I'm curious whether the Orioles will toss Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia into the deep end of the major league pool or let him dip his toe into it.
Urrutia has climbed up the minor league ladder. Maybe he'll climb down the one leading into the pool, if you know what I mean.
The Orioles are facing a left-hander tonight, the Rangers' Derek Holland, which could put Danny Valencia in the lineup at designated hitter. They also will face southpaw Martin Perez on Sunday.
Urrutia was 6-for-17 with two walks and no strikeouts against left-handers at Triple-A Norfolk.
The Orioles are 15-14 against left-handers and 38-29 vs. right-handers.
The Orioles' PR staff, with an assist from Elias and STATS, has put together some first-half notes while we wait for the second half to begin tonight.
The Orioles posted a winning record at the break for the third time in the last 16 years. It also happened in 2005 and 2012.
With one more win, Buck Showalter will become the fourth manager in major league history to win 250 or more games with four different teams. Joe Torre won 250 or more with five teams (Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers), while Gene Mauch (Phillies, Expos, Angels and Twins) and Dick Williams (Red Sox, Athletics, Expos and Padres) won 250-plus with four teams.
Showalter won 313 with the Yankees, 250 with the Diamondbacks and 319 with the Rangers.
The Orioles hit 132 homers in the first half, the second-most in club history. They totaled 134 in 1996.
They lead the majors with those 132 homers and have 17 more than the second-place club.
The Orioles have homered in 17 straight games against American League East opponents, setting a franchise record. Divisional play began in 1969.
The Orioles lead the majors with a .992 fielding percentage. If they maintain that percentage, it will be the highest for a season in franchise history, topping the .987 marks by the 2007 and 1998 Orioles.
The Orioles finished April with 16 wins, tied for most in club history in the month (also 1969, 1997, 2005 and 2008).
In 2012, the Orioles were sixth in the majors and third in the AL with 1,315 strikeouts, setting a franchise record. In 2013, they've struck out 666 times, the fifth-fewest in the AL.
The Orioles are on pace to strikeout 1,123 times, which would be 192 fewer than 2012.
The Orioles have used 13 starting pitchers in 2013, one more than last season. The last year that the Orioles sent as many as 13 different starters to the mound was 2008 (13).
The last year that the Orioles used 14 different starters was 1998.
Jim Johnson recorded his 105th career save July 14th, tying Tippy Martinez for second place on the Orioles' all-time saves list. Gregg Olson is the franchise leader with 160.
Manny Machado leads the majors with 39 doubles and Chris Davis leads with 37 homers. The only time in the modern era of baseball that teammates finished outright major league leaders in doubles and homers in the same season was 1927, when Lou Gehrig had 52 doubles and Babe Ruth hit 60 homers.
For fans who keep contradicting this stat, please note that it's "outright major league leaders."
The Orioles are:
42-3 when leading after seven innings.
7-5 when tied after seven innings.
4-34 when trailing after seven innings.
44-7 when leading after eight innings.
6-4 when tied after eight innings.
3-32 when trailing after eight innings.