Orioles: Austin Hays Slugging Since Return from IL
By Arrick Joel
Since returning from the injured list, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Austin Hays has been slugging at a high rate
During game three of the Baltimore Orioles‘ opening series in Boston, an 11-3 victory for Baltimore, outfielder Austin Hays exited due to apparent discomfort in his right hamstring. The injury landed Hays on the 10-day injured list, keeping him out of commission for a little over two weeks. However, since his return against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, April 20th, Hays has been slugging near the top of the American League, aiding the Orioles with a few clutch extra-base hits.
Among hitters with at least 40 plate appearances since Hays’ return from the injured list, Hays ranks 15th in the American League in slugging percentage, closely trailing Orioles’ home run leader Trey Mancini. Hays is also one of just a dozen AL hitters with 3 home runs over that span as well.
Austin Hays has gotten the opportunity to put his slugging ability on display in some big moments during this stretch, including a game-altering line drive into the left-center field gap that scored Cedric Mullins from first base against the New York Yankees on Thursday, April 29th.
The most notable performance for Hays during this streak happened on Sunday, April 25th against the Oakland Athletics. Hays crushed a pair of home runs in the game to lead the Orioles to an 8-1 victory, which ended what was a 13-game win streak for Oakland. Both home runs were on barrelled up Jesus Luzardo fastballs, assisting his outstanding 11.8% barrel rate so far this season. The game was Hays’ second career multi-home run game, his last coming on September 23rd, 2019.
Over these past 10 games, Austin Hays has recorded 9 hits, 4 of which have gone for extra bases. Hays has walked twice and driven in 5 baserunners as well, hitting 31% better than league average according to his 131 wRC+ over this span.