The Orioles just concluded a road trip that only felt like it lasted a month. The game count was 10 with no off-days. But it was the ultimate grind. Sausage could be made out of this trip.
Players won’t concede the season. They’re just not wired that way. Being 5 ½ back for the second wild card and four below .500 spells October vacation, but they firmly believe that they have another run in them.
Not scoring one run. Hold the jokes.
No one knows whether the Orioles are done fiddling with their September roster while a season burns.
Left-hander Tanner Scott is poised to become the 50th player used in 2017. He joined the bullpen after the Orioles selected his contract yesterday from Double-A Bowie, but they will continue to check on the availability of their relievers and whether someone else is needed.
Scott is the latest player on the current roster to make the jump from Bowie to the majors. Manny Machado did it in 2012 while also switching from shortstop to third base. Dylan Bundy did it last year because he was out of options.
The Orioles summoned shortstop-turned-reliever Mychal Givens in 2015 while he was carrying a 1.73 ERA in 35 games with the Baysox. Donnie Hart came up last summer because he was capable of getting out left-handers as a matchup specialist.
Reliever Miguel Castro made six appearances at Bowie this season after the Orioles acquired him from the Rockies on April 7 for a player to be named later who turned out to be reliever Jon Keller. Castro gets an asterisk next to his name because he had previous major league experience. He’s still on my list.
Austin Hays had his contract selected two weeks ago, causing him to miss the Eastern League playoffs. Scott got the call after returning to his Ohio home, hopped on a flight to New York and slipped on the gray road uniform.
Moving off the current roster, we also can include left-hander Ashur Tolliver, who had his contract selected from Bowie in May 2016. And these are just the names off the top of my head.
It would appear that the days of climbing up the organizational ladder one rung at a time are gone. Triple-A experience isn’t a prerequisite.
“I hope so,” said manager Buck Showalter.
“The way Triple-A clubs are looked at nowadays compared to the way they used to, they’re taxi squads. There are some Triple-A teams that are older than major league teams. And also preparing for September baseball, you want a pinch-runner from there, such specialties. The way Triple-A clubs are put together now, it’s almost like major league taxi squads.
“It used to be prospects got finished off there, but if you look at Double-A baseball nowadays, that’s where most of the up and coming, the projection prospects, are. That’s where most of the trades are happening from. Like Chance Sisco was an exception to that this year. (Trey) Mancini getting a year there, that was an exception. I don’t think there’s any blueprint exactly. That’s the way it used to be done. It doesn’t mean it was right.
“I think the landscape of our game has obviously changed. People coming through the system. You’ve heard me talk about how remarkable it was for Mancini, how unusual it is for him to make a stop at each level, and that worked out pretty good. Did Manny need to play another year and play at Triple-A? It doesn’t look like it?
“You don’t want to say everybody’s got to do this. Each case you take a little differently. Let’s face it, look at Hays’ experience level in the minor leagues. That’s a pretty big jump.”