This week’s lack of movement towards a resolution of the ownership-imposed lockout of MLB players has made counting down to the next Orioles game feel pointless. With that in mind, there are two months and three days remaining until the next scheduled Norfolk Tides game, which we can all hope will have Grayson Rodriguez throwing pitches to Adley Rutschman. That might even be more fun than Orioles Opening Day, if we’re being honest.
Even if the lockout had never entered our lives, it was always looking like the early part of the minor league season would have way more excitement than the MLB-level Orioles. The balance will flip a bit once Rutschman is able to make his MLB debut, but even after that, the farm will be where the action is.
The team continues to remain high up on the list as publications start to unveil their farm system rankings for the 2022 preseason. Baseball America put out its list yesterday, with the O’s coming in at #4. If you’re wondering, the Orioles are behind the Mariners, Rays, and Pirates. Seattle, like the Orioles, has five players in the top 100 prospects, but they’re more clustered towards the top than the O’s guys are in this ranking. The Mariners have three of the top 25 and four of the top 50.
It’s been quite an ascent for the Orioles in the Mike Elias era. The team checked in at 22nd heading into the 2019 season, Elias’s first at the helm. Another analyst, The Athletic’s Keith Law, put the Orioles 30th out of 30 at that point. The O’s had made their way into the top 10 with a #7 ranking prior to last season, and now they’re at #4 heading into 2022.
Do you think the Orioles can find their way to #1 before next season? I considered the question of prospect replenishment in an article a couple of weeks ago. With Rutschman being close to guaranteed to exhaust prospect status by year’s end and Rodriguez having a real possibility of a late-season promotion, the O’s might head into next year with their two current top prospects no longer eligible for these lists.
The Orioles will have the opportunity to add a blue chipper with the #1 pick in this year’s draft. That probably won’t boost them up to the #1 spot on its own without Rutschman or Rodriguez still on a prospect list. They’re going to need to add some breakout players to their stable to climb all the way to the top. For now, though, it’s nice to know that things are continuing to head in the right direction. I hope that improvement starts showing up in the major league win-loss record soon.
Around the blogO’sphere
Let’s all take a couple of minutes to appreciate this video shared of Cedric Mullins yesterday, in which he opened up about struggling with Crohn’s disease prior to his big breakout 2021 season.
Today, Cedric Mullins shares a very personal story for the first time.— MLB Players Media (@MLBPlayersMedia) February 2, 2022
Mullins was baseball's only 30-30 player last season, and he did it while battling Crohn's disease.@cedmull30 | @CrohnsColitisFn pic.twitter.com/HoOLgpGXRx
Absolute legend. Good job to Cedric for using Trey Mancini’s cancer diagnosis as a reason to make sure he got himself checked out.
From MLB prospect to All-Star: The longest organizational droughts at each position (The Athletic)
This is a neat one from former SBNer Grant Brisbee. The longest positional drought for an Orioles-drafted player becoming an Orioles All-Star is first base, where Eddie Murray was last an All-Star in 1986. You can kinda bend this one with Mancini being in the Home Run Derby in 2021. If you want.
The MASN duo split up talking to the new Orioles hitting coaches.
Fuller on minors talent and working with Borgschulte (School of Roch)
New hitting coach Matt Borgschulte on joining the Orioles (Steve Melewski)
There were some raised eyebrows among some segments of the Orioles media when they hired these two particular co-hitting coaches. Who knows how it will end up working out, but they definitely have been saying the right things to sound like guys who can do good things for the franchise.
Maryland Stadium Authority pitching $1.2 billion plan to keep Orioles, Ravens in their Baltimore stadiums for years (The Baltimore Sun)
The short version is that the authority is looking for legislation that will allow it to hold up to $600 million in bonds relating to work on Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with the extra funds relative to the status quo not being available unless the team signs a lease for at least as long as it would take to pay back the bonds.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There is one current Oriole with a birthday today, although he’s yet to play a game for the team. Happy 28th birthday to everyone’s favorite Jose Bautista puncher, Rougned Odor.
In addition, a few former Orioles were born today. They are: 2021 four-game reliever Brooks Kriske, 1994-95 pitcher Scott Klingenbeck, 1982-83 reliever Don Welchel, 1986-88 outfielder Fred Lynn, 1955 swingman Harry Byrd, and 1955-56 outfielder Jim Dyck.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809), novelist Gertrude Stein (1874), painter Norman Rockwell (1894), and actress Maura Tierney (1965).
On this day in history...
In 1870, the state of Iowa ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. They were the 28th state to do so, which at the time was the threshold for an amendment to take effect. Maryland did not ratify until a symbolic approval in 1973, having twice rejected the amendment in 1870. The amendment states:
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution also took effect upon approval by Delaware, then the 36th state to ratify. Maryland was the seventh state to approve the amendment, nearly three years earlier. This amendment allowed Congress the power to set a federal income tax.
In 1959, a plane crash in Iowa killed four people: The pilot of the plane and three rock and roll musicians, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. The song “American Pie” recalls this as “The Day The Music Died.”
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 3. Have a safe Thursday.