1995 Topps Stadium Club Chris Hoiles
The Orioles snap their latest losing streak due to a brilliant performance by.....Chris Tillman? That's right the former ace of the staff that was re-signed to a try-me one-year contract for $3 million shut down the Tigers over seven innings allowing only one hit and striking out five. In picking up his first win of the season, Tillman lowered his ERA to 7.03 and it's the first time since 2016 that he's worked 7 innings in a ballgame.
Those stats are interesting, but the stat that I enjoyed the most belonged to Adam Jones. The longtime Oriole is hitting .257 and his on-base percentage.... .265. That is fantastic. Want an even better stat? Over the last 15 days he's hitting .288 and his OBP is... .278! That's just...I don't know what that is. It's proof that Adam Jones is not here to take a walk. So how can a player have a lower OBP than batting average?
Apparently a sacrifice fly counts against a player's on-base percentage but not his batting average. So over a small sample size (like 15 games) a player who doesn't walk a lot can see his OBP dip below his batting average. Jones, who had zero walks during that time frame, did have a couple of sacrifice flies.
On the season, Jones has two walks. One came during the second game of the season and the second April 4th. So he's gone almost a month without a free pass. And I have absolutely no problem with that. I love that Adam Jones is up there hacking. He's been hacking for 1500 games in the MLB and I don't think he's going to stop.
Jones is swinging no matter what the count is. More times than not he puts it into play and 255 times he's put it over the fence. So while he might not be a player that excites the advanced stats crew, he is entertaining to watch. Sometimes that's all we need out of a ballplayer. Play hard and have a little fun.
That's who he is and he shouldn't have to change. No more than Chris Davis should change. This is the way the Orioles were built - home run happy power hitters that occasionally do something other than hit the ball out of the park. It's Buck Showalter's job to figure out how to win with the pieces he has. Until September of last year he managed to do it.
Regardless of what happens this off-season, Adam Jones is going to go down as one of the all-time best Orioles. He'll be in their Hall of Fame, hopefully his number is retired. I think he ends up re-signing with them - something along the lines of the a 3-year deal around $40 million. It'll be more than he should get based on his performance, but it'll be worth it to keep him around (after all they'll have some money left over once Manny Machado signs with the Yankees) so they Orioles should get it done.
By the time it's all time he should have 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,000 runs batted in. All with less than 400 walks in his career. Not too shabby.
(For the record Chris Hoiles 435 times in his 10 year career with the Orioles)