Baltimore Orioles: The Left Field Disaster of 2015


Aug 26, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder

Gerardo Parra

(18), left fielder

Steve Pearce

(28) and center fielder

Adam Jones

(10) at Kauffman Stadium. The Orioles won 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that the Baltimore Orioles have had a disastrous season in left field. It has been an epic fail.

Remember the elementary school cheerleaders team cheer … “Dan, Dan, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, John can … John, John, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, Louie can….”

That pretty much pictures the plans the Orioles had for left field. One of some players would certainly come through for them. But nobody did. The statistical situation is really grim. Just awful. To see the numbers, follow this chart that demonstrates how Orioles left fielders combined are pretty much the worst in the American League in virtually every category.

CategoryStatAL RankAL Average

The first to fail was Alejandro De Aza. Surely he was the man, after his very strong performance at the end of 2014. But in 19 games and 72 at-bats he only hit .167. He’s gone.

The most at-bats for the O’s in left field have been by Travis Snider. Not an All-Star, but he had at least some decent numbers in the past. But in 38 games and 119 at-bats he only hit for a .218 average, and with only two home runs. A disappointment for sure. He’s gone.

The most actual games in left field this year is surprisingly David Lough. Many of these were for late innings defense. But in his 49 games and 78 at-bats, like Snider, he also hit .218.  Even Flaherty could do that. He’s gone.

Nolan Reimold came up from the minors after showing he has his health put together for the first time in several years. His day had surely come. In 25 games and 63 at-bats he only hit .175.  That won’t work. He’s gone.

Like Reimold, Steve Pearce has now registered 63 at-bats as the O’s left fielder. And he has had three more hits to raise his LF average to .222 … but there are only four RBIs in those hits!  He’s not gone, not yet.

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The only Orioles player to have any real success as the left fielder has been Henry Urrutia in the small sample size of just ten games. He is 9-for-30 with a .344 OBP. And his defense is not nearly as bad as the reputation would suggest.

I am certainly amazed at this string of disasters. It did not seem unreasonable to me to hope that one of the aforementioned players would step up and claim the job as a regular. But it never happened.

So what is the future? Could it be Urrutia? That is not the expectation by many, but gosh, he certainly would have done better than the stats in the chart above.

What if Gerardo Parra were to be signed in the offseason? Especially if Dariel Alvarez becomes the next right fielder? Well, Parra proves that there is a curse out there in that corner of Camden Yards, as he is hitting .125 in his six games at the #7 defensive position.

As always, the answer will be tied to other spending the Orioles may do … like trying to keep Chris Davis and addressing other holes and needs. But really, this is arguable the biggest hole.

The offseason is going to be interesting for sure, and there should be plenty to write about and ponder.

Next: Seven Orioles who had a good August

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