Cowser, Mayo and Norby advance, plus Orioles-Mariners notes

Cowser, Mayo and Norby advance, plus Orioles-Mariners notes

Minors Monday brought another round of prospect promotions this afternoon.

The Orioles have moved outfielder Colton Cowser and infielders Coby Mayo and Connor Norby from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie.

Sixteen of the organization’s top 17 prospects per MLBPipeline.com are playing at the Double-A level or higher. Outfielder Heston Kjerstad is the exception at Single-A Delmarva.

Cowser, the Orioles’ first-round selection last year out of Sam Houston State University, is batting .258/.385/.411 with 19 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 22 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts with the IronBirds.

Mayo, taken in the fourth round in 2020 out of Stoneman-Douglass High in Parkland, Fla., is batting .250/.326/.479 with 14 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs and 42 RBIs. He doesn’t turn 21 until December.

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More leftovers for breakfast

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CHICAGO - Jonathan Araúz had a special day for the Orioles in the final game of the series against the White Sox, his first hit with the club a home run.

Special for sure, but not as unique as you might think.

STATS research finds that 38 players since 1974 have homered for their first hit with the Orioles, the most recent before yesterday being outfielder Keon Broxton in 2019 in Colorado.

Broxton’s ball carried 474 feet and landed on the left field concourse. Must be the thin air.

Araúz settled for a mere 390, with a 100.2 mph exit velocity.

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Orioles can't solve Cease and winning streak snapped (updated)

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CHICAGO – Dylan Cease struck out five of the first six Orioles this afternoon, plate umpire Junior Valentine giving Cease a call on a low fastball that angered Adley Rutschman and signaling that it could be a long day.

Gilman-product Gavin Floyd hit a two-run homer in the second, the first deficit for the Orioles since Tuesday.

The four-game winning streak came apart, with the Orioles settling for a series win and hoping to transport the lingering good vibes to Seattle. But they sure made it interesting.

Cease struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven innings, and the Orioles lost for the first time in five games, 4-3, at Guaranteed Rate Field. They're 34-40 as they continue their three-city road trip.

First baseman José Abreu committed back-to-back errors in the ninth and Jorge Mateo drew a four-pitch walk to give the Orioles three cracks at tying the game or taking the lead against Kendall Graveman. Jonathan Araúz singled to reduce the lead to 4-2, pinch-hitter Rougned Odor struck out, Cedric Mullins flied to deep center for a sacrifice fly and Trey Mancini struck out.

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Updating Bradish, Odor and Mancini, plus the quest for .500

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CHICAGO – Orioles rookie Kyle Bradish is optimistic that he can pitch again after his 15 days expire on the injured list. Manager Brandon Hyde thinks it will be close to the date, if not hitting it exactly.

Bradish is eligible to return on July 6. For now, he’s shut down with inflammation in his right shoulder.

“I’d say Monday on the off day, it kind of started to get a little tight,” he said today. “And then Tuesday I woke up and then threw a bullpen, and it didn’t get better from there. Right now it’s feeling good. We’re on some treatment and some other stuff, and it’s feeling good.”

Which leads Bradish to believe that he can jump back into the rotation when rules allow it.

“Yeah, no doubt,” he said.

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Orioles and White Sox lineups (and notes)

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CHICAGO – The Orioles waited to post their lineup until checking Rougned Odor’s back.

Odor worked out on the field and remained on the bench for the fifth game in a row - the last four due to injury.

Richie Martin is the second baseman and Jonathan Araúz is the third baseman, with Tyler Nevin among the reserves.

Trey Mancini stays in the lineup after being hit on his left hand yesterday. X-rays were negative.

Jordan Lyles has a 4.92 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 14 starts. He held the Nationals to two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his last appearance after going four consecutive starts without reaching the sixth.

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Leftovers for breakfast

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CHICAGO – The Orioles have posted a 13-9 record in June, with a chance for their first winning month since August 2017. They haven’t gone .500 since July 2019.

They’ve built a 20-15 record since May 19, which is their best 35-game stretch in five years.

