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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where we are so excited about Easton Lucas

There is just so much to talk about at this point in the Orioles offseason!

MLB: MAY 23 Yankees at Orioles Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Let’s get excited about Easton Lucas, everyone! He is the newest member of the Orioles organization. You may have heard the team traded away their best player from a year ago, and add the left-handed Lucas in the process.

Lucas was a 2019 draft pick, so he doesn’t have much professional experience to talk about. In 13 games last year spent between Rookie ball and the New York-Penn League, Lucas had a 3.63 ERA and struck out 41 batters in 34.2 innings pitched.

He is said to be the type of hurler that won’t wow you on the speed gun (sits in the upper 80’s/low 90’s with his fastball), but that he knows how to pitch. He is your standard “pitchability” southpaw. The Orioles thought they had that in Josh Rogers too, and yet that has not worked out to this point.

Here’s O’s general manager Mike Elias on his new pitcher:

“We like his stuff. He’s 89-92 [mph] with a fastball that has some hopping life to it. He’s got two distinct breaking balls [with] a slider and curveball that have a chance to be average pitches. I think our pitching program in particular can help him with that. And he’s got a real nice change that plays well to right-handed hitters. ... I think bringing in a young pitcher like Lucas into the fold is exactly what we’re trying to do and makes sense for our future objectives.”

All aboard the Easton Lucas hypetrain! It is leaving the station and not coming back!

Links & Notes

Potential Villar alternates in non-tender market -
With Villar gone, the O’s have to fill the middle infield void somehow. Here are some of, but not all, of the options.

Taking another look at Bleier signing and Villar’s departure - School of Roch
Hey, something other than Villar is mentioned here. I’m cool with Richard Bleier returning. He was a non-tender candidate after his 2019 performance. He has enough of a track record to suggest he can bounce back, and he owns one of the more fun personalities in the clubhouse.

He wasn’t non-tendered, but Jonathan Villar is no longer an Oriole - Steve Melewski
More on Villar, because there is literally nothing else going on in Birdland.

Three Recently Non-Tendered Pitching Targets - Birds Watcher
The Orioles are going to add to the pitching staff before spring training rolls around. Here are three of the available options.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Stan Jefferson, an Orioles outfielder for 45 games between 1989 and 1990 is 57 years old. The New York native hit .226/.258/.356 as a Bird.

The other former Oriole birthday is that of Hall of Famer Lee Smith. The pitcher was better known for his work with the Cubs, Red Sox and Cardinals. But he did spend 41 games with the O’s in 1994. He had a 3.29 ERA that season over 38.1 innings pitched.

1963 - The Orioles trade outfielder Al Smith and $25,00 to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for outfielder Willie Kirkland.

1973 - The Orioles acquire pitcher Ross Grimsley from the Reds, sending outfielder Merv Rettenmund and infielder Junior Kennedy to Cincinnati.

1974- Another trade! The Orioles trade pitcher Dave McNally, outfielder Rich Coggins and pitcher Bill Kirkpatrick to the Montreal Expos and acquire outfielder Ken Singleton and pitcher Mike Torrez.

1988 - The O’s send Eddie Murray to the Dodgers for pitchers Ken Howell and Brian Holton plus minor leaguer Juan Bell.