Orioles prepping for Rangers in ALDS (López becomes free agent)

O's taking BP

The Orioles know which team to prepare for, the opponent that dictates how their roster is constructed in the American League Division Series.

No other reasons to wait. The Rangers eliminated the Rays in the wild card round by a combined score of 11-1. The matchup is set.

The teams split six games this season, with Texas taking two of three at Camden Yards in May, including a 12-2 victory in the series opener. The Rangers were the Orioles' first road opponent and lost twice.

Jacob deGrom prevented a sweep with one earned run and 11 strikeouts in six innings, but he hasn’t pitched since April 28 and underwent Tommy John surgery two months later. Austin Voth was charged with the loss after relieving Grayson Rodriguez and allowing three runs in 1 1/3 innings, but he isn’t with the club.

Hardly worth mentioning, I suppose, but there it is.

Continue reading

Orioles notes on ALDS start time and simulated game at Camden Yards

hyde smiles

Word began trickling to players in the dugouts during today’s workout and simulated game at Camden Yards. Their start time on Saturday. A resolution to the concert conflict.

Game 1 of the American League Division Series begins at 1 p.m. at Camden Yards, six hours before music legends Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks perform at M&T Bank Stadium.

The only way to handle huge crowds and shared parking lots.

One player wondered about Sunday’s Game 2, checking with a reporter for further information. Major League Baseball hasn’t divulged any other start times.

The Orioles don’t know whether they’re facing the Rangers or Rays, with the former winning yesterday in the best-of-three Wild Card Series.

Continue reading

Notes on last night's Orioles workout and roster questions

Ryan McKenna

The Orioles allowed media inside yesterday’s workout at Camden Yards for a 90-minute period that didn't reveal much in the way of news.

Four players who weren’t on the 28-man roster participated: Relievers Mike Baumann and Bryan Baker, outfielder Ryan McKenna and catcher Anthony Bemboom. Don't stop the presses, but they could comprise the taxi squad or at least a portion of it. One or more could be chosen to the 26-man roster for the Division Series.

“Postseason baseball. As a lover of the game, it’s really awesome to see the game played at a high level, and especially being a part of the team,” McKenna said.

“Whether they activate me or not, I’m going to be rooting for the guys and doing everything I can staying ready. And when the time comes if they need me, I’ll be ready and just enjoying the experience, as well.”

McKenna wasn’t with the club for the two clinching celebrations and barely missed the second after the Orioles optioned him Sept. 27 and reinstated first baseman Ryan Mountcastle from the injured list – one day before they won the American League East.

Continue reading

Ripken on Orioles: "They're young, they're enthusiastic, they're talented"

cal ripken jr. and orioles

The Orioles are holding their first workout this evening at Camden Yards in preparation for Saturday’s Division Series opener. The opponent to be named later. Game 1 to be played in Baltimore, the first time that the city has hosted in the postseason since Oct. 11, 2014.

The Royals scored twice in the top of the ninth against Darren O’Day and Zack Britton to win 6-4 and take a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series. They swept it by posting back-to-back 2-1 victories at Kauffman Stadium. The “We Won’t Stop” Orioles were grounded.

You know what happened in 2016. The wild card game in Toronto, the Edwin Encarnación three-run, walk-off homer against Ubaldo Jiménez in the 11th inning, Britton warmed but never used. The window for contention slamming shut and shattering.

One of the most vivid images is catcher Matt Wieters bolting from his crouch as soon as Encarnacion made contact and turning toward the visiting dugout. His own walk-off.

Anyway, that’s in the past.

Continue reading

This, that and the other

Jorge Mateo scores

Jorge Mateo is the sixth Orioles player to produce back-to-back 30-steal seasons, joining Cedric Mullins in 2021-22, Brian Roberts in 2006-09, Corey Patterson in 2006-07, Al Bumbry in 1979-80, and Luis Aparicio (1963-64).

Will there be a 2024 season for Mateo in Baltimore?

Could it happen as a visiting player?

The Orioles are preparing this week for the Division Series, but Mateo ranks among their big off-season decisions. His first year of arbitration netted him a $2 million contract, a raise from $709,500. He’s batting .217/.267/.340 in 116 games and the Orioles are loaded with young shortstops, on their roster and below.

