Following up on Wednesday's post about Baltimore Orioles pitcher Zach Britton’s troubled shoulder, The Baltimore Sun is reporting that his visit to orthopedist Dr. James Andrews will result in his remaining on the sidelines for up to six weeks.
Andrews reportedly found no structural damage, and a month-and-a-half of healing is better than a year of recovery, but this still isn’t great news for an Orioles team bidding for respectability.
The question is: What will Dan Duquette do about it?
Despite his years away from major league front offices, Duquette was a good choice to lead the O’s. In Boston, he proved adept at dumpster-diving rosters to find neglected spots that could upgrade his team. Izzy Alcantara and Rudy Pemberton weren’t going to help the Red Sox beat the Yankees, but that kind of player could be an asset to a talent-deprived team such as Baltimore.
In his seven years in Boston, Duquette—who did not operate with the famed financial largesse that made life easier for Theo Epstein—also found value in Troy O’Leary, Reggie Jefferson and Tim Wakefield and also put Tom Gordon in the bullpen, where he had always belonged.
Those kinds of discoveries would be of immense help to Baltimore, a team that has had few positive surprises over the last couple of decades.
Duquette’s signing of Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada represents one version of this peculiar focus. With Britton hurting, there is even more pressure on Duquette to have guessed right with regard to their ability to be quality major league pitchers.
The Orioles weren’t going to win either way, but the quest for adequacy now rests squarely on their shoulders.