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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Ramón Urías gets deserved recognition

Urías wins Gold, Lyles wants to come back, winter is coming, and Kjerstad competes in derby

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

There was a bit of good news for the Orioles yesterday: Ramón Urías won a Gold Glove for his work at third base.

It is a deserved honor, although you would be forgiven if it took you by surprise. Jorge Mateo always seemed like the most likely Oriole to win a Gold Glove in 2022, but he wasn’t even named a finalist at shortstop. Cedric Mullins did get to the final three in centerfield, and his increased profile the last two years seemed like a decent bet to win as well. Nope.

Instead, it is the unheralded, Urías who settled into his home on the hot corner after moving around the diamond the last two years. The numbers back it up, Urías was phenomenal in the field, and was no small part to the team’s overall turnaround this past season.

Despite the accolades, something has to give on the left side of the Orioles’ infield this winter. They have two great fielders in Urías and Mateo, but are lacking some of the offensive thump they would hope for. That’s where Gunnar Henderson could step in, provide nearly the same defensive value and hopefully take a drastic step forward at the plate.

It’s a good problem to have, and the ultimate solution likely comes down to where Mike Elias and the Orioles’ front office can find the best value on the infield, which also currently features a gaping hole at second base,


Jordan Lyles wants to stay with the Orioles. If he doesn’t, he’s thankful for the experience. | The Baltimore Sun
I would be surprised to see the Orioles pick up the $11 million option on Jordan Lyles. He was a great steadying force in a rotation that needed it in 2022. But those needs may have shifted in 2023, and that money could be better spent on a player that takes this team to another level while also providing the veteran leadership that Lyles did.

Some important dates on the baseball calendar | Roch Kubatko
The Winter Meetings are just about a month away. That week could hold more weight for the Orioles than it has in sometime. Maybe they even make a big signing or two. Plus, the concerns coming out of the Rule 5 draft may be different. Rather than trying to find a diamond in the rough, the O’s hope they simply hold onto all of their own diamonds.

Here’s the lineup for Saturday’s AFL Home Run Derby |
Heston Kjerstad will show off his power in what seems to be the first AFL Home Run Derby. You may be asking “Where can I watch this derby?” Well, believe it or not, there does not seem to be a broadcast planned. Why? Well, the derby is scheduled for smack dab in the middle of Game 6 of the World Series, which may or may not happen. But still, seems like poor planning!

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Denyi Reyes turns 26. The right-handed pitcher made his big league debut this season, appearing in three games for the O’s. He elected free agency last month.
  • Wilson Betemit is 41. The iron-gloved infielder kept the hot corner warm for the O’s before Manny Machado arrived in 2012. A knee injury the following spring limited him to just six games in 2013.
  • Sidney Ponson celebrates his 46th. He was one of the team’s better pitchers during the dark years of the late-90s and early-2000s. In total, Ponson spent eight seasons with the O’s from 1998 through 2005, although he was traded to the Giants in 2003 and then re-signed in Baltimore the next winter.
  • Sam Horn is 59 today. His run in Baltimore lasted two years from 1990 through ‘92, during which time he had a 122 OPS+.
  • Paul Hartzell turns 69. The journeyman pitcher appeared in six games for the 1980 Birds.

This day in history

1971 - As part of an international tour, O’s pitcher Pat Dobson throws a no-hitter against the Yomiuiri Giants. The Orioles go 12-2-4 on the tour.

2000 - Will “The Thrill” Clark announces his retirement from the baseball. He spent the majority of his final two seasons with the Orioles, although his career ultimately ended with the Cardinals following a midseason trade.