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Stewart selected to AFL Fall Stars Game

Outfielder DJ Stewart, the 25th overall pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida State University, has been chosen to play in the Arizona Fall League’s 11th annual “Fall Stars Game” Saturday in Surprise, Ariz. Stewart, 22, is 10-for-45 with three doubles, a triple, five RBIs and five runs scored in 12 games. He has 11 walks, 11 strikeouts and is 3-for-3 in

Orioles still deciding on qualifying offer for Wieters

It comes as no surprise that the Orioles continue to ponder whether they should make a qualifying offer to catcher Matt Wieters. They’ve had internal debates since he accepted the last one. I’ve heard that they’re weighing both sides and I sense that they may be leaning more toward not giving it to Wieters, who hit .243/.302/.409 with 17 doubles, 17 home runs and 66

Should Orioles consider an eight-man bullpen?

Watching how bullpens have been utilized in the postseason, especially by Indians manager Terry Francona, led to an interesting discussion yesterday on “Wall-to-Wall Baseball” on MASN. Will more teams consider breaking camp next year with eight relievers and only three bench players, or will a fresh season bring a return to normalcy? It would be tough to manage an entire season yanking your starters in

Britton named top reliever in American League (updated)

While Orioles left-hander Zach Britton awaits his Cy Young fate, he’s been recognized as the best reliever in the American League. Insert Captain Obvious reference here. The use of the word “duh” also is permissible. Britton received the Mariano Rivera Award tonight that goes to the top AL reliever. The Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen was given the NL’s version, named after Trevor Hoffman. It would have

Will Britton be named top AL reliever?

As the World Series continues tonight with Game 4 at Wrigley Field, it’s also important to note that we’ve entered awards season. Sporting News has dished out its hardware and the Rawlings Gold Glove finalists were revealed on Thursday. The Relievers of the Year will be announced later today, with one winner in each league. The American League award is named after Mariano Rivera, and

Date set for FanFest

A “save the date” isn’t just for weddings. There’s also the baseball winter version. The Orioles announced today that their annual FanFest event will be held on Jan. 28, 2017 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Or exactly three months from today. More information will become available later, including the list of players, coaches and former players in attendance and a breakdown of the autograph stations.

Leftovers for breakfast

So much for the Orioles having four Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners in their infield. The best they can do is two after first baseman Chris Davis and third baseman Manny Machado were named finalists yesterday in the American League. No team has sported four Gold Glove winners in the infield in the same season, but the Orioles came close in the past. Brooks Robinson,

Davis and Machado named Gold Glove finalists

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and third baseman Manny Machado have been named Rawlings Gold Glove finalists in the American League. Davis joins the Royals’ Eric Hosmer and the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland. Hosmer has won the award in the last three seasons. Davis has been a finalist in the past. Machado joins the Mariners’ Kyle Seager and the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. Machado won it in

Looking back at Britton and wondering about his future

In case you missed it, Orioles left-hander Zach Britton was named to the Sporting News American League All-Star team. I saw the tweet after returning home from a mini-vacation in Mexico, where the top closers usually include tequila. The team was selected by a panel of 29 American League executives before the playoffs. Britton was the lone reliever and an obvious choice considering his historic

Early thoughts on spring training

The release of the spring training schedule this week made me flash back to past players who occupied so much space in this blog and never made it to Baltimore. There seems to be one every year. I also celebrated how we’re making only one trip to Dunedin while lamenting the upcoming drives to Orlando and Lakeland, but I digress ... There needs to be

Trumbo receives AL award from Sporting News

If Mark Trumbo leaves the Orioles as a free agent, he’ll join a new team as the reigning Sporting News 2016 American League Comeback Player of the Year. Trumbo, 30, beat out the Rangers’ Ian Desmond by one vote for the award, which has existed since 1965. Orioles starter Chris Tillman finished in seventh plave. Trumbo was selected by a panel of 174 American League

Will a starter move to the bullpen?

Should the Orioles hold onto their six starters through spring training or consider trading one? Teams say you never can have enough pitching and the Orioles are thinking of making it their slogan in 2017. And yet, it’s worth debating today whether they might want to deal from their “excess.” We’re talking about only six starters, so maybe calling their supply “excess” is, well, excessive.

