On June 20th, Mychal Givens was called up to the Orioles, becoming the 999th player to wear an Orioles uniform. Since then, Dan Duquette has made 24 roster moves (I checked), but none have them have resulted in a player coming to Baltimore for the first time. On July 12th, Orioles last played a baseball game and lost to the Nationals 3-2. Since then, they have played no baseball games, and thus given us very little to write about.
The result of these two facts is this article, which will probably be one of the most frivolous and pointless things posted on Camden Chat in quite a while: predicting the next player who will put on the orange and black for the first time and become the illustrious 1000th Baltimore Oriole.
Before yesterday, my guess would have been Norfolk pitcher Michael Bowden. The 28-year-old journeyman is leading the International League with a 1.91 ERA, and by numbers alone he certainly looked deserving of a call-up. Unfortunately for him, the O's weren't impressed enough with his performance to make room by dumping one of their option-less pitchers like Tommy Hunter. Bowden was allowed to opt out of his contract yesterday and is no longer in the organization.
With Bowden gone, it's looking a lot less likely that the thousandth man will be a pitcher. Right now the Orioles have seven pitchers in Norfolk (Cabral, Drake, Gausman, Johnson, McFarland, Wilson, Wright) and two in Bowie (Mychal Givens and Jason Garcia on a rehab stint) who have pitched in Baltimore already, and it's unlikely that they'd go outside that group for a call-up anytime before September. If they did, the most obvious options would be Jorge Rondon (2.38 ERA in Norfolk) and Chris Jones (2.70). Rondon seems to be strictly a short reliever, but Jones has started 12 games in AAA this year and could be a long man or even an emergency starter. Jones also has the advantage of being a lefty. Eddie Gamboa was technically called up earlier this year in an emergency situation but never actually appeared in a game. Personally, I think Rondon or Jones would get called up before the knuckleballer would, but you never know.
If the thousandth player is a batter, it almost certainly won't be a catcher. Steve Clevenger has been raking all year in triple-A and would be the obvious choice for third catcher, especially given his ability to play first base. Audry Perez has been terrible, posting a .504 OPS on the season - I don't see him showing up in Baltimore any time soon.
If it's an infielder the O's need, Rey Navarro would probably get the first call. Veteran Paul Janish isn't hitting this year and neither is Michael Almanzar - maybe getting signed and released about four times in a year by the O's finally got to him. Navarro hasn't been producing well at the plate either, but he's at least a switch hitter with a little more speed and upside than the other two guys.
Finally, we come to the outfielders. Dariel Alvarez was a hot name over the winter to get some major league playing time before the acquisition of Travis Snider. His on-base skills haven't been all that impressive in Norfolk, but there's no doubting his power. He was an International League All-Star thanks to his 13 home runs on the season. Another name to consider is Julio Borbon - Buck likes him, but he's not hitting the ball well this season and his only real value to the team is his ability to play center field. Since the O's seem comfortable with both David Lough and Nolan Reimold filling in out there, I don't see Borbon coming up any time before the rosters expand.
Finally, the 1000th man could always come from outside of the organization, especially with the trade deadline coming up in just about two weeks. The O's don't have much to trade, but they still might make a minor move, and whoever they acquire may end up being our answer here.
Camden Chatters, who do you think will be the thousandth player to wear an O's uniform? Did I leave someone out? Let me know below.