Hughes to join the O's
In desperate need of an offensive shakeup, the Orioles summoned outfielder Rhyne Hughes from Triple-A Norfolk late Friday night. Hughes, who also plays first base, is on his way to join the team in Boston.
A former Rays prospect, Hughes was acquired as the player to be named in the deal that sent Gregg Zaun to Tampa Bay. The 26-year-old wields a powerful bat, but he is also a high-strikeout hitter. He is lighting up Triple-A pitching and, despite an 0-for-3 performance for Norfolk on Friday, is hitting .353 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 15 games. He also has a .667 slugging percentage.
The move is not official and the team has not announced a corresponding roster move. If I had to guess, it would be to send down reliever Alberto Castillo. Since the team has a few off days, an extra bat off the bench is more important than the extra reliever right now. Reserve infielder Julio Lugo or second baseman Justin Turner are also candidates.
While manager Dave Trembley raved about Hughes’ power potential this spring, there’s a big difference between Spring Training stats and regular season stats. If the team does make the move and add Hughes to the active roster, we’ll find out shortly whether he’s a legit power threat or a great Triple-A hitter.
The Orioles went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Friday, dropping their season RISP average to .150. They stranded a season-high 12 runners and have lost 11 of 15 games by three runs or less. If they’re looking for an in-house solution, giving Hughes a shot makes sense.