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August 3, 2011

Reynolds making a powerful argument

No question that one of the more intriguing figures on this Orioles team – and there haven’t been a lot, folks – is Mark Reynolds.

Last night was the perfect example of the good and the bad.

In the first inning, with the bases loaded, he grounded into a rally-killing double play. Considering he was 7-for-55 (.127 average) in his career with the bases loaded, it wasn’t that surprising. Although the crazy thing, at least according to baseball-reference.com, is that was the first time he has ever hit into a double play with the bases loaded.

When he came back to the dugout, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he approached Reynolds.

“That’s one of the challenges you face up here, being mentally tough. I patted him on the back when he came in between innings. And I said, ‘You’ll get another big at-bat here, so let’s go.’ And he was up to the challenge.”

In the third he came up with the bases loaded again. This time he doubled to left to give the Orioles a lead they never relinquished.

In the ninth, Reynolds struck again, this time with a towering 426-foot, three-run homer that nearly landed in the Royals’ Hall of Fame building. He ended up tying his career high with five RBIs.

Said Royals manager Ned Yost about Reynolds: “He drove in the first two runs with a double on a pitch that caught too much of the plate. He’s an all-or-nothing guy. He’s a guy you can strike out, but if you make a mistake, he’s going to hit it a mile. That’s what he did in the ninth.”


Reynolds is now batting .224 with a team-leading 24 homers and 60 RBIs, second only to Adam Jones. Reynolds also leads the team in doubles (20), walks (58) and is on pace to hit roughly 37 homers.

He is what was advertised offensively. Maybe even better than advertised.

Yes, the defense is hard to watch at times. But if he hits 37 homers, he would tie for 10th overall in Orioles’ history for homers in a season.

And that would be hard to complain about.


Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:00 AM | | Comments (43)
        

Comments

Every year our rotation falls apart and every year it's the same tired excuses from a GM who let the game pass him by.

Jake is on the DL. Matusz and Tillman cannot handle MLB hitters at the moment and Bergy is a Jekyl and Hyde type pitcher.

Now the fans are left to get excited about Jo Jo Reyes. We got rid of Durch and signed Jo Jo. Sounds like the same stale approach to "the plan". We cut out one piece of deadwood and add another.

Let's hope Andy is working the phones this offseason trying to bring in some PROVEN veteran starters. Not another lightning in a bottle type solution.

The fans will no longer stand for the same old Cheap Chirp Cheap tune from the worst front office in baseball!

It'a a team sport. H ecould hit 50 and the O's would be last. I admire his perserverance but our organization is spinning it';s wheels or worse. What top quality free agents would consider here.

i dont care what the haters say..Reynolds is my boy..i've always liked him and im glad he's on this team..hes young and we can build around him if we get right GM

Reynolds is an enigma to be sure. I don't know where he gets his power from, but when he connects, some of his homeruns are Ruthian in arc and distance. However, I wish he would choke up on the bat a little when he gets two strikes on him; I think it would improve his batting average a little.
And as an aside, I wish Matt Weiters would choke up on the bat with every at bat. That should speed up his bat and turn groundouts into more singles and doubles.

There is something to complain about; why isn't Josh Bell playing third base and why isn't Reynolds hitting clean up?


It's good to know that even here in Baltimore, a blind squirrel can find a nut on occassion.

While I appreciate the homeruns and RBI production, you'll excuse me if I'm a bit less happy with the .224 average, 117 K's and .907 fielding percentage.

I get it that as Orioles fans we're supposed to understand beggars can't be choosers. However, it's still difficult for me to get too excited about the Oriole's modern day version of David Kingman (who was every bit the albatross at 3rd base that Mark Reynolds is).

Surely as O's fans even we can expect better than this.

1B Davis
3B Reynolds
SS Hardy
2B whoever

That is a very powerful infield that could last for several years. It is a shame to watch BRob's injury woes, and, unfortunately, it is time to move beyond him and free up the money. With Markakis, Jones and Wieters, the O's should be a much better team than they are. I really like Buck, but I think replacing the Crow and Kranny was a big mistake.

