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.
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.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.