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Wednesday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are scouting Troy Tulowitzki

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There is a whole lot of discussion about the O’s new manager and one nugget about the team scouting an aging shortstop.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

It remains unclear who will be the Orioles shortstop by the time Opening Day rolls around. The favorite, at this point, has to be Rule 5 selection Richie Martin. He was lauded for his defensive acumen prior to being picked, and it’s unlikely the O’s would have added him to the roster without the idea that he would receive the lion’s share of innings during the upcoming season.

Of course, there is still the chance that Jonathan Villar returns to shortstop after filling in admirable at the position late last season. If not Villar, then it could be the O’s other Rule 5 pick (via a trade) Drew Jackson, although he is thought of as a utility-man type rather than an everyday player.

However, a team in such dire need of talent should leave no stone unturned, and that means gathering information on every player possible, no matter how unlikely it may be that you end up signing them. That’s where Troy Tulowitzki comes in.

The 34-year-old Tulowitzki held a workout on Tuesday, and the Orioles were in attendance. It’s unclear which members of the organization were there, but the fact remains.

The aging infielder missed all of 2018 with an injury, and only played in 66 games in 2017. “Tulo” gets hurt a lot, and isn’t nearly as good as he once was. But if he is healthy, he likely still grades out as a decent defender and there might be a chance his offensive abilities return in some fashion. On a one-year deal, it could be worth it to find out.

Even still, the Orioles’ time would be better spent learning how good Martin or Jackson could be going forward.

Links

Now the work begins for Elias-Hyde management team - MASN Sports
The Orioles doubled down on “potential” when choosing the leaders on their organization. Mike Elias is in his mid-30s and will take the reins of a franchise for the first time, and he has hired Brandon Hyde, a rookie manager in his 40s, to manage the on-field product. If things work out, this could be a partnership in Baltimore for the next decade, at least.

Hyde follows Showalter to usher in new O’s era - MLB.com
It became easy to blame the previous regime when things didn’t go well. But the pairing of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette had a big part in returning the Orioles to winning ways. They left big shoes to fill, but that doesn’t when the new guys have to follow directly in their footsteps.

Get to know new Orioles manager Brandon Hyde - Cut 4
It’s all Hyde, all the time! Just a few facts about the Orioles newest skipper. For example, he is the first manager in MLB history named “Brandon.”

Troy Tulowitzki Hosts Workout For MLB Clubs - MLB Trade Rumors
Yes, the Orioles were in attendance to see the hobbled former MVP candidate on Tuesday. The Blue Jays released Tulowitzki earlier this month, and now he is hoping to latch on with another team. Prior to adding two middle infielders in the Rule 5 draft this may have been a move that made sense for the O’s, but now it may be tough to see happening.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

Southpaw Doug Johns is 51 years old today. He tossed 173.1 innings for the Birds between 1998 and 1999, accumulating a 4.52 ERA and 1.9 bWAR during that time.

Chito Martinez turns 53. The Belize-born outfielder appeared in 158 games across three seasons from 1991 through 1993, and slashed .259/.330/.445.

Finally, pitcher Mike Fetters celebrates his 54th birthday. He spent 16 seasons in the big leagues, but played in just 27 games for the Orioles in 1999, and had a 5.81 ERA and -0.3 bWAR while doing so.

1976 - A single-engine plane crashes into the upper deck at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore 10 minutes after the Colts lose 40-14 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Luckily, there were no serious injuries. The pilot was arrested for violating safety regulations.

1991 - Rick Sutcliffe signs a one-year deal with the Orioles and ends up starting the first ever game at Camden Yards on Opening Day, 1992.