Orioles announce spring training schedule

The Orioles open their 2017 Grapefruit League schedule against the Tigers on Feb. 24 in Lakeland, Fla. Their first home game is Feb. 26 against the Pirates at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota. The early start is due to the World Baseball Classic. The Orioles will host the defending champion Dominican Republic on March 7. The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico in 2013

More on Mancini and the possibility of playing the outfield

Chris Davis has six years remaining on his $161 million deal with the Orioles. He isn’t budging off first base next season unless it’s the occasional at-bats as the designated hitter. Trey Mancini is the top first base prospect in the organization and one of its best young position players. He’s obviously blocked by Davis, which leads fans and media to wonder whether he could

Notes on pitching prospects Garcia, Scott, Sedlock and Akin

I filed a blog entry last week with Orioles director of player development Brian Graham offering his opinion of Jason Garcia’s season at Double-A Bowie. Now let’s hear from Baysox pitching coach Alan Mills. “He’s a talented individual,” Mills said of Garcia, the former Rule 5 pick who went 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA and 1.544 WHIP in 24 starts. “Kind of started slow, but

The day Justin Turner was an Orioles hero

Justin Turner would be the ideal utility player and a perfect fit for the Orioles if he hadn’t outgrown the role. He plays every infield position and even has one inning of experience in left field. His power developed late. He’s a great teammate and is willing to do whatever is asked of him. But the utility train has left the station. Turner is one

A few more health updates

Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard has avoided surgery on his right thumb as the offseason moves through October. Rickard didn’t play after July 20 due to a torn ligament in the thumb sustained in a collision with the right field fence at Yankee Stadium. The Orioles transferred him to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 31. They’re hoping that Rickard won’t need surgery over the winter

Brach undergoes minor procedure on left knee

Orioles reliever Brad Brach underwent a minor medical procedure last week involving the meniscus in his left knee. Nothing complicated and apparently no reason for concern. Ravens team physician Dr. Leigh Ann Curl performed the surgery, which Brach was told lasted only seven to 10 minutes. “It was real basic,” Brach said. “It was just like I had a flap tear, a tiny little flap

This, that and the other

With Joey Rickard no longer holding Rule 5 status, the Orioles have the option of sending him to the minors next season. A player’s options give a team options. Funny how that works. Whether he breaks camp with the Orioles depends on a number of factors, including performance and moves made over the winter related to the outfield. Spending a rookie season in the majors

Should Orioles try to steal more wins?

The Orioles stole 19 bases this season, the lowest total in club history. Which brings us to today’s debate, and one that won’t be parodied on SNL. Does it matter? Manager Buck Showalter wants a new leadoff hitter. Executive vice president Dan Duquette again will place emphasis on improving the team’s on-base percentage, which plummeted in the second half. But what about the stolen bases?

Possible activity on the 40-man roster

The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently is full, which is why infielder Paul Janish was designated for assignment when they claimed left-hander Jed Bradley off waivers from the Braves. But it obviously won’t stay that way. Players will be removed after they become free agents. Teams have five days after the World Series to negotiate with their own guys before the market opens for business. The

Wondering about the roster

We’re still in the quiet period for non-playoff teams, except for the random low-level signing. The Orioles are still riding the momentum from the Jed Bradley waiver claim. The lineup appears to be mostly set with Hyun Soo Kim in left field, Adam Jones in center, Manny Machado at third base, J.J. Hardy at shortstop, Jonathan Schoop at second base and Chris Davis at first.

Would the Orioles trade Britton? (and other notes)

We covered the usual number of topics yesterday on “Wall to Wall Baseball” on MASN, which meant we were all over the map. Not just the majors. I’m sticking with baseball this morning. A viewer asked whether the Orioles should consider trading Zach Britton, enabling them to fill multiple needs. I watch teams in the playoffs having closer issues and think the Orioles should lock

Wondering about the rotation

The Orioles remain in the market for a starting pitcher, working the same aisles every winter. They aren’t expected to spend big beyond new deals for their arbitration-eligible players. They’d bypass the pricey pitchers anyway. They want healthy arms, but they’re not going to Whole Foods. The free agent market isn’t appetizing to everyone. Check it out, courtesy of MLBTradeRumors.com: Henderson Alvarez (27) Brett Anderson

Because You Asked - Next Friday

The Orioles’ season is over, a walk-off home run pushing them out the playoff door, but the repetitive questions keep coming to me. I refuse to walk away from them. You ask, I answer. You ask again, I answer again. The sarcasm comes at no additional cost. All in good fun, of course. It’s my spin on the traditional mailbag. The biggest challenge is not

Janish outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, elects free agency

Update: The Orioles just announced that infielder Paul Janish elected free agency after passing through waivers. He refused an outright assignment and is free to sign with any team. Janish, who turned 34 yesterday, is hoping that the Orioles retain interest in him, but he may as well check the market. Janish has the right to refuse the assignment based on a previous outright. Manager

