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Sunday Bird Droppings: Heading into Rule 5 40-man roster deadline week

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The Orioles are five days away from having to decide which of their Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects to put on the 40-man roster.

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 137 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2021, which is on the schedule for April 1 of next year. Pitchers and catchers are currently set to report to Sarasota three months and one day away from today. There are a lot of days between now and then.

Much closer than the start of spring training is the deadline to add Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects to the 40-man roster in order to keep them safe from this year’s draft. That’s only five days away, so by the end of the week we’ll know who the Orioles are going to be protecting.

It might be revealing about how Mike Elias thinks of some of the Dan Duquette leftovers. If keeping a prospect is essential, he’ll go on the 40-man roster. If the Orioles are willing to take their chances, the prospect will be left off and could be chosen next month at the all-virtual 2020 winter meetings.

Another thing that is coming along in the baseball world this week is the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot. That will be announced on Monday. The best of the bunch of expected first-timers are Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle, and Torii Hunter. Those guys are all firmly in the “Hall of Very Good” category for me.

Former Oriole Curt Schilling was the closest to induction without making it in for this year. In an ordinary year, that would probably make him near-automatic, but with the 2020 inductees getting their ceremony rolled into 2021, plus Schilling’s post-career behavior, that might keep him from finding the last 5% that he couldn’t get last year.

Around the blogO’sphere

What’s missing without in-person Winter Meetings (School of Roch)
We’ve reached the “Roch reminisces about past Winter Meetings” portion of both the pandemic isolation and the offseason. The meetings will all be virtual this year.

Cesar Valdez’s success was a highlight of Orioles’ season (Baltimore Baseball)
I would be substantially less generous in throwing around “highlight” about a guy who pitched in nine games, but Valdez was certainly an interesting story.

Baseball America sizes up the top O’s prospects (Steve Melewski)
Steve runs through the latest BA Top 10 Orioles, noting that seven of the top ten were added to the organization on Dan Duquette’s watch.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1983, Cal Ripken Jr. won his first American League MVP award. This was a noteworthy feat as it made Cal the first player to ever win Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in consecutive seasons. Cal batted .318/.371/.517 and in what probably impressed 1983 voters the most, drove in 102 runs for a good team.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2012/2016-19 pitcher Dylan Bundy, 2002 pitcher John Stephens, and 2004 seven-game reliever Darwin Cubillan.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: British Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder (1708), public health advocate Sara Josephine Baker (1873), actor Ed Asner (1929), “Canadian Caper” spy Tony Mendez (1940), wrestler “The Macho Man” Randy Savage (1952), rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard (1968), and actor Shailene Woodley (1991).

On this day in history...

In 1777, the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation for governing among the newly (and still uncertain) independent United States.

In 1864, the Union Army under General Sherman set out from Atlanta on what’s now known to the history books as Sherman’s March to the Sea.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid in the cornerstone for the Jefferson Memorial. It took until 1943 to complete construction.

In 1966, the final mission of the Gemini program was completed successfully when Gemini 12 splashed down after a nearly four-day mission. The astronauts on the mission, James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin, continued into the Apollo program.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 15. Have a safe Sunday.