Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Hello Eutaw Street

With just a little over three weeks until Opening Day for the 2014 Baltimore Orioles, Buck Showalter is going to have to make a decision on where to place newly acquired players, like David Lough and Nelson Cruz, in the batting order. When it comes to Cruz, it is easy as “1…2…3…”

Joining the ball club two weeks ago, Cruz is coming to Baltimore known for his power at the plate. In the previous five seasons, Cruz has hit at least 22 round-trippers each season.

Despite his previous situation with being suspended 50 games last season for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Cruz still has the capability of being a 20+ home run hitter each season. Showalter will consider his capability to drive the ball deep when deciding where to place Cruz in the order.

When I first heard about Cruz signing with the Orioles, I thought he could be placed at the lower end of the lineup to round out the batting order with some consistent power. I watched the Orioles Spring Training game on Saturday against the Red Sox; it became evident rather quickly where he belonged.

The Orioles best power-hitters are Adam Jones and Chris Davis. In the batting order, Jones hits and Davis follows. Why not turn this home run duo into a trifecta?

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If Cruz is placed in the order right after Davis, American League pitchers would “shake in their cleats” when they picked up the lineup card. During the 2013 season, the three combined for 463 hits, 113 home runs and 322 RBIs.

The last time the Baltimore Orioles had that much power batting back-to-back-to-back was in the 1960s and early 1970s with Frank, Brooks and Boog. And the results of those three batting consecutively worked out pretty well: four American League pennants and two World Series titles.

Also, do not forget the Orioles have Matt Wieters; who could find himself batting right after Cruz which would just add fuel to the fire that is the Orioles offense this season.

The Orioles are trying to win now. Showalter and Duquette believe they have the keys to a championship baseball team. And if these three power hitters are put together in the lineup, expect Jim Hunter of MASN to be saying many times this season, “Hello Eutaw Street!!!”


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Tags: Adam Jones Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis Nelson Cruz

  • Dan Duquette

    Micheal, my boy, good to hear from you again! Lets hope the snow clears so we can get baseball cranking up at Camden again! I like this column a lot– and not just because it’s “chalk full” of cliches :). I agree with the personnel, I think we’ll switch Jones and Davis, and put Markakis and Machado (God-willing) in the “1″ and “2″ spots though. Look for that to be the Opening Day line-up. I like Jones in the “4″ spot just so we don’t have two big-boppers back-to-back. Jones has the most potential to drive in Markakis and Machado when they get on. Considering Jones, Davis, and Cruz had over 100 K’s in the past three seasons, (Jones and Davis have increased in strikeouts each year) it’ll be imperative that these guys put the ball in play and keep steady BA and OBP. Our OBP was 16 points lower than the league average last season, and the team we were chasing, the Red Sox, had the second most walks in the AL and had the most patience (in terms of pitches seen) in the entire league.

    TBH, it all comes down to our pitching staff. It’s a little patchwork (and not at the level of the Yankees) but it should allow for us to compete throughout the year. They are a bunch of GRINDERS!

    P.S. If we’re going to be consistent with quoting our cliches, then “shake in their cleats” should be in quotations as well. Just something to work on for future articles…

    Peace, Love, and Home Runs

    Dan Duquette
    Amherst College ’80

  • Mike Franz

    Again thank you Mr. Duquette for your great insight on my article! Your thoughts are much appreciated. And thank you for the grammar tip as well. I will fix that at once!!! Finish Spring training strong and good luck at the beginning of the season! #23DaysAway