Triples Machine: After a decade in the minors Royals rookie Paulo Orlando is demolishing triples records

25 Comments

Paulo Orlando played nine seasons in the minors before the Royals picked him for their Opening Day roster and the 29-year-old outfielder was pushed into an expanded role last week by Alex Rios’ broken hand.

Seven games later he’s made history.

Orlando tripled Monday night against the Twins, giving him five triples through his first seven career games. No other hitter in MLB history has more than three triples through seven career games.

[mlbvideo id=”82011183″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

Orlando has played just seven games and logged just 29 plate appearances, yet by himself he’d be tied for the most triples by any team this season. Detroit, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Kansas City are tied for the MLB lead with five total triples, and of course the Royals’ entire total is Orlando. No other Royals hitter has a triple this season in 480 non-Orlando plate appearances. And the other 25 teams all have fewer triples this season than Orlando.

To put Orlando’s triple total in some career-long context, here’s a list of players with five career triples and their games played totals:

Mike Sweeney – 1,454 games
Paul Sorrento – 1,093 games
Bo Diaz – 993 games
Kurt Suzuki – 981 games
Ben Grieve – 976 games

Paulo Orlando – 7 games

Orlando is very fast and doesn’t hit many homers, so he did rack up a lot of triples in the minors. He totaled 14 triples in 286 games at Triple-A and 18 triples in 282 games at Double-A. But what the Brazilian rookie is doing now is crazy.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports