Good morning, Camden Chatters.
A quiet week for the MLB offseason slogs forward, as the stretch between Christmas and New Year’s has been predictably light on roster activity. The hot stove action will eventually pick up because it pretty much has to, and maybe the O’s will even be involved in another notable move or two, hopefully on the pitching side.
Still, the Orioles’ group of position players doesn’t figure to change much between now and Opening Day. Pretty much every significant hitter from the 2023 club is still with the organization; of the 14 players who appeared in 60 or more games this year, only two — Adam Frazier and Aaron Hicks — aren’t expected to return.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko offered a prediction for which 13 position players will open the 2024 season with the Orioles. I might swap out Ryan McKenna for Colton Cowser, and I also think Joey Ortiz will make the club (and one of Ramón Urías or Jorge Mateo will be gone), but it’s hard to quibble with his projection.
What say you, Camden Chatters? Which 13 hitters do you think will crack the Opening Day roster for the Orioles?
My improbable lunch with an unusual major league player - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff writes a touching story about connecting with Gary Jones, an obscure lefty reliever from the early ’70s Yankees, whom he finally met last week more than 50 years after starting his fan club.
Orioles aim to build on 101-win season - MLB.com
I don’t expect the Orioles to win 101 games again, but there’s certainly plenty of reason to believe they’ll have another strong season, as Jake Rill writes.
The Succession Drama Gripping One of Baseball’s Most Storied Teams - WSJ
The Wall Street Journal recaps the drama surrounding the Angelos family and the future of Orioles ownership. I’ve never seen Succession, but if that show is anything like this, I don’t want to watch.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four ex-Orioles were born on this day: right-handers Jaret Wright (48), Jim Brower (51), and Dave Ford (67), and catcher Ken Rudolph (77), who was just four days off from being a Rudolph born on Christmas. Alas.
This has been a slow day in history for the Orioles. Their most significant signing on Dec. 29 was in 2015, when they re-signed veteran shortstop Paul Janish as a minor league free agent. Janish had appeared in 14 games for the 2015 Orioles, then appeared in exactly 14 again in both 2016 and 2017. He was nothing if not consistent.