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Thursday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are losing their way up the draft order

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The 2021 draft order is expected to be based on 2020 records. The Orioles swoon is kicking them up the first round.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Things aren’t going great for the Orioles, but Austin Hays (right) had three hits last night.
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Things are not going so well for the Orioles in the closing stretch of the 2020 season. You’ve probably noticed by now. They are 3-12 in their last 15 games. They were so, so close to getting back to .500, and now instead they’re 23-33. They got the stuffing kicked out of them again last night, losing to the Red Sox, 9-1. Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap for the not-so-lovely totals.

Well, it wasn’t ALL bad. Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays both had three hits in the game, and Baltimore’s own Bruce Zimmermann pitched four mop-up innings with one run allowed, striking out five. Much better than his debut.

The only silver lining of all of this stinking is that the Orioles are losing their way up the 2021 first round. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported earlier this week that the 2021 draft order is now expected to just be based on 2020 record, the same way it would be determined in a typical season.

There are five teams who have won fewer games than the Orioles. They are tied with two other teams, the Royals and Nationals, at 23-33. However, the O’s hold the tiebreaker - worse record in 2019 - over both of those teams, so they are currently in line to pick at #6 in next year’s first round. The O’s could still move up a few picks, or if they sneak out of the skid to close out, could fall down a few picks.

It’d be more fun to see the Orioles win than to see them lose, but they’re going to win or lose no matter what we feel about it, so as long as they’re losing, might as well make the most out of that fact. MLB.com’s prospect guru Jim Callis offered a way-too-early top 10 in the 2021 draft yesterday, putting Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter, son of Al, to the Orioles at #7. That was before they lost last night and fell to #6 - in this rank, LSU righty Jaden Hill.

The O’s will try to avoid being swept by the Red Sox in tonight’s series finale. A loss would move the O’s up at least one more draft spot, as they’d then be tied with the Red Sox at 23-34 and holding that tiebreaker. Alex Cobb and Martin Perez are the expected starters for the 7:30 game.

Around the blogO’sphere

Evan Phillips hits IL; elbow prognosis positive (Orioles.com)
One bit of news yesterday is that Evan Phillips is on the IL with right elbow inflammation. Brandon Hyde is “hopeful we dodged a bullet there,” but it’s never good news when you’re talking aboue elbow soreness.

A look at a few slumping bats as the season’s end nears (Steve Melewski)
Things are going poorly for Hanser Alberto, Rio Ruiz, and Pedro Severino heading into the end of the season.

Five most intriguing young Orioles following truncated 2020 season (Press Box)
I, too, find these young Orioles intriguing. Here’s hoping they are able to carry this year’s performance into next season.

Hyde on Iglesias, Phillips, Kremer, offense, and defense (School of Roch)
Jose Iglesias hasn’t been ruled out of playing again in the final several games. That latest HBP was a bummer.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1971, the Orioles clinched the American League East as they swept a doubleheader against the Indians. Mike Cuellar won his 20th game of the season in the first game, while Pat Dobson picked up win #20 in the second game. The 1971 O’s won their final 11 regular season games.

In 1974, Baltimore-born Hall of Famer Al Kaline picked up his 3000th hit in a game against the Orioles.

In 1997, the Orioles clinched the sixth ever wire-to-wire season. Also, before they played the Blue Jays that day, Cito Gaston was fired as Jays manager.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2013 six-gamer Travis Ishikawa, 1999-2000 reserve Jesse Garcia, 2006-08 Orioles Magic 2.0 legend Kevin Millar, 1994-98 and 2004-05 first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, and 1967-71 and 1973-74 outfielder Curt Motton.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: early Chief Justice John Marshall (1755), writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896), Muppets creator Jim Henson (1936), actor Phil Hartman (1948), The Verve drummer Peter Salisbury (1971), and wrestling business heiress Stephanie McMahon (1976).

On this day in history...

In 1789, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, exercising its constitutional authority to make a law to set the number of Supreme Court justices. At that time, six was deemed sufficient.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower in Wyoming to be the first National Monument. There are 128 of these monuments today. Two are in Maryland: Fort McHenry in Baltimore, and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument on the Eastern Shore.

In 1929, Army aviator James Doolittle flew a plane from takeoff to landing without a window, proving that flying by instrument was possible.

In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce desegregation of schools.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 24. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!