Slow starters and catching candidates

Want the Orioles to be better in 2017? It may prove beneficial to stop being so slow out of the gate. It appeared at times that the opponent was taking an early lead while the Orioles still were lined up for the anthem. Hands over hearts while fans covered their eyes. The Orioles were outscored 107-86 in the first inning this season, the largest margin

This, that and the other

Tanner Scott, one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the Orioles’ system, got the full attention of scouts last year in the Arizona Fall League. A left-hander in his early 20s throwing 100 mph fastballs will turn heads - and cause more than a few double-takes. Scott started last night for the Peoria Javelinas in the AFL opener and threw 30 pitches in the

Some arbitration talk and the search for a new pitching coach

While we wait to find out which teams will play in the World Series and, if you’re me, continue to think about how the Orioles could have duplicated the Blue Jays’ ouster of the Rangers had they gotten past the wild card round, MLBTradeRumors.com released its projected arbitration figures. The budget for executive vice president Dan Duquette this winter will include raises for a significant

Can Mancini make the roster in 2017?

Trey Mancini played in five major league games last month and he’s already a central figure in an early offseason debate. Chris Davis is signed for six more years. They both play first base. What’s a manager to do? I’ve heard how Mancini is too young to be used as a full-time designated hitter. Buck Showalter doesn’t seem inclined to move Davis to right field,

Leftovers for breakfast

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette referred to the 2016 season as “a personal favorite of mine.” It could have ended more favorably, but he found plenty of good in it. “We had some great performances along the way. I’m going to hit on a few high points,” Duquette said at Thursday’s press conference. “The Orioles continue to be one of the most powerful clubs

Replacing Adam Jones atop the order

Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn’t know who’s going to be playing right field next season, who’s going to set up behind the plate, how the middle of his order will unfold. But he has a pretty good idea about the top of it. Showalter wants a different leadoff hitter. Adam Jones took over the role on May 27 in Cleveland, with Showalter attempting to jump

Orioles claim lefty Jed Bradley off waivers

The Orioles made their first attempt to improve their left-handed depth by claiming reliever Jed Bradley off waivers from the Braves. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles have designated veteran infielder Paul Janish for assignment. Bradley, 26, went 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA over six relief appearances with the Braves, allowing four earned runs over seven innings. He walked six batters, two

Dave Wallace on his decision to retire as pitching coach

Dave Wallace wants to spend more time with his family and still work with young pitchers to take them to a higher level. What’s needed is a compromise. Wallace, 69, has retired as Orioles pitching coach after three seasons and the search begins for a replacement. The Orioles posted a 4.20 ERA in 2013 that ranked 23rd in the majors. In the first season with

Showalter on Davis’ hand injury and the “challenge” it presented

In one of the more surprising developments of the 2016 season, Khris Davis hit more home runs than Chris Davis. Khris Davis also drove in more runs, reaching career highs in both categories. But he got paid a heck of a lot less. The Orioles’ Davis ended the year with 38 home runs and 84 RBIs, significant drops from the 47 homers and 117 RBIs

Leftovers for breakfast

“The closing act is over for the Orioles and the curtain has come down on the 2016 season.” This is how executive vice president Dan Duquette started yesterday’s season-ending press conference at Camden Yards. It took up just a tiny fraction of the 47 minutes spent inside the auxiliary clubhouse. Duquette said the Orioles are in the process of formulating their offseason plan. Too early

More on Wallace, the Britton decision and a beer can

The biggest news to come out of today’s press conference at Camden Yards involved pitching coach Dave Wallace’s retirement from his current role. Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the media, which waited until the conference was over to pass it along via Twitter. By then, it already had been leaked to USA Today. Showalter stressed that Wallace wanted to stay in baseball, just in a

Dave Wallace retiring as pitching coach (and other notes)

Dave Wallace had decided to retire as a major league pitching coach, according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who passed along the news at today’s season-ending press conference at Camden Yards. Wallace could assume a less-demanding role that enables him to spend more time with his family, such as a roving instructor. He left the club on multiple occasions this season to fly home. The

News, notes, no quotes

Old habits really do die hard, just like playoff teams. I keep wanting to check pitcher-hitter matchups and search for game notes and prepare for lineups to be posted. I almost typed a dateline to start this blog entry. Fans calling for manager Buck Showalter’s head - a group desperately in need of a longer memory - are in for a disappointment. There’s no talk

About last night ... and Britton

TORONTO - Early morning turns to late morning and the questions and confusion won’t dissipate. They hang heavy in the air. Warning signs and orange cones should surround the area. The finality is jarring enough without the questions and confusion. The Orioles won’t play another game in 2016, reduced to spectators and feeling satisfied that they again proved so many people wrong. Didn’t finish in

