In the orange corner, with a total of twelve major league innings - and zero starts - under his belt, Mitch Atkins.
In the blue corner, an offense that's scored 417 runs (3rd in MLB), hit 104 home runs (2nd in MLB), and stolen 84 bases (T-1st in MLB).
Let's try to look at some positives. Derrek Lee's batting 7th for a second straight game, so we might dare dream that will be his new home in the lineup. Nolan Reimold is starting for a second straight game. Granted, this isn't especially remarkable since Rangers starter Matt Harrison is a left-handed pitcher, so Nolan probably would have been starting even if Luke Scott wasn't placed on the DL, but we must take what comfort we can.
Harrison, by the way, was part of the Mark Teixeira trade from the Braves to the Rangers, along with Elvis Andrus, also in the lineup tonight, and Neftali Feliz, who may appear in a save situation. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving. I wonder what it's like to do a five-for-one trade and three of the players you get back are helping you three years later. The Orioles have at most two between both of their five-for-one trades.
He is not having himself a bad season, either. He averages six innings per start and he's sporting a 3.30 ERA. Fangraphs gives him four pitches - a fastball that averages 93 mph, and a change-up, curveball, and slider. Not much of a strikeout pitcher, though, with 5 K/9 in his big league career, and a not-great K/BB rate of 1.36. Fans on Lone Star Ball, the SBN Rangers blog, get excited for Matt Harrison Day the same way we do for Zach Britton Day. I assume it's a little bit more exciting for them since their team is in first place and ours is in last, but what can ya do?
So anyway, Mitch Atkins, yet another failed Cubs prospect who's ended up on the O's. May he fare better than the others.
|Orioles (M. Atkins - R) @ Rangers (M. Harrison - L)|