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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles have two days left to make trade decisions

After last night’s loss, the Orioles are 51-50 and back to three games out of a wild card spot. What now?

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
Who ya gonna trade, Mike Elias?
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The good vibes in Birdland are temporarily on hold after last night’s clunker 8-2 loss to the Reds. Dean Kremer wasn’t any good, extending a streak of a dozen games since the last time the O’s had a pitcher record a quality start. It’s sure not ideal, especially since their best pitcher to date (Tyler Wells) is now officially out with an oblique strain, so he’ll be out for a while.

Worse news for the Orioles is that the team they’re chasing down was victorious while the O’s lost on Saturday. They now sit three games back of the third wild card spot held by those Rays, and also need to pass the Guardians (half-game ahead of the O’s) to get into that spot. Losses by the Blue Jays and Mariners would also be potentially helpful to keep the Orioles closer to the whole pack. Those teams also won yesterday.

Here we sit. The trade deadline is on Tuesday at 6pm Eastern. The Orioles are 51-50. Between now and then we will all be constantly asking ourselves and each other the question: What should the Orioles do? The outcomes of the two games left between now and then - this afternoon’s finale against the Reds, Monday’s opener against the Rangers - could swing the pendulum. Win both and staying put or even adding seems like an easy choice. Lose both and maybe there are sell-off trades to make.

Right now, I still hope they let it ride with the internal options they’ve got right now. The team’s been good enough that they deserve the chance to do something special, even if “special” for these guys ends up being that they win 83 games and come up short. I don’t think anyone they’d trade away is going to fetch the kind of impact prospects that would ease the sting.

Another clunker against the Reds today might change my mind. They’ll get under way at 1:40 Eastern, with Austin Voth scheduled to pitch for the O’s and Nick Lodolo for the Reds. Lodolo has a 4.73 ERA and 1.670 WHIP in seven starts for Cincinnati in his rookie campaign, but bad news for the Orioles is he’s got 47 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.

Around the blogO’sphere

Hyde updating Tyler Wells and notes on Mountcastle and Vavra (Steve Melewski)
The news before yesterday’s game is it’s a grade 1 oblique strain for Wells. That’s the least severe grade, but will probably have him out for the bulk of the rest of the season, if not the whole rest of the season.

Five things to know about Orioles draft pick Dylan Beavers (Press Box)
The short version is that he’s got big power potential but isn’t certain to hit enough to unlock it. We’ll find out what the Orioles development program can do for him.

In career year, Orioles reliever Cionel Pérez has learned to channel his energy. In return to Cincinnati, he let it out. (The Baltimore Sun)
Pérez walked 20 batters in 25 innings for the Reds last season, so they put him on waivers for the Orioles to claim. That gave him some extra motivation on Friday night.

This, that, and the other (School of Roch)
Roch has noticed an improved Orioles defense, and it’s showing up in public metrics, too. The team was among MLB’s worst with -24 Defensive Runs Saved last season. So far this year, the Orioles are at +45. That’s a big swing! If the Orioles had allowed 69 more runs, they would be expected to have 43 wins instead of 51.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2013, the Orioles acquired Bud Norris from the Astros for L.J. Hoes, Josh Hader, and a draft pick that became Derek Fisher. Hader, as we now know, has been one of the better relievers of the last few years. Norris had a nice 2014 season and one clutch postseason outing, but this trade would sting less if he didn’t fall apart in 2015.

Four years ago, the Orioles traded away all of Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day, and Jonathan Schoop. It’s a shame we’ll never find out whether Mike Elias pitching development could have improved Gausman.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1999 backup catcher Mike Figga, 1977-78 three-game pitcher Earl Stephenson, 1954/57 outfielder Joe Durham, and 1959-60 pitcher Rip Coleman. Also born today was 1966 Orioles World Series-winning manager Hank Bauer. He would have turned 100 today. Bauer passed away in 2004.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: author and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi (1919), football Hall of Fame Ravens offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden (1974), country musician Zac Brown (1978), and rapper Lil Uzi Vert (1995).

On this day in history...

In 781, the earliest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji took place. The volcano has been dormant since a 1708 eruption.

In 1777, early America’s favorite Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette, was given the rank of major general of the United States in a resolution passed by the Continental Congress.

In 1970, Britain’s Royal Navy ended a centuries-long tradition of issuing a daily rum ration to its sailors, who referred to it as Black Tot Day. Other British-descended navies held on to the ration for longer, with the last one being abolished by New Zealand in 1992.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 31. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!