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Saturday Bird Droppings: Grayson Rodriguez has arrived

A game worth the wait, Elias talks trade deadline, a few injury updates.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

If you stayed up through the 2.5-hour rain delay and then watched the 2.5-hour game, you were rewarded with one heck of a pitching duel. Gerrit Cole did what he typical does as one of the game’s elite pitchers, and Grayson Rodriguez turned in the best start of his young career. But Anthony Santander stole the show at the end with a diving catch in the eighth inning followed by a walk-off homer in the ninth.

Yours truly was on recap duty for the Orioles 1-0 last night. It was a late night for me, although I made the most of it by going full dad mode and watching a few episodes of Band of Brothers during the delay. That series is more than 20 years old at this point, but remains a worthwhile rewatch when you’re in a rut of what to binge next.

Anyway, back to baseball! The O’s go for the series win tonight with Tyler Wells on the mound. It’s another scorcher in the Baltimore area, but hopefully that subsides quite a bit by the time first pitch rolls around.

Trades started popping off around the league on Friday, including several high-profile relievers that may have been on the Orioles radar. That’s unlikely to shake this Orioles front office much. They don’t seem like a group about to make a panic buy, and there are still plenty of options on the board.

But it does sound like they will make at least one more addition between now and the August 1 trade deadline. There has been no buzz around specific targets, which is par for the course from this regime. So it’s anyone’s guess as to when and how they do make that move.


Elias talks about the trade deadline and being on the buyer’s side | Roch Kubatko
I’m not sure it was a revelation exactly, but Elias was straightforward in saying that the team is mostly looking at pitching acquisitions at this point. That makes sense as the team is currently dealing with a roster crunch on the offensive side of things while some nights it feels like a gamble as to how they will compile nine innings from the pitching staff.

Mike Elias has to worry about the Orioles’ long-term future. This season is testing that approach. | The Baltimore Sun
Elias is setting expectations that it would be shocking for the Orioles to add anything more than marginal upgrades at this deadline. He has a theory around building a team from within that he is going to see through to the end. The 2023’s squad impressive showing doesn’t seem poised to change that much.

Could top prospect Jackson Holliday join the Orioles this season? GM Mike Elias ‘wouldn’t rule it out.’ | The Baltimore Sun
Sure, give the kid some hope of it happening. He’s been great! But he’s only been at Double-A for two weeks. It’s almost August. And the Orioles currently have a glut of major league-caliber infielders. It’s tough to see that making sense in 2023. Now, 2024? Yeah, it feels like a guarantee that he is up and playing significant innings for another good O’s team.

Injuries & Moves: Henderson returns; Means nearing game action |
Elias provided a few injury updates. John Means is set to start pitching in Florida next month, which should have him on pace for a big league return in September. Both Cedric Mullins and Aaron Hicks are expected back sometime in August, although the exact timelines for both remain fuzzy. And perhaps the most interesting update was about Dillon Tate, who may still appear for the Orioles this year.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

It seems no current or former Orioles were born on this day, according to Baseball Reference. But it is the birthday of actor Will Wheaton (b. 1972), former Brewers slugger Ryan Braun (b. 1983), and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (b. 1993).

This day in O’s history

1988 - The Orioles trade Mike Boddicker to the Red Sox in exchange for Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling.

1997 - Harold Baines is purchased by the Orioles from the White Sox.

2000 - The Orioles add catcher Brook Fordyce from the White Sox in a swap for catcher Charles Johnson and DH Harold Baines.

2000 - A trade between the Orioles and Cardinals sees reliever Mike Timlin go to St. Louis while first baseman Chris Richard and pitcher Mark Nussbeck end up in Charm City.

2010 - Buck Showalter is announced as the Orioles new manager. He will take over the squad from interim skipper Juan Samuel on August 3.