Baltimore Orioles: Seth Smith to see majority of time in RF
The Baltimore Orioles announced Seth Smith was going to see majority of his playing time in right field. But what does that mean for Mark Trumbo?
Seth Smith has never been known for his defense. But the Baltimore Orioles are going to test Smith in the outfield by making him the everyday right fielder.
Smith hit just .208 against left handed hitters over the last three seasons. However the Orioles are willing to give Smith a chance to face a few southpaws this season, in hopes he balances out their one-sided lineup.
So what does the move mean for Mark Trumbo, who re-signed with the Orioles in January?
The Orioles said with Smith moving to right field, Trumbo was going to be the primary DH, which is a contrast of how things went last season. Approximately 60% of Trumbo’s at-bats last year had him penciled in on defense. However, Trumbo has shown a decline in splits when he’s not playing the outfield, which could be problematic should the Smith / Trumbo reversal not pan out.
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Despite not being in right field every day, the Orioles want to get Trumbo some reps at first base.
The Orioles believe moving Smith as the everyday right fielder will give him a chance to increase his at-bats. Hopefully, the move to hitter-friendly Camden Yards will raise Smith’s value.
But what if the Trumbo / Smith switch doesn’t work? Well, if Smith is going through a mini-slump, the Orioles could wait it out. But if it’s prolonged, the Orioles might end up giving Trumbo the bulk of the at-bats.
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One of the main things the Orioles plan on doing this Spring Training is finding out if Smith can actually hit southpaws. If not, then Orioles manager Buck Showalter might have to find another option, which shouldn’t be incredibly hard given the Major League outfield depth on the roster.