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Saturday Bird Droppings: The Orioles haven’t won a game in a week

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Ryan Mountcastle’s debut on Friday night was neat, but it didn’t put an end to the O’s recent struggles.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

It’s not great out there, folks. The Orioles are flailing, losers of six in a row. Meanwhile, the division rival Blue Jays are thriving, winners of six in a row. This isn’t to say that the Orioles playoff chances are dead, or even near dead, but they are at least looking a little green around the gills.

The biggest issue is quite apparent. The Orioles pitching, which had been surprisingly serviceable to start the year, has fallen off a cliff. During this losing streak, the O’s hurlers have allowed 39 earned runs over 55 innings. That’s a 6.38 ERA and has increased the staff’s season ERA by nearly half of a run (4.99).

Depending on your perspective, the timing of this losing streak is either highly annoying or perfectly placed. This year’s trade deadline is just nine days away. While the Orioles front office was unlikely to make any major moves regardless of the team’s record, this latest slide allows for even easier decision making.

In face, if the losses continue to pile up, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see the Orioles shop a bullpen arm or two. With the limited rosters it may be tough to pull off a deal, but that won’t stop the rumors from persisting.

But let’s kick that negative can down the road a tad. The O’s are still alive, and they have two more games this weekend against what remains a bad Red Sox team. A rebound is not out of the question.

Links

Hyde on Mountcastle: “I’m going to play him a lot” - School of Roch
Good! They should. I won’t argue that Ryan Mountcastle is a franchise-altering prospect. But he looks like a guy that is going to be productive at the plate, and he makes the Orioles better than they were without him. There really wasn’t much left for him to learn in the minors. It was time to promote him, and it’s time for him to get loads of playing time.

Like it or not, the Baltimore Orioles are stuck with Chris Davis’ contract - NBC Sports
Of course. The cost has been sunk, and nothing will change that. Chris Davis is no longer a major league caliber player. The Orioles won’t be the first team to pay a player to go away. The Angels did it with Josh Hamilton. It’s OK, guys. We won’t judge you.

2020 Trade Value: #1 to #10 - FanGraphs
The FanGraphs staff has been counting down the 50 most valuable players in affiliated baseball this week. The Orioles have just one name on the list, and he isn’t even in the big leagues.

Mullins making most of latest opportunity - Orioles.com
Cedric Mullins possesses a valuable set of skills: foot speed, a steady glove and, prior to his big league debut, solid contact skills at the plate. As lost as he looked in 2019, he looks equally locked in so far in 2020.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

Longtime left-handed pitcher Randy Wolf turns 44. He spent most of his 16-season career with the Phillies, but did appear in five games for the 2012 Orioles, allowing nine runs in 15.1 innings.

Former reliever Steve Kline is celebrating his 48th birthday. During the 2005 season with the O’s, he accumulated a 4.28 ERA over 67 appearances and 61 innings. He would then be traded in the off-season to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for fellow reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

Finally, it is the birthday of the late Angelo Dagres (b. 1934, d. 2017). The outfielder played in just eight MLB games, all of which came with the 1955 Birds.

This day in history

1966 - Frank Robinson falls into a pool and nearly drowns during a private party held for the Orioles, but he is saved by teammates Andy Etchebarren and Davey Johnson.

2007 - In the first game of a double-header, the Orioles get shellacked by the Texas Rangers 30-3, an American League record for runs scored. The Rangers would score nine more runs in the second game of the day to set another record with 39 runs scored in a double-header.