Good morning, Birdland!
The big news in the baseball world last night was the Hall of Fame vote. By now you have likely heard that Derek Jeter and Larry Walker both earned their spot in Cooperstown. Jeter came just one vote short of 100%, and Walker finally made his way to the Hall on his 10th and final year on the ballot.
But the real story here is that Brian Roberts, perhaps the best Oriole during the dark ages of the early 2000s, did not receive a single Hall of Fame vote. As a result, his stay on the ballot will be brief. He will not be eligible for the Hall in 2021.
Roberts was really, really good. He played 14 seasons in the majors, leading the league in doubles twice (2004 & 2009) and in stolen bases one (2007). He was named to the All-Star team twice, and nearly traded to the Chicago Cubs about 50 times. His 30.4 bWAR is higher than Hall of Famers Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman.
Discussions on who deserves to be in the Hall and who doesn’t are exhausting. I don’t personally care very much. Roberts was a fun player to watch, and it was neat to see his name listed along some historically great players. He won’t be making his way to Cooperstown, but it sure seems like he will be spending plenty of time around the Orioles organization for years to come, and that’s something to be happy about.
Links & Notes
7 low-key O’s additions who could impact in ‘20 - Orioles.com
The Orioles are probably going to cycle through quite a few players this season, especially pitchers. Any hurler worth anything is going be given a chance. What may be more interesting to watch in the spring are position players like Dilson Herrera or Richard Urena, who will both be battling for an Opening Day spot.
Candidates to join Rutschman in Sarasota; Quiz answers; Caleb Joseph to Toronto - Baltimore Baseball
The Orioles roster for Sarasota is coming together. We are less than three weeks away from spring training. Huzzah!
Triple-A rotation should be one to watch in 2020 - Steve Melewski
It has been a few seasons since the Orioles have had worthwhile arms down in Triple-A. This will be especially important this year as the team is likely to need reinforcements on the mound early and often.
Orioles, Cesar Valdez Agree To Minor League Deal - MLB Trade Rumors
In case you missed it, the O’s have added another name to the mix. Cesar Valdez has not pitched in the big leagues since 2017, and the 34-year-old has just 50.2 total innings of MLB experience. Even still, he will provide quality organizational depth.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Ubaldo Jimenez is 36. The right-handed pitcher spent four seasons with the Orioles from 2014 through 2017, accumulating a 5.22 ERA, 80 ERA+ and 0.5 WAR in that time.
Short-time big leaguer Aaron Rakers is 43. The former pitcher played in 14 MLB games, 13 of which came with the O’s between 2004 and ‘05.
It is the 79th birthday of Dave Leonhard. The six-year MLB veteran spent his entire big league career with the O’s, which spanned from 1967 through 1972 and saw him end his playing days with a 3.15 ERA over 337 total innings.
And it is also the birthday of the late Bobby Young (b. 1925, d. 1985). The Maryland native was a member of the Orioles when the franchise moved from St. Louis in 1954.
2006- The Orioles make a trade with the New York Mets, sending pitchers Jorge Julio and John Maine to Queens in exchange for veteran hurler Kris Benson.