Good morning, Birdland!
We may need to come to terms with the fact that the Orioles have already won their final game of the season. That’s it. 38 wins. Call it a year, and try again in April. It was up to Alex to recap the latest debacle. If that continues to be the case, we will be left to sift through rubble to find the meager positives that do exist.
For example, Keegan Akin’s start on Friday. It was alright, actually. I mean, not really enough to override the difficulties he has had to this point, but he looked like a major league pitcher.
In fact, every pitcher that came into the game looked good. Brandon Hyde turned to the bullpen crew that used to be his A-squad: Dillon Tate, Paul Fry, and Tanner Scott. They combined for four scoreless innings, issued just one walk, and struck out one. Tate even came in and got out of a sticky situation left over from Akin without allowing an inherited runner to score. It was great!
The offense, on the other hand, was awful. Although to be fair they had to contend with Max Fried, who is terrific, so it is somewhat excusable. Jorge Mateo and Ryan Mountcastle did keep their respective hit streaks going. The emergence of Mateo is pretty exciting. He is likely a utility player long term, but what a weapon to have on your roster. His speed alone makes him valuable, but pair it with a guy that can play all over, and has hitting skills even approaching average and you are feeling good.
Mike Elias gave the clearest indication yet of when the Orioles’ ‘traumatic’ rebuild could turn. It can’t come soon enough. | The Baltimore Sun
Provided all of the big players are healthy, 2022 will be a much better season than 2021. There may not be that many more wins, but it should at least give us a glimpse at what the future has in store for the Orioles with debuts likely from Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez among others.
Elias on Hyde, status of rebuild, injury updates and more | School of Roch
The most noteworthy nugget in here is the health update on Heston Kjerstad. It sounds like he is getting close to baseball activities and may have a chance to join the team for a full spring training. That would be amazing, and a huge boost to the team’s rebuild.
Heston Kjerstad, Orioles’ top pick in 2020 draft, working out at Sarasota complex; Mike Elias still planning potential call-ups | The Baltimore Sun
More quotes for that same press conference with Mike Elias. The injury news on DL Hall and Bruce Zimmermann is not especially positive. It is entirely possible that neither one returns to the mound this season, which would be a shame, but better than seeing them further aggravate any issues.
Orioles Claim Chris Ellis, Designate Cesar Valdez For Assignment | MLB Trade Rumors
It is unfortunate, if not unsurprising, to see Cesar Valdez fall to the unceremonious DFA hammer. The 36-year-old and his dead fish changeup couldn’t maintain the magic he unearthed in 2020 as his ERA rose from 1.26 last year to 5.76 this year. Perhaps he will slip through waivers and stick in the organization.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! A whole slew of former O’s were born on this day:
- Mason Williams turns 30 years old today. The outfielder, currently in the Mets’ minor league system, appeared in 21 games with the Orioles between 2019 and 2020 before being released last September.
- Jerry DaVanon is 76. The former infielder had a brief stay in Baltimore, playing in 38 games for the 1971 team.
This day in history
1901 - Orioles pitcher Joe McGinnity spits in the face of umpire Tom Connolly. This sparks a brawl involving players and fans to the point that police are forced to arrest several.
1963 - O’s shortstop Luis Aparicio becomes the first major league player since 1945 to reach 300 career steals.
1977 - Brooks Robinson goes on the voluntary retired list, ending his 23-year big league career.
1999 - Brady Anderson becomes the third player in MLB history to lead off both games of a doubleheader with a home run.
2019 - The Orioles tie a major league record by allowing the 258th home run of the season.