Time for another look at some stories and topics we’ve touched on here in the past week. Feel free to comment on any or all three once more.
On Monday, we got a lot of responses to the question, “How far away are the Orioles?” The 2017 club stayed in the race into September. In fact, on the night of Aug. 30, the Orioles won their seventh straight game. They were 1 1/2 games behind the Twins for the second American League wild card and 2 1/2 behind the Yankees for the first wild card. But in going 75-87, the Orioles finished 10 games behind the Twins. Only the White Sox and Tigers won fewer games in the American League. The Orioles lost 19 of their last 23.
On Thursday, we checked in with Orioles director of player development Brian Graham for updates on several players on the farm. He provided those on DL Hall, Adam Hall, Lamar Sparks, Cody Sedlock and Keegan Akin.
Said Graham of the young lefty DL Hall, the club’s top draft pick in June:
“He had a very good instructional league and for him it was about developing his breaking ball and changeup and being consistent with his delivery. I would say he accomplished all of those things. He has a nice delivery and he shows plus velocity. I think both the breaking ball and changeup are behind right now, but he probably didn’t need to use those pitches much in high school.
“Those pitches can improve both from the quality of the pitch to the command. Both just need to make strides and get better, which will come through repetition and experience. But you can see the makings of good pitches there. He’s a got a good feel for the baseball and his delivery is solid.”
Graham took a moment to emphasize another point about Hall.
“Let me also tell you this about DL Hall: His makeup is outstanding,” Graham said. “That was a question I had read going into the draft in a few different places. But his makeup and work ethic were excellent. He is a good kid.”
On Friday, we took a look at even more free agent pitchers, this time providing stats and info on left-handers CC Sabathia and Jaime Garcia and right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
Sabathia went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA for New York, posting his best ERA and WHIP since 2012. His ERA has decreased every season since 2014. Garcia was traded twice in late July and went a combined 5-10 with a 4.41 ERA for the Braves, Twins and Yankees. Chacin went 13-10 with a 3.89 ERA for San Diego. He posted an impressive 9-3 record and 1.79 in 16 home starts at Petco Park.