Baltimore Orioles: The Joey Rickard Era Is Officially Over
By Nick Stevens
Joey Rickard’s time with the Baltimore Orioles has come to a close. It’s the end of an era in Birdland.
Just days after the Baltimore Orioles designated Joey Rickard for assignment to make room for RHP Sean Gilmartin on the 40-man roster, the 28-year-old outfielder will pack his bags and travel from coast to coast after being claimed by the San Francisco Giants off waivers.
Rickard is the second former Baltimore outfielder to make San Francisco home this season, joining Mike Yastrzemski who was traded to the Giants in exchange for RHP Tyler Herb earlier this season.
The former Tampa Bay Ray joined the organization back in 2015 and has been a…unique piece of the puzzle ever since. It’s difficult to say anything negative about Rickard and this moment is sort of bittersweet. Rickard endeared himself to a large portion of the fanbase, many of whom continued to believe in him after spurts of impressive performances and hot spring trainings. Unfortunately, heart and hustle only takes you so far and Rickard was never able to make much of an impact at the major league level.
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A 2015 Rule 5 draft pick, Dan Duquette sang high praises for Rickard after the Orioles selected him. From a piece by highly missed former O’s beat writer Brittany Ghiroli,
"“He has good on-base capabilities, good skills, he’s got good speed,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Rickard, who played winter ball in the Dominican Republic this year. “He’s an excellent contact hitter, he can steal a base and he’s a good defensive player. He can play center field and left field. We think he’ll give us some depth and on-base capabilities, and it just looks like he’s learned how to play. He looks like a good solid overall ballplayer. [He has] good discipline of the strike zone, and we’re looking forward to taking a look at him in the spring.”"
Rickard became the 14th-ranked prospect in the farm system, one spot ahead of a name we just mentioned, Yaz.
In parts of five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Rickard hit .245 with a .299 on-base percentage, 19 home runs, and 67 RBIs. He was unable to match or better his .268 average and .319 OBP from his rookie season, but Rickard did provide valuable depth for the Orioles. A speedy outfield who can play all three positions, Rickard was always there to fill the void when injuries occurred.
With a long list of outfielders on the cusp of becoming major league regulars and Rickard unable to provide stability at the plate, he became expendable when the need for fresh arms became a top priority for Brandon Hyde and his team.
Best of luck to Joey Rickard as he trades in his Orioles’ orange for that gross San Francisco orange. May we never forget the Joey Rickard era.
The Giants are currently in Arizona where the trio of Rickard, Adam Jones, and Caleb Joseph may have quite the reunion this weekend, if the Giants add Rickard to their active roster.