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December 6, 2010

Mark Reynolds on the trade, his style and his 2010 season

The newest Oriole, third baseman Mark Reynolds, spoke with the Baltimore media via teleconference call Monday night.

Here’s what he said on various topics:

Reynolds on being traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks, the only organization he has known, to the Orioles for right-handed relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio: “Initially, I was surprised. I obviously didn’t want to leave. I have my house here, my friends, family, have a pretty good setup with spring training 10 minutes down the road, but I’m looking forward to it. Going back East, I’m from Virginia Beach so it’s a couple hours from my house. It’s going to be a good experience for me. I’m excited to go there and meet the other guys, the coaches, the front office. It’s going to be an adventure, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Reynolds on a 2010 in which he batted .198 with 32 homers and 85 RBIs in 145 games: “It was borderline embarrassing, as far as my average goes. I know I am a much better hitter than that. I think I pushed myself a little too hard. I am pretty stubborn when it comes to injuries and things like that. I hate missing games, I hate missing at-bats. I think I have learned a lot in that area as far as how to listen to my body and know when I need to maybe take some time off. Looking back, I wish I had done that, but it’s past and you move forward and I think I’ll have a lot better chance for success knowing what I went through this past year.”

On what went wrong physically in 2010: “In the spring, I hurt my quad the last day of spring training. I didn’t think too much of it, and it really hampered me running the bases and stealing bags. That is kind of part of my game. That bothered me all the way prior to the All-Star Game, and then when I started to get 100 percent healthy, I got hit in the head with a 96 miles an hour fastball and that kind of set me back. Then in September, I hurt my hand somehow. It was tough to feel the bat. I tried to put a protect on it and play through it. I probably shouldn’t have done that. It was all just nagging stuff. I feel 100 percent now, and I’m ready to go.”

On what fans can expect from him as a player: “No matter what, I am going to try and play every day, play every game. I am definitely going to leave the field dirty. I am not afraid to dive into the stands, I am not afraid to take on a catcher at home plate. I definitely play the game 100 percent, full board, all nine innings, and you’ll never see me loafing out there. If I am loafing, it must mean that I am hurt. I am a hard-nosed player, and I’ll go out there every day with all I’ve got.”

On what he knows about the Orioles and their players: “I actually had the roster, and I don’t know anyone personally. I’ve maybe said, ‘Hi,’ in passing. I’m going to go there and get acclimated with all the guys. It’s just like a fresh start. Hopefully, I can put this past year behind me, be smarter with taking care of my body and managing things like that. I’m looking forward to getting to see the guys and getting to know everybody.”

On improving defensively at third base: “In 2007, my first year in the big leagues, I played like 30 games in Double-A that year and that was my first year ever playing third base, and then I got the call-up and got thrown in the fire. I kind of learned on the job, and it definitely showed early on. But I took a lot of time in spring training working with Matt Williams. He really helped out a lot over there, my footwork and things like that, so I think I’m only getting better as time goes on.”

On Camden Yards and making an adjustment to a new park and new league: “As far as the park goes, I don’t know much about it. I hear it’s pretty hitter-friendly. … It’s definitely going to be an adjustment moving to the AL with the pitching and getting to know everybody. I’m going to rely on the coaches and the players on the team to help me out and give me scouting reports and let me know what he’s got. I don’t expect it to be an adjustment that is going to take me awhile, hopefully. But it’s definitely going to be something that I’m going to have to get used to.”

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 9:44 PM | | Comments (22)
        

Comments

Wonder if he gets in Adam LaRoche's ear about coming to Baltimore. Would be great to have them both here

Still searching for a baseball authority of any repute who is criticizing the Os for this move. Its just the fans who've decided to define themselves by their dissatisfaction.

Yes, I like what Mark Reynolds has to say here. Great Story Dan! Actually, he sounds like my kind of ball player!

Also, I would like to rescind "ALL" my negative comments that I made about him earlier. While I am passionate, I get a little too fired up for my own good sometimes. Andy & Buck did their best to get a pretty good ball player here. I think this was the most elegant answer for the O's. Good job, Andy!

Lastly, since Mark said this. On what he knows about the Orioles and their players: “I actually had the roster and I don’t know anyone personally.
I really think the O's need to make a big push for LaRoche, this will help everybody to get on board to hit the ground running for spring training!

@ The Squirrel,

I agree with you, as Mark sounds like a gritty player. Looking at his stats, he had 24 SBs a few years back so with his quad healthy, he might also be able to steal some bags. I like this trade a lot.

I just hope the O's continue to be creative and look around and get some guys in that can help this team out because it would be sad to waste having a very good manager like Buck without giving him some nuggets to see what he can do.

I read the Dodgers are looking to trade James Loney. I know he's not a HR guy, but he plays tough, hits doubles, knocks in runs and is slick with the glove. I just don't think we have a lot to give up to get a guy like that.

This guy has the right attitude - I think we're gonna enjoy having him on our team. Welcome aboard Mr. Reynolds.

This guy has the right attitude - I think we're gonna enjoy having him on our team. Welcome aboard Mr. Reynolds.

I wonder how he would feel about moving back to his natural position, shortstop. Couldn't hurt. The last time the Os moved a guy to short from third he ended playing there for a zillion innings.

