Good morning, Birdland!
That was an emotional roller coaster of a day. We were still dealing with the fallout of the Trey Mancini trade, which was predictable and generated a better-than-expected return, but still stunk anyway. And then boom! Our all-star closer Jorge López was gone. The return there felt relatively light, but we shall see. The final touch of the day was an addition, bringing in outfielder Brett Phillips in a trade with the Rays.
Adding Phillips felt like the precursor to something else. Maybe the long-expected trade of Anthony Santander, or perhaps there was a blockbuster involving Cedric Mullins or Austin Hays. But no, those things didn’t materialize. So instead, Phillips is with the Orioles, presumably to play exclusively against right-handed pitching, provide excellent defense, and give the manager some more flexibility in his outfield set up.
That outfield is bursting at the seams right now. The 40-man roster has six outfielders. Five of them are on the active roster. The only one that isn’t (yet) is Phillips, but that will likely change sometime before today’s game. How the Orioles go about making room remains to be seen. Perhaps a demotion of Ryan McKenna? He serves a very similar role to what Phillips would, but he’s right-handed.
On top of that, the Orioles played a game last night, and they won. By, like, a lot, stomping the Rangers 8-2. That puts them 1.5 games back in the Wild Card standings, where they are quickly closing the gap on the Rays, who have cratered.
It’s worth reiterating that all of the evidence around the Orioles since Adley Rutschman was promoted suggests that this is a good baseball team. There is room for them to improve if (and this is a big if) they can promote some minor leaguers that are better than their major league counterparts.
What gives me pause to think that is going to happen is the recent outfield moves. Instead of the seemingly no-brainer call to bring up Kyle Stowers, who had an .892 OPS in July, they promoted Yusniel Diaz and traded for Phillips. If Stowers can’t earn the call as a 24-year-old with an entire season of Triple-A under his belt, I have a hard time seeing Gunnar Henderson or Jordan Westburg making it to Baltimore in 2022.
Looking ahead for Orioles with trade deadline behind them | Roch Kubatko
Roch does mention that more prospects are expected to debut. I’m hoping that is based on some knowledge rather than just an assumption. At the very least we should see Stowers and DL Hall get a run in the team for a few weeks.
Orioles exit disappointing trade deadline still believing in 2022 potential: ‘We’re up for the challenge’ | The Baltimore Sun
These Orioles have plenty of confidence, and I fully believe that they will make these final two months interesting. I still worry about the pitching staff without reinforcements. But they have beat out projections this far. Who is to say they cannot keep on doing that.
Trey Mancini, fiancée Sara Perlman say goodbye to Baltimore: ‘It really was a dream come true for me to play for the Orioles’ | The Baltimore Sun
Seeing Mancini in an Astros uniform yesterday was enough to scramble my brain for the day. It just did not look right. He should be wearing orange and BLACK, not that navy color they use.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Jonathan Araúz turns 24. The infielder is in the midst of his first season with the Orioles after being claimed off waivers from the Red Sox back in June. He has appeared in just nine games since then, and is currently on the IL.
- Mark Reynolds is 39 today. The slugging corner infielder was part of the magical 2011 and 2012 teams, smacking 60 home runs and becoming a meme...twice.
- The late Dick Hyde (d. 2020) was born on this day in 1928. The pitcher played in 15 games for the 1961 Orioles, his final season as a big leaguer.
This day in O’s history
1969 - Dave McNally’s 17-game win streak ends in a 5-2 loss to Jim Kaat and the Minnesota Twins. The losing blow came in the seventh inning, when Rich Reese crushed a pinch-hit grand slam.
1970 - The Orioles set a major league record by beating the Kansas City Royals for the 23rd time in a two-year span.