Here is a question for you Orioles fans: How are you dealing with all this good news?
Let’s see, the team is currently the holder of the second AL wild card, Manny Machado seems to set a new record daily, Dylan Bundy is moving to Double-A and Baltimore still could be in his near future, and now the club’s latest first-round pick, Kevin Gausman, looks like the real deal.
I ask that question somewhat tongue in cheek. I know you’ll find a way to deal with a lot of good news if it keeps coming your way. It’s just got to feel strange to an O’s fan who is used to something bad happening - and happening often.
To remind us not to get too carried away, we need only remember that three key members of the young rotation in Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton and Brian Matusz are currently pitching at Triple-A. OK, that is not good.
But we’ve talked so much about the young pitchers, let’s table that for a day and enjoy the off day with a good note, thought or two.
As for Machado, yes, this is ridiculous what he is doing, and no, he can’t keep this up. No one could. But as anyone who ever played with him or coached him in the minors could have told you, he is certainly not overmatched or intimidated by the big leagues.
He is also on an extra-base tear with 13 in his last 13 games counting his final nine games at Double-A. In that 13-game stretch, he is 22-for-49 (.449) with four doubles, three triples, five homers and 14 RBIs.
While he had eight extra-base hits in his last nine Bowie games, he has five in his first four major league games. Manny has three big league homers in four games and 16 at-bats. This season with the Baysox, he didn’t hit his third homer until game 53, and at that point, he had 188 at-bats.
Is it too soon to compare Manny to Bryce Harper and Mike Trout? He has certainly been the Orioles’ version of that duo. What he has done so far has just been remarkable and while some 0-fers are sure to come, as they would for anyone, for now, we should probably just enjoy his talent.
Meanwhile, I got my first look at Kevin Gausman yesterday and he was impressive. The guy is quirky - and I’ll write more on that soon - but he also looks like a very polished, talented pitcher. On Sunday, he looked too good for the New York-Penn League.
He showed a fastball that sat from 93-95 mph along with a changeup that overmatched the Connecticut hitters. His changeup is not only thrown with good arm action to throw off the hitters, but has some excellent movement. O’s director of pitching development Rick Peterson was effusive in his praise for Gausman on Sunday in Aberdeen.
I’m trying to remind myself that it is just six innings and that it is at a low level of the minors Gausman has done this, but I also have to think that Gausman’s talent will clearly play at higher levels and that O’s fans will soon come to realize that Bundy now has some company when you talk about top O’s pitching prospects.
Can O’s fans get used to handling good times and good news? I bet you can.