Good morning, Camden Chatters.
The Orioles’ holiday season malaise continues, as the club has been quiet on the roster front since plucking a pair of pitchers in the Rule 5 draft over a week ago.
The closest thing to qualify as news right now is the Orioles finalizing their coaching staff by hiring former Rockies coach and longtime big-league hurler Darren Holmes to fill their bullpen position. He’s the third addition to the staff this offseason, along with new major league coach Fredi Gonzalez and first base coach Anthony Sanders.
Bullpen coach isn’t exactly a high-profile position. Sure, they do plenty of work behind the scenes, but during games, you’ll rarely see them on a broadcast. They don’t come out to the mound to talk to struggling pitchers, or station themselves behind the bases to advise runners, or take over managerial duties when the skipper is ejected. They mainly just answer the bullpen phone and tell the relievers which one of them the manager wants to warm up. Not super exciting stuff.
So today may well be the last time we even think about Darren Holmes until, oh, next winter or so. Soak it all in now, Darren Holmes fanboys.
Orioles hire Darren Holmes as bullpen coach - School of Roch
“Fun” fact about Darren Holmes: he’s the only pitcher in Orioles history to give up 10 or more earned runs in less than six innings pitched with the club, thanks to his brutal 4.2-inning, 13-run stint with the O’s in 2000. Yes, I checked. That has no bearing on his coaching abilities, though, so I’ve basically just wasted your time with that factoid.
For Frederick, losing the Keys would be about more than just baseball - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Justin Fitzgerald takes a deep dive into what the Keys mean to Frederick and why MLB’s plan to sever their affiliation is — to put it lightly — ill-advised. This is the club that drew the largest attendance in all of High-A despite being in last place. How’d they end up on the list of teams to cut?
Part two: A scout’s take on O’s prospects - Steve Melewski
Melewski continues his chat with an AL scout who’s high on O’s prospects, this time weighing in on Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, Ryan Mountcastle, and Rylan Bannon. Isn’t it nice when the O’s have so many prospects that are, like, legitimately promising? It’s been a while.
The Baseball 100: No. 99, Mike Mussina – The Athletic
If you enjoy Joe Posnanski’s work, now might be the time to get a subscription to the Athletic, because he's taking on the gargantuan task of writing a 100-part series on the best players in baseball history. Today’s subject is Mike Mussina, whom Orioles fans might know a thing or two about.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your share your day with Aubrey Huff (43), who played for the Orioles from 2007-09 and was Most Valuable Oriole in 2008. Pro tip: don’t read his Twitter feed.
On this day in 1995, the Orioles signed B.J. Surhoff to a three-year deal in free agency. Surhoff became a popular and productive Oriole, posting an OPS over .800 while contributing 102 homers and 426 RBIs and making the All-Star team in 1999, before he was dealt to the Braves in an ill-advised fire sale trade in 2000.