This past off-season has been a quiet one for the Baltimore Orioles who are coming off their first post season appearance in 15 years. While the Orioles didn't gain any significant players despite being rumored to be in talks with Adam LaRoche and Nick Swisher, they did lose a bat and a solid glove over at first base in Mark Reynolds. While player signings have been slim the O's did extend manager Buck Showalter and GM Dan Duquette. Is there still time for a big move, even if it doesn't come in the form of a contract?
Without Reynolds, Buck Showalter is now faced with the dilemma of, who to start at first base? The way I see it the Buck-Truck has four options:
- Orioles star outfielder Nick Markakis.
That's right, Nick Markakis. The Greek has been a main stay in right field of Camden Yards since 2006, but it's time Buck Showalter brings him off of Eutaw Street and into the infield.
Markakis is no stranger to playing 1B, he's played there a total of three times, all coming during the 2011 season. During that time he tallied 18 innings of work at first base with numbers consisting of 15 putouts, 2 double plays turned, and the most important stat, ZERO errors.
Putting Markakis at first will also keep him away from the injury bug as he won't have to chase fly balls into the walls of Camden Yards and other ball parks. Wilson Betemit has proven that he can't be a consistent starter in this league, while Davis played RF in the post season in the absence of Markakis. Reimold perhaps may be better suited for the outfield though, leaving Davis to the DH spot where he can do what he does best, slug away and blast fastballs into the skies of Baltimore.
The sample size of Markakis at first base may be small, but there is no doubt in my mind that if given the job he would perform well for one of the best managers in the game, Buck Showalter. He'd also round out a great infield with up and coming third basemen Manny Machado, 2012 Gold Glove Winner JJ Hardy at shortstop, and 2nd Base to either veteran Brian Roberts (fresh off of surgery) , or the young Ryan Flaherty.
The Orioles may not have made moves like the other AL East teams did this off-season, but by moving Markakis to first base, they will increase their chances of being ready to contend again in 2013.
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