They have a chance today to post their first five-game winning streak since taking seven in a row from Aug. 7-14, 2020.

Trey Mancini talked yesterday about players showing up to the ballpark expecting to win, “and that's not a feeling we've had here in a long time.” Manager Brandon Hyde noted the energy and confidence, passing much of the credit to the pitching staff, including a bullpen stocked with waiver claims that’s registered a 3.07 ERA that ranks sixth in the majors.

The Orioles were dead last in 2021 at 5.70, and they hadn’t traded Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott.

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Watkins, Mateo, Hays and bullpen lift Orioles to latest win (updated)

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CHICAGO – In the ever-changing world of the Orioles’ starting rotation, Spenser Watkins is back in it and Austin Voth receives at least temporary housing as the Orioles stretch him out.

This is how they do it. Try to find a set five and be ready to scramble.

Bruce Zimmermann was optioned and Kyle Bradish went on the 15-day injured list. Dean Kremer was activated from the IL and later recalled from the minors. John Means’ locker no longer has his nameplate above it.

Where or when it stops, nobody knows.

Nobody cares if the Orioles keep winning.

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Araúz in lineup, Odor's back improving, taxi squad additions, and more

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CHICAGO – Some of the Orioles are playing catch on the field in a light rain. They’ll have to wait for first pitch, however.

Both teams have been informed that today’s game will begin in a delay, with the start time closer to 2 p.m. local time.

Jonathan Araúz is starting at second base today in his Orioles debut. He was a waiver claim from the Red Sox and had to stay in the minors a minimum of 10 days after being optioned.

The infield needed more versatility with Rougned Odor receiving treatment for back soreness and Ramón Urías on the injured list with a left oblique strain.

“It’s a guy that can play multiple positions,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’re a little banged up here with Roogie, Ramón’s still out. So, a guy that can play three spots in the infield, another left-handed bat, which we don’t have many of. It’s just a versatile guy that we’ll take a look at.”

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Orioles recall Watkins and Araúz

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CHICAGO – Spenser Watkins is back in the rotation and reliever Marcos Diplán is optioned without pitching yesterday.

The Orioles also recalled infielder Jonathan Araúz from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned infielder Rylan Bannon, who didn’t appear in a game in his second stint with the team.

Watkins has been recalled as Kyle Bradish’s replacement. Bradish went on the 15-day injured list yesterday with right shoulder inflammation.

The Orioles simply had to activate Watkins from the taxi squad.

Watkins hasn’t started for the Orioles since failing to retire any of three Tampa Bay batters on May 22 and leaving with a bruised right elbow – the product of a line drive from Ji-Man Choi.

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Hays' performance soaring as salary set to rise

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CHICAGO – Austin Hays is afraid of heights. He’s tried to overcome it, much to his credit, but prefers his feet planted on the grass unless he’s scaling an outfield fence in pursuit of a fly ball.

The phobia dates back to his childhood, as it often does.

“My dad’s a general contractor, chief inspector, so he goes up on scaffolds for a living and inspects balconies and a lot of high-rise buildings,” Hays said. “Just the thought of that when I was younger was enough to bother me, just thinking about seeing him up on a scaffold. He’s 30 stories in the air. That alone, me standing on the ground, made my stomach churn.

“Other kids would love to go on roller coasters, my friends would go on roller coasters, so I went on one and it was just, I got off it and my arms were bruised from me squeezing the protector so hard.”

Hays tried to tackle his fears during his senior year of high school while also impressing his future wife, Samantha. A noble gesture that backfired like an old car.

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Orioles stay calm and keep winning (updated)

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CHICAGO – The Orioles haven’t won as many games as they’ve lost, but they don’t back down, whether it’s from the adversity brought upon them by another injury that wrecks the rotation, or a 99 mph fastball in the ribs and the aggression from dugouts and bullpens emptying onto the field.

Jorge Mateo was drilled on the left side in the second inning tonight by White Sox starter Michael Kopech, dropped his bat and began taking a wide path toward first base. Veering a little closer to the mound with each slow step. Bringing tempers closer to the boiling point.

