The Baltimore Orioles have a crowded outfield, and the emergence of Trey Mancini has only made it harder to try to get everyone playing time.
For the Baltimore Orioles roster, it is a good problem to have.
The Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder is Adam Jones. That much has been known for years.The positions flanking him in the outfield have been a question for years as well.
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Bourn got hurt, which helped the Orioles a little in dealing with this crowded outfield. But, Gentry played so well they had to keep him, as he has no options left.
The Orioles went north from Spring Training with Jones, Kim, Smith, Gentry and Rickard. But, they also had Trey Mancini, the powerful bat who excelled in Spring Training and was working out as an outfielder, and Mark Trumbo.
The club emphasized an upgrade in their outfield defense, and Trumbo was supposed to be almost exclusively a designated hitter.
So, how has it played out? In left field, Hyun Soo Kim has three starts, Craig Gentry has two starts, Trey Mancini has two starts and Joey Rickard has one. Kim has been lifted for a defensive replacement in all three of his starts.
In right field, Seth Smith has four starts, Mark Trumbo two, Craig Gentry one and Trey Mancini one. Oddly enough, only Mark Trumbo has a complete game in right field.
So, it has been a piecemeal solution in the outfield.
What we have discovered is perhaps even more interesting.
Smith has been excellent defensively. Mancini has looked adequate defensively. Gentry, Kim and Rickard’s defense has been as expected.
Mancini has been fantastic as a hitter, showing a combination of power and patience that has made it likely he is with the Orioles all season long.
Smith and Kim have very few starts against left-handers if any at all.
However, Kim is hitting 3-for-9 with 1 RBI. Smith is 5-18 with two 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 5 Rs and four strikeouts.
Gentry, meanwhile, is 0-12, with six strikeouts.
Before too long, the Orioles are going to have decisions to make. First is that Alec Asher has to be added to the roster on Saturday. Then, on Wednesday Joey Rickard is anticipated to come off the radar.
In my mind, one of the outfielders will be involved in these transactions. My guess is that it is Gentry.
Gentry was great in Spring Training, but maybe that wasn’t against the best pitching. He has looked overmatched at the plate so far this season.
Also, Rickard provides a similar skill set. His defense isn’t quite as good, but his speed is similar.
If I were running the Orioles, I would keep Gentry on the roster through Rickard’s return. However, when Joey’s broken middle finger is ready to return to the field, I would designate Gentry to activate Rickard.
Gentry has been a great comeback story, but with the emergence of Mancini, there just isn’t room for him on this roster.