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Wednesday Bird Droppings: A much needed Orioles power surge

O’s claim Voth, DFA Sedlock, Mullins is heating up, and Mancini is part of the solution

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Baltimore Orioles Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

It was only a matter of time before the Orioles started to flex their offensive muscles a bit. This unit was never going to challenge for the league lead in runs, but they were certainly more talented than they showed in the first month or two of the season.

Last night’s 9-3 win over the Cubs was fueled almost entirely on home runs. The O’s hit five of them, off the bat of five different players. Cedric Mullins hit his first dong of the month, Jorge Mateo had an Earl Weaver special, and Austin Hays smacked one into the second deck.

The 13 home runs the Orioles have hit in the month of June is tied for the fourth most in MLB. They had entered the month with only 43 total home runs through two months, so it has been a substantial step up.

Mancini has been particularly hot, hitting three home runs the past six games and boasting an .826 OPS in June. It is looking more and more likely that he will be the Orioles all-star representative, a much deserved title. That is, of course, if Hays slows down a little bit. The outfielder remains the most dangerous member of this lineup, showing off what he can do when fully healthy.

This team is still pretty darn fun two months into the season. That alone is substantial progress from seasons past.


Orioles Claim Austin Voth, Designate Cody Sedlock For Assignment | MLB Trade Rumors
It’s a swap of two arms that a long, long time ago were highly thought of within their organizations. Voth does show elite spin rates, which is a trait that the Mike Elias regime has alway valued. But he also has a career 5.70 ERA in the big leagues, so this has the feeling of a move that doesn’t really matter, but we shall see.

In need of a turnaround, Cedric Mullins gives the Orioles hope he’s on the cusp: ‘It’s going to come’ | The Baltimore Sun
Mullins is not performing at the level we saw last season, particularly at the plate. But he provides value in so many ways that he can be an average hitter and still end up as a 3-4 WAR player if he stays on this track. There are other teams that would be envious of the Orioles’ centerfield situation.

Mancini: “I wanted to at least be a big part of the tide turning” | Roch Kubatko
Ah, it really sucks to see that the writing is already on the wall with Mancini. He is having a great season, and a contender would be lucky to have him in their lineup. But with only a mutual option standing between him and free agency this winter it is almost a guarantee that he is dealt sometime in the next two months. Whatever team gets him will automatically become the team I root for in the playoffs, provided they make it that far.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • T.J. McFarland is 33. The former Rule 5 pick hung around the Orioles bullpen for four seasons from 2013 through 2016, tossing a total of 198.1 innings with a 4.27 ERA.
  • Lenn Sakata celebrates his 68th birthday. He was backup infielder for the O’s from 1980 through 1985 and hit .233/.292/.342 in that time.
  • Mark Belanger (d. 1998) was born on this day in 1944. The shortstop is an Orioles legend, spending 1965 through 1981 with the team. In that time he won eight Gold Gloves, garnered down-ballot MVP consideration three times, and was named to one all-star game.
  • George Brunet (d. 1991) was born on this day in 1935. He appeared in 16 games with the O’s in the 1963 season as part of a 15-season career that saw him spend time with nine different franchises.

This day in O’s history

1986 - The Orioles and Yankees play the longest nine-inning game in AL history. It takes four hours and 16 minutes for the O’s to beat the Yankees 18-9.

2013 - The Orioles select Federico Castagnini out of Creighton University in the 30th round of the amateur draft. Castagnini becomes the first player to be born and raised in Italy to be drafted by an MLB team.