Have you ever broken up with a significant other, and then felt good about your decision to move on and go in a different direction? But then, maybe a few months go by and you run into your ex, and they’ve dropped a few pounds, got that promotion at work, and found someone new and are doing great?
Don’t worry: if you have felt that way, the Orioles could be your friend in misery, thanks to Mark Reynolds and Jeremy Guthrie.
Guthrie had always been a solid front-end starter during his five seasons in Baltimore. While he might not have been a true ace on many other teams, he certainly was the heart and soul for the O’s rotation during his time here.
While an Oriole, Guthrie went 47-65 with a 4.12 ERA. He made 153 starts over those five seasons and cracked the 200-inning mark three times. Guthrie was then sent to the Colorado Rockies after the 2011 season, a move which brought in Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. Yes, Hammel has been wonderful in Baltimore. That doesn’t diminish the fact that Guthrie has made it a point to stick it to his former employer.
Guthrie struggled a bit while in Colorado, but let’s be honest, almost all pitchers do. He was then traded to the Kansas City Royals in July of last year and has been a mainstay in their rotation ever since.
Guthrie finished out the 2012 season in Kansas City with a 5-3 record and a 3.16 ERA in his 14 starts. This season, Guthrie has been even better. He is currently 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA, good for seventh best in the American League.
Twisting the knife on May 9 as he faced his former O’s, Guthrie earned the win for Kansas City, pitching six innings and giving up only one earned run while striking out three.
Mark Reynolds is also making the Orioles regret not signing him this past off season. Reynolds had always been a pure power hitter while with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but his defense left much to be desired. During his two seasons in Baltimore, Reynolds hit .221 with 60 home runs, but his 42 errors during that time were hard to swallow.
This past offseason, Baltimore opted not to re-sign Reynolds and make Manny Machado the everyday third baseman and Chris Davis the everyday first baseman. Now a Cleveland Indian, Reynolds has responded by belting a league-leading 11 home runs (tied with Davis and Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion). If he can finish the year batting .291, his current average, that would easily be the high mark of his career.
They do say that breaking up is hard to do, but luckily for the O’s they are doing well themselves, currently sitting in second place, only a game behind the New York Yankees. Oh, and the Orioles shouldn’t feel too bad about seeing two previous players excel elsewhere—just ask the Seattle Mariners if they miss Adam Jones.
by Andy Mindzak