Baltimore Orioles INF Ryan "0-For" Flaherty is now 0-15 with 7 strikeouts in 4 2014 starts. His overrated defense has been hit or miss.
This is nothing new. He was terrible the past 2 seasons. He is a career .213 hitter. He is not a major league caliber player, and never will be.
So why does the club insist on keeping him around year after year, hogging a roster spot from more deserving players? Why did they trade away Alex Gonzalez to keep Flaherty? Why is Flaherty slated to take over 2B when Manny Machado comes back, taking the spot away from Jonathan Schoop, the Orioles top position player prospect? Why does manager Buck Showalter insist on constantly giving Flaherty starts, ensuring an automatic out in the lineup for the 3rd season in a row?
The worst thing is, Ryan Flaherty seems to not be bothered by his lack of production. He comes off as way too laid back and uncompetitive, often even smiling after each guaranteed strikeout.
Sometimes, it seems as though his "I don't care" attitude seems to rub off on his teammates. It did last season, when the team seemed to lose their "refuse to lose" 2012 mentality, in favor of an "oh well, we lost today" approach. This season, the mentality seems similar.
The Baltimore Orioles still have not been able to sign stars JJ Hardy, Matt Wieters, and Chris Davis to extension, and may not be able to keep any of them. They need to be in "win now" mode. That is why they went out and signed several free agents in February. Keeping a laid back, underachieving player like Ryan Flaherty around is not going to achieve that goal. Giving at bats to a guy who is almost always a guaranteed out is not the way to achieve that goal.
Yes, the Orioles are only 4 games into the 2014 MLB season, but they are also 1-3 in the toughest division in baseball. It's not panic time yet. Yes, Ryan Flaherty has only had 15 at bats so far this season, but this is his third season with the Orioles (previously hitting .216 and .224). We know what he can and more importantly can't do.
I know a lot of people who are nice guys, but I wouldn't let them start in a Major League Baseball game for a team claiming to be contending for the post season.
©2014 Denim McDemus