not: Cionel Perez

There were not too many poor performances from Orioles’ relievers this week, which is great news. A bullpen that, at times, has been a liability for the O’s, was fairly solid this week. However, I think it is fair to say that reliever Cionel Perez did not have his best stuff this week and has continued to struggle a bit this season.

Perez only pitched 1.3 innings this week but yielded a 20.77 ERA while allowing 3 hits and 2 walks. Although he recorded 2 holds, Perez did not look very sharp. To his defense, the bulk of Perez’s struggles this week came in Sunday’s blowout loss against the Diamondbacks. He gave up all 3 of his runs in the game while only recording one out. Perez has not pitched much this season due to an injury he sustained early in the year. He will certainly continue to get opportunities, but if the Orioles feel the need to upgrade the bullpen at some point this season, Perez could be one of the current players feeling some pressure.

Weekly Stats: 1.3 IP / 3 H / 2 BB / 20.77 ERA / 1 K / 2 Holds

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