Good morning, Birdland!
The Orioles have achieved their offseason-long goal of shoring up their depth at first base. Not only do they have Ryan O’Hearn, who they claimed and then outrighted, but they also (finally!) have Lewin Díaz cemented into the organization.
Díaz has been designated for assignment five different times this offseason, including twice by the Orioles. After each of the previous DFA’s he was claimed, but not this time. Every other team in the league passed on him, and so the O’s were able to stash him in Triple-A Norfolk. While he could still be released or traded, it seems more likely that Díaz has found a home through spring training at least.
For the Orioles, it is a happy ending to a saga several months in the making. The team’s front office clearly felt they needed to upgrade their depth at the first base position, but they weren’t interested in taking up a 40-man roster spot to do it. Not only have Díaz and O’Hearn been DFA’ed by the club this winter, but so has Tyler Nevin, who is now employed by the Detroit Tigers.
Make no mistake, both Díaz and O’Hearn are bad, but at least they are fringy major leaguers. They have played the position in the bigs and could fill a roster spot for a few days if Ryan Mountcastle needed to make an IL stint.
My guess is the Orioles would still prefer a band aid solution like rotating Adley Rutschman, James McCann, Anthony Santander, and even Gunnar Henderson into the position rather than handing O’Hearn a 15-day starting role in that scenario. But at least it’s nice to have the option. Teams with playoff aspirations need to be able to hold things together in moments of chaos and disarray, even if the momentary solution is less than ideal.
Hall makes 2023 Top 10 LHP Prospects list | MLB.com
DL Hall is so talented. Based on pure stuff, he looks even more electrifying on the mound than Grayson Rodriguez. Add in that fact that he’s coming from the left side and you have the makings of a special talent. He just needs to hone his control in a hair. Of course, that is easier said than done, and Hall has plenty to prove in 2023.
Orioles Outright Lewin Díaz | MLB Trade Rumors
He made it! It took almost two months, but we will see Díaz in the black and orange down in Sarasota.
If the ABS system comes to Triple-A, could MLB be far behind? | Steve Melewski
Nope. It’s coming, and we will all complain about it...at first. But like most technological things, it will grow on us and then feel like second nature.
Guide to Orioles’ spring training in Sarasota | Baltimore Baseball
We are under one month away from shorts and t-shirts, and guys in the best shape of their life. Will any of the eventual spring games be on MASN? I would hazard to guess that not even MASN’s on-air talent knows the answer to that question yet.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Anthony Bemboom turns 33. He spent 22 games as an Orioles catcher in 2022 and remains in the organization at the minor league level.
- Brandon Fahey celebrates his 42nd birthday. His big league career spanned three seasons, all with the O’s, from 2006-08.
- Brian Falkenborg is 45 years old. He made his big league debut as an Orioles in 1999. He would play just one more game for the club before bouncing around the league a bit.
- Kevin McGehee is 54 today. In 1993 he played in five games for the Birds, representing the entirety of his MLB career.
- Brady Anderson turns 59. The outfielder played 14 seasons for the Orioles from 1988 through 2001. In that time he made three all-star games, earned some down-ballot MVP votes and famously hit 50 home runs in 1996.
- Scott McGregor is a very nice 69 years old. His whole 13-season career was spent in Baltimore from 1976 through ‘88. He twice earned Cy Young votes and made an all-star game (‘81).
- Mickey McGuire has his 82nd birthday. His big league career lasted just 16 games, although they came in two separated seasons: 1962 and 1967.
- The late Mike Fornieles (b. 1932, d. 1998) was born on this day. He pitched in two seasons for the O’s from 1956-57.
This day in history
2009 - The Orioles add outfielder Félix Pie in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. They send Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson to the Windy City in the swap.