Because You Asked - Force on Force

The mailbag didn't go deep in the heart of Texas. Too hot for it.

Well, the joke's on you, mailbag. It's in the high '90s here.

Anyway, letter rip. Just ignore the temperatures and the bad pun.

You ask and I answer and we have another sequel to the beloved 2008 original blockbuster. We do not get caught up in editing for style, clarity, brevity, length, latitude or longitude. 

Also, my mailbag gets dumped so questions can be answered and yours gets dumped by every girlfriend.

From what players talk about, who generally has the advantage in day games, pitchers or batters? Who has the edge in night games?
What you hear most is that the shadows in day games give pitchers a huge edge. Mike Mussina struck out 15 batters in seven innings in Game 3 of the 1997 American League Championship Series in Cleveland. You heard a lot about the shadows that day, but also, Mussina was really good. Not sure that night games matter unless they turn off the lights.

Any news about David Rubenstein hiring a CEO or doing a CEO search?
The latter. He’s going to hire a CEO. John Angelos had the title before selling the team.

Has anyone asked the new owner his thoughts on bringing the All Star game back to Baltimore?
Yes, and here’s a quote from Rubenstein back on March 28: “We hope by that time the stadium will be rehabilitated a bit, and therefore, we’d like to show it off. Once we have the rehabilitated Camden Yards, I think it would be a great time to then show it off. We’ll make sure we have it completed, though, but we are interested in it and I am familiar with the situation.”

Now that Nick Maton has been called up and we also have Connor Norby and Coby Mayo, does that mean Jackson Holliday will be traded at the deadline for pitching?
Funny guy. Holliday is untouchable and you know it. And I say this for everyone else who’s asking if there are untouchables among the prospects. Holliday sits at the head of the class. I don’t know whether he’s alone and the room echoes. Mayo and catcher Samuel Basallo, for example, have to come close, if not actually qualifying.

What is your prediction for when Jackson Holliday comes back up? We aren’t looking at 2025, are we?
No. He’s out with elbow inflammation, but Mike Elias says it isn’t serious and we’re talking weeks, not months. I’m sure more fans would be clamoring for Holliday’s promotion if the Orioles were getting nothing out of second base, but Jorge Mateo and Jordan Westburg are doing just fine. That said, Holliday will be back. I predicted June but that was before the elbow issue.

Next time Juan Soto gets on base against the Orioles, can Brendan Hyde set up traffic cones and a “detour” sign in order to protect his infielders?
Maybe someone can hold Soto’s hand and help him get to the next base without running into a fielder. That collision with Westburg was weird, but Soto’s going full speed and Westburg’s charging a ball. I’ll give Soto credit for slowing up and appearing like he wanted to go around Westburg, but the play’s in front of him. Get a better read there. Contact should be avoided. He seems pretty athletic and capable.

Will Corbin Burnes ever give up more than three runs?
Yes, yesterday.

Was Adley Rutschman’s locker full of photocopies of his face plant from the previous night?
I didn’t see any. That would have been hilarious.

Did you look?
Next question.

Albert Suárez to bullpen and Cade Povich stays when Dean Kremer comes back?
That certainly is a popular theory if the Orioles don’t go to a six-man rotation. They’re almost through the brutal stretch of only one off-day. Suárez, and I’ve said it countless times, would fill a much-needed role as a bulk reliever. He’d really help the bullpen. But Povich needs to pitch well enough to stick in the rotation. The kid has made three starts.

How is Cade Povich fitting in with the team?
Like every other new player. It’s a very welcoming group. And Povich is no stranger. They know him, and he’s extremely likeable. There’s confidence without being obnoxiously cocky. He blends.

Is there anything that Gunnar Henderson can't do?
I wouldn’t trust him to perform major surgery. Not now, I mean. Give him a few months in the offseason.

