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Tuesday Bird Droppings: A possible huge loss in the outfield

The Orioles lost the game and their center fielder. That really stinks.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, Camden Chatters. The Orioles lost yesterday in an uninspired game to kick off their series against the Guardians. You can read the full details in Alex Church’s game recap, but as we know, the biggest loss yesterday was not the game.

Cedric Mullins exited the game yesterday after injuring himself running to second base. After the game, he was diagnosed with a right abductor/groin strain. We don’t yet know how serious it is or the timetable for his return. It could be a few weeks or it could be a few months. In the meantime, we have to think about the options.

My colleague John Beers will have an article published at 9 a.m. with an in-depth look at the options, so be sure to check back for that. In the meantime, here is the quick version.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, two players at Triple-A capable of playing center, Colton Cowser and Kyle Stowers, are on the injured list. Mike Elias stated the Cowser is days away from returning, not weeks. It seems unlikeIy they’d return him from the IL straight to the majors. It’s too bad because he was destroying Triple-A before he strained his quad and it promoting him would be a truly exciting move.

There is another player at Triple-A capable of playing center every day, and that’s Daz Cameron. I admit I didn’t think of this one until I saw one of the beat writers tweeting about it. Like Don Draper and the guy played by Ben Feldman on Mad Men, I don’t think about Daz Cameron at all. But the truth is that Cameron is hitting pretty well, with an .840 OPS in 38 games. He’s not on the 40-man roster but there is an open spot if they want to use it.

On the current roster, Ryan McKenna is capable of playing center field every day, but his bat leaves something to be desired against right-handed pitching. Which is, you know, most of them. Austin Hays used to be a center fielder but hasn’t played it regularly in some time. Just six games in 2022 and six games in 2021.

If they decide to play McKenna in center, they’d have to do something to offset the offensive loss of Mullins. To me, that means benching Jorge Mateo. He’s been more than a black hole offensively for a month now. Options if that move is made include bringing back Joey Ortiz and giving him a real chance to play shortstop every day and see if his bat can play. He’s a plus defender at shortstop.

Another move, and the one that I would like to see even though I think it won’t happen, is bringing up Jordan Westburg. He’s also not on the 40-man, but he will be soon enough either way. If Westburg is promoted, Gunnar Henderson could move to shortstop and Ramón Urías get playing time at his Gold Glove position of third base.

Adam Frazier, who also plays corner outfield, could get playing time in right field. That would allow Anthony Santander to move to DH or first base, where he could spell Ryan Mountcastle as needed. That’s a lot of shuffling, I know. Is it too much? Not for me. But I’m not in charge, for good reason.

Mostly I just hope we find out today that Cedric Mullins is barely hurt and will be back in no time.


Mullins suffers right abductor/groin strain in 5-0 loss - MASN Sports
It hasn't been announced yet how long Cedric Mullins is expected to be out, but any time at all is too much for the Orioles.

With health and hard hits, Austin Hays showing what he’s capable of - Baltimore Sun
Austin Hays is having a really good year! Can he still play center field?

Former GM Jim Bowden: Orioles Should Hold Off On Extension Talks Until November - PressBox
Jim Bowden thinks that the Orioles need to wait to discuss extensions on young players so that it doesn't get into their heads while they are trying to compete for the division. What do you think about that?

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, including John Miller. Miller, who passed away in 2020 at the age of 79, was a local boy who spent his entire major league career with the Orioles.

Born in 1941 in Baltimore, Miller attended Edmondson Westside High School and made his major league debut in 1962 at the age of 21. A pitcher, he appeared in 46 games with the Orioles from 1962-67.

Also born on this day are Brett Phillips (29), Jairo Asencio (40), and Mike Oquist (55).

On this day in 1982, Cal Ripken played third base and batted eighth in a 6-0 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 0-for-2 with a walk. He wouldn’t miss another game until September 19, 1998, 2,632 games later.