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Saturday Bird Droppings: It’s D.L. Hall day

The O’s are back in a playoff spot, Mateo is transforming his offense, and Hall is pitching today!

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

OK, I understand recency bias and all of that, but this sure feels like the best day yet in what has been a ridiculous Orioles season. I am completely fine with this day being upended someday soon, but for now, this is it!

The Orioles won again last night, this time a 10-3 beating of the Rays in the series opener. That win did a couple things. It moved them into third in the AL East, and it put them into the final AL wild card spot.

None of those statuses are guaranteed to remain. However, one more win this weekend would clinch a winning record against the Rays on the season. That could be significant come the end of the season if tie-breakers come into the discussion. It also represents a massive turnaround from 2021, when they went 1-18 against these Rays

On top of the winning, today could be an important date in the history of the franchise. D.L. Hall is making his major league debut today with a spot start in Tampa.

Hall’s minor league stats are a mixed bag this year. Over 77.2 innings the hard-throwing lefty has struck out 126 and walked 45 as he worked his way back from an elbow injury that ended his 2021 season early.

But there is no denying his talent. His “stuff” is off the charts, and may even be the best in the entire organization, which includes Grayson Rodriguez. For him, it is all about harnessing that stuff and going deep enough into games.

Hall is completely stretched out. His two longest outings (from a pitch count stand point) have been his two most recent starts. He threw 100 pitches on August 2 and then 99 on August 7. It seems reasonable to expect him to get near that amount if he is pitching well enough to remain in the game today.


More on DL Hall’s promotion to the Orioles | Roch Kubatko
Roch notes that this is a spot start for Hall, and he will then move to the bullpen as a multi-inning option for this year. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. One is that Hall is likely on an inning limit since 2021 was injury-shortened for him. It also sets him up well for 2023, when he should be in the conversation to start the season as part of the big league rotation.

How a meeting with Orioles coaches helped unlock Jorge Mateo’s swing — and a deeper lineup | The Baltimore Sun
Mateo had been the type of player where you say “whatever you get out of his bat is a bonus.” Well, that has turned into a pretty big bonus since the start of July. With the upcoming arrivals of GUNNAR HENDERSON and Jordan Westburg! the Orioles are going to have some decisions to make on playing time in the infield. That is a good decision to be pushed on, and it shouldn’t really be a problem until 2023. Mateo deserves to be in the lineup every single day for the rest of this season.

Adley Rutschman is helping the surging Orioles and living up to the hype | CBS Sports
He is the best catcher in baseball. He might still win Rookie of the Year. And he is the heart and soul of these surging Orioles. Hopefully he has a long career ahead of him, but man Adley Rutschman is already a whole lot of fun.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Cory Doyne turns 41. His entire MLB career was encompassed in the five games he spent on the 2007 Orioles.
  • Corey Patterson celebrates his 43rd. The outfielder had two stints with the O’s, first from 2006-07 and then again in 2010. Altogether he posted a 90 OPS+, stole 103 bases, and was worth 7.2 bWAR in that time.
  • Will Ohman is 45 today. The lefty spent most of the 2010 season with the O’s prior to a trade that sent him to the Marlins.
  • Jeff Ballard is 59 years old. The southpaw had a five-year run with the O’s from 1987 through 1991.
  • Tom Niedenfuer turns 63 today. His Orioles stint lasted for two seasons from 1987-88. The reliever appeared in 97 games and had a 4.20 ERA.

This day in O’s history

1969 - Jim Palmer tosses a no-hitter, beating the Athletics 8-0 to put the Orioles 14.5 games up in the AL East.

1978 - The Orioles beat the Yankees 3-0 despite trailing 5-3 at one point. It was the result a rule technicality that reverted the game back to the last completed inning after heavy rains forced the game to be abandoned in the middle of the seventh inning, right after the Yankees had put up five runs in the top of the frame.

1998 - Harold Baines becomes the all-time leader in RBI by a DH when he knocks in his 824th run as the O’s beat Cleveland 7-4.