Buck Showalter should try a little more “small ball” in 2015


Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It is no surprise that the Baltimore Orioles are a home run hitting team. The Orioles led the Majors in home runs hit last season with 211 homers. However, the loss of Nelson Cruz may cause the Orioles to rethink their way of thinking when it comes to batting.

Manager Buck Showalter never likes to bunt. He is the type of manager who never wants to just give up an out even if the Orioles could advance the base runners.

In 2014, the Baltimore Orioles batted .272 as a team with runners on base and .268 with runners in scoring position. Cruz was the heart of the Orioles’ offense last season.

He batted .271/.333/.525 with 40 home runs and 108 RBI in 678 plate appearances.

The loss of Cruz to Seattle does hurt Baltimore’s offense. How the Orioles hit the ball in 2015 depends primarily on Chris Davis and if he rebounds from last year’s performance.

The Orioles No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters were not the most reliable to get a hit when runners were on base.

In addition, the Baltimore Orioles need to steal bases more often. In 2014, the Orioles were dead-last in the major leagues in stolen bases with just 44 steals all-season long.

With players like Alejandro De Aza and David Lough playing more regularly in 2015, Showalter needs to let them loose and steal as much as their heart desires.

This is when Showalter needs to take a page out of the Kansas City Royals’ playbook and play small ball. Stealing bases and advancing the runners off a bunt could help the bottom half of the Birds’ lineup exponentially.