During his first couple days as an Oriole, outfielder David Lough has probably felt like the forgotten man. After all, he came in on the heels of the organization having a somewhat disappointing winter baseball meetings. O's fans were hoping that executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette would have locked up the division while at the meetings.
After the meetings ended, there were reports that the Orioles had signed one of their chief targets, closer Grant Balfour, to a two-year deal, pending a team physical.
Balfour has since exited stage left, as the Orioles announced Dec. 20 that the deal had fallen through because of his physical results.
Entering wherever you want him is Lough, who spoke glowingly of his new team while talking about how he would fit in.
"They're a great team," Lough said. "They've got a ton of weapons on the team. Hopefully I can bring a little spark to the team with the way that I play, my hard work, dedication to the game."
The Orioles have two everyday outfielders in right fielder Nick Markakis and center fielder Adam Jones, and Lough said he was confident he could hold down left field, defensively and offensively.
"I can play all three outfield positions," Lough said, "and I feel comfortable in most of those positions. But I would say my biggest strength is left field. I don't project with a ton of power, as you can tell by my numbers and stuff. I'm more of a gap-to-gap hitter. I like to take the extra base and compete with the outfielders to see what kind of arms that they do have."
Lough has 2,593 at bats in the minor leagues, and has spent parts of four seasons with Triple-A Omaha, an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He said being a two-sport athlete in college had kept him from devoting as much time to baseball as he could have.
"When baseball season started, I just picked up the bat and went out there and played baseball," Lough said. "I never really had a chance to really focus on the game the way I wanted to. I think the minor leagues, and being down there so long and being able to develop as a player has helped me tremendously. … I've really grown as a player."
Lough, who is left-handed, said he was comfortable hitting against both right- and left-handed pitchers.
"They always say the left on left is always the hard part," Lough said. "I feel comfortable either way. That's just something I developed over the years.
The news about Balfour's deal falling apart was a downer for O's fans. The news that reliever Troy Patton has been hit with a 25-game suspension for use of amphetamines is disappointing. At least one player sounded upbeat about Baltimore.
It's that type of attitude that Baltimore baseball fans generally are drawn toward.