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Saturday Bird Droppings: The Orioles extended losing skid continues

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Things are just not going well for the O’s, but there is still news worth discussing.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

After putting up 23 runs over a three-game stretch earlier in the week, it appeared that the Orioles may have finally gotten over their offensive woes for the time being. On top of that, the return of Anthony Santander promised to provide a boost to the bats as well.

The reality is that the bats went quiet for the second straight day last night, and they have now scored just three times in 18 innings. Just about everything is going wrong for the Orioles during their current 1-8 slide. On the bright side, things can only up from here...hopefully.

Santander’s return is a big deal. Maybe he’s not the guy who tore up the league in 2020, but he should be an improvement on the other options that the Orioles have to bat clean-up. A prime example of that is Maikel Franco and his continued struggles. He has a .312 OPS over his last 15 games, and has not looked like a big league hitter for quite a few weeks now.

If the minor league season had start in April like normal, maybe guys like Rylan Bannon or Jahmai Jones would be making it obvious that they are ready to take over the hot corner job in Baltimore. But they have only been playing since early May, and the Orioles could prefer for them to get a bit more seasoned prior to a promotion. Not to mention, Jones is currently dealing with injuries as it is.

That said, there is reason for optimism in the second-half of the season. Some of the young guys will emerge in the big leagues at some point. Then, even if the wins aren’t coming, at least we will be learning something about the potential future of the club.

Links

Orioles Activate Anthony Santander From Injured List | MLB Trade Rumors
In case you missed it somehow (He was literally in the starting lineup last night), Santander is back. He might be the player that the front office most hopes turns it on at the plate. They were already receiving calls for him over the winter, and that would certainly resume if he shows an ability to return to his 2020 heights.

Jannis ends up on short end of perfection | MLB.com
O’s knuckleballer Mickey Jannis tossed five perfect innings in relief for the Tides, but lost because of the extra-inning, runner-on-second rule. Further proof that the rule is dumb, and baseball should explore other ways to shorten the game if that is what they are after. What about just playing to a tie after 10 or 11 innings? Anyone?

As Orioles starters struggle to pitch deep into games, the bullpen begins to falter | The Baltimore Sun
Of course! This is the natural outcome when four of a team’s five most frequent starters have massive issues when facing a lineup more than one time. But the Orioles are not about to just throw Zac Lowther or Alexander Wells into the big league fire just because they need to try something else. The current squad is going to need to take their lumps, and the Norfolk shuttle will be racking up the miles in the meantime.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Rio Ruiz turns 27 today. The recently DFA’ed infielder spent parts of three seasons with the O’s from 2019 through 2021, posting a .672 OPS over 213 total games with time spent at first, second, and third base plus one inning in left field.
  • Rick van den Hurk celebrates his 36th birthday. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 13 games with the O’s between the 2010 and ‘11 seasons.
  • John Bale is 47 years old. The southpaw made his way into 14 games for the 2001 Orioles.
  • Longtime big league reliever José Mesa turns 55. His 19-season big league career began in Baltimore. From 1987 through 1992, Mesa pitched 269.1 innings, mostly as a starter, and compiled a 5.41 ERA before being dealt to Cleveland.

This day in history

1959 - Orioles starter Hoyt Wilhelm tosses a one-hitter against the Yankees, leading the good guys to a 5-0 win. Jerry Lumpe’s 8th-inning single is the only blemish on Wilhelm’s otherwise outstanding day.