Reynolds is a DH, he plays horrible D. Also, I dont think you can have Reynolds & Davis in the same lineup. Thats potentially 400 K's right there...

Oh please,

In a season when he'll have fewer K's than normal (for him), he'll break the record for the most K's in O's HISTORY. Not in the last 10 years, not the last 25..... HISTORY!

He doesn't move runners over and he kills rally's........ BUT HEY, with over 2,200 swings of the bat in the season, he'll hit it over the fence 35 times.

Not to mention, he's the WORST fielding 3B in the game..... EASILY allowing more runs to score than anyone in the AL. PERFECT for our young pitchers.

But for an AM (and his nephew) pick up, this guy is a superstar..... and the fans and media fell for it.

Right on cue


Reynolds can giveth and he can taketh away.

Despite his low average, his OBP is among the highest for the team, and he can really work the count.

Say what you will about his strike-outs, but at least a strike-out requires a minimum of 3 pitches and a strike-out is better than grounding into a double play. Reynolds rarely swings wildly at the first pitch only to ground out or pop out (unlike some others on this team).

Now if he could get a better glove...

Good, so we know Reynolds is not the problem on this team. Now lets address our major issues....PITCHING!!

Reynolds also leads the team in runs scored. And almost leads in OBP, just 5 points behind Andino.

Reynolds is a home run machine. But why does he have to field third base. He shouldn't be fielding any position because he is one-dimensional. Reynolds would be a great DH. The O's need a baseball player who can field third, hit half as many homers as Reynolds, hits .275 and can run a bit on the bases.

"He is what was advertised offensively. Maybe even better than advertised.

Yes, the defense is hard to watch at times. But if he hits 37 homers, he would tie for 10th overall in Orioles’ history for homers in a season.

And that would be hard to complain about."

Can people please take off the rose colored glasses when it comes to Mark Reynolds. There's a reason that the D-backs traded him for 2 mediocre pitchers. There's also a reason that the D-backs are now tied for 1st place after getting rid of a guy who can hit 40 HR's, hit .220 (if he's lucky), strikeout 200 X, and hit .120 w/ RISP, and replacing him w/ a combination of Melvin Mora, Sean Burroughs, and Ryan Roberts.

Let's face it. Mark Reynolds makes any team he is on worse.

Brwils, baseball aint like football. The only way you free up money is via trade (baseball contracts are guaranteed) and no one's trading for an injury prone guy who's aging poorly and gets $10M/yr thru 2014. BRob is an O and the only potential replacements are playing in the minors (Miclat, Hoes).

I like having his power in the lineup, but they need to get his glove off the field. Let him DH or maybe fill in at 1b if needed now and then.

Dan,
For all that has gone wrong this season, like the fliers on Vlad and DLee (which was only rolling the dice and betting money in those moves), Reynolds is an example of a trade that has worked. He is basically exactly what the Os traded for. Combine him with Hardy, the other major trade candidate of the offseason, and we have two players who we got for relatively little (packages of minorleaguers and David Hernandez), who are having productive seasons.

Overall it's a good return. We need a few more like these deals, but good nonetheless.

Reynolds' on-base-percentage is .337. Only Markakis (.339) and Andino (.342) are higher of the regulars. Add the power and the RBI's, I'll take it. With all the other issues on this club, Reynolds is not one of them.

You would think that a team that has finished out of the playoff for 13 years would have some pretty good opportunities to draft some decent talent.
I am just guessing, but it sure appears that the scouting staff "SUCKS".
Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then. What the hell are they looking at? Matt Hobgood.......really?
And then, how about our pitching coaches all thru the organization. What happens to these college kids that throw 95mph and then they get to the O's and cant hit 90?
Call me crazy, but this organization is messed up from top to bottom.
Please dont go back thru the draft and look at the players the Orioles could have had instead of what they got, it too depressing.
Matt Hobgood.....really
Billy Rowell instead of Lincencum......
REALLY????

brwils...as far as we know, Kranitz left. He was not let go, so that can't be on Buck.

Ditching Crowley was absolutely the right move. The offense hasn't been great this season, but Crowley was getting stale. He was a great guy, but it was time for some fresh blood at the Hitting Coach position.

