It was exactly a week ago that I wrote about Jim Thome and asked fans what they thought about Thome after his first seven games with the club. He was just 5-for-25 as an Oriole at that point with 11 strikeouts and not one extra-base hit.
A week later, Thome's bat is now percolating. Over the last five games he is 8-for-22 (.364) with four extra-base hits. Thome has three doubles and a homer with two RBIs in that stretch.
Over 12 games, he is batting .277 with a homer and three RBIs and the last five games has raised his OPS as an Oriole from .486 to .775.
As I mentioned last week, in interleague games with Philadelphia, Thome went 12-for-36 with four homers, 14 RBIs and an OPS of 1.137. In 18 games in June with the Phillies, Thome hit .295 with five homers, 15 RBIs and an OPS of 1.062. Yes he went 6-for-13 with a homer against the Orioles, but he didn't do all his damage in the month against Baltimore pitching.
I just think Thome still has enough left to help this club and make an impact, and I think we are starting to see some of that now. Of course, he is nowhere near the player he once was, but this was not like the Orioles signing of Vlad Guerrero.
First of all, he is not here for the whole year and was not signed to an $8 million dollar deal. This was a player traded for to help during the last few months of the season.
Beyond what Thome can bring to the club at-bat, he is that rare player that actually could make a real impact in the clubhouse. We hear about these players all the time, but this guy truly is one.
Each time the camera catches him in the dugout, he seems to be laughing or talking with a different player or coach. He's been seen with both position players and pitchers. This guy is a good teammate and can help this team even beyond hitting the ball over the wall.
A player with now 610 homers who hit them legally it seems has the respect of everyone in the game. His baseball resume certainty gets your attention.
No, Thome is not a feared slugger anymore. But he can help this team, both on and off the field.
What is your take? Is it any different than it was just a week ago?