The Rundown: Rasmus Could Be Part of Effective Platoon

Colby Rasmus plays catch.
GulfBird Photo/Craig Landefeld

Welcome to the 2018 edition of “The Rundown” where I will try to highlight some of the bigger storylines involving the Orioles throughout the season. Let’s get right into it.

 

Right Field Competition

The Orioles’ need for another left-handed hitter in their lineup led them to signing Colby Rasmus to a minor league contract. Barring a huge development, Rasmus will be in a platoon role and will help add more balance to the lineup against right-handed pitching. Rasmus may make his biggest impact defensively, as he is still considered a plus defender – which I know will make Adam Jones happy.

The question now becomes, who starts the right field when a lefty is on the hill? The early favorite is Craig Gentry, but he is dealing with a hamstring injury which could cause him to fall behind. Joey Rickard would be next in line. Both Gentry and Rickard are solid against lefties and are good defenders – with the edge going to Gentry – so I think this platoon could actually work.

Unfortunately, the team is trying to do everything to ensure Austin Hays starts the season in the minors. I hope the youngster makes it impossible for the team to send them him down. However, if he does make the team and it’s only in a platoon role, it would be a disastrous decision for his development. He needs to be playing every day somewhere, so it appears Hays is destined for Norfolk this April.

 

Cashner Already Making Impact 

I’m not a huge fan of Andrew Cashner as I think he was one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball last season. To expect him to have another season like he did would be foolish. If Cashner finishes with an ERA of 4.50 I would consider that a huge success, but my expectation is somewhere around 4.80.

However, it appears Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are already picking his brain in hopes to become better pitchers in 2018. Cashner induces a lot of ground balls, which can be credited to his two-seam fastball/sinker.

Gausman struggles against right-handers and allows a lot of home runs, so he has began experimenting with that pitch to hopefully improve in both areas. Bundy is also hoping to learn the grip. He has commented throughout his career that he has never been able to perfect a two-seam pitch, which he needs as his four-seam fastball lacks much movement.

We’ll see if either Gausman or Bundy can get to the point that they are comfortable enough with the pitch to deploy it when the regular season starts, but it’s good to see them relying on a teammate to try and get better.

Who knows, maybe Cashner’s biggest impact will be helping Bundy and Gausman take their game to another level.

Hunter Harvey tosses from the mound.

GulfBird Photo/Craig Landefeld

 

Harvey Makes Spring Debut 

We all know the history of injury issues the former first-round draft pick has had, so it’s great to see him finally make a spring training start (which he does today). I don’t know when it will happen, but I strongly believe Harvey will make an impact with the big league team at some point in 2018.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Phil Backert. Bookmark the permalink.

About Phil Backert

Phil Backert
Phil Backert grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland loving the Orioles, Ravens, and Terps. After going away to college outside Philadelphia and playing baseball for four years, he moved back to Maryland, and currently resides in White Marsh. Phil interned with Sports Talk 1570AM, WNST during college which eventually led...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hot off the street

Series Preview: Orioles (21-52) @ Braves (43-30)
Series Preview: Orioles (21-52) @ Braves (43-30)

After dropping two of three against the Nationals in DC, the Orioles will now head to Atlanta to take on the Braves for a three-game set over the weekend. The Orioles (21-52) are still stuck in a r...read more

Friday’s O’s Links: A Day Late & A Dollar Short, Just like the Birds
Friday’s O’s Links: A Day Late & A Dollar Short, Just like the Birds

Good morning, Birdland. The O's narrowly avoided getting swept in the MASN Cup this season, losing just two of three in D.C. after getting swept by the Gnats at OPACY a few weeks ago. They'll now head...read more

Thursday Thoughts: Prepare for Disappointment in Machado Trade
Thursday Thoughts: Prepare for Disappointment in Machado Trade

This is a weekly column that dives into some random thoughts about the Orioles/MLB. I used to do eight as a nod to Cal Ripken Jr. As of last year, I cut it down to four or five, so consider it the Ear...read more

Having Benched Him, Buck Now Throws Some Shade at Chris Davis
Having Benched Him, Buck Now Throws Some Shade at Chris Davis

It may have taken him just a bit longer than it took some of us, but it seems that Buck Showalter has reached the end of his patience with Chris Davis. Davis has already been sitting for a week, ha...read more

Tuesday’s O’s Links: Where We Only Win on “Holidays”
Tuesday’s O’s Links: Where We Only Win on “Holidays”

The Birds can't even manage to win two of three from the "hey, we got rid of all our good players and we're openly trying to be awful!" Miami Marlins at HOME over the weekend, so the season of misery ...read more

View More