Why the delay with Tyler Wells getting surgery? Was there something personal that we don't need to know or some other previously unknown bit of information?
We didn’t get an explanation. Maybe Dr. Keith Meister was booked for a few weeks. I don’t think there was anything causing a delay, as we’ll call it, relating to uncertainties over the procedure. I had heard weeks before that he was probably getting the internal brace, which can shorten recovery time.

What's your "go to" order at last call? And don’t say “your mom.”
I’d never! It’s the same as my order when I first arrive, though it can be dependent on the bar. I’m not ordering a martini or Maker’s Mark Manhattan at a dive joint. Better to go with a beer or something simple like a whisky and diet. You did mean alcohol, right?

With Kyle Bradish out, how imperative is it that the O's obtain a quality starter by the deadline?
It wasn’t a bad idea before his surgery and it’s imperative now. Rotation and bullpen need to be addressed, and they will be.

You think a top-of-the-rotation starter is coming?
They already have one in Corbin Burnes. I’m not ready to state with any certainty that a No. 1 or 2 type of starter will be acquired and the prospect cost could be more than we’ve seen under Elias. We might be talking more like a No. 3-4 type if we’re putting a number on him.

I got nothing.

Why didn't the Orioles tell us that Anthony Santander was going to bat .292/.347/.739 in June? They could have saved us a lot of pearl-clutching.
Why would you make that public and alert other teams? Come on man, think.

Are the O's about ready to sign Trevor Bauer?
I haven’t heard a single rumor, let alone anything substantial. Please, again, do some research on Bauer. Google is your friend. And there are available pitchers who can help and won't empty the farm system. The cost for Bauer obviously is much lower given the circumstances, but you can end up paying in other ways. 

Is it OK for a pitcher to apologize if he hits somebody?
I don’t think a fruit basket is necessary but I see no problem with a raised hand – not a fist – to indicate that it wasn’t intentional. I also don’t think the Yankees would have accepted it, in which case my raised hand would have included a raised finger. And then the dugouts and bullpens would have emptied.

Is this why you write instead of play?
Sure, that’s one reason.

Why does it seem like the front office keeps promoting the outfield prospects with no plan for regular playing time before reassignment?
Well, Colton Cowser is getting lots of at-bats, though he wasn’t in the lineup Thursday and Friday. But yeah, you’re talking about Heston Kjerstad and Kyle Stowers. Kjerstad had a more difficult time getting off the bench. It’s just the roster construction. Brandon Hyde tries to rotate and keep guys fresh but certain players are going to play the majority of the time. I think you’d need a trade to create more opportunities. Or for Ryan O’Hearn to suddenly forget how to hit.

What do you think of the new live hot dog races? Do you detect that fans are more or less interested in the live versus digital hot dog races?
It sure looks and sounds like they lose their minds over both. I think it’s the right mix. Make the live race an occasional treat. The impact lessens if it’s nightly. They’re doing it right.

What is a bigger need right now, starting pitching or bullpen relief?
I would have said bullpen prior to losing Means and Bradish for the season. The rotation might have inched ahead, but that doesn’t reduce the need for an impact reliever like Andrew Miller in 2014, a reference I keep making. He aided the rotation because the Orioles were able to shorten games.

Who do you think will be the next pitcher call up?
The safe prediction is a reliever who isn’t a prospect. One of those guys like a Bryan Baker or Nick Vespi – yes, I know they’re both on the active roster – who provide a fresh arm. Someone like Jonathan Heasley. Keep an eye on left-hander Matt Krook, who’s on the 40-man. And left-hander Tucker Davidson, who isn’t but would fit by moving Kyle Bradish to the 60-day injured list or designating one of the, shall we say, obvious candidates. By the way, has anyone seen Bruce Zimmermann? He’s been on the seven-day injured list with a hamstring injury since May 12.

Anyway, so a dyslexic man walks into a bra … Oh yeah, questions.
And this isn’t one. However, it’s probably a good place to stop.

Roch, do you like movies about gladiators?
This is definitely a good place to stop.

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