After helping the Baltimore Orioles earn a sweep in Boston of the hated Red Sox, we here at the Baltimore Guide would like to officially welcome Mark Reynolds to 2012.
Entering the series in Boston, Reynolds was hitting .143 with no home runs and had been mired in a 3-for-33 slump, but just ask Boston how well he played over their three game series.
Reynolds punished Boston pitchers all series, going 6 for 11 with two home runs and six runs batted in. Thanks to that offensive showing, Reynolds raised his average from the afore-mentioned .143 to .195. During the Orioles 17-inning victory on Sunday,
Reynolds went 2 for 3 and also walked four times. Heck, he even stole a base in that game!
Reynolds has made headlines with his early season struggles, but if you recall his 2011 season, he started off slowly as well. During his 2011 campaign, his first in Baltimore, Reynolds hit .169 during the month of April with only two home runs. He then improved a little in May, hitting .215 with five home runs before heating up in June, when he hit .299 with eight home runs.
The other issue with Reynolds has been his fielding. Last year Reynolds committed 31 errors between playing third and first base.
This year, Reynolds lost nearly 20 pounds over the winter to help with his fielding. Well, so far this year, that hasn’t helped much as Reynolds has made five errors in 2012.
Oddly enough, Baltimore’s other third baseman, Wilson Betemit also has five errors, but if you consider that Gold Glove catcher Matt Wieters has already made three errors himself (he made only 5 all of last season), maybe it’s not that bad.
The good news is that Reynolds looks like he is turning the corner and heating up. The Orioles have hit 41 home runs so far this year, which is second best to the New York Yankees who have 44. The scary part for opposing pitching staffs is that Baltimore has put up those power numbers with one of their biggest sluggers slumping. When Mark Reynolds heats up, watch out!
by Andy Mindzak