Good morning, Birdland!
Mark it down, August 28th: the Orioles rebuild is complete. What else is there to accomplish? The team has won five out of their last seven games. They are beating good teams, like the Rays and Nationals. Their farm system is on the rise. And they have resurrected the careers of oft-injury young players, like Hunter Harvey and his terrible head of hair. We have reached the summit!
Of course, that is nowhere close to the truth, but you do have to admit that it has been a pretty fun week of baseball. The pitching, especially the bullpen, has been much better as of late. And in Harvey the Orioles have a player who brings an electricity to the field and feels like a “must watch” type of talent. I can dig it.
With every game that passes, the O’s get closer to shedding those “embarrassing” or “tanking” labels. It’s easy enough to squint at the offense or the relief corps and see a productive (or at least somewhat competitive) unit in the not-so-distant future. It’s more difficult when it comes to the rotation, but that’s a tale as old as time for the Birds.
Links & Notes
The woebegone Orioles leave the Nationals baffled during a 2-0 blanking - The Washington Post
Oh yeah, that is the good stuff. The article itself is a fairly generic recap that does come off as a bit shook that the Orioles could actually win a game. But the headline is top notch. Maybe I need to read a few more tomes in my down time, but I don’t think I have seen the word “woebegone” used in many moons. I like it.
The 2019 Orioles are historically dreadful, but Adley Rutschman provides Baltimore a reason for hope - CBS Sports
I assume this article is more for the casual baseball fan who is only vaguely aware of minor league players, but it does pair well from this tweet from Baseball Prospectus writer Jarrett Seidler:
Rutschman is the best position player prospect I’ve seen this year by a mile and that’s obvious after four ABs and seven innings behind the dish. Good lord.— Jarrett Seidler (@jaseidler) August 27, 2019
Orioles Mulling September Promotions - MLB Trade Rumors
Don’t expect any exciting call ups next month. Austin Hays is in a good position to make his way to Baltimore, but all of the top prospects that are not currently on the 40-man roster will likely stay there until the O’s are forced to make a decision.
Ryan Mountcastle named International League Most Valuable Player - Baltimore Baseball
Speaking of non-40-man players, Mountcastle has had a nice season at the plate for the Norfolk Tides, but there is plenty of room for improvement in his game. He strikes out too much, walks too little and still needs to find a defensive home. There is a very realistic scenario where the former first-round pick heads back to Triple-A to begin 2020. He is still young for the level, so there is something to be learned there.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Mike Torrez, a pitcher who played 18 years in the big leagues and won 20 games for the Orioles during the 1975 season, turns 73 today. And most people forget that Lou Piniella’s career actually started with the O’s. He played in four games for the 1964 team, going 0-for-1 at the plate, before moving to other organizations. Piniella celebrates his 76th birthday today.
1977 - The Orioles beat the Angels and future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan by a score of 6-1, but Ryan also manages to strikeout 11 batters to reach 300 punch outs on the season for the fifth time in his career.