Slumping Reynolds: it’s killing me
Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds would like to make one thing clear about his abysmal offensive start with his new club.
“It’s killing me,” Reynolds said of his paltry .180 batting average and power numbers –four homers and 16 RBIs – far below his career norm.
“Trust me, I’ve broken some stuff up in the tunnel where no one can see it, I’ve let my frustrations out,” said Reynolds, who maintains an even-keeled demeanor out on the field. “I just don’t think there’s any reason to do it where cameras can see it. But I do care. And it does piss me off.”
Acquired in an offseason trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Reynolds was brought to Baltimore to be the power-hitting corner infielder that the team sorely lacked. But, as Reynolds has pointed out, he hasn’t been that guy, and instead has struggled to get into any sort of groove at the plate. He will have a good game or two, but is unable to really string together a stretch that will get him back to being the “player the Orioles traded for.”
“He knows he is capable of better and he is going to have to be a little better at some point,” manager Buck Showalter said of Reynolds, who he dropped down to ninth in Saturday’s lineup. “But we appreciate the concern [from him].”
Reynolds, who has sat out just one game so far this season, said it means a lot to him that Showalter has let him work through his struggles by keeping him in the everyday lineup and he’s hoping to reward that confidence.
“I’m trying more than anything to get out of this,” said Reynolds, who has hit 30 or more homers in each of last two seasons. “Just keep getting my chances, and hopefully Buck will keep writing my name in the lineup.”
Saturday’s 6-0 win, in which Reynolds connected for a solo homer off Rays’ starter Wade Davis, was a start in the right direction and one the Orioles hope will break open the flood gates a little bit.
“I think he is a little tired of the ooh and ah, where it’s, ‘just missed it, just missed it, just missed it.’,” Showalter said, referring to Reynolds’ several warning-track balls. “I don’t think he wants that. He wants to center a ball up like he did [Saturday].
“As long as you are trying and you are not giving in to [your struggles]. But [Reynolds] understands that we do have other options.”
To be fair, Reynolds is hardly the only Oriole struggling as Derrek Lee entered Sunday’s game with a .228 average and four homers and 11 RBIs out of the third spot.
“Sometimes I don’t think we put as much emphasis on these guys with the pitchers in a different league and different ballparks,” Showalter said. “One of our guys that have been here a while says welcome to the American League. … Its relentless.”