It’s a calm before the storm kind of day for MLB today. There were no games on the calendar for this date even if each of the LCS series had gone to the maximum seven games rather than ending sooner. This was always going to be the day off before the World Series, and so here we are: The Series starts tomorrow night. I feel exceptionally ‘meh’ about Atlanta vs. Houston. I’m going to guess I’m not the only one.
Even in the midst of the lull, the Orioles have done some minor roster maintenance over the last couple of days. You may recall that they ended the season with a number of players on the 60-day injured list, meaning those guys were not on the 40-man roster. They must be returned to it over the offseason, when there is no injured list. That group is: Keegan Akin, Hunter Harvey, Jorge López, Jorge Mateo, and DJ Stewart.
One reason all of those guys were stashed onto the 60-day IL is so the Orioles could keep rushing poor-performing pitchers into the gap. The result is the 40-man was full at season’s end and they need to make room for guys. So over the weekend they started trimming. These four players have been outrighted off the roster in the last few days: Austin Wynns, Pat Valaika, Thomas Eshelman, Konner Wade. Counting coming free agent Fernando Abad, the O’s 40-man is down to 34, so they can add all five IL guys with a spot left over.
You might scan the 40-man roster yourself and see several more names you would not miss even a tiny bit. We’ll see how many players of that group the O’s end up removing as well. That may depend on how many of their Rule 5 draft-eligible minor leaguers they want to put on the 40-man roster to protect them from being drafted. Two unprotected O’s were drafted last year, though only Zach Pop, formerly of the Manny Machado trade, was not returned.
This year’s deadline to add players to protect them from the Rule 5 draft is November 19, so we’re less than a month away from those decisions being made. Whether the draft actually happens on the scheduled December 9 is going to depend on whether there’s any labor stoppage as the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on December 2.
Around the blogO’sphere
More on Orioles 40-man moves, plus Stowers note (School of Roch)
Remember how Kyle Stowers was the highest-ranked Orioles prospect in the Arizona Fall League? Well, he’s suffered a minor back injury so he’s not going to play for the rest of the league season. According to Roch, this is to ensure he’s ready for the start of spring training.
Should the Orioles pursue a star shortstop in free agency? (Birds Watcher)
The question of whether the Orioles should do this or that with free agency doesn’t interest me very much, mostly because I know they won’t do whatever it is. At least, not this winter.
The pitch mix and the one the O’s threw more than any AL team (Steve Melewski)
Steve notes that the Orioles were the most changeup-heavy AL team. Looking at the results of O’s pitchers overall, one might be tempted to draw the conclusion that this was not a success.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1983/88 outfielder Tito Landrum, and 1960 three-gamer Bobby Thomson.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Dodge co-founder John Francis Dodge (1864), artist Pablo Picasso (1881), author Zadie Smith (1975), and musician Katy Perry (1984).
On this day in history...
In 1415, during the Hundred Years’ War, England’s Henry V led his forces to victory while outnumbered by the French in the Battle of Agincourt. Shakespeare later wrote a famous speech set prior to the battle.
In 1812, Maryland-born naval officer Stephen Decatur led the frigate USS United States in capturing the British HMS Macedonian. This engagement in the War of 1812 led to the Macedonian being the first-ever captured Royal Navy vessel to be brought to an American harbor.
In 1962, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson presented the aerial reconnaissance photographs showing Soviet missiles in Cuba to the UN Security Council.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 25. Have a safe Monday.