Good morning, Birdland!
The Orioles have plenty of holes on their roster, but one that’s glaring is a bit unexpected. The team doesn’t have a catcher on its 40-man roster despite that being the position of their absolute top prospect.
That has been the state of things since the team booted Pedro Severino and Austin Wynns off the roster after the season.
On one hand, that makes perfect sense. Adley Rutschman is going to do a lot of the catching in Baltimore next season, and it makes little sense to keep a subpar, veteran backstop on the roster behind him.
On the other hand, Rutschman cannot catch every single day and it remains unclear if he will break camp with the big league squad at all. So, the team needs at least two other catchers beyond Rutschman.
Its possible they already do. Jacob Nottingham and Anthony Bemboom are new to the organization, both recently signed to minor league deals. And both have big league experience, although it is minimal. That may be enough to fill the gap until Rutschman is promoted. But one other name is officially throwing his hat into the ring.
Caleb Joseph wants back in. He did a chat at MLB Trade Rumors on Tuesday in which he said his “Bags are already packed ready to go” in response to a question about returning to Baltimore.
A direct message conversation between him and the podcast I run with my pals added more fuel to the Joseph-to-Baltimore fires.
It would be fun to see Joseph back with the Orioles. He was a fan favorite, and he filled in well for Matt Wieters in 2014.
He also had that 0 RBI season in 2016 and has not played in the big leagues since 2020.
Joseph is 35 years old now, and it’s possible he’s still got something in the tank. A minor league with a spring invite does not seem entirely out of the question. But i also probably wouldn’t bet on it, no matter how cool it would be to see him mentor Rutschman in the early days of his career.
Another sampling of spring storyline | School of Roch
Roch touches on the catching situation here. It’s a bit of a mess, but seems to be by design. We all know that is Rutschman’s job, perhaps as early as mid-April. Why must we do this charade.
Baltimore Orioles in difficult spot with Trey Mancini | Call to the Pen
I don’t think the situation is that difficult. The team offered him a contract for 2022. That was the bit I was worried about as it would have come off as purely pinching pennies with no strategic upside had they done otherwise. Now, they can do all sorts of things: make him the everyday DH, trade him after the lockout, or even discuss a modest extension. To me, he looks like a trade deadline candidate, but who knows.
How Orioles co-hitting coach Matt Borgschulte went from stocking shelves as a volunteer assistant to the big leagues | The Baltimore Sun
Perhaps there will one day be a cheesy movie made about him in the mold of that Kurt Warner flick I see about 50 commercials for per day.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! A whole slew of former O’s were born on this day.
- Jaret Wright is 46. The former top prospect in the Cleveland system eventually made his way to Baltimore, where he appeared in three games for the 2007 squad.
- Jim Brower turns 49. The righty made 12 appearances out of the O’s bullpen in 2006.
- Dave Ford celebrates his 65th. He was a recurring member of the team’s pitching staff from 1978 through ‘81.
- Ken Rudolph is 75 today. He capped his nine-season MLB career with 11 appearances for the 1977 Orioles.
This weekend in O’s history
2005 - A funeral is held for Elrod Hendricks, an Orioles legend that had a lengthy playing and coaching career with the organization. The service at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore is attended by a number of team staples, including Earl Weaver and Cal Ripken, Jr.