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Saturday Bird Droppings: The beginning of a rotation overhaul

Bradish debuted, Hall starts rehab, and the future is near

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Losing is never fun, but the Orioles accomplished something last night in the midst of a 3-1 defeat at hands of the Red Sox. Kyle Bradish made his big league debut, persevered through one rough inning, and looks like a guy that is going to stick around.

These developments are what the 2022 season is all about for the Orioles. This team is not going to the playoffs. They are going to lose a lot. But there remain goals to achieve, particularly on the individual level.

From my perspective, this year has always been about getting the pitching staff into a stable position moving forward. Part of that has been a revamped bullpen that, despite cooling off slightly, still looks strong and deep. Keegan Akin threw 2.2 scoreless innings again on Friday, by the way.

But the much harder part is sorting out a starting rotation that was the worst in the league a summer ago. The arrivals of Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, and DL Hall will go a long way. But once they make it to Baltimore they need to perform.

Bradish was not perfect on Friday evening. He didn’t miss many bats and gave up some hard contact. But he was efficient. He threw strikes. He competed. And he made it through six innings against a Red Sox lineup with some boppers in it. That is a massive achievement in your first big league outing.

Links

The Future Finally Seems Brighter For The Baltimore Orioles | FiveThirtyEight
Whoa, a national outlet actually explaining to its audience that the Orioles are on the up swing. While it is much easier to punch down, it is appreciated when someone takes the time to inform their readers and analyze a roster full of names that most people outside of Baltimore don’t know.

As one prospect started for the Orioles, DL Hall began his path to Baltimore | The Baltimore Sun
Like many others, I’m quite excited about Hall. He feels like the wild card of the Orioles minor league system. We have been told he has reliever risk, and obviously there has been a recent injury scare. If he truly is a future lockdown reliever, that is not an awful outcome. But if he is a top-of-the-rotation force, then this rebuild just got a lot easier.

Orioles were bundle of activity before playing last night’s game | Roch Kubatko
In addition to Bradish getting the call, it will be nice to see Tyler Nevin getting an extended run in the team. While he is not an über prospect, he is still just 24 years old and owns an OPS of .979 in Triple-A. That’s impressive, and eventually you need to see exactly what he can do day-to-day in the big leagues.

Each club’s 2022 MLB Draft bonus pools and pick values | MLB.com
Will this draft be Mike Elias’s magnum opus? The Orioles have nearly $2 million more to spend than any other team thanks to a top overall selection worth $8.8 million and the addition of the competitive balance pick from the Marlins. The only team that has ever had a larger pool was the 2015 Astros, a front office that Elias worked in, when they picked Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, AND Thomas Eshelman.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Zac Lowther turns 26 today. The lefty made his MLB debut a season ago, when he appeared in 10 games for the Orioles. There is a good chance he pitches a chunk of 2022 in Baltimore as well, but for now he is working away in Triple-A.
  • Jesús Sucre celebrates his 34th. The catcher’s last big league experience came in 2019, when he spent 20 games with the Orioles and posted a 38 OPS+.
  • Jeff Reboulet is 58 today. A utility infielder for 12 years, Reboulet played 1997-99 in Baltimore, compiling 2.4 bWAR in the process.

This day in O’s history

1967 - Orioles pitcher Steve Barber and Stu Miller combine to no-hit the Detroit Tigers, but still lose the game 2-1 as Barber issued 10 walks through the first 8.1 innings.