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Saturday Bird Droppings: Putting on a pitching clinic

Another fun night of baseball, roster changes coming, and Pérez on the WBC.

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Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Last night’s 1-0 win was a perfect game of baseball, at least from the Orioles’ perspective. It was the type of win that leaves you feeling even more encouraged about the team than you were going in. The fact that it took only two hours and 49 minutes to complete was a bonus.

Adley Rutschman appears to be over his learning phase. The guy is smacking around big league pitching with little issue, and he threw out a baserunner on top of it. His 1.92-second average pop time is top 10 among MLB catchers. One would imagine it will get even better as he is tested further.

But this game was really about the pitching, especially Dean Kremer. In his third start back from injury, the righty once again showed consistent velocity, sitting at 93.5 while touching 95. It’s the hardest average fastball velocity of his career, and the results speak for themselves.

And of course the bullpen continues to impress. They were tasked with recording nine outs last night; eight of them came via strikeout. It is just so much fun to see the Orioles trot out flamethrower after flamethrower. Felix Bautista threw seven pitches over 100 mph. Cionel Perez sat at 97.8 mph, a 1.5 mph increase over his season average. And Jorge López is simply one of the most effective relievers in baseball.

This Orioles team has flaws, but far fewer than in season’s past. Since May 1, they are one game under .500, which seems to reflect the reality that there is a lot to like about this roster. Clearly, there are holes and the starting pitching could stand to improve overall. But that future we have all been waiting for is right around the corner.

Links

‘A special player’: Adley delivers with bat, arm | Orioles.com
The guy has an OPS of 1.029 over the last week, including four doubles and a home run, while walking just as much as he struck out. I am not a scout, but that seems very good to me.

More adjustments coming to Orioles’ roster for multiple reasons | Roch Kubatko
The Orioles have to get rid of a pitcher later this week as MLB’s roster rules go into effect. Personally, I would DFA Austin Voth and bring up Rylan Bannon. Voth has only gotten three appearances with the Orioles, and none was particularly impressive. Bannon has not had a great season either. But he can play third and second base, a logical replacement for the injured Ramón Urías for the time being. I like Terrin Vavra, but would prefer a more clear path to playing time than what currently exists.

Orioles’ Pérez would like to play in World Baseball Classic, but can’t | Baltimore Baseball
I honestly forgot about the World Baseball Classic, even though its most memorable moment did involve two Orioles.

Top 100 prospects for MLB Draft 2022 | The Athletic
Keith Law ranks his draft prospects. Something of note is how high he has Cameron Collier, a junior college third baseman that is actually the same age as a high school senior after reclassifying. He noted in a chat recently that he thought Collier was an Orioles-type of prospect, but to this point there has been no chatter surrounding him at number one overall.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Caleb Joseph turns 36 today. The catcher spent 2014 through 2018 with the Orioles, including an incredible 2016 season in which he failed to drive in a single run over 141 plate appearances. Even still, he was a fan favorite that provided solid defense behind the plate.
  • Carlos Méndez is 48 today. The former first baseman played 26 games for the 2003 Orioles, compiling a 28 OPS+ in that time.

This day in O’s history

2007 - Same Perlozzo is sacked as Orioles manager with team 11 games under .500 at 29-40. He would be replaced by Dave Trembley.