Just a little over a year ago, Henry Urrutia made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles on July 20th, 2013 against the Rangers. In his first game with the Birds, Urrutia went 1-4 with an RBI single in the O’s 7-4 victory.
Urrutia only played in 24 games with Baltimore last season. In that time, he batted .276 with 16 base hits and two RBIs. Despite a good batting average, most of his base hits– in fact all but one– were singles. And most of these singles were weak ground balls hit opposite field by the left-handed batter.
After playing in “the show,” Urrutia found himself back in the Minors at the beginning of this season in Triple-A ball with the Norfolk Tides. Urrutia began the season with a rough start, batting .220 through early May with seven RBIs and 23 strikeouts to his name. On May 9th, Urrutia hit another bump in the road when he was diagnosed with a sports hernia and forced to have surgery in order to repair the damage.
This surgery caused the 27-year-old to sit out for about eight weeks until he could return to action. While rehabbing, he played 14 games with the GCL Orioles. Any hopes that the surgery would somehow correct Urrutia’s swing were squandered when he hit .184 with eight singles and one double in 49 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League.
Since Urrutia finally made it back up to Norfolk in late-July, he has continued to struggle with his bat. In the past ten games, he has only gotten eight hits in his past 40 at-bats. In Friday’s 5-0 win over Gwinnett, Urrutia went 0-3 with two strikeouts and left four runners on base.
Whether his shoulder is still sore or not, after having a great year in 2013 with Norfolk, Urrutia is struggling and struggling badly. At the moment, he is batting .238/.258/.297 with the Tides this season. Hopefully he can chalk this season up to just being an off year and refocus to come back in 2015 ready to go. Time will tell if this hope turns into a reality.