Monday, May 10, 2010

First Base: WTF???

The Orioles haven't gotten "decent" offensive production from the 1B position since 2001.

First base, along with LF and RF, are usually the positions that give you the most offensive production at the plate.

Well, when is the last time you looked at the production -- or lack thereof -- that the O's are getting from their 1B in 2010? Or any other year since 2001?

Currently, the O's 1B's have produced the following:

.233 AVG
4 2B
0 HR
10 RBI
5 BB
29 K
.264 OBP
.292 SLG
.556 OPS

The last time the Orioles have gotten an OPS above .850 from the 1B position was 2001. Remember those good old days when Jeff Conine was our 1B? Did you ever think that he would be the best Orioles 1B of the decade?

Well he was, as depressing as it may be.

As a matter of fact, the Orioles have been searching for their 1B heir apparent to Rafael Palmeiro since Raffy left in 1999. They even tried to reverse the curse of Raffy by resigning him in 2004, but that didn't work out to well. Raffy's production dropped off a cliff after he signed with Baltimore in 2004 and then there was the whole steroids scandal in 2005.

So what to do about 1B? You're guess is as good as mine.

I am still trying to figure out what the f--- MacPhail was thinking when he signed Garrett Atkins to play 1B, or why he signed a stop-gap in the first place to pave the way for Brandon Snyder, who struggled in AAA last year. He hasn't fared any better in Norfolk this year either. Snyder currently sitting at a .586 OPS in Norfolk.

Rhyne Hughes made us feel all warm and fuzzy when he first came up a few weeks ago because he got some hits right away, but he is 2 for his last 15 and was never going to be the savior of the organization. He was a desperate fix for the struggling offense since Hughes was lighting it up at Norfolk when the Orioles were struggling to score more than 1 run a game.

Aside from a struggling Snyder and Hughes, you're forced to play Atkins and hope that he somehow catches fire and starts hitting like it's 2006. I personally think there is a better chance Jesus Christ descends from the heavens and punches a homeless woman.

After the year is up, Rays' 1B, Carlos Pena, is a free agent, and there is little chance he will re-sign with Tampa. Boston needs a 1B, but chances are they will trade for Adrian Gonzalez at some point this season. So that leaves the Orioles and maybe a couple other teams in the race for Pena. And with Boston likely out of the Pena race, the Orioles chances of signing him are that much better.

But will Andy MacPhail pony up the cash for a player who is likely to give you 2-3 more years of plus production at 1B? I don't does go against his track record though. Instead of signing Carlos Pena, MacPhail would rather find the next Carlos Pena. It's why he signed Atkins.

What I do know is that it is beyond horrendous that the Orioles have gone so long without good production from the most powerful position on the field.

If MacPhail does only one thing this offseason, it should be plugging the massive hole we STILL have at 1B.


Anonymous said...

Hughes has had what, 30 AB's in the Majors so far? Too early to pass judgement

SeanJ said...

Hughes' career MiL numbers don't forecast him being a long term 1B in the majors. He is, however, better than Garrett Atkins at this point and should be getting the bulk of the starts at 1B.