De Aza has slashed .246/.312/.358 this season with just five homers. A year ago, he hit a career high 17 dingers and as Charlie Wilmoth points out on MLBTradeRumors.com, his slugging percentage is down about 50 points from where it has been the last two seasons. Orioles GM Dan Duquette told Jim Hunter and Mike Bordick during the MASN broadcast on Saturday evening that he expects De Aza’s power to return and says that De Aza provides strong defense at all three outfield positions and speed on the bases.
De Aza has hit .279/.347/.410 against right handed pitching this season and just .105/.160/.145 against lefties. I would expect to see him in some platoons with Steve Pearce (when he gets healthy), who has crushed left handed pitching this season. De Aza could also be used to rest Adam Jones and Nick Markakis in September. The Orioles AL East lead climbed to eight games on Saturday night, it’s time to start thinking about days off for some of the regulars.
Duquette also mentioned that De Aza is under team control through next season. He’s making $4.25 million this year and is arbitration eligible during the offseason. He could be a solid left fielder for the Orioles in 2015, though the O’s are rumored to be interested in bringing back Nelson Cruz.