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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles’ best players are hurt

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John Means has joined Trey Mancini on the shelf, leaving a noticeable lack of productive Orioles on the field.

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Serious question: can we just call it quits on the Orioles’ 2019 season already? Just pack our bags, go home, and try again next year? Because things just keep getting worse for the ill-fated squad.

The O’s, already missing Trey Mancini from the lineup after he suffered an elbow contusion on Wednesday, absorbed another tough blow when John Means was placed on the injured list with a left shoulder strain. Means, who’s enjoyed a breakout rookie season with a 6-4 record and 2.67 ERA, has emerged as the club’s unquestioned No. 1 starter.

His absence for at least the next turn throws the Orioles’ struggling rotation into further chaos. They’re already so thin on pitching depth that they had to use an opener for Wednesday’s finale in Oakland, and now they’ll need to find another emergency starter for tonight’s contest.

It’s a good thing wins and losses don’t matter for the Orioles this season, because losing your best hitter and best pitcher at the same time isn’t a recipe for success. And it sure doesn’t make the worst team in baseball any easier to watch.

Links

Orioles announce plans for Mussina to throw out first pitch - School of Roch
So...this is it. The second best starting pitcher in O’s history is getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the extent of the club’s recognition is to let him throw out the first pitch. He doesn’t even get a pre-game ceremony with guest speakers or anything? How about a promotional giveaway? Surely there could be a little more celebration, no?

Orioles all in on All-Star push for Trey Mancini - Steve Melewski
I find it adorable that Richard Bleier and Mychal Givens went to the PR staff to see how they could help the Trey Mancini All-Star campaign. I’m glad these guys genuinely seem to like each other, even if that doesn’t translate into wins on the field.

‘It’s just a flawed system’: Players are speaking out about All-Star snubs. Here’s what they’re saying - The Athletic
Bleier pops up again in this article, and he doesn’t mince words about his unhappiness with the All-Star voting system: “Chris Davis had 100,000 votes before this whole thing began. I mean, come on. Those 100,000 votes are taking away from someone else.”

At Norfolk, Ryan Mountcastle patiently awaits Orioles’ call - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I have a feeling he’s going to be waiting a while. The O’s don't seem in any hurry to promote their best prospects in a lost cause of a season. I could see them holding back Mountcastle’s debut until early 2020 to gain seven years of team control.

Former Americas shortstop signs with Baltimore Orioles | KDBC
I misread this headline and was like, what exactly makes this guy “America’s shortstop”? Is he nationally beloved? But actually they’re referring to O’s fifth-round pick Darell Hernaiz, who attended Americas High School in Texas.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four ex-Orioles share your day, including Rick Sutcliffe (63), who inaugurated Oriole Park at Camden Yards with a complete game shutout on Opening Day 1992. It’s also the birthday of 2006 righty Sendy Rleal (39), busted pitching prospect from the B.J. Surhoff trade Luis Rivera (41), and the late lefty Eddie Lopat, who pitched for the 1955 Orioles. Lopat died in 1992, five days shy of his 74th birthday.

On this day in 1966, Frank Robinson made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the ninth at Yankee Stadium, toppling into the right field seats to rob Roy White of would’ve been a walkoff three-run homer. There truly was nothing Frank couldn’t do that year.