What they're saying about the Orioles

Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com says the issue of playing time for Robert Andino will resolve itself after the Orioles finish their current run of games against National League teams:

“(Brian) Roberts was activated from the 60-day disabled list last Tuesday after missing nearly 13 months with the effects of concussions. He retook the second-base job, pushing Robert Andino – who had started 56 games at the position – to a utility role.

“Once the DH resumes for Baltimore, Andino will probably start five days a week, with significant time at third base, where he is the best fielder on the roster, as well as through spelling shortstop J.J. Hardy and Roberts.”

* * *

USA Today's Team Report credits the resurgence in pitching, particularly quality starts, for the success the Orioles are enjoying lately:

“Series win by series win, the Orioles are shedding doubters.

“For every loss in the midst of a three-game set, the Orioles seem to come away with two wins – as unimpressive as they may be at times.

“Sunday the Orioles wrapped a series win in Atlanta with a second consecutive shutout. The last time Baltimore had two straight shutouts: Aug. 28 and 29, 2010 – tossed by veteran right-handers Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie.

“Following Saturday’s one-hitter from newly minted ace Jason Hammel, the Orioles rode a seven-inning gem from Wei-Yin Chen for a 2-0 win. Three relievers combined on a quiet eighth, while Jim Johnson came on in the ninth for the win.

“. . .The offense may have been stale for the series, but the quality pitching that sparked the Orioles’ hot start this spring seems to have resurfaced.”

* * *

Joe Lemire of SI.com says Hammel attributes much of his recent success to a return  to an old favorite in his pitching repertoire:

“There were no new additions to 2012’s growing list of perfect games and no-hitters this weekend, but there were two close calls Saturday. The Orioles’ Jason Hammel and the Angels’ Ervin Santana each took a no-hitter into the seventh inning; both finished with a complete game no-hitter.

“. . . Hammel, meanwhile, credits a rediscovered sinker with his breakthrough season. He had a 4.99 career ERA before his trade to Baltimore this off-season, but he has gone 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA with career highs in K/9 (8.5) and groundball-to-flyball ratio (1.12), both of which are 20 per cent increases over his previous single-season bests.”