Another day has dawned with the Orioles in last place in the American League East. They remain 27.5 games behind the first place Yankees and Red Sox and with the worst record in MLB at 20-50. This team is on pace to win 46 games based on their current winning percentage of .286.
There are only two questions to be asked about this team right now. The first is: When will the sell-off begin? The second is: What will the Orioles get back from this inevitable sell-off?
One narrative offered is that it is too early for teams to begin selling off because the buyers haven’t started lining up just yet. This would be an idea more grounded in reality if it were not for the Kansas City Royals, who have now made two trades to try to cash in short-term assets for long-term value.
About two weeks ago, the Royals shipped no-power OBP machine outfielder Jon Jay - whom the Orioles could have signed instead of Colby Rasmus - to the Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers. On Monday night, they traded their closer, Kelvin Herrera, to the Nationals for three minor leaguers, though it’s worth noting that none of those three players are universally heralded top prospects.
Markets are out there for a proactive team. The Orioles, as we know, are not a proactive team. It may be that they will slumber through this trading season until July 27 or something like that, thus completely whiffing on the opportunity to extract more value from some team for, say, getting an extra month of Manny Machado’s services.
That would be unfortunate but not surprising from the current power structure. The reported dysfunction that led to the O’s dilly-dallying for six weeks over whether to sign Ryan Flaherty, then ultimately not getting to sign him, is surely not going to help out much when it comes time to close the deal on some trades.
Perhaps the O’s will run into that newly-traded National Herrera tonight as their series begins in Washington. On the other hand, that would require there to be a save situation of some kind, which would mean the Orioles offense would need to score some runs without their starting pitcher giving up a bazillion runs. This is a rare combination in 2018.
Around the blogO’sphere
As trade talk heats up, offense breaks out (Steve Melewski)
One game scoring runs doesn’t mean the offense has broken out! But as a fellow writer of baseball on the Internet, I’m sympathetic to headline challenges. Anyway, the interesting thing here is Dan Duquette dancing around the topic of the inevitable trades.
Orioles players balancing acknowledging team’s circumstances with trying to change them (Baltimore Sun)
“There’s some real, not-privy-to-public-eye frustrations,” said manager Buck Showalter. I guess it’s nice to know there’s frustration, but if it can’t get channeled into anything productive, who cares?
Chris Davis is close to a return for Orioles (Orioles.com)
Brittany Ghiroli tackled her inbox for the off day. The news is encouraging for those with morbid fascination about whether Chris Davis can have the worst season ever, and discouraging for those who don’t want to see bad baseball.
Leftovers for breakfast (School of Roch)
One way to avoid an excessively excited headline, as above, is a headline that says nothing at all. One of the leftovers notes that Chance Sisco has had issues throwing of late. And because we’re all adults here, the word buttocks also appears.
What happened to Jonathan Schoop? (Camden Depot)
Schoop is pretty fortunate that Davis is so bad, because otherwise more people might be noticing that Schoop is also not doing so hot.
Birthdays and anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2017 pitcher Logan Verrett, 2004 outfielder Val Majewski, 2004-06 pitcher/joke-teller Bruce Chen, 1989 five-gamer Butch Davis, and Don Ferrarese of the 1955-57 Orioles. Today is Ferrarese’s 89th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Bible translation sponsor James VI/I (1566), mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623), novelist Salman Rushdie (1947), singer-songwriter Paula Abdul (1962), actress Zoe Saldana (1978), and rapper Macklemore (1983).
On this day in history...
In 325, Christianity’s Nicene Creed was first presented at the First Council of Nicaea.
In 1846, the first recorded organized baseball game took place in Hoboken, New Jersey, as the New York Base Ball Club defeated the Knickerbockers, 23-1.
In 1944, the American and Japanese navies engaged one another with carrier-based aircraft in the first day of the Battle of the Phillippine Sea. American aviators called the battle the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot because they were able to shoot down so many obsolete Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters.
In 1978, the comic strip Garfield, recognized as the most widely-syndicated comic strip by the Guinness Book of World Records, debuted.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 19 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play another game. Have a safe Tuesday. Go O’s!