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Saturday Bird Droppings: The Orioles have been better since the All-Star break

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Two top picks visited the Yard, Wells heads to the IL, and Stowers has found his power.

MLB: JUL 23 Nationals at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

It is a small sample size of just seven games, but the Orioles have been much more interesting to watch since returning from the All-Star break. They are 4-3 during that time. There have been no characteristic blowouts. And the offense has, for the most part, lived up to the potential that it has always had. It’s fun!

Paul recapped last night’s 6-1 win over the Nationals, a game in which Pat Valaika went deep twice, Brandon Hyde pulled Jorge López at the right time, and the bullpen was simply sensational. Everything went well, and it was a deserved victory against a team that is clinging onto its slim playoff chances at this point. A series loss could be the nail in the Nationals’ postseason coffin.

On top of that, the O’s top draft picks, Colton Cowser and Connor Norby, were both in town and unveiled to the Camden Yards crowd during. The O’s social channels have been all over the former college hitters, including a video in which they discuss where they planned to hit home runs during batting practice. In case you didn’t know they were new around, Cowser has trouble pronouncing the brand name of a local chip company, but that’s OK. Hopefully he will have plenty of time to figure it out.

Links

Orioles Place Tyler Wells On 10-Day Injured List - MLB Trade Rumors
It sounds like this will be a short stay on the IL for Wells, and he may even be back on the active roster before the end of the month since his injury is being backdated to July 20th.

Orioles prospect Kyle Stowers showing prodigious power at Bowie: ‘This guy has a chance to be a big player’ | The Baltimore Sun
The O’s 2019 draft pick is putting up big power numbers with Double-A Bowie. Over 28 games, Stowers has a .598 slugging percentage and 175 wRC+. That’s huge. He’s also striking out 31.3% of the time, which won’t be a problem if the long balls stick around. But that could be a big “if.”

Colton Cowser and Connor Norby enjoy their day at Camden Yards | Steve Melewski
It was neat to see the two top picks together. With them both being college hitters, it’s realistic to expect them both back in Baltimore as big leaguers in the not-too-distant future.

In Galvis’ absence, Urías ‘a nice addition’ | Orioles.com
Ramón Urías has always been a good hitter. Some publications gave him a 55 hit tool as a prospect. So, in that sense, his performance in place of Freddy Galvis is not particularly surprising. But there were serious questions about his glove. While no one will mistake him for a Gold Glover at shortstop, he does look like a major leaguer at the position, making the routine plays. That could be enough for him to be anointed the starter going into 2022 and eliminate the need to find a veteran free agent for the third straight year.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! Just a couple of former Orioles were also born on this day as well:

  • Miguel Socolovich turns 35. The right-handed pitcher appeared in six games during the 2012 season before bouncing around the league through 2018.
  • The late Duane Pillette (d. 2011) was born on this day in 1922. He was an original Oriole that came with the franchise from St. Louis, and then spent three seasons in Baltimore from 1954 through 1955.

This day in history

2018 - The Orioles deal closer Zack Britton to the New York Yankees in exchange for three pitching prospects, Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll, and Josh Rogers.