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Monday Bird Droppings: Orioles minor leaguers in Arizona are fall champions

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The Mesa Solar Sox, the team including several Orioles minor leaguers, are the 2021 Arizona Fall League champions.

Scottsdale Scorpions v Mesa Solar Sox
Orioles minor leaguer Nick Vespi and his fellow Mesa Solar Sox are AFL champions. Good job!
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now four months and six days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day 2022. We’re a week less than three months to go until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota. All of this continues to assume that there are no disruptions to the 2022 season calendar by the expected owner lockout if the CBA expires on December 2 without a new deal.

If you had already checked out of paying attention to the Orioles before the close of business on Friday, you should make sure to read up on the six prospects the O’s chose to add to the 40-man roster to protect them from the coming Rule 5 draft on December 9, or a later date if the lockout occurs.

Over the weekend, there was even a little bit of Orioles-related excitement. How much excitement depends on how much you can muster for this tidbit: The Arizona Fall League team that included Orioles prospects and prospects from four other teams won the AFL championship on Saturday. The Mesa Solar Sox triumphed over the Surprise Saguaros, 6-0. Fresh 40-man addition Logan Gillaspie pitched a scoreless inning, as did Nick Vespi.

At the beginning of the AFL season, this team also included outfield prospects Yusniel Diaz and Kyle Stowers. Stowers played in just three games and Diaz seven before minor injuries got them shut down. Other O’s minor leaguers who appeared for the Solar Sox: Cameron Bishop, Greg Cullen, Connor Loeprich, and Ramon Rodriguez. I told you it wasn’t very exciting! Cullen, just had a .935 OPS in 15 games, so good job for him.

And one bit of former Oriole news: ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported yesterday evening that catcher Pedro Severino has an agreement with the Brewers, pending a physical. Severino is set to make $1.9 million guaranteed after being outrighted by the O’s earlier in the offseason. Severino was cut loose with a pending $3.1 million arbitration salary coming along. I had seen enough of his defensive abilities to know I don’t want to see any more, but perhaps he’ll bounce back elsewhere.

Around the blogO’sphere

Can we get excited about the Orioles yet? (MLBTR)
MLBTR’s Offseason Outlook series turns its eye on our favorite baseball team. League-wide media sometimes just does a drive-by dump on the Orioles, but this is not one of those articles. It’s a fair look, even if it might depress you with all of the “If the Orioles signed a free agent...” speculation that will surely amount to nothing.

After 40-man addition, does Bradish help rotation next year? (Steve Melewski)
I will make the prediction that, barring injury, Kyle Bradish is going to join the Orioles rotation next year. Whether he helps is another story.

...and that’s pretty much it. This has not been a busy time of year for the O’s since Mike Elias took over the team, other than the 40-man decisions. That’s probably not going to change this year. The week of Thanksgiving isn’t a very busy week for most teams, though there have been some notable exceptions over the years. The Orioles themselves introduced Elias two days before Thanksgiving three years ago.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2016-17 pitcher Jayson Aquino, 2007-08 outfielder Jay Payton, and 1963-64 outfielder Joe Gaines. Today is Gaines’s 85th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Wars of the Roses side-switcher Richard “the Kingmaker” Neville (1428), early First Lady Abigail Adams (1744), writer George Eliot (1819), World War II Free French general Charles de Gaulle (1890), comedian Rodney Dangerfield (1921), tennis legend Billie Jean King (1943), E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt (1950), actress Jamie Lee Curtis (1958), and actress Scarlett Johansson (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1718, the pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach was attacked off the coast of North Carolina by a Royal Navy ship led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard. In the ensuing confrontation, Teach was killed, along with Maynard’s first officer.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in his motorcade through Dallas. The assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed in police custody two days later.

In 1995, Pixar’s Toy Story was released. It’s noteworthy for being the first feature-length film that was drawn entirely using computer-generated imagery.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 22. Have a safe Monday.