Reynolds getting another shot at third
Assuming the Orioles, doesn’t make any impact corner infielder additions in the next month, Mark Reynolds will head into 2012’s Spring Training as the team’s starting third baseman.
While there was thought to keeping Reynolds at first base, given his improved defensive play at that position, manager Buck Showalter said earlier this week that he believes the club is strongest with Reynolds at third base and Chris Davis at first.
“You are going to see Mark start out at third base in the spring; that’s where we would like for him to play,” Showalter said of Reynolds, who was charged with 26 errors in 253 chances at third base. “We think Mark is a lot better than he’s shown statistically. I think he’s going to come in [to camp] lighter and little more nimble.”
Reynolds told MLB.com last month that he was focused on cardio-based workouts in hopes of shedding weight and adding more mobility to his defensive game. The 28-year-old slugger admitted he went to heavy on weight lifting last year and thinks that bulking up too much may have contributed to some of his issues at third.
Reynolds’ 31 errors led the American League last season, and it tied him for third most in a single season in Orioles history. Of the 31 errors, 26 were at third base, making it hard to argue when Reynolds calls his performance in 114 games at third base embarrassing.
“Hopefully, they can look at my track record and give me [another] a shot over there,” Reynolds, who had 18 errors in 142 games as Arizona’s third baseman in 2010, said last month. “I know I’m better than that.”
He now figures to get a chance to prove it, with Davis –who can also play third– assuming first base duties. The 25-year-old Davis, acquired in a midseason trade with Texas, didn’t commit an error in 32 games at first base last season, and was charged with eight in 26 games at third.
“ We know Chris can play a plus first base and we think Mark is a lot better than he showed last year,” Showalter said. “There are still some things we are looking at [this offseason], but right now I think that’s the plan.”