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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles’ roster turnover continues

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The O’s are soon to welcome their 47th different player of the season, and it’s not even the All-Star break yet.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics
Shaun Anderson is the newest Oriole, but don’t get too attached to him. Or anyone, really.
Chris Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

With the rubber match of their three-game set rained out last night, the Orioles and Blue Jays will have to wait until September’s makeup to determine bragging rights for their latest series. Tonight the O’s begin their final series before the All-Star break, a three-game home set against the White Sox, who pulled off a four-game sweep in Chicago when the two clubs squared off at the end of May.

In the meantime, the Orioles continued their ever-present roster churn last night, calling up former Giants and Twins right-hander Shaun Anderson, whom they claimed off waivers last week, while returning Zac Lowther to Triple-A Norfolk. If Anderson gets into a game for the Orioles this weekend — and considering how often the O’s bullpen gets pressed into service, chances are he will — he’ll become the 47th player to make an appearance for the Orioles in the first half of this season.

Forty-seven players before the All-Star break. That’s some feat, and not a particularly good one. The Orioles’ extreme lack of depth has led them to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks. So far, very little has, particularly on the pitching side, where Anderson would be the 30th different hurler used by the Orioles this season (that’s if you include the pitching performances by infielders Pat Valaika and Stevie Wilkerson). Ten players who appeared for the team this season are no longer on the Birds’ 40-man roster, and four guys from the Opening Day roster — Rio Ruiz, Chance Sisco, Mac Sceroler, and Wade LeBlanc — are no longer in the organization at all. The Orioles are constantly tinkering with their roster, yet there’s been no improvement to be found.

The O’s are on pace to shatter the club record of 58 players used in a season, set in 2019, Mike Elias’s first year in Baltimore. There’s also a good chance they’ll set a franchise record for most players to make their major league debuts in a season. They’re currently at 11; the record is 14, set in 1955, the Orioles’ second year in Baltimore.

One thing is for certain: Baltimore is the land of opportunity for nearly any player with a pulse, no matter how fringy they may be. Whether it’s a journeyman major leaguer passing through town to keep his big league career alive for a while longer, or a long-time minor leaguer finally getting a cup of coffee in the show, the Orioles are giving everyone a shot.

Except Jahmai Jones, apparently. Come on, what does a guy have to do?

Links

Orioles’ 2021 Trade Deadline candidates - Orioles.com
If Joe Trezza’s prognostications are correct, expect it to be a very quiet trade deadline for the Orioles. Unless you consider a Paul Fry trade to be a major splash.

Home Run Derby another feather in eighth-rounder's cap - School of Roch
There can never be too many articles about the awesomeness of Trey Mancini, so here’s another one to enjoy.

Dodgers: 3 Orioles players LAD should consider trading for - Dodgers Way
I would never have expected Cesar Valdez’s name to be mentioned as a possible trade target by anyone, but this Dodgers blogger seems intrigued enough by his patented “dead fish” to consider kicking the tires.

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: The Matt Harvey problem; trade chips splinter; pitching's frailty – The Athletic
Dan Connolly weighs in on the disaster that is Matt Harvey and how the Orioles legitimately might not have any better options than him at the moment. What a truly pathetic state of affairs. (My words, not Connolly’s.)

2021 MVPs and LVPs, Cy Youngs and Cy Yuks: Jayson Stark's midseason MLB awards – The Athletic
Bonus Athletic content: You’ll never guess whom Stark names as his AL Cy Yuk for the first half. ... That's a lie. You’ll easily guess.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! The only Oriole born on this day was 1981 right-hander Steve Luebber (72), who appeared in seven games with a 7.56 ERA.

The Orioles have played very good baseball on this date in history, going 32-18 all time. Two of those wins happened on one day in 1959, when two 20-year-old pitchers — Milt Pappas and Jerry Walker — threw shutouts in both ends of a doubleheader against the Senators.

And on this day in 2010, the Orioles pulled off a miraculous comeback victory in Texas. Trailing by four runs in the ninth, the O’s tied it on a two-out, two-strike grand slam by Corey Patterson off eventual Rookie of the Year winner Neftali Feliz, then took the lead on a Jake Fox leadoff home run in the 10th. (Six future Orioles played in that game for the Rangers: Vladimir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, Scott Feldman, Darren O’Day, and Pedro Strop.) It was the second win of what became a stunning four-game sweep of the first-place Rangers by the Orioles, who had the worst record in baseball. Go figure.