McLouth comfortable in leadoff spot

McLouth comfortable in leadoff spot
April 25, 2013, 7:45 pm
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It took some convincing for Nate McLouth to re-sign with the Orioles. It was a phone call from manager Buck Showalter, which McLouth jokingly characterized as “threatening.”

McLouth is leading off for the 15th time this season, and he’s doing well. In his last 19 plate appearances, he’s reached base 12 times. He has a .423 on-base percentage with 13 walks and 17 hits.

“I do feel comfortable there. I like it,” McLouth said.

“I really don’t see myself approaching my at-bats any differently if I were hitting anywhere else. I feel like that’s my job, to get on base as many times as I can. Sometimes when the time calls for it, make the pitcher throw some pitches and things like that. Been able to do that lately, and the guys in back of me have been real good about bringing me around.”

When he bats leadoff, Manny Machado is batting second, and entering tonight’s game, Machado is up to .276. It’s undoubtedly helping McLouth.

“I think it’s not having the fear of hitting with two strikes, not being afraid of hitting behind in the count. Manny’s getting really good at it, too, and also not trying to do too much. I think that I see the ball better when I just [swing] nice and easy and not try and do more than I’m capable of, so I think that’s a big part of it,” McLouth said.

McLouth, who played the last two months of 2012 with the Orioles has stolen five bases in six attempts. In his times with the Orioles, McLouth has stolen 17 of 19.