I think he is going to be a very solid addition for the orioles some SB ability big time power and yes lots of K's, could be describing Mike Schmidt type.. NOW add pena or laroche and a SS.. Offense ready.. Before everyone gets on pena about K's and average.. Compare to some other sluggers OBP and K's slugging similar to ryan howard in spite of average, Better than last year, sign wigginton to fill in against some tough lefties.. Buck will find everyone AB if they earn them.. I think Andy is all ready to begin BP fix with signings.. With Britton, Vandenhurk, Tillman, and maybe J. Johnson competing, I am not completely convinced of need for a mediocre SP.. I wish hernandez and mikolio the best. I hope they know we didn't give up on them we just had to give some quality to get likewise.. IS WEBB still available.. HE might be a nice risk..

Mark Reynolds reminds me of a mix between B.J. Surhoff and Chris Sabo. with a lot more pop in the bat. I like that he was cheap. I think he is the type of player we need for our chemistry, and more importantly I think he will earn every dollar of his contract. He is the type of player that treats playing as a priviledge and not a get rich quick scheme.

This is a great deal for the O's. Forgetting for the moment the almost incalculable upgrade he is from Josh Bell, the huge upgrade from B12 Miguel, his admittedly poor 2010 resulted in the following:
a) more home runs than any Oriole
b) more walks than any Oriole
c) fewer GIDP than any Oriole
d) a career OPS higher than any Oriole other than Markakis and Scott.
e) He's heading into his prime years.
f) He's still pretty cheap.

I'll trade all that for his strikeouts. Like any deal it may fail. He may end up the next Garrett Atkins. He may also end up a poor man's Mike Schmidt. I'd say he's worth the gamble. Definitely something all of us should support.

Just as an aside, why is there so much negativity about Scott? He's perfectly fine as a 1b option.

Dan,

I'm a big David Hernandez fan and I like his potential as a starter or reliever. But if Mark Reynolds has 75 fewer strikeouts than last season, then he will probably have a 100 RBI season in 2011. Reynolds could be the power bat that the Orioles need.

Good Luck David and Kam!

My friends in Arizona, where I used to live, are glad to get rid of Reynolds. One of them told me yesterday he got sick of watching him strike out repeatedly with men in scoring position. The man is a strikeout machine who hit 198.

I'm with the squirrel here. I bashed reynolds all day yesterday but after reading what he had to say my feelings have changed. I'm still a bit bitter about giving away hernandez though.

I hate to see Hernandez go. Problem is, Showalter wasn't there to see the way he was pitching before he hurt his ankle, nor was any of the current coaching staff. Apparently other teams' scouts saw it though. I won't be at all surprised if he's one of the game's best closers before long.

Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds. There is a lot of potential there and they are all 27 or under. Not too bad. Add LaRoche or Pena to first base. Keep Roberts healthy at lead off. If the pitching continues how it ended last year, this could be a refreshing year.

I noticed one of the pics of Reynolds was at home plate, with the catcher on the ground! I think O's fans will quickly embrace a hard nosed, hard working blue collar player. This is a guy who will do well playing for Buck. Now, who's on first?

So, what happens to Josh Bell? Also, I'm not thrilled to get a strike out machine. Regardless of his attitude/work ethic, what makes you think he'll turn it around here in Baltimore? The guy is KNOWN for his strikeouts, not just his power.

@ Squirrel
Dodgers deny having any interest in trading LooneyWiggy. He has signed a 2 yr deal with the Rockies worth $7.5 million. I would of liked to have retained hsi services. Great utility guy, providing we get a good 1b.

I'm with Robertl...why is everyone so dismissive of Luke? Aside from personally just being very entertained by him, he seems like a perfectly viable option for 1B. Not the strongest defensive 1B, but, thats kind of an accepted tradeoff for the position, right?

Can anyone shed some light as to why this is viewed as such a hole? Will he be fulltime DHing? Seems he hits better when he gets field time, but, my memory may be fuzzy.

Also, K's or not, Reynolds will be a great addition and serious upgrade in his slot. Excited to watch him play. Seems like he embodies the gritty O's, and Baltimore, mentality. Like any gamble, it could be a bust, but I feel and hope it won't. I think he'll pay off nicely. Welcome aboard, Mark!

Trading for Mark Reynolds is a mistake. All he is going to do is lead the league in strikeouts again. Contrary to what Andy MacPhail believes, Buck Showalter and the other coaches won't be able to fix him.

If MacPhail wants to lead the league in strikeouts and continue to be the laughingstock of the league, he ought to trade for Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox and Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Thus, the Orioles 2,3,4,& 5 hitters will be:

2. Adam Jones, CF (119 strikeouts in 2010)
3. Adam Dunn, DH (199 strikeouts in 2010)
4. Ryan Howard, 1B (157 strikeouts in 2010)
5. Mark Reynolds, 3B (211 strikeouts in 2010)

While I wasn't crazy over Reynolds, i can't knock the trade. Anytime you can flip a reliever for an everyday player, its a good thing. There is a chance that he could reasonably rebound to his 2009 levels. Albeit he'll be in a tougher league. I don't think this does anything for Bell. He needs another year in AAA, and you don't have a conflict until you actually have one (two players major league ready). And he could possibly lay DH when he's ready and many people forsee him as a 1B in the future b/c of his natural build. I would have loved to get Pena, but b/w his asking price and getting Reynolds I don't know how you field what could possibly be two sub .200 hitters. But his defense is plus plus and Grant made the point that i've been making, even though his avg is low, Pena gets on base as much as other other high K sluggers. So if he raised his avg to even just a 230 level he'd have an obp of over 400.

But great deal, lets add on to it

It's really sad to see how low the expectations are in the Oriole Nation.
We're talking about a 198 hitter that is going to rescue our offense. That's the big bat MacFail has secured us?
Wow. It's sad, it's pitiful IMO.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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