Good morning, Birdland!
There are plenty of things to complain about when it comes to the 2019 Orioles. But it is easier to accept when considering that we all understand the plan here: Be bad, collect high draft picks and reorganize for a run in a few years time.
But the one part of the O’s team that has disappointed even with that context in mind is the bullpen. Everyone knew the rotation was terrible, the offense wasn’t going to score a ton of runs and that the defense had holes here and there. The relievers were supposed to be the one stabilizing force.
Instead, Richard Bleier has been terrible when healthy. Tanner Scott is walking an absurd amount of hitters. Jimmy Yacabonis lost his touch. And let’s not even get started on the struggles of Miguel Castro.
To stay true to my glass-half-full nature, I will say that there is room for improvement. Bleier has a track record. Let’s wait to see him at 100%. Scott is also striking out an absurd amount of hitters and has the makings of an elite reliever. Yacabonis’s slider is still dirty. And Castro has the pure stuff and is young enough to argue he can improve.
We can all dream.
Links & Notes
Five Eye-Opening Minor League Numbers - Birds Watcher
Scouting minor league players based just on statistics is never the best idea. I should know, I just posted a similar piece earlier this week. But the O’s minor league system has some fun players doing impressive things early on. It’s hard to not notice.
An inside look at the ‘practically perfect’ Adley Rutschman - The Athletic
As our own Nick Cicere pointed out yesterday, the Orioles don’t need to overthink the top pick in this year’s draft. Adley Rutschman is a beast who has proven himself at the highest possible level to this point in his life. Make him an Oriole ASAP!
Karns hopes to resume throwing soon; Givens is Hyde’s go-to guy - Baltimore Baseball
The problem for Nate Karns has always been his health. No amount of analytics and video scouting can change that, unfortunately. Mychal Givens, on the other hand, has stayed healthy and is the team’s best reliever. He is the one that gives me the least amount of heart burn when he trots in from the bullpen.
The Orioles are not leaving Baltimore (Ep. 33) - The Warehouse Podcast
All of the dumb stuff that happened to the Orioles this week in a one-hour package. Give it a listen...if you dare! Or not. Either way it’s fine.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Current Norfolk Tides pitcher Sean Gilmartin turns 29 today. The lefty pitched in 12 games for the Orioles last season and is likely to make an appearance back in Baltimore sometime this season.
Alfredo Simon is 38 years old. The hurler played parts of four seasons for the Orioles from 2008 through 2011, during that time he compiled a 5.18 ERA over 184.1 innings split between the rotation and the bullpen.
Righty John Maine is also 38. The former sixth round pick played in just 11 games for the O’s from 2004 to 2005 before he was traded along with Jorge Julio to the Mets for Kris Benson.
Last, but certainly not least, is a birthday shoutout for the late Mike Cuellar (b. 1937, d. 2010). The southpaw is one of the best pitchers in Orioles history. He won the Cy Young award in 1969, won a World Series with the O’s in 1970 and appeared in three all-star games during his time with the club.
1966 - Frank Robinson makes history as the only person to ever hit a ball completely out of Memorial Stadium. The outfielder’s home run is estimated to have traveled 541 feet off of Indians pitcher Luis Tiant.
2001 - Fred McGriff homers off Orioles pitcher Jose Mercedes, becoming the sixth player to hit a home run off of 300 different pitchers.
2012 - Josh Hamilton goes deep four times in one game against the Orioles. He is the fourth person to achieve this feat. Hamilton’s 18 total bases is an American League record.
2018 - Dylan Bundy allows 10 first-inning runs without recording a single out. He is the first pitcher to give us four homers without getting an out.