Did Andy MacPhail put Garrett Atkins on the hot seat today?
When asked by the Baltimore Sun, how long he would stick with his struggling first baseman he said “it doesn’t have to be that way forever.”
Atkins is hitting just .243-0-6 and was asked today if he feels he’s been put on notice.
“I’m not too worried about it, it’s been 100 at bats. You get five or six more hits, you’re hitting .300. Just trying to come in here every day and work to get better and produce a little more out on the field.
“I understand we are losing and I haven’t produced as well as I’d like to. But as far as being on the hot seat, I can’t worry about that, just go out there when my name is in the lineup and try and produce and help the team. That is my main focus.
“I mean, it’s just inconsistency. I have good games here and bad games here. I’m not doing it day in and day out. That’s the frustrating thing on my part and and frustrating on their part as well.”
I asked Atkins if he had any concerns about his bat speed?
“Not at all. It’s there some at bats and not there other at bats. Just a matter of getting in good body position with my swing and being aggressive and swinging at pitches in the zone. That’s my main focus when I am up there right now.”
Atkins has just one hit his last eight at bats and just three over his last 22 at bats. He has just one RBI over his last 19 games since April 17.
Is he having an issue adjusting to AL pitching?
“I don’t think it’s that. Obviously you are not too familiar with the pitchers. But the stuff is pretty much the same, it’s just a matter of getting use to it and being comfortable on the field.”
With Rhyne Hughes being sent by to Norfolk, Atkins is expected to get several starts this week and he was asked if that means produce now or perhaps lose playing time at first or even his roster spot at some point?
“Not really, I can’t worry about who else can play first base or is going to play first. Just need to do my job and help the team.
“I feel better than I did last year. My BP is better this year than it was last year. You know, I’ve hit some balls hard. Just gotta do it more consistently. That’s been the main problem and frustrating for me.”
Frustrating for fans is the lack of power coming from the first base position where the O’s don’t have a homer this year.
“I’d rather be consistent as a hitter. I always pride myself on driving in runs and never really did it with the longball. If you get good pitches to hit the home runs will come.
“When you aren’t doing that, the home run numbers won’t be there. It’s a matter of having a consistent swing day in and day out. When the pitcher makes the mistake and you have a good swing, you’ll hit it out of the park. When you have a bad swing and the pitchers makes a mistake, it might be double or single and lead to power numbers like that.