With Adam Jones potentially done for the season with an ankle injury, much-maligned Felix Pie will get a chance to prove he belongs in the Orioles starting lineup come 2010.
If you remember, Pie began the season as the starting left-fielder for the Orioles, but after registering an abysmal .157 average in April, it didn’t take him long to get buried on the Baltimore bench.
The emergence of Nolan Reimold and solid starts by Luke Scott, made it look like Pie’s time in Baltimore might be short-lived.
To his credit, even when everyone across the sports blogosphere was calling for the Orioles to give up on the talented—yet unproven—Pie, he kept his head down and moved forward.
He carried a .195 batting average into June, but even though his chances to show his talent were sparse, he began to show some sparks of the ability everyone knew he possessed.
Slowly but surely, Pie began to move out of the doghouse and back into the mind of manager Dave Trembley.
In June, he went 7-for-14 with two multi-hit games and a pair of pinch hits. He was only 5-for-13 in July, but had multiple hits in each of his last two starts in the month.
By the time August rolled around, Pie was starting to see regular action, as Adam Jones struggled for the first time all season, Scott’s production waned, and Aubrey Huff was traded.
After starting only seven games in the two previous months, Pie made 16 starts in August and made the most of his opportunity. He hit .333 (21-for-63), including a four-hit game and a pair of three-hit outings.
Despite his miserable start, Pie now has his season average up to .270 with eight home runs and 24 RBI.
With Jones now out for at least the next couple of weeks—and potentially for the remainder of the season—Pie should get what some thought was all he needed during his time in Chicago: a chance to play everyday.
If his performance over the last month is any indication, Pie could be ready for a big month with the bat and the glove.
As the Orioles continue to build for 2010, whether Pie is part of the plans could be determined over the next few weeks.
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