Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Say Hello To David Lough

With only about 15 weeks until Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles, Dan Duquette and staff have been making some noise with additions to the team’s roster in the past 48 hours. Yesterday, the team signed Athletics closer, Grant Balfour, to a two-year deal and today the Orioles filled another hole in the lineup when the O’s traded away Danny Valencia to the Royals for David Lough.

The signing of this versatile ball player should have Orioles fans excited. The reason why I say versatile is because, last year for the Royals, he played all three outfield positions. The Orioles were in a dire need of an outfielder with Nate McLouth signing with the Nationals last week and this Akron native was just what the O’s needed.

Last year while playing all three positions, Lough only committed two errors. Lucky for the Orioles, they were committed in center and right field. When in left field, which is where the O’s need him, he had a 1.000% fielding percentage. One thing in the field Lough can bring to the table that McLouth could not is a strong arm.

Last year, it appeared to me as though McLouth had trouble throwing the ball with velocity and distance. If everything I see in highlights from Lough is correct, he has a cannon for an arm and he is not afraid to lay out to make a highlight reel catch either.

His ability to be a reliable fielder is evident. The true question is: Can he hit?

The answer is a resounding yes. Last year, in his season debut with the Royals, he got two hits and drove in a run. He finished last year with a .286 BA and a .311 OBP in only 96 games played. Lough also racked up 33 RBIs last year as well. Royals fans approved of this rookie as did the rest of the baseball world with him finishing eighth in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year.

McLouth, last season, was more often than not the Orioles’ lead-off batter. Lough will more likely be placed near the bottom of the lineup, which would be nice considering the latter part of the order did not provide hits consistently last year. Lough along with some other young players, like Jonathan Schoop, will try to change that in the Orioles’ 60th season as an MLB organization.

With the addition of Lough, the left field position could be considered locked up. The only questions left as far as position players go are second base, catcher, and starting pitching of course.

And even though there is much work left to be done in the O’s front office, the transactions made in these past two days have Orioles fans taking a deep breath and a sigh of relief. It seemed as though Baltimore was getting rid of all their players and not interchanging the losses of Jim Johnson, Brian Roberts, and McLouth with anyone.

I believe in Dan Duquette and the system he has created these past two years in Baltimore. And I’d also like to welcome Lough to both the Baltimore and Orioles community as he will be well received by the city and the team. Nevertheless, Lough needs to change his twitter handle from @DLOUGHKC to something like @DLOUGHB-MORE (which I think will be happening very soon).

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Dan Duquette David Lough Nate McLouth

  • Ryne Mehan

    Not sure how I feel about this move…
    I am a huge David Lough fan. He is as close a player to Nate as I can think of, but I really wish the Os would have brought in Ibanez and then DHd him long with Valencia.

    It’s not that Valencia is irreplaceable, but you know you are going to get great production from him against left-handed pitching. If they signed Ibanez along with Valencia then they probably would have gotten 30-35 homers from that slot. Pearce and Reimold obviously can make up for the loss of Valencia, but it’s not as likely. Still, good move. I am a big fan of Lough and love what he brings to the table and the team. I just hope the Os sign another bat or two to make up for Valencia’s production, someone like Michael Young or one of Seattle’s infielders even. They need the depth so they can rest their regulars occasionally. Go after Ackley or Franklin or Miller. They can’t play all of them. Pry one of them away while they are somewhat expendable and their values aren’t particularly high!

    • Mike Franz

      Good point Ryan. Valencia sure will be missed as he really came on later last year. Don’t forget we have Wilson Betemit still. Even though he came off of serious injury most of last year, Showalter still is high on this ball player.

      • Rayk48

        Betemit a FA

        • Mike Franz

          Whoops. That’s my bad. Thank you for correcting me Rayk48

          • Mike Franz

            I think all Oriole fans agree that we need to sign a third baseman then in case Machado isn’t ready to go opening day.

          • Ryne Mehan

            Agree with everything that was said. Good article as well. I forgot to say that before. Good read.

