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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The west coast trip has begun

The guys in the minors are rolling, there is a new batch of prospects, and the pitching has been impressive.

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MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Bruce Zimmermann has been a big part of the team’s pitching success so far this year.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Camden Chatters! How about that game last night? I’ll be honest, I am writing this long before the end of last night’s game so I can’t speak to what happened in the game at all at this moment.

This is probably not a very professional thing to admit on the front page of a sports blog, but cut me a break. I’m an old lady who can’t stay up to watch this Orioles team play a bunch of players on the Athletics I have never heard of. I am guessing that I’m not the only one who feels that way. The good news is that Mark Brown stayed up so that we didn’t have to. You can check out his game recap here for all of the gory details.

I was taking a look at the standings last night (spoiler: the Orioles are still in last) and I was really struck by how few runs the Orioles have given up. I know there has been a lot of talk about the early pitching from the Orioles here on Camden Chat and elsewhere, but seeing in black and white that the Orioles have allowed the second-fewest number of runs in the American League is pretty wild. Can it last? Probably not. Is it cool to see that low number in the RA column on the standings page? Absolutely.

Just don’t look at the Runs Scored column. It’ll dampen your enthusiasm in a hurry.

Links

Minor league notes on Norfolk’s strong start and more - MASN Sports
When the game is on the west coast, it feels like an off day. So take a deep dive on the Norfolk Tides with Steve Melewski.

Orioles reset: How a subtle change to the way catchers set up has pitchers pumping strikes – Baltimore Sun
Interesting idea. If the pitchers can't hit the corners when they're aiming at them, maybe they should just aim for the middle of the plate. So far, it has kind of worked.

Mike Elias’ approach to Orioles’ prospect promotions has worked so far; this is no time to alter it - The Athletic
To all of those clamoring for the prospects to be called up, Dan Connolly suggests that you slow your roll.

Bradish Named International League Pitcher of the Week - MiLB.com
Kyle Bradish was named the International League Pitcher of the Week after making two starts totaling nine innings with just one run allowed. In his first start he retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced. How long until we get to see this guy?

Jake Arrieta announces retirement from baseball after 12 seasons, says 'It's just my time' - ESPN
I wouldn't say I had a great time watching Jake Arrieta as an Oriole, and I wouldn't say I wasn't salty when he found success elsewhere. But he did have a very nice career and I wish him the best.

Oakland A’s have seven players on COVID-19 IL, MLB’s largest outbreak of season - The Athletic
I already don’t know any players on the A’s, and now seven of them were placed on the COVID list just before the Orioles got to town. Get better soon, gents!

2021-22 International Reviews: Baltimore Orioles - Baseball America
If you have a Baseball America subscription, you can read all about the latest international signings, which Ben Badler refers to as "a slew of promising players who project to play in the middle of the diamond." I like the sound of that! Peep the tweet below to see some of the new guys. Those bowties get me every time.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies. Flat Breezy himself, George Sherrill, is 45 years old today. Part of the Adam Jones trade, Sherrill was an All Star for the Orioles in 2008 and was traded for Steve Johnson in 2009.

Also celebrating today are Scott Kamieniecki (58) and Willis Otanez (49). Kamieniecki pitched for the Orioles from 1997-1999. You may remember him as the guy in the 1997 rotation who wasn’t Mussina, Key, or Erickson. Otanez appeared in 32 games with the Orioles from 1998-99. Do you think the rest of the team got them a joint birthday cake in 1999?

In recent Orioles history, it was a day of big wins and big losses. In 1996, the Texas Rangers walloped the Orioles, beating them 26-7. The Rangers scored 16 runs in one inning! Position player Manny Alexander pitched the final two outs against the Rangers and gave up five runs with four walks. He’s no Chris Davis!

In 2006, Ramón Hernandez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a home run as the Orioles defeated Cleveland 18-9.

In 2011, the Orioles defeated the Twins 11-0 to end an eight-game losing streak. Jake Arrieta pitched seven shutout innings and Vladimir Guerrero hit a home run.