During last night's Jays-O's radio broadcast, I heard a "record" that hasn't been getting any press and also one that drew me to an even more startling conclusion.
Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis became the third (yes, the THIRD) major leaguer in history to have four straight seasons of 43 or more doubles. Wow, really? Ever? That's quite impressive, well done Nick!
However, what really stuck out to me as the Jays announcers were talking about Markakis was that Nick has more extra base hits (56) then runs batted in (54). While Nick has been hitting in the two hole for a good chunk of the season, having fewer many runs batted in as extra base hits is disastrous!
Possibly that is somewhat of an overstatement. However, how disheartening does it have to be for Markakis to be hitting the ball so well, yet offering so little production for his club?
I suppose this simply highlights the fact that the Orioles have been terrible at creating runs this season. So bad, that they need to have one of their best hitters hitting second as things rapidly go downhill after that point.
The team has three hitters with an on-base percentage above league average. Their first basemen have the second-lowest combined OPS in the league and it can't be chalked up to Justin Smoak (who has played for both the worst and third-worst teams in terms of team first base OPS).
With as much young pitching depth as the Orioles have, their lack of hitting both at the major league and minor league levels make it increasingly less likely that this team turns around any time soon. We may not be looking at the Pirates, but I'm not sure we are too far off given the depth of the systems and deep pockets of the Yankees and Red Sox.