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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are a good baseball team

A winning record, a prospect call-up, and some recognition from throughout the sport

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

The Orioles have a winning record again. This is the third time the team has passed the .500 threshold this season, all of which have occurred in the last two weeks. But it is the manifestation of an upward trend that the team has been on since May. The Orioles are 42-34 since May 1. That even includes a six-game losing streak that they had in mid-May. And oh yeah, they leapfrogged the Red Sox in the AL East last night too.

This run of success is long enough to tell us who the Orioles are. And the fact is, they’re good! Maybe not “World Series contender” good. But as assembled, this is an over-.500 team that still has glaring holes that would seem obvious to fix sometime before the start of 2023. That should make the fanbase feel extremely positive about the team’s overall direction.

It isn’t fluky either. They aren’t having oodles of luck in close games like the 2012 team. They haven’t beaten up on one bad team (except for maybe the Angels). And they are not wildly outperforming their run differential. This is who they are.

We will see how the trade deadline disrupts things. Although nothing concrete has materialized just yet, many people are acting like a trade of Trey Mancini is a foregone conclusion, and there is enough buzz to suggest that a bullpen arm will get moved as well.

Both of those moves would be tough to swallow for a team playing as well as these Orioles. Perhaps they would be offset by exciting promotions, but it’s tough to tell, and positive clubhouse chemistry can be a delicate science. Let’s all just embrace what could be the last few days of this exact group of players doing some exciting things on the field.


The Orioles Are Not Just A One-Streak Wonder | FiveThirtyEight
It is pointed out here that the Orioles are the AL’s third-best team since May 1, slightly outperforming their Pythagorean Win rate, but all within the realm of reasonability.

Orioles sign 12 selections from the 2022 draft | MASN Sports
The signing news was coming hot and fast on Tuesday. The highest remaining selection that the Orioles have not signed is third rounder Nolan McLean, who could be a pitcher or a third baseman. The other name to watch is high schooler Zack Showalter. The team took him in the 11th round, but he is expected to sign for a good amount overslot if/when they get a deal done.

Rising prospect Vavra earns first call to Majors |
Personally, I am excited about Terrin Vavra. He is not a über prospect or anything, but he is the type of skillset that winning teams tend to have around. There is positional versatility and a solid hit tool. Sounds like a guy that sticks around a big league bench for 10-12 years.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Preston Guilmet turns 35. The righty appeared in 10 games out of the Orioles bullpen in 2014, when he allowed six earned runs over 10.1 innings.
  • Ryan Flaherty is 36 today. A Rule 5 pick ahead of the 2012 season, Flaherty went on to spend six seasons with the O’s as a useful utility option on Buck Showalter’s bench, accumulating 2.3 bWAR, playing every position on the field except catcher and center field. Yes, he even pitched.
  • Floyd Rayford is 65 years old. His Orioles career spanned six seasons broken into three chunks: 1980, 1982, 1984-87. Altogether he played 334 games in the orange and black.
  • Rich Dauer is 70 today. A member of the Orioles team Hall of Fame, Dauer spent his entire 10-year career with the Orioles from 1976-1985. He won the 1983 World Series as the team’s everyday second baseman and accumulated 14.4 bWAR throughout his decade in Baltimore.

This day in O’s history

1959 - Barry Shetrone, a Baltimore native that was the first home-grown player to play for the Orioles, goes 2-for-4 with a triple as the Birds beat the Tigers 5-2.

1969 - The Orioles beat the White Sox 17-0 for the franchise’s largest shutout win ever. The O’s had 20 hits, and Frank Robinson led the way with two home runs and five RBI.

2020 - A series between the Orioles and Marlins is put on hold as the Marlins deal with an outbreak of COVID-19 on their roster, the first such incident to hit an MLB team since the pandemic began.