Britton: “It was tough sitting down there and having to watch it”

TORONTO - The closer fidgeted tonight while a season burned. Zach Britton, the best reliever in baseball this season and one of the leading candidates for the Cy Young Award, warmed up a few times and never pitched. Six relievers followed starter Chris Tillman to the mound in the American League wild card. Britton’s name won’t appear in the box score. He won’t get another

Orioles season ends on Encarnacion walk-off in 11th inning

TORONTO - This is where it ends. In the 20th meeting between the two teams. On fake grass and with the roof open. Real hurt for the Orioles over a season that drew to a close. Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run walk-off home run off Ubaldo Jimenez with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 win

Final notes and quotes before wild card game (we’re tied)

TORONTO - The Orioles broke out the black jerseys for tonight’s wild card game. Fits their role of villains. The crowd booed players as they walked onto the turf and grew louder with each introduction, beginning with manager Buck Showalter. Center fielder Adam Jones playfully lifted his cap as the decibel level increased. Let’s do this. The Orioles moved two starters into their bullpen tonight

Showalter on wild card roster decisions

TORONTO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter explained his wild card roster decisions during today’s press conference, starting with one of his many quips that he sprinkles into a session. “We’re just copying Toronto,” he said. “We figured they knew what to do.” OK, that’s not the actual reason. “You just have to present your best foot and think about all the scenarios,” he said. “Some

Orioles and Blue Jays wild card lineups

TORONTO - Michael Bourn is in the Orioles’ lineup for tonight’s wild card game against the Blue Jays. Bourn is playing right field and Mark Trumbo is serving as the designated hitter. Hyun Soo Kim is batting second against Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman. For the Orioles Adam Jones CF Hyun Soo Kim LF Manny Machado 3B Mark Trumbo DH Matt Wieters C Chris Davis

Orioles vs. the postseason

TORONTO - The Rogers Centre roof will be open for tonight’s wild card game. If you made a prop bet, “closed” was the wrong choice. Which current Oriole carries the highest career postseason batting average? Hint: He won’t be in the lineup. Utility man Ryan Flaherty is 9-for-32 for a .281 average, including two home runs, five RBIs and four walks. Which Oriole is due

Orioles announce wild card roster

TORONTO - The Orioles are going with 10 pitchers and 15 position players on their wild card roster as they await tonight’s game against the Blue Jays. Rookie Trey Mancini made the cut, along with veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs. The bullpen includes starters Ubaldo Jimenez and Dylan Bundy, as expected. Brian Duensing gives manager Buck Showalter a third left-hander along with Donnie Hart and closer

Kim in the playoffs, no gloating, a loud crowd and more

TORONTO - If Orioles manager Buck Showalter is going to take in certain moments on Tuesday, his gaze also will be fixed on outfielder Hyun Soo Kim. This is Kim’s first playoff game in the major leagues, coming a few days after his first champagne celebration in North America. Teammates love him, a group seeking him out in a corner of the clubhouse at Yankee

Machado: “We’ve got 27 outs to do business”

TORONTO - Players gathered in the visiting clubhouse at Rogers Centre earlier today wearing their “We Came to Reign” hooded sweatshirts. They’re like the guests who wouldn’t leave. The Orioles and Blue Jays will meet for the 20th time Tuesday night in the wild card game. By taking two of three games Sept. 27-29, the Orioles improved to 4-6 at Rogers Centre this season. There

Showalter on the “good, tough” decision picking a starter

TORONTO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’s turning in his wild card roster at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. He offered only a few hints during his press conference. Showalter considered Ubaldo Jimenez and Dylan Bundy for the starting assignment before handing it to Chris Tillman. Jimenez and Bundy will be in the bullpen, but Yovani Gallardo is excluded. Gallardo would be working on short

Hearing from Zach Britton at today’s workout

TORONTO -The Orioles just came off the field. Their workout is done. As Matt Wieters’ second home run ball yesterday sailed into the left field seats at Yankee Stadium, squeezing inside the foul pole, closer Zach Britton was struck with two thoughts. Wieters homered from both sides of the plate for the first time in his major league career. It might have been his last

Tillman vs. Stroman in wild card game

TORONTO - Chris Tillman has been named the starter for Tuesday night’s wild card game at Rogers Centre. Tillman is 5-10 with a 5.44 ERA in 24 career starts against the Blue Jays and 2-6 with a 7.01 ERA in 13 starts at Rogers Centre. In his last two appearances here this season, he allowed four runs total and three earned over 11 1/3 innings.