Gunnar Henderson has made 64 starts, compared to 95 by Mateo, a former top 100 prospect in three organizations. Jordan Westburg hasn’t played shortstop but made 156 starts in the minors. The Orioles seem to have figured out how to create room by using him at second base and third base.

Continue reading

Page turns from Orioles' regular season to playoff preparations in storybook season

Brandon Hyde

To live in the moment is only a part-time endeavor for Orioles manager Brandon Hyde. His baseball world isn’t that narrow.

Earning a spot in the playoffs and winning the division are spinning him in every direction. Much of it willingly.

The games still mattered to Hyde after the Orioles clinched the American League East for the first time since 2014. Three remained on the regular season schedule. Don’t lose focus. Don’t give away anything.

Permission felt granted to actually think about and talk playoffs. To consider how the roster would be constructed depending on the opposing team. How to set up the rotation. Which players to rest.

And then, there’s the past, which requires a strong stomach. Maybe one hand covering his eyes, fingers separated if brave enough to peek.

Continue reading

Orioles finish regular season with 6-1 loss to Red Sox (updated)

bradish white

Kyle Bradish struck out five batters in a row today, walked off the mound and went straight into workouts this week and a likely Game 1 start in the Division Series.

A planned short outing kept Bradish in his routine and on his roll. A last regular season reminder that he’s matured into an ace.

Bradish tossed two scoreless innings, the only baserunner on Rafael Devers’ walk. Four of the five strikeouts were produced with his sinker, the other his curveball. A nice side session in front of everyone at Camden Yards.

The rest of the game played out as a parade of relievers, seven of them in the Orioles’ sloppy 6-1 loss to the Red Sox before an announced crowd of 36,640. The total attendance for the season is 1,936,798, their highest since 2017.

The win total locks in at 101, tied for fourth-highest in franchise history. The Orioles went 49-32 at home, the third-best record in the ballpark's history.

Continue reading

Irvin on return: “The job’s not done, so there’s plenty of opportunity to maybe share in those festivities down the road"

irvin orange

Cole Irvin watched his Triple-A Norfolk teammates celebrate their Triple-A national championship from afar last night, as he’s done with two other clinching games.

Irvin wasn’t with the Orioles after they officially made the playoffs and won their division. His only chance to pop some corks happened after the Tides won the International League crown.

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “The game moves on without you, whether you’re there or not, and I’m rooting for this team to do good things. And I was a part of it for a lot of the season. So, it sucks in the moment but at the same time, you want that team to celebrate and you want to win the division.

“The job’s not done, so there’s plenty of opportunity to maybe share in those festivities down the road, but at the same time, however, we can get those days off, give ourselves a little bit of a break and stay ready and be ready to go for the divisional series, that’s part of it.”

The Orioles recalled Irvin today, after instructing him to stay off the flight to Las Vegas, and optioned Bruce Zimmermann. He could pitch today in the regular season finale and stick around for the Division Series, whether on the active roster or taxi squad.

Continue reading

Orioles recall Irvin and option Zimmermann (with lineup)

irvin gray

The Orioles have reached one finish line. The end of the regular season.

Game 1 of the Division Series is Saturday at Camden Yards. The Orioles will play the winner of the wild card series between the Rays and either the Blue Jays, Astros or Rangers – the identity revealed later this afternoon.

They made a roster move this morning, recalling left-hander Cole Irvin from Triple-A Norfolk and optioning lefty Bruce Zimmermann, who tossed two scoreless innings last night.

Irvin also didn’t make the trip to Las Vegas for Norfolk’s 7-6 victory over Oklahoma City in the Triple-A championship game.

The Orioles want another fresh arm that can provide some length in the bullpen. Irvin has registered a 4.54 ERA and 1.314 WHIP in 23 games, including 12 starts.

Continue reading

Zimmermann: "There’s just endless amounts of positive notes that you can talk about with this team"

zimmermann gray

Bruce Zimmermann started Tuesday night for Triple-A Norfolk in the opening game of the International League championship series, was removed after only two innings and told not to pack his bags for the trip to Las Vegas.

Zimmermann is a pitcher, not a detective, but he figured it out.

The Orioles wanted the Baltimore native to stay available for a return to his hometown. Limit his innings and restrict his travel to the East Coast.

Informed last night that the Orioles were recalling him, Zimmermann had clearance to gather his belongings and walk through the clubhouse doors at Camden Yards. Leave his teammates behind as they tried to win a title, and join a club that’s celebrated two clinchings.

