Baltimore Orioles: Is Rio Ruiz the answer at third?
Rio Ruiz provided the Baltimore Orioles and their fans with the most memorable moment of the 2019 season, hitting a walk off homer to defeat the Houston Astros in August. (Evidently Houston didn’t have some elaborate cheating scheme going that day at Camden Yards. But I digress.) the big question facing him now is whether or not he’ll be the starting third baseman in 2020.
And the answer to that appears to be yes. If for no other reason, by default. He’s the main third base candidate on the roster right now. Granted that could change, but for now it’s the case. Last year Ruiz started 114 games at the hot corner. Now before people say that whatever the O’s did last year didn’t work, keep in mind that they’re a rebuilding team. They’re trying to find their way.
Incidentally, Ruiz also fielded at a 9.69 clip at third last year. There’s room for improvement, but that means that almost 97% of the time Ruiz wasn’t committing an error. Most teams will take that.
Offense is Ruiz’s bugaboo in a sense. He only hit .232 last year. And he’s struggled at the plate for much of his short career. The Orioles would like to see more production out of that spot in the lineup.
However again, I suspect that Ruiz will be the starting third baseman in Sarasota, and on Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This barring a free agent signing or a trade.