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Saturday Bird Droppings: Hunter Harvey is nearing a return to the Orioles

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The Orioles lost again on Friday, but the day wasn’t without some good news.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Workouts Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles are only 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, and they happen to have three more games against the team directly ahead of them in the standings this weekend. So, this isn’t a time to panic. But the team’s current form isn’t encouraging. Over the last 11 games, the Orioles are 2-9.

Don’t expect for Orioles general manager Mike Elias to go out of his way to make the team any better this year prior to the trade deadline either. His plan for the organization goes beyond 2020. There could be additional promotions from the alternative site, but not much else.

One suggestion that I think most fans share is that the Orioles should avoid pitching to Randal Grichuk. The guy hit a walk-off, two-run home run last night, but that is the tip of the iceberg. He is now 8-for-19 with five home runs against the Orioles this year. He slugged .830 against them in 2019.

Normally, I am not one to fret much, if at all, over one player’s successes against a specific team. It’s usually a quirk of his statistics. His hits have to come against someone, ya know? But the Grichuk stuff is getting ridiculous. He is the new Gleyber Torres.

Tread carefully, Orioles pitchers.

Links

Givens on JRD: ‘It should always mean more’ - Orioles.com
The timing of Jackie Robinson Day couldn’t have been more appropriate this year.

Hyde hearing players, maturity of Mullins and Tate, rotation and more - School of Roch
Who knows what happens behind the scenes, but manager Brandon Hyde seems to have done a pretty nice job with these 2020 Orioles. They have (in general) played well, and Hyde showed characteristics of a good leader this week by listening to his players, their thoughts and feelings. He has maintained a united front, which isn’t always easy.

Orioles face challenge of 30 games in 31 days; Welcome to Buffalo; Hunter Harvey close to ready - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Hunter Harvey is coming back! That is something to be excited for.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde’s decision to pitch to Randal Grichuk underscores confidence in Cole Sulser - Baltimore Sun
I appreciate a manager having faith in one of his players. I am just not so sure that Cole Sulser is the player that deserves quite so much faith. At the same time, Friday night’s loss came in Sulser’s second inning of work and the home run was against a player that few Orioles pitchers have been able to contain.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

Eddie Rogers was an Orioles infielder during the 2002 season and then again from 2005 through 2006. He played in just 30 total MLB games, all of which came with the O’s. Rogers turns 42 today.

Longtime Orioles third baseman Doug DeCinces is celebrating his 70th birthday. He spent 1973 through 1981 with the O’s, during which he compiled a .253/.323/.428 batting line and 18.0 bWAR.

It’s the 81st birthday of Dave Nicholson, and O’s outfielder in 1980 and then again in 1982. Nicholson donned the Orioles orange for 151 games and hit .178/.296/.357 with the team.

Finally, it is the birthday of the late Frank Zupo (b. 1939, d. 2005). The catcher played in 16 MLB games, all coming with the Orioles over three seasons (1957-58, ‘60).

This day in history

1979 - Have a day, Eddie Murray! The future Hall of Famer drives in all of the Orioles runs in a 7-4 win over the Twins. He does so by hitting three straight home runs, two as a right-handed hitter and one from the left side of the plate.

1996 - The O’s make a deal with the Phillies to land third baseman Todd Zeile and outfielder Pete Incaviglia for two players to be named later.

1999 - In the Orioles final game at Tiger Stadium, outfielder Albert Belle ties a major league record with four doubles, leading the Birds to an 11-4 win.