“It’s a little bit different, but it’s definitely a positive,” he said. “Feels good to be back up here and I know those guys are going to take care of business out in Vegas. Definitely going to have to try to find a way to get updates or something on them. It was a great season down there, and to watch these guys finish it off up here, to be able to come up and contribute and feel the environment of what’s going on and getting ready for the playoffs and everything, it’s great.”

Continue reading

Orioles secure 101st victory with 5-2 win, claim every series vs. division opponents (updated)


Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t agree that Kyle Gibson’s start tonight could influence how the playoff rotation and bullpen are constructed for the Division Series that begins Saturday at Camden Yards. He wasn’t going to put that much emphasis on it.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a big start,” Hyde said, responding to a reporter’s question. “I think we know what Kyle can do, and if he doesn’t pitch well today it’s not really going to impact anything. A lot determines the postseason roster on who we play, where we’re playing and those types of things.”

The Orioles played the Red Sox again tonight, Gibson tossed five shutout innings, and they scored three times in the eighth in a 5-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 43,150.

Gibson scattered seven hits and left after 80 pitches. Baltimore native Bruce Zimmermann, recalled earlier today, made his first appearance in the majors since July 4, didn’t allow a run through two innings and earned the win.

"He did a great job of minimizing damage," Hyde said of Gibson. "I thought it was actually a perfect workload for him heading into the playoffs."

Continue reading

Bautista to undergo elbow surgery next month (updated)

bautista exits w injury v COL

Closer Félix Bautista won’t pitch for the Orioles in the upcoming playoffs.

He won’t pitch in 2024, either.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias confirmed this afternoon that Bautista will undergo surgery next month to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Dr. Keith Meister will handle the procedure in Dallas.

The club delayed its decision until allowing Bautista to rehab the injury and begin throwing again, first on flat ground and most recently against minor leaguer Ramón Rodríguez on Tuesday at Camden Yards. He threw 25 pitches in his first action against a hitter.

Continue reading

Orioles DFA López and recall Zimmermann (Rutschman back in lineup)

jorge lopez pitches black

Ineligible for the postseason and unable to recapture his All-Star form from last summer, reliever Jorge López was designated for assignment this afternoon and replaced by left-hander Bruce Zimmermann.

The Orioles recalled Zimmermann from the Norfolk Tides, who are in Las Vegas for tonight's Triple-A championship game against Oklahoma City. The Baltimore native hasn’t pitched in the majors since making his sixth relief appearance on July 4 at Yankee Stadium.

Zimmermann allowed seven earned runs and eight total with 15 hits in 11 1/3 innings with the Orioles and posted a 4.42 ERA and 1.545 WHIP in 21 starts with Norfolk over 99 2/3 innings.

The last two outings in the regular season were rough, with Zimmermann surrendering a combined 14 runs and 24 hits in 9 1/3 innings. He started Game 1 of the best-of-three series against Durham in the International League championship and allowed one run in two innings.

The Orioles haven’t announced a Sunday starter. Kyle Bradish would be working on his normal turn but could be rested, with Zimmermann a candidate to replace him.

Continue reading

Gunnar Henderson named Most Valuable Oriole

henderson doused v TB

Gunnar Henderson graduated from being baseball’s top prospect and is favored to win the Rookie of the Year award in the American League.

He’ll prep for that honor by walking onto the Camden Yards field before tonight’s game and receiving his Most Valuable Oriole award.

Keep ‘em coming.

Media covering the club selected Henderson first on a three-player ballot. The 22-year-old infielder is batting .257/.326/.492 in 148 games with 28 doubles, nine triples, 28 home runs and 82 RBIs. Baseball-reference gives him a team-leading 6.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), the highest in Orioles history for a rookie.

The 28 homers are tied with Anthony Santander for first. His nine triples are six more than Cedric Mullins and Ramón Urías have totaled. He’s second in RBIs and tied for second with 55 walks. He’s first in slugging and OPS (.818) and tied for second in OBP.

Continue reading

Players praise Hyde as they prepare to move past rebuild and into postseason

hyde orange

The emotions sneaked up on Brandon Hyde again. Made his eyes water and the words stick in his throat.

The fifth-year Orioles manager keeps experiencing firsts on the job that make him reflect on the hard times and challenge him to maintain composure. Hold it together while hugging anyone who’s close to him.

