Exactly how much has Jonathan Villar increased his trade value in the offseason?
The Orioles couldn’t move Villar at the deadline, failing in attempts to work out a deal with the Cubs. He slashed .225/.320/.382 with three home runs in 26 games in June. Contenders had to be leery of a player with a reputation for being reckless on the basepaths and not always exhibiting, shall we say, the best judgment.
How was their judgment in passing on him?
Villar slashed .298/.336/.442 with three home runs in July, stayed with the Orioles and entered last night’s game batting .333/.421/.637 with seven home runs in August.
He went 1-for-3 with a walk in a 7-5 loss to the Royals.
No other Orioles player has swiped second base, third base and home in the same game, according to STATS research dating to 1974. The Rangers’ Elvis Andrus and Mariners’ Mallex Smith did it earlier this season.
The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar accomplished the feat in 2018, the Padres’ Wil Myers in 2017, the Padres’ Travis Jankowski in 2016, the Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollack in 2015 and the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon in 2011.
This portion of the research goes back to 2010.
Villar was playing for the Brewers in 2016 when Jankowski did it.
Some fans reacted in shock yesterday when I passed along that shortstop Mark Belanger was included among the three players with five-hit games back in 1974.
Tommy Davis did it on July 25 and Aug. 30. He could hit. Rich Coggins did it on July 26 and he finished sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting the previous season. But Belanger was an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner with a career .228 average and .580 OPS in 18 seasons.
The five hits came in a 12-1 win over the Indians on May 11 in Cleveland, with attendance announced at 6,796. He batted ninth, a familiar spot, and had a double and four singles.
The game ended with Belanger slashing .266/.344/.430 for the season. He’d cool off and finish at .225/.298/.300.
Belanger, who died in 1998 at 54, put together a few decent seasons at the plate. He batted .287 with a .351 on-base percentage in 1969 and .266 with a .365 OBP in 1971. He had a .270 average and .336 OBP in 1976.
There was so much respect for Belanger’s defense that he placed 21st in AL Most Valuable Player voting in 1973 while slashing .226/.302/.262 with no home runs and 27 RBIs.
Had to be the glove, right? Or a weak field of contenders.
Belanger placed 26th the following year.
* Aaron Brooks will try today to duplicate his last start or come real close to it.
Brooks shut out the Nationals on two hits over six innings with one walk and six strikeouts. He’s permitted only one run in his last two starts over 11 innings.
The first outing came against the Royals, one of his former teams, and he held them to one run and scattered seven hits in five innings. Whit Merrifield homered in the third.
Left-hander Danny Duffy faced the Braves on July 23 and allowed only one run with 11 strikeouts in six innings. In his next two starts, he surrendered a combined 12 earned runs (14 total) and 15 hits with six home runs allowed over 10 2/3 innings.
The Royals placed him on the 10-day injured list with a strained hamstring and he’s returning to the mound this afternoon.
Duffy is 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.067 WHIP in 10 career games (eight starts) against the Orioles. Trey Mancini is 3-for-9. Chris Davis is 2-16 with a double, home run and seven strikeouts.
The home run was hit last season.
“We should have a couple of players here Sunday,” manager Brandon Hyde told reporters in Kansas City, “and when the Triple-A season is over, we’ll add some more in Tampa,”
Mark Trumbo has played in five injury rehab games with Norfolk and could come off the 60-day injured list to join the Orioles. A spot must open for him on the 40-man roster.
Jesús Sucre hasn’t played since July 31. He’s stayed on the restricted list.
We don’t know about Ryan Mountcastle. Makes sense to me, since he must be placed on the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft and has earned a promotion at 22. Hyde would just have to figure out how to spread out the at-bats on a team loaded with corner infield/outfield/DH types.