They exchanged words, but not punches, as the usual scrum formed on the grass. Play resumed after both benches were warned, angering manager Brandon Hyde, and the Orioles held the White Sox to one hit and retired the last 19 batters in a 4-1 win at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Perhaps this was carryover from Dean Kremer nailing Josh Harrison last night on the right triceps. Or just a pitch that got away from Kopech. Mateo’s reaction after absorbing the blow set off both teams, with assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes holding back Rougned Odor as the Orioles second baseman yelled and gestured.

"He gets hit in the back after squaring to bunt and didn't like it," Hyde said. "I don't know the exchange, honestly. I need to look at the replay, what Jorgie did. But it's one of those competitive things that happens and we moved on pretty quickly.

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Notes on Bradish, Watkins, Diplán and Odor

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CHICAGO – Kyle Bradish began feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder a few days ago after his bullpen session, and the Orioles had to put him on the 15-day injured list this afternoon, with fingers crossed that it isn’t an extended absence.

Bradish has made 10 starts in his first major league season and posted a 7.38 ERA and 1.770 WHIP. He hasn’t finished five innings in his last five outings, unable to recapture the form that enabled him to strike out 11 batters with no walks in seven innings in St. Louis.

“We’re doing this out of precaution,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re hoping it’s just going to be a couple weeks, but he does have some fatigue in there. We’ll take a couple weeks to get some treatment, be with Brian (Ebel) and the guys in the training room, and hopefully he just misses a couple weeks.”

The reasons behind Bradish’s shoulder inflammation aren’t clear. Hyde can’t blame the high-stress innings in the majors or any other excuse.

“Tough to speculate,” Hyde said. “I think there’s a lot of things going on around the league, but the intensity level up here is definitely different. It’s hard to put my finger on why his shoulder is a little bit sore. But hopefully it’s just a little bit of a hiccup and he’s back in a couple weeks.”

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Orioles and White Sox lineups

Orioles and White Sox lineups

CHICAGO – Adley Rutschman is catching Austin Voth tonight, as the Orioles plan on a bullpen game after putting Kyle Bradish on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.

Rutschman is slashing .326/.370/.651 (14-for-43) with eight doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, seven runs scored and three walks over his last 12 games. He’s the fourth player in Orioles history with at least 12 extra-base hits in his first 27 career games, joining Trey Mancini (15), Curt Blefary (14) and Manny Machado (12).

Tyler Nevin is the third baseman again tonight. Richie Martin is the second baseman, with Rougned Odor day-to-day with back soreness.

Jorge López hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 13 appearances covering 16 innings. He owns a 35 1/3-inning homerless streak since Sept 6, 2021, and is the only pitcher in the majors with at least 35 innings this season and no home runs.

Félix Bautista hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 16 appearances over 14 2/3 innings.

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Orioles place Bradish on injured list

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CHICAGO – The Orioles placed rookie starter Kyle Bradish on the 15-day injured list today and recalled reliever Marcos Diplán from Triple-A Norfolk.

The move is retroactive to Tuesday.

Bradish was scheduled to start tonight and then pushed back to Saturday. Now he’s off the active roster after posting a 7.38 ERA and 1.770 WHIP in 10 games.

The last start against the Rays ended with Bradish allowing six runs and a career-high 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He hasn’t completed five innings in his last five outings.

The rotation already underwent a change last week with Bruce Zimmermann optioned to Norfolk. A starter is needed for Saturday and Spenser Watkins is a logical choice because he’s on the taxi squad and threw only one inning Wednesday in Lehigh Valley to keep him available.

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This, that and the other

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CHICAGO – The identity of Saturday’s starter wasn’t expected to be revealed until that morning. The way it’s happened with the Orioles in the past. Everyone loves tradition.

Manager Brandon Hyde surprised the media late last night by breaking his own news. Rookie Kyle Bradish is pushed back to Saturday. Austin Voth is leading another bullpen game tonight.

Hyde wasn’t ready to commit yesterday afternoon until checking the condition of his bullpen. Voth didn’t pitch. He remained in play.

The taxi squad figured to offer a few hints. The Orioles will have one tonight. But they don’t seem interested in making a roster move.