          • Mike Franz

            Appreciate it Ryan!! Keep reading here at BirdsWatcher for more… Hopefully by my next article we will have a Michael Young on the roster like you were talking about.

          • Rayk48

            No worries. Nice article! Hoping for a bat like Morales and a SP like Burnett. Interesting problem at 3B if Manny not ready. Like trade, but Valencia really came on last six weeks or so of season. May have been one of Os best hitters during late season push to playoffs.

  • Louis “Nasty Dawg” Nix

    Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Mike Franz delivers another gem! It started with a clever title and ended with a humorous twitter name for the new acquisition. I was just doing a little research and I looked at the O’s top prospects and was wondering where you think Henry Urrutia fits in the scheme of things? He hit a solid .276 with the big ball club last year and is rated as your top “hitter for average” by Baseball America. At 26 is it time to give him a chance to earn the opening day start in LF?

    • Mike Franz

      Well Louis I’d like to thank you for two things. First I’d like to thank you for the compliment. Secondly, I’d like to thank you for such an insightful question. In response to that keen question, I would say although Urrutia did hit a solid .276 average like you said, we need someone with more power in the lineup.
      Pretty much all of his hits went opposite field and were just short “dinkers” in the outfield. You can see this by 15 of his 16 hits being singles with one surprising triple in there. And once on base he is a very slow runner. The O’s need a fast runner who can hit with power and get doubles & homeruns like a Nick Markakis or even the newly acquired Lough.
      Once again thank you for your response and keep reading.

      • Louis “Nasty Dawg” Nix

        Wow, see me being a strictly ND women’s softball fan I would have never known that kind of O’s inside information. Just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Hopefully the Orioles will leave a nice present for you and the rest of the faithful under the tree; like Kendry Morales!

        • Mike Franz

          Thanks Lou. As to you and your family as well. That would be a heck of a christmas present too by the way.

  • Michael Engel

    Lough’s been a good part of the Royals org for a long time, worked his way up through the minors and was just kind of stuck for a while. They could never really find a spot for him in KC.

    He’s not an elite talent in any one facet, but he’s good enough in many of them and I suspect he’ll be a pretty good 4th outfielder for a while and won’t hurt you in a pinch if he fills in as a starter. He could walk more and he made some misplays in the field, but he also has good speed and range and a good enough arm to play right if you needed him to (but not ideal). Super athletic guy – he’s done private personal training as a hobby/second job, and was a WR in college.

    Would have liked to have kept him in KC, but the Royals have too many OF right now as it is, and he was able to return an intriguing bench piece that helps provide a backup plan if Moose never gets it together at third…

    • Mike Franz

      Right now the O’s need a left fielder so Lough has a better than not chance of starting. I agree with you that he’s an extremely athletic guy. I can see that by just watching his highlights online. Hopefully he will prove to be a good piece to the puzzle for the O’s. Thanks for the comment.

    • jimfetterolf

      The numbers suggest him a near elite defender and he’s a solid enough offensive performer beyond that he’s not a walker. He’s a legitimate player and will thrive in the band box that is Camden Yards and should be a starter for several years. Probably be a 15-20 homer guy in a little league park and also getting his games in Yankee Stadium and Rogers. Birds won the trade but KC didn’t lose, as we only have one hole left and that’s 3rd. Valencia fixes the part of the problem against LHP, although his glove looks kind of lame. He’ll be a good enough bench player for a couple of years.

      • Michael Engel

        You know, I was gonna say “no way Lough hits that many homers” but he’s been a double digit guy in Omaha and playing only 5 months before, so if he plays full time in BAL he *might* have a shot at 20. I’d say it’s still slim because he’s just not that kind of hitter, but 15 is reachable in one of the next years. I don’t think the silly Camden park factors really outweigh the Triple A to MLB jump in the talent he faces on a daily basis but it can even it out at least. 50% he can get to 15, 10% he can get to 20, so not impossible. I’m not sold but I’m not gonna fight too hard to dismiss either.

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