Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Orioles.
3.94 -- Kevin Gausman’s ERA this spring.
Gausman had an underwhelming performance in his final spring start with the big league club, allowing three earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Tuesday. But other than that, it was mostly an impressive spring for the 2012 first-round draft pick. The 22-year-old righty held opposing hitters to a .239 batting average before Tuesday’s start. He will likely start the season in Double-A Bowie, but we could see him at Camden Yards sooner rather than later.
.302 -- Wilson Betemit’s average against righties in 2012.
Betemit will miss six-to-eight weeks after suffering a right knee injury in a game Monday. That will rob Orioles manager Buck Showalter of a valuable situational hitter for the start of the 2013 season. In 2012, Betemit led all Orioles hitters with at least 100 at-bats against right-handed pitchers with a .302 batting average. Betemit also hit 11 home runs, swatted 18 doubles and drew 22 walks against righties.
Pearce leads all Orioles hitters this spring with six homers on 38 at-bats -- one every 6.3 at-bats. Only four players around the league have hit more this spring. He is also batting .368 with a .419 slugging percentage. But even with the injury to Betemit, Pearce might not be able to stick with the team when camp breaks this weekend. Fellow utilitymen Ryan Flaherty and Conor Jackson could be ahead of him in that competition.
75.0 -- relief innings pitched by Luis Ayala last season.
My colleague Dan Connolly reported earlier this week that the Orioles are calling teams to gauge their interest in veteran right-handed reliever Luis Ayala. The Orioles appear to have a surplus of arms in their bullpen, but Ayala was a valuable contributor in 2012, leading all Orioles full-time relievers with 75 innings pitched in 66 appearances. He went 5-5 with one save and 11 holds and finished with a 2.64 ERA.
four -- errors for Manny Machado at third base this spring.
Machado, who was a shortstop until the Orioles moved him to third base when they called him up last August, played well defensively at his new position in 2012. With J.J. Hardy at shortstop, the Orioles are keeping Machado at third base for now. On Tuesday, he committed his fourth error of the Grapefruit League season. His .892 fielding percentage isn’t great, but it’s nothing to start sweating, especially since it is a small sample size.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Twitter at @mattvensel. If I end up using it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.