Atkins in limbo
SAN FRANCISCO — The struggling Garrett Atkins wasn’t in Wednesday’s
starting lineup and has made just one start in eight days, as the
Orioles continue to be in a holding pattern with the first baseman.
Atkins has three hits in just 11 at-bats in the month of June, prompting
interim manager Juan Samuel to say that a decision needs to be made
“[President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is] going to have to
come up with a plan [of] what can we do because he’s definitely not
getting enough playing time here right now,” Samuel said.
With the Orioles in the middle of Interleague Play on the West Coast,
the missing designated hitter has made it even more difficult for Samuel
to give Atkins an opportunity. A right-handed hitter, Atkins was signed
as a free agent in hopes that he could regain the power stroke that
once made him a feared National League hitter. Instead, he has struggled
to produce any pop, collecting just one homer and going 8-for-55 in his
past 20 games. Atkins is hitting .219 with a .292 slugging percentage.
“You just try to get him a lefty here and there, just hoping you are
going to see that swing. You know, you could see him produce,” Samuel
said. “But unfortunately I know the kid is trying, it’s just not showing
Atkins signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Baltimore in the
offseason. The deal includes an $8.5 million club option with a $500,000