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Thursday Bird Droppings: Waiting on the official Orioles minor league shuffle

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MLB’s plan to contract minor league teams is coming. Frederick is rumored to be on the chopping block. We’re waiting to find out officially.

MLB: SEP 06 Yankees at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 134 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2021, or at least the one that’s currently on the schedule. We are less than three months away from pitchers and catchers being scheduled to report to Sarasota, and three months and two days away from when position players are required to report.

Much closer than that is tomorrow’s deadline to add Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from next month’s draft. Some time presumably soon, we may also get the official announcement of how the expected minor league contraction is going to affect the Orioles. Other teams have jumped the gun in leaking their own future arrangements. The O’s are not one of them.

For months, the speculation has been that Frederick will lose its affiliate status in a shuffle where short-season leagues like the New York-Penn League and Appalachian League are eliminated. The O’s current NYPL affiliate, the Aberdeen IronBirds, is expected to replace Frederick in a full-season league. It’s not known whether they will join the Carolina League or if there’s other affiliate shuffling of levels to come.

We’ll see if there are other surprises when the announcement is made. One reason it would be a surprise if there are any major changes is that the Orioles are already well set up with affiliates in close proximity to the big league team in Baltimore, with Triple-A Norfolk being the farthest trip. Having four teams in Maryland is an advantage for the Orioles. Under the coming system, having three teams in the state will still be an advantage.

Around the blogO’sphere

Iglesias glad to be an Oriole and expecting to win in 2021 (School of Roch)
It doesn’t mean a whole lot that Jose Iglesias believes in the team and where he thinks it’s headed next year, but you know, it’s better than nothing.

Each team’s best 2021 award candidate (MLB.com)
The folks at MLB predict that Trey Mancini winning the Comeback Player of the Year award is the most likely 2021 Orioles award. I would have to say I think they’re right.

Elias’ first two years as Orioles general manager have been eventful (Baltimore Baseball)
It’s now been two years since Mike Elias was hired. I still feel a lot better about the future of the franchise than I did before he was hired.

Rule 5 protection date approaches for the Orioles (Steve Melewski)
Steve predicts the O’s will protect Yusniel Diaz, Michael Baumann, Zac Lowther, and Rylan Bannon, and he sees the possibility for Alexander Wells to be added to the roster as well.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1963, Hank Bauer was named manager of the Orioles. He was still at the helm when the team won its first World Series in 1966.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2020 catcher Bryan Holaday, 1988 two-game pitcher Dickie Noles, and 1966-68 catcher Larry Haney.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Suez canal engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805), 20th president James A. Garfield (1831), big band era bandleader Tommy Dorsey (1905), baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella (1921), fashion designer Calvin Klein (1942), actor Meg Ryan (1961), gold medal gymnast Kerri Strug (1977), and actor Adam Driver (1983).

On this day in history...

In 1493, Christopher Columbus went ashore on the island that is known today as Puerto Rico.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln followed a two-hour oration by Edward Everett with the 271-word Gettysburg Address, a few words of which predicted inaccurately, “The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here.”

In 1942, during World War II, Zhukov’s Soviet forces launched Operation Uranus, a series of counterattacks in the Battle of Stalingrad that within days led to more than 250,000 German soldiers being encircled.

In 1969, the Apollo 12 mission touched down at Oceanus Procellarum on the moon - the Ocean of Storms. Its astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean became the third and fourth humans to walk on the moon.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 19. Have a safe Thursday!