There appeared to be three possibilities, including Voth, who made an emergency start Sunday against the Rays after Jordan Lyles was scratched with a stomach virus. He responded with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

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Kremer stays on scoreless roll, Rutschman drives in three runs and O's win 4-0 (updated)

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CHICAGO – Where starts used to get away from Dean Kremer, they now remain under his control.

It’s such a startling change, the aggression, command and confidence thrusting him back into discussions about the future of the Orioles rotation.

Kremer followed his six scoreless innings in his last start with 5 2/3 tonight, Adley Rutschman hit his second major league home run and the Orioles began a four-game series against the White Sox with a 4-0 win.

Rutschman gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the fourth when he followed Ryan Mountcastle’s second double of the night with a 402-foot shot to right field off Johnny Cueto, the ball landing far beyond the visiting bullpen.

Reliever Reynaldo López replaced Cueto with runners on the corners in the sixth and Rutschman doubled for a career-high three RBIs. Ten of his last 14 hits since June 10 have gone for extra bases.

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Notes on Odor, Watkins, Urías, Bannon and more

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CHICAGO – Rougned Odor is out of tonight’s lineup with some stiffness in his back. He could be available off the bench.

Odor pinch-hit for Richie Martin last night and struck out. He felt the discomfort on one swing and dropped to his knee.

Martin is starting tonight at second base.

Odor normally would be playing against White Sox right-hander Johnny Cueto.

Spenser Watkins remains available to start Saturday afternoon after working only one inning in last night’s start for Triple-A Norfolk. Watkins threw 10 pitches.

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Orioles and White Sox lineups

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CHICAGO – Richie Martin is starting at second base and Rougned Odor is on the bench for tonight’s series opener against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Odor usually starts against right-handers, and the White Sox are sending Johnny Cueto to the mound.

Tyler Nevin is starting at third base. Anthony Santander is in left field and Austin Hays is in right after hitting for the cycle last night.

Hays leads the Orioles in hits (71), extra-base hits (27), total bases (119), batting average (.287), slugging percentage (.482), OPS (.829), RBIs (40) and runs scored (37), and he’s tied with Cedric Mullins for the lead in doubles with 16.  

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini DH
Anthony Santander LF
Austin Hays RF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Adley Rutschman C
Tyler Nevin 3B
Jorge Mateo SS
Richie Martin 2B

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Orioles trade Dorrian to Brewers

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CHICAGO – The infield depth at the higher levels of the minor league system cost Patrick Dorrian a place in the Orioles organization.

Dorrian, on Triple-A Norfolk’s roster, was traded to the Brewers this afternoon for cash considerations.

The Orioles acquired Dorrian from the Pirates on June 26, 2019 to complete the May 27 trade of pitcher Yefry Ramirez.

Dorrian, who turns 26 on Sunday, batted .161/.256/.269 with seven doubles and three home runs in 46 games with Norfolk. He was sent down briefly to Double-A Bowie, went 0-for-4, and returned to the Tides.

The 2021 season got Dorrian noticed after he collected 21 doubles, 22 home runs and 67 RBIs and posted a .362 on-base percentage in 112 games with the Baysox. But prospects Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg have moved up to Norfolk, Terrin Vavra returned from the injured list, and infielder Jonathan Araúz was optioned to the Tides after the Orioles claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox.

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Britton's turn to rotate Henderson and Westburg at shortstop

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Having two shortstop prospects on the same roster and in the same lineup requires one consistent plan on how to handle their development.

Manager Kyle Moore experienced it with Double-A Bowie. Buck Britton is doing the same at Triple-A Norfolk.

Britton doesn’t have Joey Ortiz and Adam Hall to consider, but there’s still a pleasant excess.

Gunnar Henderson started at shortstop Tuesday night in Lehigh Valley and Jordan Westburg was his double play partner at second base. Last night’s lineup had Henderson at short again but Westburg switching to third base.

The Orioles have to make it work when pairing Henderson, the No. 3 prospect in the system, with Westburg, who’s sixth, according to MLBPipeline.com.

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