We here at Orioles101 will certainly admit when we are wrong in our analysis and or proclamations when it comes to moves the Baltimore Orioles should make and today we admit that we were wrong about Steve Pearce, at least 70 games into the season. Pearce has earned the chance to play everyday for the Orioles.
Prior to spring training, we thought Pearce should have been the odd man out in the outfield picture, and then we praised the Orioles for designating him for assignment, but low and behold Chris Davis got hurt and the team was able to quickly re-sign Pearce and insert him at first base.
Ever since, Pearce has been one of the more consistent hitters for the Orioles and he has yet to be placed into the lineup everyday despite that consistency.
Overall, Pearce is hitting .317 with five home runs, 14 RBI, seven doubles and has an on base percentage of .367 in 101 at bats. Throughout his career, Pearce has always been a better hitter against left handed pitchers as his career average against lefties is just under .270 as opposed to his average against right handers of .231. That trend has flipped a little bit this season as Pearce is hitting both righties and lefties as he is hitting .319 vs right handers and .313 vs left handers this season and four of his five homers have come against righties. He even has two stolen bases and his OPS against right handers is .907 in 69 at bats vs right handers this season.
Right now, there is no excuse to not have Pearce in the lineup everyday or at least five or six times a week, especially when you look at the alternatives.
First off, David Lough seems to get the majority of the playing time when Pearce is not in the lineup and it has been no secret how poorly Lough has done at the plate thus far in 2014. Lough has historically (just 141 MLB games) been better against right handers with his average at .259 as opposed to his .241 average vs left handers, but this season he has not been hitting anyone consistently. Lough is hitting .182 with two home runs, eight RBI and five stolen bases, with a .204 average vs right handers and he has yet to get a hit against a left handed pitcher in 12 at bats.
The other player in this trio is Delmon Young, who has also performed much better than Lough. Young is having a good season too in a platoon role as he is hitting .296 with three home runs, 10 RBI, and has a .324 on base percentage. If not for Pearce's performance thus far, this article could have been focused around Young deserving playing time.
The issue is that there is really only one spot for the three of these guys because you are not going to sit Nelson Cruz or Nick Markakis, and unless you are going to give Cruz, Markakis, or Chris Davis a day off, you could only put one of Pearce, Young or Lough in the lineup, whether in the outfield or at DH.
It is a far cry from what we were saying about Pearce prior to the season, and again we will admit when we are wrong as Pearce needs to be in the lineup everyday for the Birds right now.
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