clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where there’s nothing to do until spring

In today’s links: Wojo is unsure of his spot, the infield is boring and Mountcastle makes a top 10 list.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

It is actually starting to feel like winter in the Baltimore area and I am personally over it. As far as I can tell, the Orioles are pretty much done making moves this off-season. Maybe they will add a few players via spring invites, but the “major” deals are done.

I say we just start spring training right now. Give me the low quality pictures taken with reporter’s cell phones from way too far away. Give me the “best shape of his life” quotes. Give me the “this could be our season” energy. But most of all, just give me some exhibition baseball on the radio.

Although we know the Orioles regular season is going to be kind of a bummer, the spring should actually be pretty fun. There will be pitcher battles, and there will be several exciting young players in camp. That’s enough for me, and already makes it more interesting than last year.


Wojciechowski reluctant to get comfortable with starting status - School of Roch
Asher Wojciechowski is right to feel uneasy about his ability to stick in the Orioles rotation. The 31-year-old has never been guaranteed a big league spot before, so why would he get one now? Unless he has a disastrous spring, which is possible, Wojo is going to get a place in the rotation. But he will only remain there if he can be competent once the games actually count.

Orioles Facing Uncertain Infield Mix - MLB Trade Rumors
Sure, the Orioles infield isn’t what most would refer to as “good.” But they do not necessarily have any holes either considering what their goals are for the upcoming season. From first to third, the starters are probably going to be Chris Davis, Hanser Alberto, Jose Iglesias and Rio Ruiz. Renato Nunez can, technically, play the corner positions. And someone like Richard Urena will back up the middle. It’s not too interesting, but it makes some sort of sense.

Here are MLB’s Top 10 1B prospects for 2020 - MLB Pipeline
MLB continues to unveil their top players at every position group. So far, the Orioles have had a player on all four lists. First Grayson Rodriguez was among the right-handed pitchers, then it was D.L. Hall included with the lefties, followed by Adley Rutschman atop the list of catchers and now Ryan Mountcastle finds himself rated as the fourth-best first base prospect. The club’s stream of success likely stops there as they do not have any highly regarded middle infield prospects just yet.

In Richie Martin We Believe - Birds Watcher
I am officially off of the Richie Martin hype train. Even though he was jumping from Double-A straight to the big leagues in 2019, he still seemed so severely over-matched that my belief in him has shattered. Clearly, the Orioles feel similarly or else they would not have gone out and signed Iglesias to a one-year deal with the ability to extend it an additional year.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

It is the 39th birthday of former infielder Brandon Fahey. Across three big league seasons from 2006-2008, all with the O’s, Fahey posted a 54 OPS+ and -0.8 bWAR.

Pitcher Brian Falkenborg is 42. The former second-round pick played two games with the Orioles in 1999 before going on to bounce around the league for the 10 years that followed.

Kevn McGehee turns 51 today. He was a short-time major leaguer, appearing in just five games for the ‘93 Birds.

Orioles Hall of Famer Brady Anderson is 56 years old. The 15-year MLB vet spent 14 of those seasons here in Baltimore. Anderson was named to three all-star teams in his career and garnered some MVP buzz twice, including 1996 when he set the franchise home run record with 50 in a season. That record stood until Davis hit 53 in 2013.

Southpaw Scott McGregor is 66 today. He played all 13 of his big league seasons with the O’s. All told, he had a 3.99 career ERA, 98 ERA+, one all-star game and two top ten finishes for AL Cy Young (1980 & ‘83).

Happy 79th birthday to Mickey McGuire. The former infielder played six games with the Orioles in 1962 and then 10 more in 1967.

Finally, it is the birthday of the late Mike Fornieles (b. 1932, d. 1998). The 12-year MLB vet pitched in 45 games for the Orioles between 1956 and ‘57.

2009 - The Orioles acquire outfielder Felix Pie, once a top prospect in the Chicago Cubs system, in exchange for pitchers Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson.