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Friday Bird Droppings: Where we’ve got Orioles prospects on our minds

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The O’s are preparing a fall instructional league, and every prospect you’ve heard of is invited. This should be fun.

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves
Adley Rutschman, among many others, is Sarasota-bound.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Yesterday brought another wild night in MLB postseason action. In the AL, the Athletics secured the final spot in the Division Series round, beating the White Sox in a sudden-death Game 3 for their first postseason series victory since 2006. They’ll take on the Astros next week.

Meanwhile, Camden Chat’s adopted National League team, the Padres, pulled off a thrilling victory over the Cardinals to force a decisive Game 3. Trailing 4-0 early, the Pads battered Cardinals pitching for five home runs, including two apiece by Wil Myers and Fernando Tatis Jr. and one from ex-Oriole Manny Machado.

Back in Birdland, the rebuilding Orioles are keeping busy by preparing a fall instructional league at their spring training complex in Sarasota. According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, the camp is expected to include nearly all the Orioles’ most high-profile prospects — including Adley Rutschman, Heston Kjerstad, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, and Gunnar Henderson — as well as other minor leaguers in the club’s top 30 list. Once the players have cleared COVID-19 testing, they’ll likely begin playing games in the second week of October.

Forget the playoffs — this is what I want to be televised.

Seriously, how fun would it be to be a fly on the wall at that camp? All the Orioles’ best prospects, together on one field, showcasing their talents in a possible preview of the next great Orioles team? I’d pay good money to attend. (Well, no I wouldn’t, because...the pandemic and all. But you get my point.)

It should be a great opportunity for the young players to get some extra hands-on instruction, and for the Orioles to evaluate guys who didn’t get to play a minor league season this year. Some were at the Bowie alternate site the last two months, but getting a few extra looks is never a bad idea. Here’s hoping that next year, we’ll have returned to enough of a state of normalcy that the Birds’ prospects will get to take part in actual minor league competition again.

Links

O’s prospect report from alternate site - Orioles.com
Speaking of Orioles prospects, Jonathan Mayo interviews O’s farm director Matt Blood about how they fared at the alternate site. Blood called one of them “the most exciting guy in camp,” and it might not be who you think.

Answers to your Orioles questions, Part 1 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff tackles questions from readers. If you’re wondering whether there’s a question about the Orioles releasing Chris Davis, yes, of course there’s a question about the Orioles releasing Chris Davis.

Comparing Ryan Mountcastle’s major league start to Manny Machado’s - Steve Melewski
Melewski writes that Ryan Mountcastle’s first big league season comes out “well ahead” of Manny Machado’s. That’s if you pretend defense doesn’t exist.

Baltimore Orioles Brandon Hyde Deserves Manager of the Year - Birds Watcher
I like Brandon Hyde as much as the next guy, but...nah.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles were born on this day: 2003 infielder Jose Morban (41) and 2007 right-hander Victor Santos (44).

On this day in 1982, the Orioles won their third straight game of their season-ending four-game series against the Brewers, pounding out 11 runs on 18 hits. Sammy Stewart pitched 5.2 scoreless innings of relief after an abbreviated Scott McGregor start. The victory pulled the Orioles into a first-place tie with the Brewers with one game left to play. Just don’t think about what happened the next day.

In 2016, the Orioles clinched a wild card spot on the last day of the regular season, beating the Yankees, 5-2. Kevin Gausman worked 7.1 strong innings, while Matt Wieters homered from both sides of the plate in what ended up being his last regular-season game as an Oriole. Zack Britton got the final five outs of the game in preparation for, uh, not pitching at all in the Wild Card Game.

The O’s have played three postseason games on this date in history, winning all three:

  • In 1996, the Orioles beat the Indians at Camden Yards, 7-4, to take a 2-0 lead in the Division Series. The Orioles broke a four-all tie in the eighth, with B.J. Surhoff, Brady Anderson, and Roberto Alomar driving in the runs. Anderson also homered in the game.
  • In 1997, the Orioles again took a 2-0 lead in the Division Series, this time against the Mariners. Anderson and Harold Baines mashed home runs as part of the Orioles’ 9-3 blowout in Seattle.
  • And in 2014, the O’s won the opener of the Division Series against the Tigers, using an eight-run eighth inning to turn a tense game into a 12-3 laugher. Nelson Cruz and J.J. Hardy both homered off Max Scherzer in the victory.