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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The injuries are piling up

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The O’s lost, and everyone is hurt, but at least the minors remain rosy!

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Birdland,

We have reached the point in the season where injuries, no matter how big or small, are ending seasons. Matt Harvey was placed on the 60-day IL with a knee injury a few days ago. Jorge Mateo joined him yesterday with back trouble. And even Tanner Scott’s return could be in doubt after being placed on the 10-day list with a knee sprain.

Something similar may be coming for Trey Mancini. The O’s slugger has been dealing with core issues for a couple of weeks now. It kept him out of a few games last week, and it was enough that Brandon Hyde lifted him early from Monday’s loss to the Yankees.

Mancini is not about to close the curtain on this season himself. Several years ago he fought through a knee injury all summer, suffered after sliding into a wall while chase down a foul ball in left field. And not enough can be said about how impressive his return to the field has been this season following a cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2020.

There is little doubt that Mancini should win Comeback Player of the Year. He is the textbook definition of someone deserving the honor. His performance on the field (114 wRC+, 21 home runs) is impressive alone, but it also matters about the kind of leader he has been, his impressive outing at the home run derby, and the way that he has been an advocate for colon cancer awareness and early screenings. That is a lot for one person to shoulder, and he has done it while still being the fan favorite he has always been.

There is no shame if his 2021 season ends a couple of weeks early due to an injury that can keep players out for weeks at a time. It has been a phenomenal return to the field.

Links & Notes

Here are the O’s fastest-rising prospects | MLB.com
It has been interesting to see how aggressive the Orioles have been with promotions this season. Perhaps that is simply a byproduct of the lost minor league season in 2020, but it is encouraging nonetheless to see Gunnar Henderson do enough to make it to Double-A as a 20-year-old, and for Kyle Stowers to explode onto the scene after he had a rough pro debut back in 2019.

Trey Mancini selected as Orioles’ nominee for Roberto Clemente Award: ‘One of the greatest honors that I’ve received in my entire career’ | The Baltimore Orioles
Each year, a nominee from each team is put up for this award, which is said to recognize a player that “best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions.” Mancini is a fantastic nominee.

Orioles place Scott, Mateo on injured list, add Diplán, Valaika | Baltimore Baseball
These made up the flurry of roster moves prior to last night’s game that returned Pat Valaika to our lives. Sounds like he may be here to stay for what’s left off the season after Jorge Mateo was placed on the 60-day IL, so sorry to any fans that were hoping to see Rylan Bannon. It’s probably not happening in 2021.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • John Pacella turns 65. The right-handed pitcher played in six games for the 1984 Orioles, allowing 11 earned runs over 14.2 innings.
  • Dave Pagan is 72 today. His stint with the O’s lasted for 20 games during the 1976 season. Pitching in both relief and as a starter, the righty had a 5.98 ERA over 46.2 innings.

Orioles history

1977 - Earl Weaver pulls his Orioles off the field citing hazardous playing conditions due to the presence of a tarp held down by bricks in the bullpen area. The O’s are forced to forfeit.

1990 - The Ripken brothers homer in the same game (same inning, in fact) for the first time, hitting a pair of solo shots off of David Wells. But the Orioles lose 4-3 to the Blue Jays.

1996 - The Orioles break the MLB record for home runs in a season, passing the 240 hit by the 1961 Yankees

1997 - Outfielder Eric Davis returns to play two months after having a cancerous tumor removed from his colon as the O’s beat Cleveland 6-5.