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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles try to build a road winning streak

The O’s have now won two road games in a row. Dare we hope for a third straight tonight? Probably we should not hope for that.

Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals
“Let’s be better baseball players.” “OK.”
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The Orioles are now on pace for a .667 post-All Star break winning percentage! Yes, that’s only based on the three games they just played in Kansas City, where they won the last two of a three game set, so let’s not get carried away. For the season, the O’s are now at 30-62, which works out to about a 53-109 pace over a full 162 game season. It’s not very good. Anyone who’s been watching is well aware.

In the race for a high draft pick, this leaves the Orioles sitting in the #2 spot, six games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the loss column. The next-worst team is the Rangers, who are four games up in the loss column after a five game (and counting) losing streak. With two straight years of seeing the team use the top draft pick for an under slot strategy, it’s hard to get too worked up about the exact draft pick standings. However bad they are, that’s what they’ll get. I know better now than to think of it as much of a consolation prize.

A much tougher task awaits the O’s starting tonight than the Royals. The Tampa Bay Rays have won eight out of ten and are in second place in the division, They are good and they have plenty to play for, since they are a mere half game back of first place, looking to overtake the Red Sox. I would like for Boston to not be in first place, but I would not like an Orioles loss to be why that occurs.

As the O’s move on from Kansas City, one more thought about the Royals. They announced promotions on Sunday night for a couple of their prospects, including Bobby Witt Jr. heading to the team’s Triple-A affiliate. Witt, you may recall, was the #2 overall pick two years ago, behind the O’s pick of Adley Rutschman at #1. Witt was selected from the high school ranks. Rutschman came from college.

Catchers are thought to develop on a bit of a different timeline, so that’s surely part of it, but it stands out that the high school player taken right after Rutschman is now headed for Triple-A and Rutschman himself is still at Double-A even as he’s OPSing .869 with Bowie. It’s seemed for a while to me that Rutschman is probably ready for the next level and I don’t know when the O’s will agree.

Perhaps there’s some benefit to having him catching Grayson Rodriguez regularly. It’ll be a bit easier to have some of the general excitement about the future of the Orioles transform into belief in the specific near future once Rutschman is on the cusp of the bigs. The team shouldn’t be making decisions like that with what a fan like me would find exciting. But, you know, it would be nice to be excited, especially with so many pitching busts to date from the group of guys who had either already debuted last year or were on the cusp of the bigs.

The Orioles will be back in action tonight at 7:10. Get ready for another Spenser Watkins start. His first two have gone well, so that’s nice for him. It’s going to take more than that to feel confident in his continued success.

Around the blogO’sphere

Will the trade deadline be quiet in Birdland? (Steve Melewski)
The quick answer to the question posed in this headline is yes. Now there’s another nearly two weeks until I find out if Mike Elias makes me wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time or the last.

Mancini wants to remain an Oriole (Baltimore Baseball)
Possibly connected to the previous headline, Trey Mancini says he would like to not be traded. I would also like for him to not be traded.

Ramón Urías embracing everyday role with Freddy Galvis out: ‘It’s kind of refreshing’ (The Baltimore Sun)
The Orioles have cycled through a lot of infield jabronis this year in hopes of finding at least one gem among them. The last three weeks have made it seem like maybe Urías has a chance of being something more than just another jabroni around for the dismal rebuilding time.

Grayson Rodriguez fans career-high 12 (
Filed under “Hell yeah, dude!” How much longer before the O’s decide that it’s time to challenge Rodriguez at Triple-A? He’s only made eight starts for Double-A Bowie, but they have been a dominant eight starts.

Does Akin keep auditioning in Orioles rotation? (School of Roch)
The Keegan Akin clunker coming out of the All-Star break, plus the pending return of John Means, could provide the Orioles with an excuse to shuffle a struggling pitcher out of the rotation.

After a lost season, some minor league systems have vaulted ahead of others (The Score)
I’m still not totally used to reading good things about the Orioles player development, so this article listing them as one of the teams that’s managed to use the pandemic-forced off time the best is a pleasant surprise. No organization has improved its hitters walk rate more than the O’s, and they’ve also had an 11% increase in pitcher strikeout rate.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1991, Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 1,500th consecutive game. The Orioles beat the Mariners, 4-1, as Ripken hit his 20th home run of the season, becoming just the eighth player ever to hit 20+ dingers in each of his first ten MLB seasons.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1990-93/2001-04 outfielder/first baseman David Segui, 1980-81 reserve Dan Graham, and 1956-59 infielder Billy Gardner. Today is Gardner’s 94th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: revolver pioneer Samuel Colt (1814), Impressionist artist Edgar Degas (1834), suspected but never convicted axe murderer Lizzie Borden (1860), microwave oven inventor Percy Spencer (1894), animation director Arthur Rankin Jr. (1924), and actor Benedict Cumberbatch (1976).

On this day in history...

In 64, the Great Fire of Rome began. Before it fully subsided more than a week later, two-thirds of the city was destroyed. A popular legend, probably not true, is that the reigning emperor Nero played his fiddle as the city burned.

In 1848, the Women’s Rights Convention began in Seneca Falls, New York.

In 1903, the first edition of the Tour de France was completed with Maurice Garin as the winner. The 108th edition was completed yesterday, with Slovenian rider Tadej Pogačar winning for a second consecutive year.

In 1977, the first ever Global Positioning System signal, or GPS, was transmitted. A technology company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa received the signal from the Navigation Technology Satellite 2 (NTS-2).


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 19. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!