Your turn: What should the Orioles do with Mark Reynolds?

May 13, 2011|By Matt Vensel

After riding the pine pony Wednesday, struggling third baseman Mark Reynolds returned to the Orioles' starting lineup Thursday and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Reynolds is hitless in his past five games and his batting average is well below the Mendoza line -- and shy of the Izturis line, too.

Reynolds is hitting .174 this season with three home runs and 15 RBI. His slugging percentage is way down. But he is tied for the team lead with 17 walks and his 37 strikeouts -- also the highest total on the team -- through 35 games is nowhere near his record-setting career average.

But is the drop in strikeouts a good thing? At least one national blogger has raised that question.

Manager Buck Showalter defended Reynolds on Wednesday and inserted him back in Thursday's lineup, but he pointed out that despite fewer whiffs, Reynolds hasn't met expectations.

"Some people will tell you his strikeout totals are down, comparatively speaking," he said. "But I think he's aware that where he is offensively, he's capable of better and we need better."

It's too early to compare him to, say, Garrett Atkins. We all knew it would take Reynolds a while to adjust to the pitching in the AL East, and he has had 136 plate appearances. You have to think -- or maybe you have to hope -- that he will start hitting and put up power numbers eventually.

But with the Orioles hovering near the .500 mark and the division still up for grabs since the 2011 season is still young, the Orioles need to figure out what to do with Reynolds over the short term.

Your turn: What should the Orioles do with Mark Reynolds, and are you worried that he will end up being a bust?

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