I've said before,and continue to wonder out loud,about the sudden departure of Mark Connors,on the heels of letting a pitching coach go,who had done a very credible job with the young arms last year.Never have I seen an entire pitching staff implode like this one has.I'm not an AM fan,never have been,but for every good move Andy has made on the cheap,there are 5 corresponding bad ones.Jo-Jo Reyes is just the last one in a line of many.Any GM would be hard pressed too fill all the holes the Orioles have.However,having said that,the reason we have said holes,still falls directly on the shoulders of AM and PA.Pressley and Adair both seem overmatched at this point.Weiters and Reimold look very lost right now at the plate,Pie has been lost all year.Reynolds is all or nothing,Markakis has lost his power,I've never seen him choked up on the bat this much,Andino gives you next to zero run production,Izturis is even worse,Hardy has slumped greatly since the All-Star break,and Vlad is reduced to a DP,rally killing first pitch swinging,occasional singles hitting albatross.The only player who has consistently met expectations is Jones,who should have been our All Star representtive.Simon may pan out,but let's wait until the good teams see him for the 3rd and 4th time to see.Hunter may be a servicable starter,but Chris Davis looks like an even more strikeout prone version of Mark Reynolds.Don't see anything to get even remotely excited about for next year.

When, oh when, will the Orioles show some aggression in free agency? No question; there's a handful of solid building blocks in Jones, Hardy, Reynolds, Wieters and possibly Davis. To build around them, money must be spent (possibly too much), and an aggressive approach must be taken; not the plodding, deliberate style that McPhail and Co. have displayed. Time to spend real money.

@Wayne,

Do you watch the games? He is most definitely not the worst FIELDING 3B in the game. He actually is an above average fielder, often making extremely difficult plays. As a side note, he is in the top 5 for web gems this year. So he makes some great grabs. Unfortunately almost all his errors come on throws. I believe that can be fixed with some better foot work. Stop making outrageous and nonsensical claims.

No one would complain about Reynold's power, but the Orioles need position players who can change the team's place in the standings, and when he strikes out in crucial moments or grounds out with bases loaded, it keeps the team in the basement. A lot of teams other than KC, may not give Reynolds that 2nd chance to hit with men on a base again. (at least not in the same game)

I know it's a few days late, but this piece on Koji had me missing him a little bit more....

http://beganin96.blogspot.com/2011/08/sayonara-old-friend.html

Thanks for all the good stuff you guys do, I'll take what we can get from Reynolds right now, at least he always keeps it exciting

Reynolds second highest OBP on the team. I do not consider Andino a regular he should be in AAA.... Stop complaining about AVG yes it sucks but he gets on base more than the majority of the team... also leads majority of every statistical category for our team (good and bad haha)…. He is not the issue to look at cough cough pitching cough

The anti-Reynolds faction in this forum is simply ridiculous. You simply do not rid yourself of a guy who is first or second on the club in at least five important offensive categories.

As for his defense, I have noticed hat he doesn't really have a bad glove. In fact, he makes some really good plays. His problem, then, is not his catching the ball, but his throwing the ball. And that leads me to believe it can be fixed.

I'm not an X-and-O guy, but maybe he's not planting his feet right or perhaps he is a little bit off-balance or whatever. MLB teams these days have about a million coaches, including - my personal favorite - the wonderfully important "bench" coach! Isn't one of them a fielding coach?

If not, then have him spend some time with Hardy or Roberts (who needs something to make himself useful anyway.) or anyone who can give him some lessons.

Reynolds is too good a hitter to throw away because of his D. Perhaps DH for him, but that is not for everyone. Some people need to play the field as well, and i believe Mark is one of them. There must be something to do to make him better out there. And if not, we'll just have to live with it.

It takes a pretty thickheaded or ignorant fan to claim the orioles are worse with reynolds. I believe his glove will return to be better next year as they improve his footwork, as for SO tell them to look at Howard, Dunn and others they envy not being here.. You would have had far more SO if Dunn was at 1B.. Reynolds and Hardy solidify the left side of the infield AND Reynolds can also DH if you get another 3B. Imagine a DH who could actually play in the field.. NOW to see where we go at 1B,2B, and LF preferably the lf or 2b can hit leadoff . When does the rotation tryouts begin for Johnson and Hunter. Maybe now they will agree with me and leave Tillman at AAA unless some other organisation believes in him enough to give us something decent or his velocity returns next spring..

