Though the Orioles are intrigued by Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, they’ve decided not to pursue him now that he’s a free agent.
The Orioles have scouted Castillo multiple times and watched him work out, and they like his speed and the power that was on display as he took batting practice at the University of Miami. However, an official stated that Castillo’s asking price is significantly “out of range.”
The cost of signing Castillo would have to come down drastically for the Orioles to get involved, and that’s not likely to happen. They’re going to pass on him.
Baseball America’s Best Triple-A Tools survey included only one representative from Norfolk. Ron Johnson was chosen as Best Manager Prospect.
International League managers handled the voting.
Syracuse’s Steven Souza was cited as having the Best Outfield Arm. Not sure how many managers got a chance to evaluate Norfolk’s Dariel Alvarez, since he was a late arrival to the league. He’s got a cannon.
You’ll find people with the Orioles who say Alvarez possesses the best arm in the organization, including the majors.
I’ve heard that lots of teams were asking about Single-A Delmarva catcher Chance Sisco at the non-waiver trade deadline. The Orioles aren’t interested in dealing him.
Sisco was batting .344/.413/.447 in 91 games before last night.
Another catcher, Jonah Heim, also drew interest at the deadline. The Orioles moved him down from short-season Single-A Aberdeen to the Gulf Coast team because of a roster crunch.
Delmarva infielder Drew Dosch also is gaining notice among scouts from outside the organization, but the Orioles are holding onto him. He’s batting .326/.391/.402 in 108 games.
Dosch was named the Orioles’ minor league Player of the Month for July after batting .364 (39-for-107) with a home run and 15 RBIs.
Former catcher and current MASN analyst Rick Dempsey doesn’t attend many pregame media sessions with manager Buck Showalter, but he made an observation during one of them that’s stuck with him.
“I said to Buck, ‘You know, something’s different about this ballclub. I see it. Little things are starting to happen,’” Dempsey said. “He said, ‘I hope you’re right.’ And ever since, things started to happen.
“Adam Jones is starting to take pitches in certain situations, and that tells me he’s not as undisciplined as we think he is. He’s got a lot of Joe Carter in him. Joe never walked, either, but when he came up with men on base, it was his job to drive them in, and he did. That’s what led Toronto to a couple championships.”
Dempsey also said this year’s team reminds him how the 1983 club scored just enough runs to win the close games. If the opponent scored one, the Orioles scored two. If the opponent scored three, the Orioles scored four.
“They’re finding ways to finish ballgames off with that one run,” Dempsey said. “They make that one run stand up if that’s all they’re going to get. If we got down early in ballgames, we found ways to get back in them. They seem to be able to do that. It just seems that they’re able to score late. They could be shut down for a while. It’s almost pathetic watching them go through the first four or five innings. Oh, now there’s going to be a long losing streak. Then, boom, boom, boom. And they’ve got the lead.
“They’re a dangerous, dangerous ballclub. And when they bring guys off the bench, they’re even better. You can almost get that same feel of the platoon system that John Lowenstein and Gary Roenicke had. I know we’re not always right and left, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Delmon Young when he comes in. It doesn’t matter if they’re left-handed or right-handed. He’s all over everybody.
“You watch Steve Pearce’s approach to every at-bat, he doesn’t swing at bad pitches very often. Neither does Delmon Young. And David Lough is starting to make contact and has been solid on the basepaths all year.”
One last observation from Dempsey: He’s seeing a “different” relationship between the pitchers and catchers.
“The catchers are giving better targets,” Dempsey said. “The pitchers are throwing better pitches because of it and they’re starting to do things we didn’t know they were capable of doing. Now they just need to get over the hump of having one good game, one bad game. Every starter.”
And finally, I was amused by this quote from pitcher Kevin Gausman related to the fan support Monday night at Nationals Park. Players heard the ‘Let’s go O’s’ chants that attempted to drown out the other side.
“Oh yeah, I noticed in the dugout,” Gausman said. “You know, it’s weird because ‘O’s and Nats, O’s and Nats,’ it’s kind of close. You definitely could tell it was more O’s than Nats, I thought.”
I’m not sure that “O’s” and “Nats” sound similar, but point made. The Orioles notice and appreciate how their fans travel and try to take over visiting ballparks.
It seems as though the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. Or the spike, in this case.