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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are making moves

It was an active Friday for the Orioles new GM as he made a pair of trades and a DFA.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles front office continues to make moves that are way too logical. They were busy on Friday, first signing pitcher Dan Straily to a major league contract, and then re-acquiring former Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for international signing pool money. That’s a lot of action for an off-day in early April.

Adding Straily was a move that many O’s fans had begun piecing back together when the hurler was originally released by the Miami Marlins at the end of March. He is a proven major league pitcher with middling career stats but the ability to routinely go five or six innings at a time. These Orioles are severely lacking in pitching. Injecting another veteran into the mix should help to stabilize things.

An added bonus, as far as I can see, is that this could essentially be an affordable two-year deal for the O’s. Baseball Reference notes that Straily cannot be a free agent until 2021, which makes sense because he would still have to play an additional season to satisfy the six years of service time before he is free from “team control.” This is similar to the situation with Nate Karns. These O’s are rebuilding and they do not have a ton of reliable starter types in the high minors. Straily could play an important role for them over the next two seasons.

Re-acquiring Araujo is a move that some will argue about. If the organization wanted to keep him so bad, just wait a week to send him to the minors and hold on to those international signing slots. Sure, that’s valid, but if they aren’t going to use the slots, they may as well trade them away. The current signing period only has two months left, and perhaps the O’s feel they have gotten all of the talent they can from foreign markets this year.

Losing Drew Jackson, for me, hurts a bit more. His versatility was nice to have, and I was interested to see more. But there is reason he was available in the Rule 5 draft. Another team felt he was not among their 40 best players, and yet the O’s were expected to keep him in their top 25 all season. He wasn’t getting many opportunities early on, and that could be because Brandon Hyde didn’t feel he could handle it. Here’s hoping something similar happens with Jackson as it did to Araujo, and the O’s can send him to Norfolk as insurance.


Has Cobb’s ‘secret weapon’ returned? -
Alex Cobb looked good on opening day. This may be surprising in the vacuum that is Cobb’s Orioles career, but there is a reason Dan Duquette gave him such a big deal prior to the 2018 season. The guy can pitch, and he has been having success for a long time. Positive starts should be the rule for the right-hander in 2019, not the exception.

Shorebirds’ Rodriguez strikes out 10 -
Last year’s first-round pick has begun his first full professional season. That can be a big leap and test a prospect’s mettle a little bit. Expect the team to be conservative with the 19-year-old. He threw just 74 pitches, but dominated the opposition. He has all of the tools to be a big-time contributor in Baltimore, but there is no urgency to rush him through the system.

The Gamble of Rooting for Baseball’s Most Anonymous Team -
If you, as an adult, buy a jersey for anyone on this current iteration of the Baltimore Orioles, you do so with the understanding that this jersey could quite possibly be out-of-date within the next calendar year. That is the risk you take. The few that had already acquired a Drew Jackson jersey, because you know those people exist, understand this better than anyone. Learn from their mistakes. Wait a couple years to update for player-specific wardrobe.

Davis climbing lists for longest hitless streaks - School of Roch
The 2019 Orioles may be historic after all. Seriously though, how can Hyde continue to trot Chris Davis out there as a starter when literally every other player on the roster is performing much better than him. If he is on the team, he certainly needs to have a role, but being a regular member of the starting nine might not be the right fit.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

The only former Oriole that shares your birthday is the late Danny Clyburn (b. 1974, d. 2012). The South Carolina native came to the Orioles organization in a 1995 trade that sent pitcher Brad Pennington to the Cincinnati Reds. Clyburn would play in just 13 games for the O’s between the ‘97 and ‘98 seasons before being dealt again, this time to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, which landed pitcher Jason Johnson in Baltimore.

1973 - Dave McNally shuts out the Milwaukee Brewers 10-0 in Memorial Stadium. Milwaukee could manage only three hits the whole game while Don Baylor had three doubles and a homer himself. Brooks Robinson added two home runs of his own.

1992 - The Orioles play their first game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was a sell out of 44,568 fans, including U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Rick Sutcliffe helped the Birds to a 2-0 win over the Cleveland Indians.

1996 - Cal Ripken Jr.’s 74-game errorless streak comes to an end as he bungles a ground ball in the fifth inning, and the Orioles lose 8-3 to the Minnesota Twins.

2006 - The Orioles are shut out 2-0 by Mark Hendrickson of the Devil Rays. It is the first shutout for Tampa Bay since 2003, a streak of 349 games, which is the second-longest of its kind in American League history.