Good morning Birdland,
The final full month (they have three regular season games scheduled in October) of the Orioles’ 2021 season has mercifully arrived. Along with it comes the minor dash of excitement that are expanded rosters.
Gone are the days of massive September rosters with the potential to bloat all the way to 40 in size. Instead, teams are now permitted to carry 28 at a time, a two-player increase from the 26 that are allowed between April and August.
Many of the promotion candidates on the O’s 40-man roster are not terribly interesting. Adley Rutschman won’t be getting the call; neither will Grayson Rodriguez. But it’s not entirely bare, and manager Brandon Hyde said outright that someone currently in Triple-A will be added to the pitching rotation later this week.
The guys that could fill that role are mostly names that have already spent some time in the majors this season: Dean Kremer, Zac Lowther, and Alexander Wells. The only other realistic player that might the fanbase excited is Mike Baumann.
Baumann, 25, sits at 10th on MLB Pipeline’s list of Orioles prospects, the fourth highest of any pitcher. He has rebounded from injury woes this season to post a 2.00 ERA across six starts at Triple-A Norfolk with his latest being a one-run, six-inning outing last night. If the expectation is for the newly promoted player to start on Friday to begin the Yankees series then Baumann probably isn’t the guy given the quick turnaround. But he could always make an appearance later in the month.
If the front office decides to promote a hitter those options are even more limited. Yusniel Diaz has had a nightmare season, and that doesn’t look likely to change soon. Tyler Nevin had a cup of coffee in Baltimore a few months ago, but a .674 OPS at Norfolk won’t do much to earn him another this year. That leaves Rylan Bannon and his 10 August home runs as the last man remaining. Unless they feel like there are enough at-bats to go around, the O’s might just add two pitchers. They could use all sorts of help on that front.
Links & Notes
Orioles minor league report: Kyle Stowers, Adley Rutschman helping bolster slugging numbers on the farm | The Baltimore Sun
A lot of things will need to go right, but it sure feels like the Orioles have a chance to have a real exciting offense in the not-so-distant future. Rutschman being everything that he has been billed to be is a good start. Seeing a guy like Stowers really take off this year is a necessary bonus.
Latest On Ty Blach | MLB Trade Rumors
The 30-year-old has not pitched in the big leagues since 2019 due to Tommy John surgery last year. Given the uncertainty of the Orioles bullpen, it seems reasonable to think the team could re-sign the lefty with an invite to spring training next year.
One year after trade, Orioles prospect Terrin Vavra among most productive hitters on farm | The Baltimore Sun
Of the potential utility players in the Orioles minor league system, Vavra seems to be the one best poised to stick in the big leagues long term. The guy can handle himself at the plate (137 wRC+ at Bowie in 2021), and he appears athletic enough to hold his own at several positions, including shortstop and centerfield in a pinch. Sounds pretty good!
Youngsters to eye as O’s head into Sept. | Orioles.com
Speaking of utility options, how impressive has Ramón Urías been this year? I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but the 27-year-old has instead continued to be one of the team’s most consistent offensive threats while being better in the field than I personally anticipated. At the very least, he should be under consideration as an everyday member of the team’s infield next year.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
The only current or former Orioles player born on this day is the late Dean Stone (1930-2018). The left-handed pitcher played in 17 games for the 1963 O’s, accumulating a 5.12 ERA over 19.1 total innings.
Some other famous folks born on this day include broadcaster Kenny Mayne (b. 1959), actress Padma Lakshmi (b. 1970), football player Jason Taylor (b. 1974), and actress Zendaya (b. 1996).
1962 - Orioles manager Paul Richards resigns from his position to take over as the general manager of the brand new Houston Colt .45s in the National League.
1999 - Albert Belle hits his 30th home run of the season for the Orioles. This marks the eighth straight season in which Belle has left the park at least 30 times.
2000 - The Orioles turn the first triple play in the history of Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field), the home of the Cleveland Baseball Team.
2007 - Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz no-hits the Orioles in just his second career start.