Anyone who has seen the Orioles bat this season knows how terrible they have been. Actually, one doesn’t even need to do that much; they just need to look at their record (14-30) and number of runs scored (26th in the MLB).

Amongst many things creating a shortage of runs is the lack of power in the O’s lineup. Now, manufacturing runs via baserunning and situational hitting can be improved throughout the season, but power can’t. Teams either have it, or they don’t. The Orioles don’t.

Baltimore is eleventh in the American League in extra base hits and seventh in home runs this season. While that seventh is technically in the middle of the pack, it is terrible when you consider how small the field is at Camden Yards. The Orioles should be amongst the leaders in home runs every year because of the dimensions of that park. 

Usually, there is very little a team can do at this point in the year to supplement its power besides making a costly trade; however, there is still a player sitting by the phone waiting for a call that could provide pop for a dying Orioles lineup—Jermaine Dye.

While Dye might not be the fielder that people want in the outfield, he would be valuable to the Orioles as a designated hitter and could be that guy in the middle of the lineup that can drive in runs and actually strike fear into pitchers.

In addition, his ability to hit home runs could give guys like Nick Markakis better pitches to hit and get him hitting with power as well. 

Miguel Tejada and Ty Wigginton might be good hitters with the ability to drive guys in, but there isn’t a pitcher in baseball that is actually scared of them. Dye would provide that player who pitchers don’t want to face…especially with the short porches in Camden Yards. 

The biggest reason this wouldn’t happen is owner Peter Angelos’s insistence to not spend a decent chunk of money on a team without hope. While I would normally see this as common sense, I think there is a need to protect the younger pitchers with run support. 

Developing pitchers isn’t just about growing talent; it is about nurturing their confidence. The easiest way to do this is win games they pitch, even when they might not be at their best. It says the team has their back and that is something that younger players need to know. 

Look at Brian Matusz decline over the season. He hasn’t looked like the same pitcher who started 2-0 over the past two weeks and that might be because he became discouraged when some of his best starts didn’t translate into wins.

By losing games that Matusz, Brad Bergesen, or David Hernandez pitch well in, it kills the youngsters inside whether they want to admit it or not. This is why the O’s need Dye. The run support he could provide could actually help the development of the Orioles pitching. 

It seems odd to say that an old vet providing short-term help to the offense could help in the long-term development of pitching prospects, but I think that would be the case here.

The Orioles need help at the plate desperately and Dye would be the easiest solution. I’m no general manager, but I think that Dye is the best way to improve this team without giving up a top prospect.

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