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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Bad times in Birdland

Vespi and Gillaspie up, Allen out, Bannon down, and Rodriguez stays hot in Norfolk

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Well, things aren’t very fun right now. The Orioles are losers of five in a row and the upcoming schedule of five more games against the Yankees and a visit from the Rays does not look particularly promising. The offense has scored more than three runs just once in the last seven games. That came last night, when they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

This serves as a reminder that the rebuild remains in full swing. The lineup still has obvious holes on the infield. The rotation, although improved, is far from a finished product. And the bullpen, brimming with talent, still has some refining to do. It’s a process, and the Orioles are far from done.

Here is the good news: Adley Rutschman hit a home run and Grayson Rodriguez struck out 11 in 5.1 innings last night for Norfolk. It won’t be too long before each of them is doing that in an Orioles uniform.

Apparently, that won’t be tonight, though. Or even the immediate future. The Orioles remain mum on what the plan is exactly for either prospect. To be fair, it’s not terribly surprising that we are a bit in the dark here. The Mike Elias era has been notoriously tight-lipped on everything, and it’s not like we would expect a press conference for them to tell us that Rutschman was not being promoted. But it could be worth Elias popping on a MASN broadcast, fielding some softball questions, and explaining how they are evaluating some of their big-time prospects that are currently crushing it in Triple-A.

Links

Rodriguez provides nice distraction on farm as Orioles lose fifth in a row | Roch Kubatko
There has been a small rumble online that is pushing for the Orioles to promote Grayson Rodriguez sooner rather than later. I get that. The guy looks dominant at Triple-A, and it’s possible he needs a new challenge. But I’m not in too big of a rush there. The Orioles pitching situation is quickly getting a tad dicey, and I would rather GRod get his work in without being a part of the constant bullpen and rotation shuffling that is bound to happen in Baltimore. Adley, on the other hand...

Orioles Designate Logan Allen, Select Nick Vespi | MLB Trade Rumors
This is an exciting move! Vespi looked like a candidate to go in the Rule 5 draft before it was cancelled during the spring. He makes it onto a major league roster anyway, and I think he has a good chance to stick. The Orioles needed another lefty arm, and Allen had looked less than impressive. Let’s see what Vespi can do.

Orioles recall Gillaspie and option Bannon | Roch Kubatko
It was not the longest of auditions for Rylan Bannon. He appeared in only four games, but he did look overwhelmed at the plate, striking out five times and mustering only two singles in 14 at-bats.

Orioles’ Matt Harvey suspended 60 games by MLB for drug distribution | The Guardian
Matt Harvey will still be able to work out at the Orioles’ facility in Sarasota, but he will not be eligible to pitch in the majors until the end of June.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Luis Terrero turns 42. He spent 27 games with the O’s in 2016.
  • Reggie Jackson is 76. His Hall of Fame career included a one-season stint in Baltimore (1976), in which he generated MVP consideration.
  • The legendary Brooks Robinson turns 85 today. His importance to the organization cannot be overstated. The Human Vacuum Cleaner spent his entire 23-season career in Baltimore, where he won two World Series titles, an MVP award, and 16 Gold Gloves. He is one of the best players of all-time and a beloved figure in Baltimore.
  • The late Gil Coan (d. 2020) was born on this day in 1922. The outfielder played two seasons in Baltimore from 1954-55.

This day in O’s history

1957 - The Orioles beat the clock with a game-tying home run off the bat of Dick Williams just ahead of 10:20 p.m., the set curfew for the game so that the visiting White Sox could catch a train out of Baltimore. The game is later replayed and the Orioles win.

1990 - The O’s tie an AL record by hitting eight straight singles in the first inning of a 13-1 win over the Texas Rangers.