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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles’ roster paring has begun

With the 2020 offseason officially underway, the O’s have begun clearing some flotsam off the roster.

Baltimore Orioles v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If you’re the type of baseball fan who thirsts for roster moves, yesterday was your lucky day. The Orioles began cutting down their 40-man roster in preparation for adding a number of prospects by Nov. 20. They unlucky quartet to lose their spots yesterday were infielder Andrew Velazquez and pitchers David Hess, Branden Kline, and Kohl Stewart. Hess became a free agent, while the other three were outrighted to the minors and will stay in the organization.

There are no surprises on that list. None of those four figured to have a place on the next contending Orioles team, nor did they show enough at the big league level to be considered useful placeholders during the club’s rebuild. Hess in particular had struggled since starting his MLB career with four quality starts in his first five outings in 2018. He ultimately amassed a 4-20 record and 5.86 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Orioles. Kline posted a 5.48 ERA in his 37 career appearances, while Velazquez carries a career .476 OPS in the majors, including .480 for the Orioles in 2020. Stewart never made an appearance for the O’s but had a 4.79 career ERA for the Twins.

Those four certainly won’t be the last subtractions from the Orioles’ roster this offseason, as there are several others on the 40-man who are very much on the bubble. Such is life for a rebuilding team. Fringe players will come and go, but you just try to make incremental progress and improve the overall roster bit by bit. It’s a slow process that will require some patience, but hopefully the O’s are building toward something exciting.


Case for/against O’s bringing back Iglesias -
There’s no reasonable case against bringing back Jose Iglesias other than not wanting to spend even the slightest bit of money. It’s a mere $3 million for a guy who was arguably the team’s best player last year. If the Orioles aren’t willing to do that, they really are in for a rough winter.

Quick recap of fall instructional camp - School of Roch
The Orioles’ instructional camp has wrapped up, and it was a success, says director of player development Matt Blood. I’m sure that’s true, but I mean, it’s not like he was going to say, “It was a huge failure, and we shouldn’t have done it.” Imagine?

Baltimore Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle Should Win AL Rookie of the Year - Birds Watcher
Jesse Morrison makes the case for Mountcastle to earn ROY honors because of his offensive advantage over frontrunner Kyle Lewis. I don’t think it’s gonna happen — Lewis played 58 games to Mountcastle’s 35 and was a better defender at a more valuable position. But hey, the good news is that Mountcastle could still win Rookie of the Year next season.

Hess, Kline among cuts as Orioles trim 40-man roster -
Buried in this article is the note that Carter Baumler, whom the O’s drafted in the fifth round this year, underwent Tommy John surgery. Not great! But hopefully he’ll have a smooth recovery and a long career ahead of him.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! One former Oriole shares your birthday: 2000-06 outfielder Luis Matos, who turns 42.

On this day in 1986, the O’s traded homegrown righty Storm Davis, a reliable starter for the 1983 World Series champs and Camden Chat’s 44th greatest Oriole of all time, to San Diego for catcher Terry Kennedy and righty Mark Williamson. The O’s got an All-Star season out of Kennedy and eight solid years from Williamson, while Davis lasted just 21 games for the Padres, pitching to a 6.18 ERA.