We’ve seen enough of Garrett Atkins. It’s mid-May and the Oriole 1st Baseman has yet to homer as has driven in a whopping 6 runs. Atkins’ lack of production is so shockingly putrid that you almost have to assume there is something physically wrong with him. Every time he bats he squints like he’s staring into the Sun. Maybe he needs glasses, or a B-12 shot.
It’s time for MacPhail and the Birds to punt Atkins and find a solution at first base. There are 2 options at AAA Norfolk; 1) Michael Aubrey or 2) Justin Turner. In my opinion the Orioles should recall Turner and put him at 2nd base full time until Roberts returns. Ty Wigginton should shift to 1st, immediately improving the team’s up the middle defense, adding speed to the lineup and providing the team with a more appropriate #2 hitter in Turner. I’m not saying Justin Turner is leading the O’s to the Wild Card, but he can’t be any worse than Atkins; and anything that gets Wigginton off of 2nd base is an improvement. The other option would be to recall Michael Aubrey (.802 OPS and 3 hrs for Norfolk) and make him the every day first sacker for the foreseeable future. When, and if, Brian Roberts returns Wigginton should shift to 1st. Then in the off season MacPhail should open up his prospect vault and MASN coffers to find a legit, long-term option at first.
I doubt we’ll see Nolan Reimold at 1B for the O’s any time soon. The club’s handling of the young OFer this season has been curious at best. Reimold was coming off an achilles injury in the Spring and probably should have been DLed to start the season. His struggles at the plate may or may not be related to the injury, but he certainly carried those struggles to the field. They finally sent him to Norfolk to get his swing, and confidence, back to 2009 levels. The decision to then move him to 1B before he’s corrected his issues at the plate are baffling and hopefully don’t further derail Nolan’s 2010 season.