How patient should Orioles be with Jackson Holliday after initial, glaring struggles?

Did the Orioles move too soon?
Baltimore Orioles infielder Jackson Holliday
Baltimore Orioles infielder Jackson Holliday / Paul Rutherford/GettyImages

Most top prospects struggle during their first few weeks in the big leagues, but what fans are seeing from Jackson Holliday is next level. The Baltimore Orioles infielder has one hit since being elevated to the major league roster.

To be fair, everyone and their brother was clamoring for the Orioles to add Holliday to the Opening Day roster. Those requests fell on deaf ears, and Holliday's 2024 campaign got underway at Triple-A Norfolk. But after a 10-game stint in the minors saw Holliday hit .333/.482/.595, the Orioles made the call and decided to call up their top prospect.

Nine games into Holliday's career, the 20-year-old is hitting .033/.094/.033 with a single, two walks, and 16 strikeouts in his first 30 at-bats. How much longer can the O's afford to allow Holliday to scuffle before sending him back to the minor leagues?

How patient should Orioles be with Jackson Holliday after glaring struggles?

The Orioles sat Holliday on Saturday with left-hander Cole Ragans on the mound for the Kansas City Royals. Jordan Westburg supplanted Holliday at the keystone. Holliday was back in Brandon Hyde's starting lineup on Sunday, but went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout. Holliday has not recorded a hit since his April 14th base knock against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Holliday isn't the first Orioles prospect to struggle after being promoted to the big leagues. CBS Sports cited the unfortunate starts that Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and Colton Cowser all faced during the beginning of their major league careers.

The difference with Holliday versus those other former prospects is the fact that Baltimore doesn't have to rush the former first-round pick. Jorge Mateo has hit .304/.333/.478 this season. While Mateo doesn't possess the same ceiling as Holliday, he has just as much speed and is at least getting on base.

If the Orioles don't want to demote Holliday back to the minors, maybe easing him into the lineup rather than continually throwing him out amidst his struggles would be a wise move. If Holliday doesn't snap out of it, perhaps the O's send him back to Norfolk. But that seems unlikely given how much hype is surrounding the team's second baseman.

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