Over the past three seasons, no shortstop has hit more home runs than J.J. Hardy. In fact, The Baltimore Orioles’ star has even slugged more dingers than Troy Tulowitzki, Asdrubal Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez.
But the very shortstop with a penchant for hitting home runs has yet to connect for one in 2014. Over his first 178 plate appearances, Hardy has posted a stellar .303 batting average, park-adjusted 94 OPS+ and 11 doubles—but zero home runs.
So how is it that despite sporting a high batting average (it’s 43 points above his career rate) and reasonable OBP+ (it’s only two points below his career rate), that Hardy is sitting at zero home runs? Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Baltimore Orioles, Ben Berkon, Hardy, Hardy Home Runs, J.J. Hardy, J.J. Hardy Home Runs, J.J. Hardy: Where Did All His Home Run Power Go?, Orioles, Orioles Hardy, Orioles J.J. Hardy, The Beanball
It took until mid-February, but Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the better starting pitchers on the free-agent market, has finally put pen to paper. Jimenez, who posted a 3.30 ERA, park-adjusted 114 ERA+ and 2.43 K/BB in 2013, is set to sign a four-year, $50 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The deal matches the one the Milwaukee Brewers handed Matt Garza in January, but is perhaps surprising to some given Ubaldo’s struggles from 2011 to 2012 (a combined 5.03 ERA, 82 ERA+ and 1.87 K/BB). Yet, despite the contract-year alarm bells going off, there are a few factors that point to at least a continuation of success in 2014 with the Orioles. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks, Free Agency
Tagged Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez, Ben Berkon, Cleveland Indians, Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez, The Baltimore Orioles Are a Good Fit for Ubaldo Jimenez, The Beanball, Ubaldo, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ubaldo Jimenez Baltimore Orioles, Ubaldo Orioles
It wasn’t too long ago that Nate McLouth was one of the more exciting, young outfielders in baseball. In 2008, McLouth–in his fourth major league season–posted a 125 OPS+, 26 HR, and 23 SB campaign for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The then 26 year-old also led the league with 46 doubles.
Perhaps channeling incredible foresight, the Pirates dealt the recently-extended McLouth mid-2009 to the Atlanta Braves for a package of prospects. At the time, it seemed as though the Braves had acquired a franchise cornerstone–but unfortunately, it couldn’t have been further from the case. Continue reading