Leftovers for breakfast

NEW YORK - Is anyone surprised that the Orioles are playing a wild card game in Toronto? It seemed like the logical spot to meet up again. The planets were aligned. Of course, you remain in a state of shock if you kept insisting that the Orioles were finished, that they should have been sellers, that they quit and didn’t deserve your love. And certainly

Quotes and reactions following 5-2 win and wild card berth

NEW YORK - The Orioles formed the usual postgame handshake line on the field this afternoon after Zach Britton struck out Brett Gardner. High-fives, a few hugs and into the dugout. No dog pile on the mound, no raucous celebration. Champagne and beer were sprayed and poured over heads in the visiting clubhouse, but players stopped to watch the end of the game in Boston,

Orioles go wild in the Bronx

NEW YORK - The Orioles are going to the playoffs for the third time in the last five seasons, their bounce-back skills again on full display as they vaulted into the wild card round. Matt Wieters homered from both sides of the plate for the first time in his career, both two-run shots, and Kevin Gausman pitched into the eighth inning in a 5-2 victory

More notes on Game 162 (O’s lead 5-1)

NEW YORK - The mood in the Orioles’ clubhouse this afternoon was the same as usual. No one seemed uptight. Some guys watched the NFL game. Reliever Tommy Hunter brought the usual banter and silliness. Business as usual for Game 162. “I think nervousness comes when you’re not sure if you’re ready,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I think our guys are looking forward to the

A Bourn leadoff hitter

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn’t spend last night watching the other games that impacted his team’s pursuit of a wild card berth, opting instead for college football. He had more interest in Clemson vs. Louisville than Toronto vs. Boston. Showalter said Dylan Bundy is available in the bullpen today. He has an idea who would start a wild card game, but won’t

Orioles and Yankees lineups

NEW YORK - The Orioles can’t be eliminated from playoff contention today, no matter what happens. The Tigers’ rescheduled game on Monday further complicates the situation. Let’s simplify it: The Orioles win and they’re in the playoffs. They win and the Blue Jays lose, they’re the home team in the wild card game. The Jays win and they’re the home team. Both teams lose and

Can the Orioles clinch today?

NEW YORK - The Orioles never should have beaten the Giants on Aug. 14 after falling behind by six runs approaching the seventh inning. They weren’t supposed to get a pinch-hit two-run homer from Hyun Soo Kim in the ninth inning last week to rally past the Blue Jays. They’ve won games they were set up to lose. They lost a game yesterday that they

Wrapping up a 7-3 loss (updated)

NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’s waiting until the smoke clears to confirm that Kevin Gausman is starting on Sunday. This isn’t smoke from a torched lead. It’s just an expression. Gausman probably will get the start while the Orioles try to clinch a wild card and perhaps a home game. It’s coming down to Game 162. Can you believe it? “Oh

Orioles fumble three-run lead and lose to Yankees

NEW YORK - The Orioles couldn’t hold a three-run lead today and may no longer hold the top wild card. More to come later. There’s so much to sort through from this game, so much to wrap your head around - or at least try. Austin Romine’s two-run single off Brad Brach in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a tie and the Yankees

Orioles refusing to look beyond today’s game (O’s down 5-3)

NEW YORK - Ben Werthan, the Orioles’ coordinator of advance scouting, stepped inside manager Buck Showalter’s office at Yankee Stadium prepared to formulate a plan on gathering information on potential opponents in the postseason. Showalter values Werthan’s work, often citing his contributions and the degree of difficulty in executing the duties attached to the job. Short notice, expanded rosters, etc. But Showalter wasn’t ready to

Gausman talks about possibility of starting Sunday

NEW YORK - The Orioles confirmed today that Kevin Gausman will start Sunday’s regular-season finale at Yankee Stadium. Just don’t hold them to it. Gausman may be replaced if the Orioles already clinch a playoff berth, a topic that brings great discomfort to manager Buck Showalter. He doesn’t want to go down that road with at least nine innings slated for today. Gausman could be

Orioles and Yankees lineups

NEW YORK - The Orioles will be a playoff team in 2016 with a win today and either a Blue Jays or Tigers loss tonight. Reports of their demise, again, were greatly exaggerated. The wild card game will be played at Camden Yards if the Orioles win and the Jays lose. The pitching continues to lead the way, with the Orioles posting a 2.90 ERA

Miley will try to keep the Orioles rolling

NEW YORK - The Orioles managed last night to win the opener of a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since Aug. 31, 2012. They had lost 11 in a row. It really is a special September stretch. Now, let’s see what they can do in October. The Rangers clinched home field in the postseason and would play the Orioles in the American

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