Good morning Birdland,
This sort of situation is exactly what Mike Elias had in mind when he took over the reigns of the Orioles two years ago. His plan was clear. The big league team would struggle to win while the organization bolstered the farm system through an influx of talented players, coaches, and analysts.
Now, prospect rankings done by media outlets are not the same as how the various organizations regard these players. And those rankings certainly don’t mean that the Orioles will be a World Series contender in short order. But at the very least they are a sign of tangible progress that those both inside and outside of the team can point to and say “See? We are getting closer.”
When many of those most talented youngsters will make their way to Baltimore is anyone’s guess. Sure, someone like Adley Rutschman is probably “good enough” for the big leagues right now. But the Orioles are in no rush to get him there.
It is a balancing act for Elias. He wants to maximize the team control of Rutschman and others, but he won’t want to wait so long that he wastes the time of players like Ryan Mountcastle and Dean Kremer on non-competitive teams. We will learn more about his plans there as the 2021 season develops.
Links & Notes
No. 9 prospect Baumann ‘ready to go’ for ‘21 | Orioles.com
Michael Baumann may have been the pitcher in the organization that benefitted most from the addition of Chris Holt. The right-hander saw his strikeout numbers take a huge jump in 2019, and he now seems poised to make a big league debut sometime in 2021.
These are baseball’s 10 best LHP prospects | MLB Pipeline
Grayson Rodriguez was named as the seventh-best right-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball earlier in the week, and now D.L. Hall is picked as the ninth-best southpaw. This has fans dreaming about a dynamite 1-2 punch at the top of the O’s rotation for years to come. Fingers crossed.
Five Orioles prospects are in the Baseball America Top 100. The next step? Getting a homegrown infielder on the list. | The Baltimore Sun
The lack of any elite infield prospects within the Orioles organization is a glaring hole that the club is attempting to address. They added 17-year-old shortstop Maikol Hernandez last week, and expectations of 19-year-old Gunnar Hernandez are lofty.
What to do about the DH? | School of Roch
Considering the Orioles current roster, the most likely outcome at DH would seem to be a revolving door of players that will be getting a “half-day” off. It could make sense to give Trey Mancini at least one of these days a week after missing all of 2020.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Luis Exposito turns 34. He appeared in 9 MLB games, all with the 2012 Orioles, and went 1-for-18 with three walks and five strikeouts. He has been out of affiliated ball since 2014.
David Lough celebrates his 35th birthday. The outfielder came to Baltimore via a 2013 trade that sent Danny Valencia to the Kansas City Royals. Lough spent two seasons with the O’s in 2014 and ‘15, hitting .227/.280/.354 in that time.
Matt Albers is 38 years old. The right-handed pitcher was one of the pieces the O’s received from the Houston Astros in exchange for Miguel Tejada in 2007. Albers spent three seasons in Baltimore from 2008 through 2010, accumulating a 4.93 ERA over 191.2 innings that mostly came out of the bullpen. He has pitched for seven clubs since then, last appearing for the 2019 Brewers.
Ozzie Guillen is 57 today. The shortstop spent 12 games with the O’s in 1998 after 13 solid seasons with the White Sox. He went on to become an accomplished manager after his playing career came to a close in 2000.
Bill Scherrer is 63. The southpaw played in just four games with the Orioles, all in 1988. He tossed four total innings and allowed six runs on eight hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
Baltimore’s own Dave Boswell (d. 2012) was born on this day in 1945. He made his name during a seven-season run with the Minnesota Twins. But he wrapped up his big league career with 15 games as an Orioles hurler in 1971. A recurring arm injury he first suffered as a member of the Twins when facing the Orioles in 1969 ALCS ended his career as a 27-year-old.
It is also the birthday of the late Gene Stephens (b. 1933, d. 2019). His Orioles career spanned two years, from 1960 to ‘61. During his time in Baltimore the outfielder hit .227/.331/.339 over 116 total games.
1885 - The American Association is reorganized with seven teams, including the Baltimore Orioles.
2006 - The San Diego Padres claim 25-year-old slugger Walter Young off waivers from the Orioles. He had just made a favorable debut (10-for-33, 115 OPS+) for the O’s as a September call-up the previous season.