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Saturday Bird Droppings: Choosing to focus on the positives

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The Orioles lost on Friday, but does it even matter at this point?

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles lost to an AL East foe on Friday night. What else is new?

As a fan of a team bound for 110 losses, I am numb to the losses this season. Let them pile up at this point. I’m more interested in individual performances that I can latch on to, overreact to, and then count on as projections of future value. So, let’s do that.

The big one is John Means. He’s back! I mean, it was a five-inning, two-run outing, so it’s not like he was lights out. But he looked good, and his spin rate continued to look more like it did pre-injury. That’s a huge positive as some folks were starting to think his production had been a result of sticky stuff. That does not seem to be the case. If the O’s can pair him with Grayson Rodriguez sometime next year plus Bruce Zimmermann at the back, this rotation looks a lot better.

In a similar vein, the O’s might have something with the trio of Jorge López, Tyler Wells, and Cole Sulser in the ‘pen. Yes, Sulser gave up the tying run, but that happens. Overall he has been good this year. Meanwhile. López has adapted well to the relief role, and Wells continued to impress with three strikeouts across 1.2 innings last night.

It was a less enjoyable night from the offense, but Jorge Mateo did go long. He deserves to be an everyday candidate in the spring. Oh, and Ryan Mountcastle got on base twice with a hit and a walk. The guy is a machine.

Links

‘It starts up here’: Orioles’ Trey Mancini hoping to carry strong mental approach through season’s final month | The Baltimore Sun
Trey Mancini’s batting line is not as strong as we had grown accustomed to during his time with the club. But it is pretty darn impressive that this guy has remained an everyday player despite missing an entire season along with all of the other physical rigors his body has undergone in recent months. Hopefully he he can have a strong September to enter the offseason on a high note.

Good news, bad news for H. Harvey in rehab | MLB.com
It really is a shame that Hunter Harvey’s body has failed him so drastically during his professional career. There is certainly still the possibility that he sorts everything out and becomes the back-end bullpen option that the Orioles hope he can be, but he will have plenty of hurdles to cross in order to get there.

How scouting, patience and ‘hop’ are helping the Orioles develop pitchers in the low minors | The Baltimore Sun
Mike Elias and his front office are putting their abilities to develop pitchers to the test with how they have compiled young talent in this organization. They have not drafted big-time arms since they were handed the keys, and that won’t be a problem if some of the guys they have added are able to raise their ceilings.

Bowie’s Grayson Rodriguez has seen a rebuild as a fan | Steve Melewski
I know that Adley Rutschman is the top prospect in the system, but Grayson Rodriguez might end up being the “face” of this team before too long. Not because he will be the most valuable, but the guy is extremely active on social media and seems dedicated to really endearing himself to the area and the fanbase. That’s pretty cool.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Luis López turns 51 today. The utility infielder spent parts of two seasons with the Orioles in 2002 and then again in 2004. In that time he had a 38 OPS+ and -1.5 bWAR. Not great!
  • Doyle Alexander celebrates his 71st birthday. From 1972 through 1976, Alexander was an important member of the O’s pitching staff, compiling a 3.41 ERA over 593 total innings between the rotation and bullpen.
  • The late Eddie Waitkus (d. 1972) was born on this day in 1919. The first baseman played in two seasons with the Orioles from 1954 through 1955, owning a 100 OPS+ during his time with the club.

This day in history

2012 - The Orioles and Blue Jays endure a rain delay at Rogers Centre when the retractable roof fails to close properly during a rain shower. The O’s end up winning the game 12-0 thanks to a season-high 18 hits.