In 2013, the Baltimore Orioles blasted 212 home runs to lead all Major League teams. 1B Chris Davis led the way with 53 in a breakout campaign. With most key players back and the addition of former Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, the Birds are once again expected to be one of the most powerful clubs in the game.
So far, in 2014, that has not been the case.
In all fairness, the Orioles have been without All-Star 3B Manny Machado who continues to recover from knee surgery. They have also faced some pretty good pitching, as well.
However, through 14 games, the Orioles have only hit nine homers which is good for 27th in the majors. They have not homered in four of their last five games.
Catcher Matt Wieters and Cruz have combined to hit five of the nine HR’s. As the Orioles head to Boston to take on the Red Sox this weekend, Davis has more stolen bases (two) than homers (one).
CF Adam Jones has only scratched once while RF Nick Markakis and SS J.J. Hardy have yet to go deep.
What does all of this mean?
The Birds will find that stroke and start bashing the ball the way they are expected to. A team that clubbed a combined 426 bombs in 2012 and 2013 does not just stop hitting for power.
Machado will return and Hardy seems to have recovered from early-season back issues. Call it a hunch, but I expect Davis, Jones and Cruz to do what they normally do. With Wieters off to a hot start, he could be on his way to a career year.
So let’s not fret.
The Baltimore Orioles will hit plenty of home runs when it’s all said and done.
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