“It’s really a weak point of mine,” he said yesterday with a smile. “It’s something I need to work on.”

His players wouldn’t change a thing. They appreciate the soft side that’s exposed after wins to clinch a playoff berth and division title. How he treats them. How much he cares.

If tears are shed, that’s fine. Let them trickle or flow.

Continue reading

Orioles follow division clincher with shutout loss to Red Sox (updated)

Orioles follow division clincher with shutout loss to Red Sox (updated)

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde arrived at the ballpark today knowing that a victory didn’t really matter in the grander scheme. His team clinched the division title last night. It already established home-field advantage in the playoffs.

The original lineup was missing Anthony Santander and Gunnar Henderson to let them rest. Adley Rutschman and Ramón Urías were scratched due to being “under the weather,” per the club.

The Orioles could coast and not get hurt, but Hyde didn’t expect them to roll over.

“I still want to play well, you know? I want to play to win,” he said.

“Last night was special, and so today you reflect a little bit in the morning and still have a job to do tonight. Want to play well in front of our home fans.”

Continue reading

Orioles pregame notes on rotation plans, postseason prep, Kjerstad, Mountcastle and lineup scratches

rutschman v TB

The Orioles are starting veteran Kyle Gibson on Saturday and remain undecided about Sunday, which would be Kyle Bradish under pre-clinching circumstances.

Uncharted territory for the franchise under the current regime.

“We’re still kind of playing with some things,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

Hyde isn’t ready to detail how the Orioles are handling their regular season finale or compensating for the extended break before Saturday’s Game 1 of the Division Series.

“It will be a lot of scheduled bullpen appearances for a lot of these guys,” Hyde said. “I didn’t want to schedule too much stuff, honestly, because I didn’t want to jinx anything. I wanted to make sure we clinched first. But now a lot of discussions are in place.”

Continue reading

Orioles post-clinch lineup vs. Red Sox

adley rutschman high five city connect

The playoffs are clinched. The division is clinched. And now, the Orioles can intensify their focus on getting the rotation and roster prepped for the American League Division Series, and reveling in the rest that’s coming to them with the bye.

Cedric Mullins is batting leadoff tonight with Gunnar Henderson out of the lineup. Heston Kjerstad is in right field, Adam Frazier is the second baseman and Ramón Urías is at third.

Ryan Mountcastle gets the start at first base, with Ryan O’Hearn serving as designated hitter.

John Means is making his fourth start since coming off the 60-day injured list. He didn’t allow a hit for 6 2/3 innings in Cleveland. He’s allowed two runs in 12 innings in his last two starts to seemingly thrust himself into the postseason rotation.

Means owns a 3.70 ERA and 0.992 WHIP in eight career games (seven starts) against the Red Sox. Rafael Devers is 3-for-20.

Continue reading

Leftovers for breakfast

Tyler Wells

Heston Kjerstad grabbed a bat to hit on the field yesterday afternoon but paused to satisfy a reporter’s request for a minute of his time. That’s exactly how much of it he could spare, doing so with the usual smile and polite nature.

Kjerstad would begin the game on the bench, hours after learning that he made Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star Team, along with shortstop Jackson Holliday and catcher Samuel Basallo. He delivered a pinch-hit, RBI double in the eighth inning. Three of his first six career hits have gone for extra bases.

The honors keep finding him, even in Baltimore.

“I spent the majority of the season down there, and you consider that I’ve only been up here a little bit,” he said. “Definitely a solid year, cool to be a part of that and everything. There’s a lot of O’s players on that list, too. It just shows the organization we’re in.

“It’s awesome to be up here and getting things rolling. It’s been awesome to be a part of this clubhouse so far.”

Continue reading

Orioles clinch first division title since 2014 (updated)

santander white

The wait is over.

For the last magic number to hit zero. For the first American League East championship since 2014. For the Rays to accept their wild card fate.

Pop those corks again.

Anthony Santander homered in the first inning, his fly ball traveling 405 feet to left field and clearing the wall. The crowd roared. Dean Kremer tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Pinch-hitter Heston Kjerstad dumped a double into left field that scored Adam Frazier in the eighth.

The ballpark kept getting louder, reaching its peak volume when Trevor Story grounded out against Tyler Wells to seal the Orioles’ 2-0 victory over the Red Sox before an announced crowd of 27,543. The 11th shutout of the season. The latest reason for the city to embrace its team and not let go.

Continue reading