Baltimore Orioles: What Does Gerardo Parra do for Team Chemistry?


The Baltimore Orioles are hosting a “Hit Parra-ty” this summer with the acqusition of Gerardo Parra, and everyone is invited. Ah, that was bad, I know — let’s keep moving.

When the O’s acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra at the July 31st deadline, they gained a few things. They gained a bat. At the time of the trade, Parra was batting a career-best .328 and was cruising offensively with a league-high 14-game hit streak. They also gained a bona fide outfielder, as Parra comes to Baltimore with two Gold Glove awards to his name.

But the real win for the Orioles? A boost in team chemistry. Let’s discuss:

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  • After losing Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz in the offseason, the O’s have struggled to find consistency in the outfield. In fact, the team has FIVE (5) different players who have started ten games or more in left field.

    I’m no professional athlete, but it’s not difficult to understand that players have a tough time mentally when they are, day-in and day-out, unsure of their roles.

    As outfielder Travis Snider put it, “It is tough for anybody in this position to find consistent success when you don’t have consistent playing time.”

    Coach Buck Showalter, in early July, said this regarding left field: “You’re trying to keep everybody in the flow and give everybody an opportunity. But we’re kind of at the point where you’d really like to see somebody take it and run with it.”

    In Parra, the Orioles DO have someone who can “take it and run away with it.”

    Having a guy who will play every day in the outfield is big. It allows role clarity for guys like Travis Snider, David Lough, Nolan Reimold, and Steve Pearce.

    It also helps Gold Glove center fielder, and team centerpiece, Adam Jones defensively. Jones mentioned earlier in the season how difficult it is for him when he is paired with a different set of corner outfielders almost every game. Now, however, with Parra manning left field and Chris Davis playing well in right, Jones will be much more comfortable defensively — adding to defense that is already one of the best in the majors.

    And although this benefit cannot be quantified, Gerardo Parra is an interesting addition to the, already-lively, group of Spanish-speaking players on the O’s.

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    Pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez accompany a young squad of Latino Orioles that includes Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, and Jimmy Paredes.

    While I am not in the O’s clubhouse, the laughs, smiles, and secret handshakes from these guys in the dugout lead me to believe that they have a REALLY good time together.

    We can only hope that the 28-year-old Parra is welcomed with open arms from this group, further boosting team chemistry.

    Gerardo Parra has hit in the 2-hole for the Orioles in both of his starts with the team. The city of Baltimore is baking on his addition being enough to land their O’s in the playoffs for a second-straight year. Currently just one game out of a wild card spot, the Baltimore Orioles are well on their way there.

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