If the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the MLB actually get on the field in 2020, there could be some interesting stats.
Today on Twitter, Jayson Stark of MLB Network and The Athletic ponder the question of how statistics will be managed in a shortened season. Which begs the question of what Baltimore Orioles players could have some unexpected stats?
Stark and other writers shared their thoughts in a post on The Athletic, which has a pay window.
“We don’t need to put an asterisk by it. We just need to understand it”
Suppose somebody hits .400? Suppose the #Indians win it all?
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) May 22, 2020
So, let’s take a look at what odd statistics could the Orioles have in an 82-game season that might begin in early July. Of course, the team has not announced it’s 2020 roster, so these are all suppositions.
Many eyes will be on DH Renato Nunez, who hit 31 home runs. With a shortened season, home run numbers will look low, so slash lines will become more important. Nunez hit .244/.311/.460, which isn’t anything special. But, his hottest home-run streak came early in the season. In 17 games between May 13-31, he hit eight of his 31 and reached a slash of .304/.371/.804. Nunez might not reach .400, but if he can get hot early, he could have an OPS over 1.000.
Anthony Santander could also be one who benefits from a short season. Without Trey Mancini in the lineup, Santander’s position in the outfield and at the plate will be more important than ever. In 2019, he was one of the few players who had an OPS+ over 100. At age 25, he is just getting into his prime.
If Santander wants to have notable stats, he will have to perform at a quicker clip than he did in 2019. He didn’t get hot until after the All-Star break when his batting average hovered around .300 between mid-July and mid-August.
Of course, the other player to watch is Chris Davis. He still has two seasons remaining after this one, so he doesn’t have to prove anything with impending free agency. But, after recording two of the worst seasons in the history of the MLB, Davis needs something good.
Before the shutdown, Davis was killing it in Spring Training and in 26 plate appearances, his slash was .467/.615/1.067 with three home runs, nine walks, and three strikeouts. If he can keep that up in a short season, he could be the Comeback Player of 2020.
As Memorial Day quickly approaches, we are all eagerly awaiting word on the season. Hopefully both parties will figure out something that works.