Leaning on the veterans

first_imgThis shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the Baltimore Orioles have a fairly young group of players on their major league team. The average age on the 40-man roster currently sits at 25.4 years old. Only five players are over the age of 30. Mark Trumbo (32), Chris Davis (32), Richard Bleier (31), Andrew Cashner (31) and Alex Cobb (30) are the only players on the major league team over 30. With the exception of Bleier, each have at least seven years of service time in the majors and are expected to be leaders for the duration of their time with the club. He’s earned the respect of Orioles fans all over the state. His annual Stay Hungry tailgate took in over $125,000 this past November, all benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Baltimore and the Living Classrooms Foundation. Only a World Series ring would complete Jones’ career. I can’t predict the future, but I think it’s safe to say that wouldn’t be an immediate option if he were brought back to Baltimore. For a player that hit .168 last season, improving that average .32 points would be considered a successful season. There’s nowhere to go but up. Jones is 33 and 2019 will be his 14th season in the majors. He enjoyed a run of four straight All Star game appearances from 2012-2015. He’s a four-time Gold Glove award winner. He finished 6th in MVP voting and won a Silver Slugger award in 2013. Chris Davis is vowing to not have another season like his 2018 campaign. When asked at FanFest about the worst season a player has ever had in the majors, Chris said, “In my mind, that was a fluke; that’s not going to happen again.”center_img The current leaders of the offense When I spoke with third base coach José Flores, he said that Davis and Trumbo are the leaders. “We want the young guys to feed off of those guys,” he said, and although General Manager Mike Elias is not ruling out a reunion with Adam Jones, you have to assume the team has moved on and is preparing for a future without number 10. Elias said they’re monitoring the free agent market and Jones, “would always be welcome,” but a reunion just may not be practical, or even fair to the five-time All Star. Defensively, I can’t say there’s ever been a problem with Davis. It’s been the lack of adjustments he makes when pitchers have figured him out. He knows it’s time to do something different. During his media session at FanFest, Chris said, “To continue down this path that I’ve been on the last couple of years and make no adjustment and make no strides in a different direction. I don’t want to do it anymore and I don’t want to go through another season like I had last year again.” There’s also nowhere to go but up for Mark Trumbo as he makes his way back from a 2018 season that was cut short due to injury. Playing in just 90 games before injuring his right knee, Trumbo was putting up good numbers. He hit .261 with 17 home runs and an on-base plus slugging percentage of .764.Not only can Trumbo help a young group of Orioles hitters this season, but there’s the potential for him to be flipped to a contending team at the trade deadline. He’ll need to be ready for Opening Day and put up numbers resembling last years in order for that possibility to play out. There probably isn’t room for him on a contender, hitting .199 with six home runs.He’s aware that staying healthy is the number one priority. At FanFest, Mark said, “I’m not much use to anybody on the disabled list. I don’t want to be too aggressive with things early on in the spring timeline. I really want to get it right and not have to do what I did last year.”Like it or not, the offense is going to be led by the guys that led the majors in home runs in 2013, 2015 and 2016. They’re going to be relied upon to mentor the young guys and to help them through any struggles that pop up throughout the course of the season.“Be approachable, and I think sometimes just starting a conversation goes a long way,” Trumbo said on Saturday. “I think we’ve got a lot of guys that are eager to learn.”Please follow and like us:last_img

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