Raising the bar on resolutions

Some new year's resolutions are made to be taken more seriously than others.

Stop using your treadmill to dry laundry.

Stop using vodka to hydrate in warm weather.

Stop using Zoom calls as an excuse to skip showers.

None of these can be spun as asking too much.

Here are a few goals for 2022 that may be harder to execute:

Get John Means to the plate
A new collective bargaining agreement could bring a universal designated hitter to the sport, but Means needs a bat in his hands. Let the ace rake.

Means owns a career .333/.429/.500 slash line. He puts position players to shame.

Of course, he's done it in only eight plate appearances, going 2-for-6 with a walk and two strikeouts. But we're not here to pick nits.

Means tallied the first extra-base hit of his career on Sept. 20 in Philadelphia when he doubled to center field in the seventh inning. He tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 3.25, but his work on the mound was the second-most impressive part of his night.

The double came with an exit velocity of 102.7 mph, tied with Mike Wright for the second-hardest hit ball by an Orioles pitcher in the Statcast era (since 2015). Legendary Oriole Yovani Gallardo had a single in 2016 that registered 106.5 mph.

Do you remember where you were that day?

Means produced the first extra-base hit by an Orioles pitcher since Zack Britton homered on July 2, 2011.

Where would Shohei Ohtani be today if he could only pitch?

Thumbnail image for Rain Camden Yards.jpgIncrease Bruce Zimmermann's exposure to the No. 4 hitter
Maybe a re-entry rule will be inserted into the next CBA.

Cleanup hitters were 0-for-13 against Zimmermann through his first seven career appearances, including 0-for-11 with a walk and four strikeouts in 2021. Matt Olson snapped the streak with a single on May 2 in Oakland.

Zimmermann held opposing cleanup hitters to a .194 average (6-for-31) with one walk, nine strikeouts and two home runs.

Leadoff hitters were 12-for-32 (.375) with two doubles, three home runs and a 1.151 OPS. No. 3 hitters were 9-for-31 (.290) with three doubles, three home runs and a 1.066 OPS.

Get Alexander Wells to a two-strike count
The rookie from Australia was able to finish off hitters last summer when gaining the advantage.

Wells held batters to a .207 average (17-for-82) with two strikes, fanning 26 of them. They were 2-for-14 (.143) with five strikeouts in 0-2 counts.

Only 21 of 88 batters (23.9 percent) reached base with two strikes.

Perhaps more impressive when considering how Wells isn't a big strikeout pitcher. He averaged 5.5 per nine innings over 11 games and has averaged 7.1 in the minors.

Opponents were 4-for-11 (.364) with two home runs in 1-0 counts, 4-for-7 (.571) with a double, a home run and six runs scored in 2-0 counts, 9-for-20 (.450) in 1-1 counts and 6-for-13 (.462) with three doubles, two home runs and six runs scored in 2-1 counts.

So yes, get him to a two-strike count.

Cleanup hitters were harder on Wells than on Zimmermann. They went 8-for-22 (.364) with three home runs, six runs scored and a 1.189 OPS.

Note: The Orioles announced a multi-year partnership yesterday, naming Hearst's 98 Rock FM and WBAL NewsRadio AM/FM the new flagship stations of the Orioles Radio Network. The six-year deal also includes a cross-promotion on WBAL-TV.

Read more here.

The more you know about Orioles pitchers
A new year's resolution idea for the Orioles

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