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Wednesday Bird Droppings: May comes to a close

O’s win, more on Hicks, and where Henderson falls in the rookie rankings.

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Two months of the 2023 season are nearly in the books. While May has not been quite as kind to the Orioles as April was (nor their PERFECT 1-0 March!), it was still pretty darn great.

The O’s sit with a 16-11 record on the month with the chance to improve to 17-11 tonight. But even with a loss you have to feel good about how the team navigated a tough stretch of their schedule. It included impressive series wins against the division rival Rays, Blue Jays, and Yankees. They held their own down in Atlanta. And they will emerge from the month in a similar position to what they entered it, 3-4 games back of the Rays for the AL East lead and one of the best records in all of baseball.

On an individual basis things have also been noteworthy. Gunnar Henderson is starting to sort out his rookie woes at the plate. Adam Frazier has turned into an offensive threat. Austin Hays has continued his early success. And of course there is Anthony Santander, who broke out of his April funk to be the source of power that the middle of the lineup sorely needed.

There are pitching highlights too. Kyle Gibson has been on a good run recently, including a pair of seven-inning starts. Dean Kremer has had some good luck after nothing but horrible luck in April. And Kyle Bradish looks far better since the calendar flipped.

The team isn’t perfect, and the recent injury of Cedric Mullins will be tough to absorb. But so far, they have shown to be the resilient sort of club that can continue to work around whatever misfortunes come their way. And there is plenty of reason to believe there is still upside to uncover.


May has tested the Orioles’ ability. The next few weeks will test their resolve. | The Baltimore Sun
This is mostly about playing without Mullins. That will absolutely be tough to do. Fortunately, the schedule is easing up for the next couple of weeks, and hopefully the team gets some good injury news at some point in that timeframe.

More thoughts on Orioles’ decision to sign Aaron Hicks | Roch Kubatko
It’s not an ideal situation. Aaron Hicks is a flawed player, especially at this point in his career. But hopefully this is only a temporary situation. That could be either because Mullins gets healthy sooner rather than later, or because one of the minor league options gets into a position where they can make their way to Baltimore.

Former Orioles outfielder Mike Young passes away | CBS News
Young was an outfielder for the Orioles from 1982 through ‘87 and played more than 500 games for the team. He was 63 years old.

There’s a shakeup in Rookie Power Rankings |
I’m not sure what the value of rookie power rankings are, but sometimes we just need content, folks! Henderson is on here, but he is pretty far down the list. I would expect that changes by season’s end, especially since his bat is starting to heat up now.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Joe Orsulak turns 61 today. The outfielder had a five-season run in Baltimore from 1988 through 1992, accumulating a 107 OPS+ and 8.0 bWAR in that time.
  • Tippy Martinez is 73 years old. His 11 years with the Orioles spanned 1976 through 1986. The southpaw was fixture in the team’s bullpen, where he amassed 752.1 innings and 105 saves in that time.

This day in O’s history

1980 - The Orioles end the hitting streak of the Minnesota Twins’ Ken Landreaux. The streak had reached 31 games before the O’s gave him an 0-for-4 and beat the Twins 11-1.

2001 - Cal Ripken Jr. hits his 420th career home run, but the Orioles lose 2-1 to Aaron Sele and the Seattle Mariners.

2008 - Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez hits his 500th career home run off Orioles reliever Chad Bradford.