It's Sunday, and that means it's time for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag and this week we were flooded with questions regarding Baltimore Orioles players getting rest as well as what the Orioles goals should be.
As we always do, we want to remind you that if we receive multiple questions on the same topic, we answer them with one general answer as opposed to answering each one and repeating ourselves.
Should the Orioles try to go all out to get the #1 seed in the American League?
To answer this question, we must first define what "go all out" means, and if we understand what the followers mean by this is whether or not the Orioles and manager Buck Showalter should turn all their focus on the top seed and thus use certain relievers in spots where they may not normally be used and continue to put the absolute best lineup possible on the field every game, then no, we do not believe the Birds should go all out to get the top seed. The Orioles are in a great spot in that they basically know they are going to win the division, thus playing in a series and not a one game playoff once the playoffs begin, so it is important to have guys, especially Darren O'Day, well rested in the bullpen and not overuse them down the stretch in an effort to go all out to get the top seed.
Also, if a player is dealing with something minor, but something that a day or two of rest will heal up, then the O's have the cushion to allow themselves to rest that player to let the minor injury heal.
Should the Orioles rest their players down the stretch and concede the #1 seed?
First off, there is a way to rest your players and not simply concede the #1 seed. Yes, we do believe it would be smart for the Orioles to rest some of their players down the stretch, especially guys like Adam Jones and Nick Markakis who have played every game, even if that means just letting them DH once a week to help rest their legs a little bit. Also, just because you rest players, doesn't mean you have to rest them all at once, so the Orioles could rest a different everyday player each day over the last couple of weeks, and they are still going to be putting out a formidable lineup.
Lastly, even if you rest players, that does not mean you are going to lose those games, and there is no guarantee that the A's or Angels are going to win either.
Who is the most important player to be fresh once the playoffs begin?
No question in our mind here, O'Day is the most vital player that needs to be fresh once the playoffs begin. He has been one of, if not the most effective reliever in baseball this season and is such a valuable weapon for Showalter. He needs to be as fresh as possible once the playoffs begin so that the Orioles would have no worries about letting him throw multiple innings if need be.
As always, we thank everyone for their questions throughout the week, and we continue to urge you to send us questions every week as Orioles101 Mailbag is here to stay as a weekly edition.
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