If you look at the stats of Nick Markakis this year, he’s exceeded his usual numbers in batting average, on base and OPS.
His career average is .298 and he’s batting .305 now. His career on base figure is .371 and now he’s at .401 and his OPS this year of .850 exceeds his average OPS of .835.
But after hitting 18 homers with 101 RBI in 2009, Markakis would hit just 10 homers with 51 RBI this year at his current pace.
Manager Dave Trembley said today he is not concerned that Markakis’ numbers are down in those stat categories.
“I think if Nick wanted to hit home runs he could hit them. If he tried to hit home runs, I think he would hit more of them. He’s made a conscientious effort to take more pitches. I think he’s our leading guy in pitches seen, per at bat.
“I think he’s made a conscientious effort to walk more. You may see as the season goes on, his home runs come up. I think starting in spring he made much more of an effort to be more selective.
“Because he is such a good hitter, if he would hit more home runs, it would cost him somewhat on his on-base percentage and his batting average.
“Not too many pitch him in either. If you watch, most people pitch him away, away, away.”
On Tuesday, after he hit his third homer to end a 21-game run without one, Markakis talked about his small home run production to this point.
“It is what it is. You just have to go up there with a good approach every time. Try to hit the mistake pitches that the pitchers make. He left one over the plate. You know I’ve been feeling good lately, you know, getting on and trying to make things happen. You keep plugging away and keep battling and things will come around.”
Trembley agrees with the notion that Markakis is the batter in the O’s lineup most impacted by the O’s lack of a 30 or 40-homer hitter.
“Yes. He’s probably my best hitter to hit second. But, he’s my best guy to hit third. That may change when B-Rob comes back. Something to look forward to.”
In Markakis’ career he has hit 55 percent of his homers after the All-Star break and August is his best month for homers. He has averaged 19.25 homers in four full seasons with the Orioles.
Markakis homers, career by month:
Markakis does rank 3rd in the AL in walks (32) and 6th in OBP (.410). He is tied for 13th in doubles (13) and 18th in batting average (.305).
What is your take on the power numbers for Markakis right now and are you concerned with his small number of homers right now?
In a minor league note, the Triple-A Norfolk Tides have added pitcher Ross Wolf to the active roster off Aberdeen’s roster. Wolf is 0-0, 2.70 with the Tides this year and has held right-handed batters to a .207 average. The Tides begin an eight-game road trip at Pawtucket tonight.