The Orioles’ shifted much of their winter focus to finding right-handed bats that would improve their record against left-handed pitching. Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy were added to the 25-man roster via free-agent signings or trades. What could go wrong?
Well, we’re dealing with an extremely small sample size less than a full month into the season, but the Orioles are 1-4 against left-handed starters. They beat David Price in the season-opener at Tropicana Field, but that’s it.
I’ll also mention that left-hander Boone Logan was credited with the win yesterday for the Yankees after tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief.
The Orioles began the day batting .201 against southpaws, though the average was weighed down because Adam Jones was hitting .188, Nick Markakis was hitting .217, Brian Roberts was hitting .231 and Matt Wieters was hitting .167.
Reynolds and Jake Fox each were 0-for-12.
That’s what could go wrong.
Small sample sizes, but it’s an off-day and I wanted to file another entry, so I went there.
Markakis batted .361 against left-handers last season, the highest average in the majors for a left-handed hitter.
Some fans are calling for Nolan Reimold’s promotion from Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles need him to improve on that .228 average, which is accompanied by two homers, six RBIs and a .677 OPS in 57 at-bats.
Reimold has struck out 20 times, tying him with teammate Ryan Adams for third-most in the International League (another teammate, Josh Bell, is tied for second with 23.)
I fully expect to see Reimold back in the majors this summer, but he needs to swing the bat like he did in spring training. He clearly was upset about being optioned to Norfolk, but Felix Pie was out of options and gave the Orioles a backup center fielder and defensive replacement for Luke Scott in left.
Reimold was destined to be sent down. He won’t come up unless he heats up.
Instant update: Reimold went 2-for-4 today in Norfolk’s 5-2 victory over Durham. His average jumped to .246.
That does it. Promote him.
Bell hit two homers, drove in three runs and committed his sixth error. Adams hit his first homer and committed his first error.
Rick VandenHurk picked up his first win in four decisions by holding Durham to one unearned run and two hits over six innings. He walked one, struck out three and threw 53 of 91 pitches for strikes.
Shameless plug alerts: I’ll proceed with my day off by doing a phone interview on The Scott Garceau Show around 4 p.m. on 105.7 The Fan and The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report around 6:05 p.m. on MASN. Then I’ll think about a dirty martini, which is probably a better idea after the two programs.