It wasn’t that long ago that fans (myself included) were encouraging the Baltimore front office to sell off their MLB players for prospects.
The season looked like it was heading down the drain and the hitting wasn’t coming around for the Orioles. It seemed the best thing for the team to do was to trade pending free agents like Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, etc., in order to prepare for next year.
However, the Orioles made a move that showed they weren’t ready to lie down just yet. The front office traded for Gerardo Parra, exchanging him for Zach Davies, who was ranked as the Orioles’ third best prospect.
Parra wasn’t a big name, but brought over an excellent batting average and on-base percentage, which were two categories in which the Orioles were severely lacking.
Parra has already shown a good eye at the plate and has had some production as the two hitter in the lineup. It’s important for Parra to be successful there, as the Orioles had seen a drop in production at the top of the lineup since Jimmy Paredes tailed off from his hot start.
The Parra trade has allowed the Orioles to move Paredes farther down in the lineup, which seems to agree with his bat more. It also gives the team more pop at the bottom (especially with the way Caleb Joseph has been hitting).
Parra will need to show he’s more than capable of hitting at the No. 2 spot early though, as the Orioles need runs early from the top of the lineup. There were problems in the past with Manny Machado getting on base, but the No. 2-4 hitters having issues bringing him around to score.
A good example of the success the Orioles’ are looking for from Parra was in his outing against the A’s on Monday. Machado flied out at the top of the first inning, but Parra was able to get a single right after. Adam Jones followed suit and Davis brought in everyone with a three-run home run, the rally all started by Parra.
The outfielder did it again in the third inning, when he was able to work a five-pitch walk before being doubled in by Jones.
It’s this type of production that can allow the Orioles to score a couple more runs/game than they were before they had Parra (not on average of course, but from time to time). He has the ability to help push the offense in the right direction and to get the team better scoring opportunities than they’ve had in the past.
He’ll have the chance to prove that he was worth trading Davies and will be one of the key factors down the stretch determining whether or not the Orioles can make a playoff push.