The news hit the Baltimore Orioles that Nolan Reimold was to have season ending neck surgery for the second straight season and some probably figured that was a big blow. They are right of course, it is a big blow. There is a little bit of a reason for excitement around the Orioles at the same time however as they are calling up minor league slugger Henry Urrutia. This has led some to ask if Urrutia would have a motivating effect that comes along with him. Though he has his up-side, Urrutia isn’t going to be the same story as Yasiel Puig was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
First of all, while Puig was thought to be a five tool player, Urrutia has some question marks on defense that lead the Orioles to think about placing him in the DH role periodically. Though he has been a great hitter in time split between double-A and triple-A, he is much more a gap hitter than a home run hitter. That isn’t bad really. It just means he can’t have the same sort of far reaching boost effect that Puig had. At least he can’t right now.
The Orioles seem willing to start Urrutia off on a much slower path than the Dodgers started Puig on. That could be really good for the outfielder/DH though. I think of it kind of like the young backup QB learning the ropes then taking over half way through the season. Look for Urrutia to get a good bit of time at the DH spot at first with the O’s willing to work with him on his fielding. It is possible that the highly thought of prospect could be a more all around great player by the end of the season or certainly by spring training next year. Either way, it is a reason for excitement in the midst of crummy news.