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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are tumbling down the standings

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In other news: Alex Cobb needs more time on the IL, and Grayson Rodriguez is dominating in Delmarva.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Kathryn Riley /Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The recent trend throughout Major League Baseball seems to be signing young players to extensions early on in their careers. This is a bit of a gamble on both sides. The team is saying that they think this player will remain rather healthy and is willing to pay them with that expectation. Meanwhile, the player is possibly agreeing to an under-market contract while also giving up a year or two of post-arbitration seasons in exchange for the security of a fully guaranteed deal.

Ozzie Albies and the Braves signed a contract of this kind earlier this week. He joined a long list of players, including David Bote, Blake Snell, Eloy Jimenez, Alex Bregman, Luis Severino and Aaron Nola, who have recently committed to their current club for the foreseeable future.

Naturally, that makes you think about if and when the Orioles will do this with one of their players. The only current player that it would possibly make sense to sign would be Trey Mancini. Depending on the deal, I wouldn’t be made about that. But Mancini has a skillset that may not age well and the team seems to have their first baseman of the future, Ryan Mountcastle, nearing the big leagues.

If not Mancini, it starts to get into full speculation regarding which current minor leaguer will come to Baltimore and impress enough in his first season or two to warrant an immediate long-term contract.

It’s not going out on a limb to say that Yusniel Diaz may be the favorite to receive the first extension of this kind. He is the organization’s top prospect and does just about everything well. In a perfect world, he will make his way to Baltimore in the next year or so and become one of the team’s cornerstone talents.

Links

Orioles offense starts slow in 6-4 loss (updated) - School of Roch
The daily batch of quotes features comments from Brandon Hyde, David Hess and Dwight Smith Jr.

Orioles Sign Jesmuel Valentin To Minor League Deal - MLB Trade Rumors
This is a deal that likely won’t turn into anything too important for the big league Orioles. They have a few similarly fringy infielders in Norfolk that would seem to be higher on the pecking order than Valentin. The newest member of the organization spent some time with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate last season and struggled with the stick (.240/.346/.341) and has served suspension time in the past for domestic violence.

Cobb waits for back to calm down so he can start again for O’s - Baltimore Baseball
It sounds like Alex Cobb is going to be on the shelf for more than the minimum 10 days. That’s a problem. The Orioles have almost no pitching, and Cobb is one of the few guys who can be counted on for five or six innings. Let’s hope that after this, Cobb’s run of minor tweaks comes to an end.

Rodriguez rocks out again for Delmarva - MiLB.com
This is what a first-round pick is supposed to do in the South Atlantic League, but it’s still exciting to see. Grayson Rodriguez will play the entire season as a 19-year-old, and there is no reason for the Orioles to push him. This is his first full professional season, and it will be important to see if he tires as the summer wears on.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former Oriole and defending World Series MVP Steve Pearce turns 36 today. Pearce had four stints in Birdland, first for about two months in 2012, then again for a little over a year from the end of 2012 to the start of 2014, then for two years from 2014 through the end of 2015 and finally for the final two months of the 2016 season. Over that time he his .255/.337/.473 over 291 games.

1954 - The Orioles open their first MLB season in Detroit and lose 3-0 to Steve Gromek and the Tigers.

1966 - Frank and Brooks hit back-to-back home runs to give the O’s a first inning lead over the Boston Red Sox. Jim Palmer throws a five-hit complete game, and the Birds beat the BoSox 8-1.