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How will Showalter juggle his offense with similar parts?
Given the last question, it's not a stretch to say the Orioles have five designated hitters on their roster if you add recently acquired Jim Thome and infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce into the mix with Davis (right), Reynolds (left) and Betemit
At this point in his career, the 41-year-old Thome is limited to a DH-only role. So that basically leaves first and third base for Betemit, Reynolds, Pearce and Davis, who has played some right field in place of Markakis. Pearce can fill in at left, but he may eventually end up as a roster casualty.
The Orioles need Davis' power -- with 14 homers, he is second on the team behind Jones -- and still want to see if he can be an everyday player. Reynolds hit 37 homers last year, but he has just seven this season to go with a .207 average. Yet his 33 walks and .335 on-base percentage, incredibly, lead all Orioles regulars.
Betemit is streaky and has been dreadful against lefties (.164 average; two extra-base hits in 61 at-bats), so he could move into a platoon with Reynolds. But the right-handed Reynolds exhibits much more power against right-handed pitchers -- and power is his chief asset.
The other problem is that the Orioles have a plethora of swing-and-miss guys. Seven Orioles are on pace for at least 100 strikeouts this season. Their 690 whiffs are second-most in the AL.
It's going to be tough for Showalter to find at-bats for everyone, so if there's not a trade, a veteran -- perhaps two -- will be on the bench much more than he'd like.
April 14, 2012