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Monday Bird Droppings: The less than two months until Opening Day edition

The Orioles had four top 100 prospects in MLB Pipeline’s ranking unveiled over the weekend. We’ll probably only see one of them in MLB this year.

MLB: MAR 24 Spring Training - Orioles at Phillies Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 59 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. That’s less than two months from today! The 1959 Orioles finished with a 74-80 record, good for sixth place in what was then a one-division American League. They were a mere 20 games out of first. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm led the team with 6.8 bWAR as he threw 226 innings with a 2.19 ERA. Though Wilhelm led all of MLB in ERA, he did not receive a single Cy Young vote.

Only 15 days are left until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the start of spring training. Maybe the Orioles will officially announce the non-roster invitees some time soon. We do at least know that Adley Rutschman, freshly minted #4 prospect in the game by MLB Pipeline, will be among them, probably just to get a taste of big league camp early on.

Appearing at a Delmarva Shorebirds event over the weekend, Mike Elias left the door open to there possibly still being further additions to the roster between now and the beginning of the season. One familiar name thrown around as a possibility - though not directly by Elias at that banquet, obviously - is Andrew Cashner.

A veteran who will get dealt in July in order to hopefully get back prospects and open up a spot for a performing minor leaguer isn’t the worst thing I can think of to stick in the rotation. The idea of leaving multiple spots for an open competition among multiple Rule 5 picks and some others is not terribly appealing. But I’ll be surprised if the O’s sign anyone else anyway. Get ready to see a lot more home runs allowed.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles get four on the MLB Pipeline top 100 prospects list (Steve Melewski)
Ryan Mountcastle was a “just missed” on the Baseball America top 100 last week. He’s a “just made it” for MLB Pipeline, coming in at #94. Obviously, how he performs matters more than how he’s ranked, but how he’s ranked could help set the expectations.

The curiosities continue over Mountcastle (Roch Kubatko)
Understandably, Mountcastle was on beat writers minds over the weekend. Roch reports that the Orioles are planning to try out Mountcastle in right field. Sounds like an adventure.

Orioles add to international signing class with seven prospects out of Dominican Republic (Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles had a big wave of July 2 announcements for the first time in pretty much ever, and they’ve gone back to splash a little more money around later in the signing period too.

Rio Ruiz looks to be Orioles third baseman again in 2020 (Baltimore Baseball)
Ruiz strikes me as the kind of player who won’t be one of the team’s worst players in these bad years, and won’t still be on the team once they get serious about having good players.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2015, the Orioles traded Steven Brault and Stephen Tarpley to the Pirates for Travis Snider. Brault was a PTBNL in the trade. Why Dan Duquette thought it would be a good idea to acquire Snider never became clear from Snider’s play as an Oriole.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017-18 infielder Tim Beckham, 2004 eight-game catcher Ken Huckaby, and 1979-85 platoon legend John Lowenstein.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), author Lewis Carroll (1832), AFL founder Samuel Gompers (1850), comic book man Frank Miller (1957), actor Patton Oswalt (1969), and actress Rosamund Pike (1979).

On this day in history...

In 1343, Pope Clement VII issued a bull titled Unigenitus, which among other things justified the use of indulgences. A couple of centuries later, Martin Luther took exception.

In 1606, Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot co-conspirators were put on trial for their scheme to blow up the House of Lords. They were found guilty and executed five days later.

In 1945, the survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp were liberated by the Soviet army.

In 1967, Apollo I astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee were all killed in a fire that broke out while testing their craft.

In 1980, six American diplomats in Iran who avoided capture when the embassy was overrun escaped from the country in the “Canadian Caper” plot, as dramatized in the Academy Award-winning film Argo.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 27 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.