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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Aaron Hicks may be good again

The O’s lose another series opener, but there is good news down on the farm

Baltimore Orioles v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Remember when these Orioles were winning the first game of every series they played ? They don’t do that too often anymore. Their 4-3 loss on Tuesday was the fourth time they have lost the series opener in their last five attempts.

It felt like the offense could have done more with the cards they were dealt. But instead they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and struck out 16 times. Anthony Santander and Ramón Urías had particularly bad nights: 0-for-8, seven strikeouts.

It’s tough to see how that improves tonight with Corbin Burnes on the mound, but the righty has not been as strikeout-oriented this season, and there is the possibility that on-base machine Gunnar Henderson gets back into the lineup. That would help!

On the bright side, Fêlix Bautista is just so, so good, isn’t he? He needed just 11 pitches to record three strikeouts.

And are we coming around on Aaron Hicks at all? He had a two-run homer and two other hits stolen by a pair of nice plays in the field. With every day of passable (or better!) performance, we get closer to a Cedric Mullins return without feeling the full pressure of the loss.

If Hicks can keep playing at this level it will arise serious questions about others on the roster, specifically Ryan McKenna. There are still areas where McKenna has an advantage, like facing lefties or late-game pinch running. But it would be impossible to deny Hicks if he were anywhere close to the player he was in New York a couple of seasons ago.

Links

MLB prospect rankings: Top 25 players re-ranked | CBS Sports
Jackson Holliday is having a really nice season, and it looks more and more like he will end up in Double-A Bowie before too long. That has him quite close to the big league doorstep for sometime in 2024.

Good news for Lester, crunching some Orioles numbers | Roch Kubatko
It’s going to be great when the “big move” the Orioles make at the trade deadline is some attempt to improve upon the left-handed hitting bench options they currently have.

Six things we learned from the Orioles’ first 60 games | The Baltimore Sun
I figured the Orioles would be a solid squad again. They seemed to be far better than that, and that’s pretty neat

This Orioles prospect has hits in each of his last 9 at-bats | MLB.com
Carter Young got a pretty beefy signing bonus out of last year’s draft, especially since he was a 17th round pick. Until recently, he looked really overmatched, but maybe the talent that the Orioles saw is finally showing through.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Chris Richard turns 49 today. He played first base and outfield for the Orioles from 2000 through 2002 before he was dealt to the Rockies for Jack Cust.
  • Heathcliff Slocumb celebrates his 57th. The reliever spent part of the 1999 season in Baltimore, appearing in 10 games for the O’s.
  • Roger Nelson is 79. He worked as a swingman for the ‘68 Orioles, starting six of the 19 games in which he pitched. The Royals then took him as the first pick in the expansion draft the following season.

This day in O’s history

1967 - The Orioles select pitcher Mike Adamson in the secondary phase of the free-agent draft. Adamson would become the first player in draft history to entirely skip the minors. He debuts for the big league Orioles on July 1.

1998 - Eddie Murray has his uniform number 33 retired by the Orioles during a ceremony at Camden Yards.

2010 - The Orioles pick Florida high schooler Manny Machado with the third overall pick of the amateur draft, after the Nationals select Bryce Harper at 1 and the Pirates take Jameson Taillon second.