Well, it’s a big “if”, but “if” say the Orioles were to add Adam Dunn or Carlos Pena at first base and Mark Reynolds for third base, they’d gain some power for next year’s lineup.
But they’d be adding a lot of strikeouts as well.
Dunn and Reynolds combined for a whopping 410 strikeouts last year and Pena and Reynolds combined for 369.
My take on that is basically, so what. Power hitters usually strikeout at a higher rate than most. Some do it at a very high rate.
Often it’s a trade off of sorts. You get more homers but also more strikeouts.
Contact hitters put the ball in play and have more bat control, but no pitcher fears them in the batter’s box. I remember watching Dunn bat in a few key spots the last few years vs. the Orioles. The thought in the back of your mind is that this guy could hit the next pitch out for a three-run homer that changes this game.
I don’t remember thinking about how much he strikes out and the pitcher on the mound at the time probably wasn’t either.
If even a good hitter makes an out seven times out of ten, who cares how they make that out?
I know not all outs are created equal. Yes, there are times you can advance or score a runner with an out. You won’t score or advance that runner without putting the ball in play. But those chances are not available to you in every at-bat.
Who cares if a player like Dunn either strikes out or flies to center, as long he hits his 40 homers?
I’ll bet no Phillies fan is complaining that Ryan Howard struck out 157 times last year or that Jayson Werth fanned 147. I don’t think all those K’s will keep Werth from getting a nice, new, fat contract.
It’s just a fact of baseball life. Often times strikeouts and homers seem to go hand in hand.
Take the big swing and hit the ball 450 feet or don’t hit it one foot.
In looking to add a player with some power to their lineup for next year, the Orioles may be adding some strikeouts as well. Maybe a ton of strikeouts. That’s probably just the way it’s going to be.
Does a player with a lot strikeouts concern you or does that just come with the territory?