SARASOTA, Fla. - Ryan Flaherty hit another homer for the Orioles yesterday. It you want him to say much about that, you may be disappointed. He made just a few comments in a brief postgame interview Friday, but his bat is starting to speak loudly.
Flaherty hit a two-run homer with two outs in the last of the 10th as the Orioles played to a 3-3 tie with Boston. It was his third homer in his last seven games and third of the spring as he tied Conor Jackson and Steve Pearce for the team lead.
So how is he feeling at the plate these days?
“I feel OK. Yeah, I feel good,” he said.
OK, that about sums it up and that blast that rocketed out of Ed Smith Stadium is evidence of that.
It was not exactly as meaningful or important as the homer he hit in the American League Division Series last October, but it still felt good for Flaherty as the O’s went from a potential loss to a tie.
“There was not that many people left in the game,” he said. “It’s the 10th inning. Everyone was ready to go home. But at the same time, it’s still a game and we are out there competing. So it was nice.”
Flaherty is batting .241 in spring training (7-for-29) with two doubles, three homers, seven RBIs, a .621 slugging percentage and .933 OPS. Last year in spring training he homered just once in 56 at-bats.
He started to show increased pop in his bat last September when he went 7-for-22 with two homers and had an OPS of .773 after the All-Star break as he began to settle in as a big leaguer. He gained experience and with that came more clout in his bat.
“Yeah, I think so for sure. The more at-bats you get at this level, you start to feel more comfortable,” he said.
Soon he could force Buck Showalter into a tough decision. Whether to send Flaherty to Triple-A to play every day or keep him and his more potent lumber in the big leagues as a reserve.
Flaherty is trying to make that a tough call for the Orioles and he’s doing some talking with his bat these days.
O’s coverage today: OK, I think after cranking out all those blogs, it’s fine for Roch to take a few hours off later today. So I’ll have solo coverage here this afternoon of the O’s game in Dunedin against Toronto. Jake Arrieta gets the start. Check here and follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the afternoon.