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Saturday Bird Droppings: Second half just like the first

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The O’s lost, and Gary Thorne called a game for someone else, but at least the second-round pick signed on the dotted line.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

This is based off of an admittedly small sample size (one game), but the second-half Orioles look like they are going to have many of the same issues that plagued the first-half Orioles. At least that’s what I took away from the team’s 9-2 loss to the Royals last night, which our own Alex Church recapped.

It was the O’s season in miniature. Cedric Mullins did some fun things at the top of the lineup, the middle of the order went quiet, and the pitching was horrendous. You won’t win many games when giving up nine runs, and you won’t win many games when you only score twice.

Keegan Akin’s struggles are disappointing, but they should not be particularly surprising. He has been regarded as a decent prospect for quite a while, and he has lived up to much of that potential simply by reaching the big leagues. Now it’s time to take that final step and determine if and where he fits on a major league roster long term. The results, to this point, would indicate that starting is not the answer. But as is true with almost every pitcher the Orioles currently have at or near the majors, he will need to be stretched for the time being anyway. They have no other answers, especially when fellow young pitchers like Dean Kremer and Zac Lowther have performed even worse.

Links

Short starts resume in second half in 9-2 loss | School of Roch
Brandon Hyde’s quotes can be revealing at times, and the one where he rips apart the pitch selection of Akin and his battery mate, Pedro Severino, speaks volumes. Everyone understands the talent deficiency on the current roster, and talent extends to execution, but clearly Hyde thinks Akin could be doing some things better.

Former Orioles announcer Gary Thorne returns to the broadcast booth as fill-in with Mets | The Baltimore Sun
Sometimes relationships don’t work out. And if you’ve spent a long time together it can be really tough to see your former partner out on a date with a new person at that restaurant you used to frequent. That feeling will pass, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less in the moment.

Orioles sign second-round Draft selection Connor Norby | Orioles.com
It’s nice to see one of the O’s higher picks be signed so quickly. This should allow him to get assigned to an affiliate soon and start getting meaningful games under his belt before the summer’s out. Also of note, MLB.com’s Jim Callis is reporting that Norby signed for about $100K underslot, which should help the O’s convince any of the college sophomores or the one high schooler they picked to go pro.

Keith Law’s AL East draft recap | The Athletic
Law refers to the pick of Cowser as a “reach” and then questions if the Orioles will spend their entire bonus pool. Whether or not they spend ever cent likely comes down to how much of a discount Cowser takes, and how much convincing the eighth-round pick Creed Willems needed to ditch his TCU commitment, which he has already said on Twitter that he will. Those numbers could end up being similar.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! According to Baseball Reference, no current or former Orioles players have been born on this day. But it is the birthday of songwriter and pianist Vince Guaradli (1928-1976), actor David Hasselhoff (b. 1952), German chancellor Angela Merkel (b. 1954), country singer Luke Bryan (b. 1976), and musician Jeremih (b. 1987), so that’s cool.

This day in history

1991 - Sam Horn becomes the first non-pitcher to strikeout six straight times in one game as the Orioles lose to the Royals 9-8 in 15 innings.

1992 - Mike Mussina one-hits the Rangers, striking out 10 in the O’s 8-0 win.

1998 - Rafael Palmeiro hits his 300th career home run in a 4-1 Orioles win over the Angels.