Bad bad timing for the Orioles as they sit atop the AL East, their most dominant pitcher is now headed to the DL. Yeah, it's only the 10-day DL, no big deal, right? Wrong, ask every Yankee fan that watched Gary Sanchez go from the 10-day DL to being ruled out for at least a month. Any time a pitcher feels soreness or discomfort in their arm, it's usually the beginning of the end. If Zach Britton has to miss an extended period of time for the Orioles they're screwed. In just 11 games, Britton has had to come in to save 5 of them for the Orioles, so clearly he's needed late in games quite often. Missing your lockdown 9th inning closer that basically never allows a run is a huge blow to an Orioles pitching staff that doesn't have much certainty elsewhere. This leaves the Orioles vulnerable late in games, which could begin to cost them wins if Britton has to miss extra time. If it's just the 10 games it's no big deal, but if it's more than that the Orioles will be in some serious trouble.
On the other hand...
Perfect timing for the Yankees to take advantage of the wounded Orioles and take the division lead early in the season. Right now the Yankees are a half game back of the Orioles, after tonight they may be sitting atop the AL East. I'm hoping the Yankees do the opposite of what they do last year and get off to a nice start giving us some games over the competition early. With the Blue Jays tanking quickly, the Red Sox struggling to meet their expectations as a dominant force, and now this huge blow to the Orioles bullpen, there's no better time to take advantage and take a commanding division lead. I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but these are the things you have to think about in April, every game matters, and come late September these are the times you look back on when you're on the brink of elimination. Let's avoid that by setting the pace for the division the rest of the way.