The Sad State Of The Orioles DH Position

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Saturday May 18, 2013

The Orioles have been using Nolan Reimold as their primary Designated Hitter this year to no avail. he is only hitting .188 with 4 HRs and 9 RBI - not exactly what you look for in a DH. The DH is the one position created specifically to score runs so he should at least be getting on base, which he is not with a .257 OBP. In two instances he batted in the 9 slot, far from normal for a DH. He is getting plenty of time to figure it out as he has not played since May 11.

The Orioles have been using Nolan Reimold as their primary Designated Hitter this year to no avail. he is only hitting .188 with 4 HRs and 9 RBI – not exactly what you look for in a DH. The DH is the one position created specifically to score runs so he should at least be getting on base, yet he only has a .257 OBP. In two instances he batted 9th, far from normal for a DH. He is getting plenty of time to figure it out as he has not played since May 11- and was just placed on the Disabled List.

By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer and O’s Correspondent)

After coming off their best season in a long time the Orioles are out to set it was not a fluke.  They finished 2012 93 – 69, their first non-losing season since 1997.

They went on to qualify for the inaugural Wild Card game where they beat the Texas Ranger 5-1, only to lose to the Yankees in the ALDS 3 games to 2.

So when 2013 came around the Orioles just wanted to prove one thing: they are legitimate playoff contenders and plan to be for a long time.

Baltimore Orioles 2013- Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance is Advised:

Pearce, who has been splitting time between DH and LF, is only hitting .233 this year. Yes, slightly better than Reimold, but still not good enough. He has shown some promise though hitting .333 in his last 10 games.

Pearce, who has been splitting time between DH and LF, is only hitting .233 this year. Yes, slightly better than Reimold, but still not good enough. He has shown some promise though hitting .333 in his last 10 games.

The Orioles have to try to make the postseason in possibly the best league and Division in Major League Baseball. The AL East and the American League.

They are up against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and the Blue Jays, who were supposed to have a stacked team this season which is not panning out.

For the WildCard, they will have to battle all of these clubs and possibly 3 or 4 teams in the AL Central – and don’t give up on the A’s or Mariners yet either.  The American League is proving to be a tough nut to crack for the playoffs.

As of tonight the Orioles are tied for 2nd in the AL East with the Red Sox, both sporting a 23-17 record, behind the Yankees. The big thing the Orioles aren’t lacking in is creating runs.

They have scored 196 times this season, 3rd in the MLB behind just the Tigers and A’s.  This is all coming without the creation specifically made for scoring runs, producing: The Designated Hitter.

Baltimore does not have a defined DH as of this point in the season. They have used a number of DH’s, none of which are permanent. In April alone the O’s used 6 different DH’s and through 32 games – they were hitting an awful .150 with 9 RBI and 7 total runs scored. That’s appalling when comparing them to teams like the Red Sox who have had the likes of Daniel Nava and David Ortiz DHing this year.

The Orioles are going to need a defined DH and fast if they want to stay competing in the tough AL East division. The question on every Orioles fan’s mind is simply, who is this guy going to be?

Right now the main DH for the birds is Nolan Reimold. Quite simply though he has been underperforming. He is hitting sub-.200 with a .188 AVG during his 2013. In his last 10 games he has only picked up 5 hits in 37 at-bats.

That is a .135 AVG in 10 games. Basically the exact opposite of what a Designated Hitter is supposed to be doing.

Platooning with him recently is Steve Pearce, who also isn’t faring too well. Pearce has only appeared in 10 games since April 18 and his hitting .333 in those 10 games. Pretty good numbers, however he hasn’t proven he can do it on a nightly basis.

He has also been playing LF throughout this time so DH isn’t his primary position. Given the chance who knows, he might be able to prove himself worthy for the everyday DH position.

Also appearing in the DH slot has been Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Ryan Flaherty. We already know these guys can hit, it’s just that they are not DH’s.

They are pivotal parts of the Orioles everyday lineup in the field. The only time these men should be stuck in the DH spot is when they need a day off but the Orioles want the bat in the lineup.

Markakis has appeared in some games this year as the DH, but it will never become an everyday thing. He is hitting .282 this year but his glove is just too good in the field to take him out of his spot in RF, having committed no errors this year.

Markakis has appeared in some games this year as the DH, but it will never become an everyday thing. He is hitting .282 this year but his glove is just too good in the field to take him out of his spot in RF, having committed no errors this year.

Before this season started it seemed clear who the DH in Baltimore would be. Mark Reynolds seemed like he would be resigned with him being Arbittration available in 2013. Instead, the team cut him loose and  Cleveland Indians grabbed him.

The Tribe signed him to a 1 year deal  worth $6 MIL – and so far he has done his job. He has gone deep 11 times – while has racked up 34 RBI as the Starting Third Baseman

The Orioles have a very solid lineup top to bottom which is a necessity in a league like the AL East. Up against teams like the Red Sox and Yankees it is exactly what they need, along with a good pitching staff. Also young players like Manny Machado have yet to reach their full potential in the show. This entire lineup could be dangerous soon enough with a full time DH.

The bottom line is that the black and orange birds need a prominent DH in their already impressive lineup. They had a DH, Reimold to be exact, batting 9th for two games. A DH should be high up between 2 and 5, not the last hitter in your lineup. If the O’s can find the hitter inside Reimold or a full time DH, their lineup will be one of the best in all the American League.

It seemed as if Reynolds would be returning to the Orioles as the DH in 2013. Instead the Indians snatched him up as their primary 3B. The O's sure could have used him as he is hitting .263 this year. No, it's nothing fantastic, but it is better than any of the Orioles' DH's. He could have added a better bat deeper in the lineup for the birds if they could have resigned him.

It seemed as if Reynolds would be returning to the Orioles as the DH in 2013. Instead the Indians snatched him up as their primary 3B. The O’s sure could have used him as he is hitting .263/.353/.916 this year.  The man has even cut down slightly on his  K rate.  Reynolds 11 HRs are tied for the AL Lead, and his 34 RBI ranks him 3rd.  He could have added a better bat deeper in the lineup for the birds if they just retained him.  There also would have been 0 players lost in Draft Picks with him being their own guy.  Arbitration would have possibly cost them $ 9 – 12 MIL for 2013.  Not a bad monetary risk for a guy who hit 60 HRs  – and drove 155 RBI in only 991 AB.

***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our MLB Reports Writer Kyle Holland for preparing today’s featured article.  Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5.

Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the Major Leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco.

Some of his favorite players include Buster PoseyStephen DrewTrevor BauerStephen Strasburg, and Minor Leaguer Danny Hultzen.  You can find Kyle on Twitter 

a kyle holland

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Posted on May 18, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Sad State Of The Orioles DH Position.

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