It was fun reading Orioles fans rip apart a [bad] team.

I blame Canada, if the Jays didn't exist the Orioles could finish 4th in the AL East instead of always 5th.

The problem with the Orioles is that they have no significant talent that they have drafted.

Just take a look at the Aberdeen Ironbirds. I had a season ticket plan with them ever since the team started but gave it up because of the constant losing.

The point I am making is that these are the new guys that we have drafted, and we are putting them up against the new guys that the other teams just drafted.

Not only does Aberdeen lose, but they started the season at something like 3-17, and really haven't gotten much better although they had a couple of mild winning streaks here and there.

And that losing permeates the entire organization.

The Orioles are not going to make any significant turnaround until they can draft better and develop better.

They need to go out and hire away the best young scouting people from the other teams and turn them loose.

Until that happens, this team will never turn around.

I mean, Bruce Hobgood? For crying out loud, he is awful. And he was like the 4th player taken in the entire draft>

What were our scouts thinking?

He's more like Bruce Hobgoblin.

He stinks.

Jim Palmers Hair,

I'm sorry...... I know the # of errors lie, and I realize my comment was outrageous based on knowing that he leads 3B in errors.

And I'm sorry.... you're right... His errors are throwing errors. They don't count. What an idiot of me for not knowing that.

And darn.... I forgot.... fielders are judged on the # of web gems on espn each night.....

And some people wonder why execs like AM get a pass by some fans in this town? Oh my.....

Many of you complaining about K's and batting average would do well to read Moneyball. Despite Reynolds's low batting average (.224), he's third on the team in on-base percentage (.337). Of course, many of the ignoramuses around here would rather he hit .270 with a .320 on-base percentage even though he'd be on base less--by the way, those are JJ Hardy's numbers. The guy walks a ton, and he takes a lot of pitches each game, which has the effect of wearing down the starter--and getting to the bullpen quicker, which is where the worse pitchers reside.

Offensively, Reynolds is Gorman Thomas reincarnated. The similarities in average, HR's, and strikeouts are pretty amazing. The difference is that Thomas was an above average centerfielder, and Reynolds has poor range and is a below average defensively. I can't help but think that Reynolds would also lack range and hands at first base. As bad a defensive team as the Orioles are, they can't afford Reynolds in the field. He needs to DH I think more teams would have been interested in Reynolds if he had a major league glove.

Been posting this since the trade was made and I reviewed his hitting counts.

The secret for getting the most out of Reynolds is to bat him in the lineup when he is most likely to hit with runners on.

He needs to hit 3rd.

He always sees more fastballs when there are men on base. Less curves = Less K's.

As for fielding...10 of his errors are throwing. Only 9 were catching. Derrek Lee made 5. Consider moving him to first.

I'm just happy to know that our Scouting Dept. is out there turning up one great first round pick after another.
What I love even more is their ability to project those picks in the 3Rd. through 15th rounds that have continued to create Oriole Magic the past 14 years.
Joe Jordan...Executive of the Year baby!
I mean he's given us (in no particular order),
Adam "One Arm" Loewen...such a great pitcher for the O's as a 1st. round choice that he's now a position player in AAA for the Blue Jays.
Matt "Too Fat" Hobnotsogood. Here was a 1st. round pick that other GM's fell over laughing at but, not our comedy show of Joe & Andy.
Chris Tillman.
Not a draft pick, however, was labeled by our esteemed GM as the "Jewell of the trade". I think we all know by now that he gets crushed wherever & whenever he pitches. No fastball, no mound presence & takes 2 minutes between pitches.
Brian Matusz...another first round pick looking pretty pathetic right now. Pretty much a carbon copy of Tillman except our left handed version of over-hyped, over-paid useless arm.
Billy Rowell...enough's been said, yet it still speaks volumns.
Snyder...our catcher of the future that will never get out of AAA as a now 1st. baseman... not even with us.
The list of horrendous pick after pathetic pick goes on & on & on & on.
The only question still unanswered is how the heck can people like Jordan & Stockskill still have jobs with the track record they've put together after all their time here.
Their inability to evaluate talent even as 1st round picks year after stinking year has to be a primer for young executives coming up of how to not run a scouting department.
These guys...Jordan, the Stockskill brothers & McFail must have pictures of old man Angelos watching gladiator movies in his office with callgirls (hopefully)...there is no other reason they can still be employed.
God only knows it's not because of the great kids they've brought in year after year.

