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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles played some exciting baseball

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An exciting win, another mock draft, and the chances of the O’s picking a pitcher.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Birdland,

At the risk of giving in to recency bias, that Orioles win last night was a whole lot of fun, wasn’t it? Not more fun than the John Means no-hitter, but it might be in the top five of the season. Harrison Jozwiak recapped the lovely outcome for us last night, in case you missed it.

Spenser Watkins was a joy to watch on the mound. He wasn’t overpowering or mowing down hitters. But he was effective, pitched to contact and provided exactly what the Orioles needed on the mound. The bullpen behind him was significantly less good, with every reliever that entered allowing at least one run.

Fortunately, the offense came to play, registering 11 hits and two walks against Steven Matz and the Blue Jays staff. Every O’s starter had at least one hit, including Cedric Mullins who smacked his 16th home run of the season. The centerfielder now leads the team in just about every offensive category apart from RBI.

It was simply a good night of baseball, and that’s always appreciated.

Links & Notes

The Orioles could have a chance at one of the draft’s top pitchers at No. 5 overall. Would they actually choose one? | The Baltimore Sun
If mock drafts and the chatter around this year’s batch of prospects is to be believed, Jack Leiter is almost certainly going to be gone before the Orioles pick at five. That could still mean that Mike Elias has the opportunity to pick between Jackson Jobe and Kumar Rocker if the O’s GM fancies a pitcher with the club’s first-round pick. But recent history would suggest he opts for a hitter instead while looking for pitching talent later on.

Mock Draft 2.0 | FanGraphs
There is nothing quite like a mock draft to rile up a fan base. FanGraphs’ second crack at it this year has the Orioles taking Sam Houston State outfielder Colton Cowser. That would be an underslot selection. However, they also mention that Elias and crew would take Leiter or Henry Davis if they fall to them, but there are doubts on that opportunity presenting itself.

Watkins throws with ‘no fear’ in 1st MLB win | MLB.com
Spenser Watkins was super impressive last night, and it’s nice that he has a cool story as well. A former 30th-round draft pick, the prospective high school coach has already beaten the odds, and on an Orioles team devoid of many other pitching options, he certainly earned himself at least one more start this season.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

The only current or former Orioles player born on this day is Baltimore’s own Tim Nordbrook. The Loyola College product spent parts of three seasons with the O’s from 1974 through 1976. Spending time at both second base and shortstop, Nordbrook compiled a 49 OPS+ while playing steady defense over 74 total games with his hometown team.

Orioles history

1914 - Orioles owner Jack Dunn attempts to sell the trio of Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, and Ben Egan to Connie Mack and his Philadelphia Athletics. The deal is refused, and instead eventually Dunn works out an agreement with the Red Sox for $25,000 in exchange for the three players.

1970 - Brooks Robinson launches a 10th-inning grand slam to beat the Yankees 6-2.

1995 - The Orioles acquire pitcher Scott Erickson from the Twins in a trade for Scott Klingenbeck and a player to be named later (Kimera Bartee).