The All-Star starting lineups have been announced. Shockingly, there are no Orioles. No one even made it into the second round of voting. This was an inevitable outcome almost before the season even began, and it’s just as inevitable that next year there will be only one Orioles All-Star. Probably when the full rosters are announced on Sunday, the choice will be Trey Mancini, who’s earned a spot on the team even if it’s not a starting spot.
There’s nothing new to say about the Orioles being a bad team. The people who are in charge, including manager Brandon Hyde and general manager Mike Elias, are fully aware of what they have. When Hyde vents his frustration about the state of the starting rotation you can almost get the sense he’s hoping he’s still around when better pitchers start arriving from the minors.
Rosters of the O’s affiliates have their share of pitchers who still offer some intrigue. The O’s are determined not to rush Keegan Akin, who’s doing well enough in Triple-A. Bowie’s rotation has Zac Lowther and Alex Wells, and if you really want to squint, trade pieces from last July, Bruce Zimmermann and Dean Kremer. Hunter Harvey has been on fire in three inning bullpen stints.
This is not the end of the list. Michael Baumann pitched so well for Frederick that he earned a recent Bowie promotion. And down in Delmarva there are 2018 picks Grayson Rodriguez and Drew Rom, and some revival of good fortunes for wayward once-prospects Ofelky Peralta and Gray Fenter.
Probably more than half of these names will ever be any good for the Orioles. That’s the way it is with prospects. For a team as woeful as the Orioles are now, though, any prospect with some shred of hope feels like somebody to get excited about. Maybe that list of names will only grow as Elias and his people get more time to reshape the organization.
There have been 160 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.
Around the blogO’sphere
Adley Rutschman makes perfect blindfolded throw (Cut4)
If there’s anything he can’t do, we haven’t discovered it yet.
The Orioles have good reason to be excited about Trey Mancini (Fangraphs)
Great breakdown of some of the specific ways that Mancini has improved from last year to this year. Hopefully that continues into subsequent years as well.
Prospects Keegan Akin, Ryan Mountcastle to represent Norfolk in Triple-A All-Star Game (Baltimore Sun)
It’s not all bad news in the Orioles organization. See also below:
Delmarva’s first half success gives Orioles reason for optimism (Baltimore Baseball)
It’s been quite a while since the Orioles had an affiliate dominate with actual prospects, rather than just a collection of guys too old for the level.
Orioles bullpen still unable to provide much relief (School of Roch)
The present day, however, still stinks.
Keep swingin’: Hanser Alberto now among the AL’s top 10 hitters (Steve Melewski)
As you are a Camden Chat reader, you probably know better than to equate “top 10 in batting average” with “top 10 hitters.” Alberto’s quirky keeping an average above .300 is still cool, though.
Rays offering $2 tickets to July 1-3 games vs. Orioles (Tampa Bay Times)
I thought this was an interesting contrast to the Baltimore Sun article that I mentioned yesterday, wherein the Orioles claimed to have done research that shows that lowering ticket prices would not increase their attendance.
Birthdays and anniversaries
Today in 1957, Maryland-born Orioles pitcher Ray Moore threw a complete game shutout in a 6-0 victory over the Indians. This was the fourth consecutive CGSO for the O’s, setting a new American League record.
One lone former Oriole was born on this day: 1970-75 outfielder Don Baylor, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 68.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: England’s Henry VIII (1491), early Methodist John Wesley (1703), Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712), movie maker Mel Brooks (1926), actress Gilda Radner (1946), actor John Cusack (1966), and YouTube personality Markiplier (1989).
On this day in history...
In 1846, Adolphe Sax received the patent for his newly-invented instrument, the saxophone.
In 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia were assassinated in Sarajevo. Exactly five years later, the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end what we now call World War I, which was sparked by this killing. About 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians were killed in the war.
In 1942, Nazi Germany launched an assault it called “Case Blue” on the Soviet Union, aimed at capturing oil fields in the Caucasus region. Initially successful, this offensive ultimately led to the brutal Battle of Stalingrad and defeat for the Germans.
In 1950, despite South Korean forces blowing up a bridge in hopes of slowing their advance, North Koreans captured the city of Seoul.
In 1969, a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village led to the Stonewall riots, which are now recognized as the beginning of the gay rights movement.
And that’s the way it is on June 28 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Indians. Have a safe Friday. Go O’s!