Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Orioles Insider

Sports Orioles Orioles Insider

Price has been right for Orioles' Danny Valencia

Orioles infielder/designated hitter Danny Valencia said he knew he had hit pretty well in his career against Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price, but he wasn’t sure of the exact numbers.

When he stepped to the plate in the second inning Monday, he saw the stats on the video board: He was 7-for-10 lifetime with two RBIs against Price. And then Valencia hit a RBI double in his first at-bat and also singled and walked in three plate appearances against the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.
 
“Obviously, I saw it up on the scoreboard. I thought, ‘It can only go down from here,'” Valencia joked. “And then [later] I was like, ‘Wow, it went up.’”

Valencia said he can’t pinpoint why he is hitting a mind-boggling .750 against Price.

“I don’t think I necessarily see him better than other guys,” said Valencia, who is hitting .244 in 78 at-bats this season with the Orioles. “I just think he is a guy I’ve had success against because maybe I’ve gotten ahead in the count and he’s had to give me pitches I could hit. That’s not to say the next time I face him he doesn’t strike me out three times.”

Valencia was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday – and don’t think the timing was coincidental. Not only did the Orioles promote Valencia to face Price, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the club was aware of how Valencia hit Price when they acquired him for cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in November.

“That’s one of the things you file in the back [of your mind] when you sign him in the offseason,” Showalter said. “We were looking at that. There’s not many of them floating around and we had a feeling we might face David Price this year. So, yeah, we look at those things.”

Showalter said 10 at-bats isn’t a huge sample size, but they were impressed with his types of hits and the quality of at-bats. Showalter said when he talked to Valencia on Monday he told the right-handed hitter that, at the very least, Valencia can have a career handling tough lefties.

“At 28, I don’t want him to think he is a specialist against left-handed pitching, but it is something that he is very good at and can carve a niche for him at the worst,” Showalter said. “Think about it as the worst-case scenario. You are gonna have people interested in you, including us, because the niche you have carved out for yourself. This was before he got two more hits. … It ain’t that easy. David Price is pretty good.”

Showalter was asked if he could put a finger on Valencia’s success against Price.

“I know exactly what it is and I’m going to broadcast it here now,” Showalter joked. “It’s one of those things, I’m afraid to ask him. ‘What is it on this guy? What do you do? Why are you different? So we can share your knowledge with everybody else.’ I kind of know what the answer is. See it, hit it.”

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Baseball returns to Camden Yards as the Orioles take on the Blue Jays in their home opener. (Christopher T. Assaf/Baltimor

  • Orioles in April

    Orioles in April

    Browse pictures of Orioles baseball games in April 2015.

  • Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Look through photos from Orioles Opening Day festivities at Camden Yards on April 10. The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays in their 62nd home opener in Baltimore. 

  • Orioles player salaries for 2015

    Orioles player salaries for 2015

    With the 2015 baseball season just underway, USA Today has released its annual comprehensive list of player salaries. The publication gathers the data from "documents obtained from the MLB Players Association, club officials and filed with Major League Baseball's central office. Deferred payments...

  • All-Time Greatest Orioles

    All-Time Greatest Orioles

    In the six decades since they returned to the American League, 982 players have suited up for the Orioles. Who are the all-time best? Here are The Baltimore Sun's picks — six men at each position, except outfield and starting pitcher (nine apiece). We ranked the top six managers, too, from 1954...

  • Orioles Season Preview 2015

    Orioles Season Preview 2015

Comments
Loading

79°