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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where it’s 2020 in Birdland

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Happy new year!

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Good morning and happy new year Birdland!

We can officially put 2019 in the rearview as we enter 2020 and the Orioles, hopefully, inch back towards relevancy.

From an Orioles fan perspective, 2019 was mostly lame. The big league team stunk and there was talk that the Single-A Frederick Keys may soon be no more. Those are two terrible things that engulf any positive moments that may have happened.

But there could be some reason for looking back on 2019 with fondness. Adley Rutschman was drafted and signed to the organization. A few years from now that could make the entire year worth it.

This new year will be massive for the Orioles proposed rebuild. Some of their top prospects need to build on recent successes. The club must continue to add young talent to the organization. And it would be neat if the major league team showed just a dash of improvement as well.

Links & Notes

After hitting .305, can Hanser Alberto do it again? - Steve Melewski
Hanser Alberto had a nice little season, but let’s not pretend like he set the world ablaze. Despite a .305 batting average, he only got on base at a .329 clip. That’s because he walked just 2.9 percent of the time. And his batting average was buoyed by a .318 batting average on balls in play. So no, it is unlikely that he repeats his 2019 performance if he keeps the same approach.

A mostly fun decade of Orioles baseball ends with pain and perhaps some hope - Baltimore Baseball
The second decade of the 2000’s was better for the Orioles than the first decade. Let’s hope the third decade is a further improvement.

Remaining Needs: AL East - MLB Trade Rumors
Sure, there is plenty that the Orioles needs if they want to be better in 2020. But considering the goals of the club, they do not have that many holes on the roster. As always, pitching could improve and they would do well to add some competition at the middle infield spots. But both of those things can likely be accomplished with a few minor league deals.

Trey Mancini is the perfect trade fit for San Diego Padres - Friars on Base
This is from a Padres fan site, so there is no rumor here. But of course Trey Mancini would fit in San Diego. He is an Oriole after all. It seems the Padres are attempting to completely rebuild the Birds out on the west coast. They already have Manny Machado, Jimmy Yacabonis, Ryan Flaherty, Bobby Dickerson and Wayne Kirby. Why not add Mancini to the mix?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Xavier Avery, a former intriguing prospect in the O’s system, turns 30. The outfielder would play just 32 major league games, all taking place during the 2012 season with the Birds.

Journeyman utility player Fernando Tatis is turning 45. Tatis spent 11 years in the majors, but played just 28 games for the Orioles during the 2006 campaign.

Finally, it is the 89th birthday of former infielder Foster Castleman, who played in 98 games for the 1958 Orioles.

Other than birthdays, January 1 has been a slow day in Birdland history. Here’s what has happened away from baseball on this day:

1739 - Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.

1772 - The first traveler’s cheques are issue by the London Credit Exchange Company.

1801 - The first known object in the Asteroid belt is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

1902 - The first American college football bowl game is held. Michigan and Stanford faced off in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

1934 - Alcatraz Island, located in the San Francisco Bay, becomes a U.S. federal prison.