In addition to his high number of errors we could add the slow rollers that are botched and counted as base hits. Opposing hitters also notice his inconsistency on slow rollers and are getting a fair number of bunt singles on him.

I wonder if Os pitchers lose their composure when his pathetic fielding prolongs an inning.

Make him a DH or get rid of him.

Always another player going down. Why doesthat hurt O's more than other teams who also have injuries? Because we never have a CORE of quality big-league starters to begin with, so having DEPTH is a meaningless thought.

This was the season that depth, especially of pitching, was supposed to be for real. Just what are fans to believe anymore? Fifteen years of re-building, with no contender in sight. The F. O. owes the fans a lot....it should go out and spend like crazy, just to show the fans that they are TRYING, while the farm gets re-stocked.

You are all ridiculous. Reynolds is the only O's player in the top 20 in walks...and still the only O's player in the top 40. Markakis is the only Orioles player with a better OBP than Reynolds, and they are 68th and 69th across MLB. Reynolds also has the best OPS of any player on the O's. Bottom line is that his AVG and strikeouts are balanced by his walks and bombs. His defense is terrible - he should be a corner OF or DH - but the bottom line is our offense would be much worse without him,

Call me old school on this one. If Reynold's defense was solid then his strenghts and weaknesses with the bat would balance well. He would have to improve and demonstrate more consistency to continue playing him at 3rd.

@bo n crabs
@Grumpy Old Man
@jack

Question: What do these guys have in common ??

Zach Wheeler, Mike Minor, Mike Leake, Jacob Turner, Drew Storen, Aaron Crow,
Shelby Miller, Mike Trout

Answer: They were ALL drafted after Hobgood. Six of them have already played in or are playing in the majors.

This might have been one of the best first rounds in a while & the O's whiffed.

"[If] he hits 37 homers, he would tie for 10th overall in Orioles’ history for homers in a season. And that would be hard to complain about." - Connelly

Yes. That. And only that.

And for some to mention where he ranks on the current team is irrelevant considering. The. Current. Team. One could say he isn't the first thing needing fixing on this team. Or one could say if this were a good team, he could have a place on it batting seventh or eighth.

But after four years of being a GM (or whatever his title is), Andy MacPhail has the same to-do list as he had when he got here. Well, except for spring training site and manager (yawn).

Reynolds is not the issue. If we had an actual deep team where players fought for spots on teams rather than having them handed to them or given to them out of desperation then maybe we could look for an upgrade. This team went from getting nearly 40 HR out of a LF plateau of Roenicke and Lowenstein in a non power era to staffing half the team with AAA players, retreads no one wants...and its even worse on the pitching staff.

"Growing the arms" is not working. These young pitchers are not developing past being decent to good AAA pitchers. Dozens of pitchers in other leagues who were not as highly rated prospects 2 years ago have gone on to establish themselves as mid and top of the rotation guys for other clubs while we are stuck with what we have.

Year after year this team gets 2nd tier players and retreads off the scrap heap hoping for a miracle. Then they hype that THIS is the year they're going to turn it around. Its been 8 years since we paid big bucks for a free agent in his prime (Tejada the first time). Winning 65-70 games and being out of the race by the all star break is the annual result.

I can be a fan of a bad team that is trying to get better but not a bad team like this where the focus seems to be on surviving the year.

Just one comment on Reynolds' defense per MLB.com: "In the field, Reynolds has committed just one error in his last 27 games after totaling 20 in his first 79 games."

So maybe by the end of the year with him continuing to work on defense, we won't be harping so much about it?

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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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