Originally I thought that putting Mark Reynolds back at 3B was the right decision. Boy... that quickly changed after only seven games. I thought there might be a chance that last season truly was a fluke. Of course Reynolds has never been a good defender. However, he was passable enough in Arizona so it was a possibility that he could have returned to his passable levels. In his four years with Arizona, he averaged a -4.75 UZR. Not good by any means, but much better than the -22.8 UZR he posted with the Orioles in 2011. He does not seem to have gotten better by any means this year. Some may say that it is premature saying he is worse already, but honestly it's hard to say anything else at this point. Matt Kremnizter got me thinking this morning about 3B. So what other options are there?
Chris Davis has played a decent amount of 3B in his career. Throughout his four years, Davis has compiled 585.1 innings at 3B for an average UZR of -2.75. Already it is fairly obvious that he could potentially be a better option than Reynolds at 3B. Both still have negative UZR, but it's an easy conclusion that -2.75>-8.36 (Reynolds' average UZR including 2011 season).
So is putting Davis at 3B a simple solution to the terrible mess of defense that has killed the Orioles the past season? Possibly, but it still is just a...whatever. Could Wilson Betemit be a better option? He has an average UZR of -3.63 at 3B in eight seasons. So what should the Orioles do? They seemingly have three options as of now, unless they decide to give a utility guy, Ryan Flaherty, substantial playing time.
It honestly might make the most sense to simply switch Reynolds and Davis from 1B and 3B. While neither are very good at either position, Reynolds plays an alright defense at 1B compared to 3B. throughout the two seasons in which Reynolds was given significant playing time at 1B, he posted a average UZR of -5.1. While not good, it is a ton better than anything he does at 3B. Davis posted an average UZR of -1.2 in four years at first base. Betemit can play first as well.
*only 27 innings
Looking at the above statistics, it sure seems that playing Reynolds and Davis across the diamond from their "original" location is the best move for the team. It allows them to keep Reynolds in the lineup, and Betemit can sub in for both players on the corners whenever he is needed. Of course, this team defense at the corners is dreadful. The Orioles did not place themselves in a good situation with young pitchers and poor corner defense.