David Lough ... Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

David Lough – New Orioles Good Guy For Left Field


The Baltimore Orioles needed to fill a vacancy in left field with the departure of Nate McLouth and the tenuous nature of hoping Nolan Reimold will be healthy and reliable. Also, Henry Urrutia is deemed to be insufficiently ready to become a regular. As well, the Birds needed to add an additional left-handed bat in the lineup.

So this past Thursday, Dan Duquette sent Danny Valencia to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for David Lough. At first glance, the trade seems to involve a swap of role players. Valencia batted .304 in 52 games, while Lough hit .286 in 96 games, though with less power numbers. But the Orioles may well have gotten a very good deal and a nice piece for the team – perhaps even an everyday player.

Here are Lough’s statistics from his two seasons in the major leagues …

Year

Age

Tm

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

2012

26

KCR

20

59

9

14

2

1

0

2

1

0

4

9

.237

.292

.305

2013

27

KCR

96

315

35

90

17

4

5

33

5

2

10

52

.286

.311

.413

Total

116

374

44

104

19

5

5

35

6

2

14

61

.278

.308

.396

 

This Baltimore Wire sports blog is still very new, as we are in only our second month of operation. So it was especially surprising to get a handful of quick comments and email responses from Kansas City fans referencing our article about this trade. Some Royals fans picked up on the Twitter feeds and hashtags; and beyond that, our network is very strong in KC, as it is the birthplace of FanSided.

Among remarks were the following …

One writer told me that Lough really turns with power on inside pitchers. “David Lough is an exceptional defender and solid offensive performer who doesn’t have split issues. In cozy Camden Yards he’ll provide top defense and probably hit 20 homers.”

The best trades are those where each team is able to fill a need and better their respective club. Another commenter is seeing the situation in this vein, writing to me to say, “Here in KC we had six outfielders after picking up Norichika Aoki and we needed to move two of them, as none have options left. In return we got Valencia, a “meh” sort of player, but one who hits lefties well and provides a platoon option with Mike Moustakas and a right-handed pinch hitter of the bench. You got a full-time starter; we covered a hole in the offense, so fair enough.”

Some of the skepticism by Birds fans about new acquisitions is fueled by emotional ties to well-liked players of the past … like McLouth. Fans everywhere appreciate a guy who really hustles and plays all-out; and that is what Nate did every time on the field. His speed from home to second base on a double was really amazing.

But beyond McLouth’s driven style of play, his attitude was much appreciated by Orioles fans. And in an interview published in the Baltimore Sun he said, “I don’t think I ever had more fun playing baseball than I did that year and two months or whatever it was in Baltimore. It was so much fun to be able to see winning in Baltimore because I know it had been rough for a while. And the way the fans came out and supported us, it was just a neat, neat time. And I’m just grateful that they gave me that opportunity to come back and resurrect my career a little bit. It is something I will always be grateful for. All the people I got to form relationships with and get to know, that made it real special.”

That is such a great attitude that will be missed … BUT … the good news is that Baltimore folks are going to be getting a very similar player in David Lough.

Another writer from KC fan wrote on our site’s comment section, “Hey Oriole Fans, you all actually got quite a player in David Lough. He is 100% HUSTLE, a great Teammate, and great for the fans.”

And another said, “You guys are getting a good guy in Lough. He plays really hard and is a career over-achiever. He is a very good defender and a better bat than people credit him for. He can absolutely crush inside pitches and his L/R splits are good. Hate to see him go, but he just don’t have place for him now. He is a lot of fun to watch play baseball.”

So, Orioles fans – there you have some more cheerful news than what has dominated the scene over the past preceding days. And after all, this is the “hap-happiest season of all!”  … well … actually opening day is the happiest, and that is only about 100 days away now.

(Please share this article with our fellow fans of the Orioles by posting this on your Facebook page – just click the Facebook symbol above. And come back Christmas day to read about what various Orioles players received from Santa this year.)

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