A Note on RISP

The O’s dig the long ball, this is clear as we approach a 4th consecutive season where an Oriole leads in home runs. The argument lately has been that the Orioles are quite poor when not able to send one way back.

Using some data from Baseball Prospectus instead of looking at the batting average (BA) with runners in scoring position (RISP), a look at the number of runners batted in help paints a picture. It will shock no one that Machado, Trumbo, and Davis lead the way with the total number of RISP for the team this year with 161, 162, and 154 respectively. It may come as a bit of a shock that they’ve only been able to bat in 31, 40, and 31 of these runners. Now this examines all plate appearances (PA) and doesn’t account for walks or intentional walks where Machado has 43 and 9, Trumbo 46 and 1, and Davis has 76 and 3.

Jones leads the way for the Orioles batting in 31.0% of all RISP, Wieters comes in with 30.8% batted in at which point we see a significant drop to JJ Hardy at 26.2%. Unsurprisingly these three lead the way in batting in runners on third, Jones knocking in 55.8% of all runners on third.
The players at the other end of the spectrum aren’t really a surprise. We’ve all watched in anticipation of Caleb Joseph getting a chance for his first RBI of the season. Reimold (with 214 PA) has only brought home 10.9% of RISP, the injured rookie Joey Rickard (282 PA) brought home 18.2% of all RISP, and Hyun-soo Kim has only brought in 18.8% of RISP.

Kim Sits Again
Kim has been a bit of a thought for me in the Tampa series (as he sits again for game 3). He’s having a good season leading the team in BA .310 and OBP .386, sits 5th on the team with an OPS of .807 and an OPS+ of 114. In comparison to his teammates Kim has hit predominantly singles (75% of all hits) and has had a more difficult time against breaking balls since changing his focus to fastballs in the spring.
Buck’s had a statement on the pregame show before game 2 of the series when talking about Odorizzi. He talked about the pitchers record imbalance and how he’s far more effective at home. The climate controlled environment Buck said allows for increased grip and rotation on balls allowing cutting pitches to move more. This could be Buck’s thinking on why he’s sitting Kim. 

Is Reimold done?
It’s time to wonder if Reimold sees the plate again this season now that Bourn and Stubbs have arrived. Reimold has the lowest (outside of Joseph) percent of batted in RISP, only bringing 7.7% of runners on third across home plate. The next lowest here is Machado (wouldn’t have expected that) at 17.7% scoring.

Data courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Reference

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