Midday Mailbag: Should Rutschman swing at the first pitch? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Midday Mailbag

Midday Mailbag: Should Rutschman swing at the first pitch?

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports


Every weekday, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. If you’d like to submit a question, send it to: [email protected]. Questions may be edited for clarity, length and style.

Question:  Is it a negative that Adley Rutschman seems to take a lot of first-pitch strikes? I get that he’s selective and has a good eye but doesn’t that reduce your batting average?

In the back of my mind, I think I remember reading a stat that starting the count 0-1 reduces your batting average by ton of points. From: Robert London

Answer: Robert, Rutschman has taken slightly more strikes (609) to balls (557) on the first pitch in his big league career. He actually has a higher batting average (.273) with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs after an 0-1 count than he does after a 1-0 count (.255 average, 16 homers, 52 RBIs). His OPS is slightly higher after a first ball than first strike (.837 to .755). When he swings at first pitches, Rutschman is hitting .308 with two homers and 14 RBIs and an .841 OPS.

Question: I shudder to think what the O’s are hitting against opponents starters so far this year. We have feasted on bullpens. Can you calculate what it is? From: Bill Sawers

Answer: Bill, the Orioles are hitting .233 against starters and .293 against relievers.

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