Closer look at Orioles rotation and lineup numbers

bradish stands orange

Kyle Bradish is named the starter for tonight’s game against the Rockies, the line moving again while the Orioles wait on Jack Flaherty.

No one who is new to the rotation is anticipated at this point. The same crew, one of the distinct differences from the past.

The Orioles have used only eight starting pitchers this season, the third-lowest total in the majors. And that includes Keegan Akin, who worked one inning as an opener on May 31 against the Guardians. He’s on the 60-day injured list.

The other starters are more memorable: Bradish, Flaherty, Kyle Gibson, Tyler Wells, Dean Kremer, Grayson Rodriguez and Cole Irvin.

The Blue Jays and Nationals were tied for fewest with seven heading into the weekend. The Twins, Brewers, White Sox, Cubs and Angels were ahead of the Orioles with nine.

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Henderson homer in eighth gives Orioles 39th comeback win, Bautista leaves with arm discomfort


The Orioles were confused in the first inning tonight. They did not, however, forget that they were the superior team. But also one that isn't immune to injuries. To adversity that can shake them to the core.

They did exactly what was expected of them. Beat the worst club in the National League. Freed themselves from the reverse lock. And then they held their collective breath while trying to remain calm.

Ryan Mountcastle hit his 18th home run, Austin Hays hit his 12th, and Gunnar Henderson’s two-run shot off Brent Suter in the eighth inning gave the Orioles a 5-4 win over the Rockies before an announced crowd of 28,872 at Camden Yards.

It came at a cost, the exact price unknown but feared to be high until told otherwise.

Fans were on their feet cheering in the ninth with two outs and a 1-2 count on pinch-hitter Michael Toglia. The place was electric. And then it fell silent.

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Hicks on Jones: "He still means a lot to me"


Anthony Santander broke into the majors as a Rule 5 pick in 2017, playing in only 13 games. He appeared in 33 the following season, again making him a brief teammate of Adam Jones. Crossing paths more than settling into a deeper relationship.

Jones was gone by 2019, when Santander hit 20 doubles and 20 home runs to begin his ascension to impact player, but an impression already was made.

It didn't take long. Jones never needed a lot of time to leave an imprint.

The memories come back to Santander with today’s news that the five-time All-Star is returning on Sept. 15, presumably on a one-day contract, to retire as an Oriole.

“As a teammate, great, and his personality, awesome,” Santander said. “Thank God I got an opportunity to get to the big leagues and have him here, learn from him. How he prepared for the game to be able to compete every night. I think he brought a lot here to the Orioles and I was so happy having him as a teammate. I call him ‘The Jefe.’ He was really good with us.”

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Orioles and Rockies lineups

hays santander bash city

James McCann is catching tonight and Ryan McKenna is in center field for the start of a three-game series against the Rockies.

Anthony Santander, with three home runs in two nights, is in right field. Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter.

Jordan Westburg is playing second base.

Opponents are batting .163 against Cole Irvin this month in five appearances.

The Orioles need two victories to clinch their first back-to-back .500 or better seasons since 2015-16.

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News on Adam Jones, and notes on tonight's game

News on Adam Jones, and notes on tonight's game

Adam Jones is retiring as an Oriole.

The team made the announcement this morning on a social media post, with the event planned for Sept. 15 prior to the 7:05 p.m. game against the Rays at Camden Yards.

Jones spent 11 of his 14 major league seasons with the Orioles, batting .279/.319/.459 with 305 doubles, 27 triples, 263 home runs, and 866 RBIs in 1,613 games. He was chosen to five All-Star teams and won four Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger Award.

During his tenure in Baltimore, the Orioles ended a streak of 14 consecutive losing seasons and made the playoffs in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

His leadership and impact on the community were much greater.

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Orioles enjoying their youth and learning how to work with it

Santander and Henderson celebrate

Holding a division lead is one of the many challenges facing the Orioles as they get down to the final 35 games of the regular season.

Home field advantage is a major perk, but the Orioles entered camp just hoping to make the playoffs. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias never set the American League East title as a goal.

Clinch a wild card berth and see what happens.

The Orioles upped the ante by posting the best record in the league. But now there’s more to do.

Try staying in one piece.

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Gibson goes eight innings, Santander and Mullins homer in 5-3 win (updated)

santander rutschman celebrate white

Kyle Gibson was fast and efficient for the first three innings tonight. As if trying to recoup the time lost from a pre-start rain delay.

And then, it happened. The fourth inning, when the Orioles fell behind versus a pitcher with a career 10-0 record against them.

Wins don’t matter until they stand alone with no losses. That’s when they get noticed and referenced.

The Blue Jays scored twice in the fourth after Gibson retired the first nine batters, but Anthony Santander tied the game with a two-run shot off José Berríos in the bottom half of the inning. Berríos also was perfect through the third, and he also gave up a hit to the leadoff batter in the fourth.

There had to be a separator between them. It began with Cedric Mullins and continued with Gibson.

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Orioles pregame notes on McCann's hand, weekend rotation, Flaherty update, Coulombe's return and Pérez,

mccann hurt white

Backup catcher James McCann isn’t in the Orioles’ lineup despite his impressive numbers against Blue Jays starter José Berríos. He usually sits against a right-hander, but he’s also recovering from the 98 mph fastball that slammed into the side of his left hand during Tuesday night’s game.

“It’s good,” said McCann, who’s 8-for-24 with two doubles and four home runs against Berríos. “Soreness is a lot better today. Now, it’s just an open wound from the blood blister.”

McCann keeps proving his toughness. He’s gone on the injured list twice with oblique strains but has endured lots of punishment and kept playing.

He’s become a master at laying down bunts on fastballs near his face.

“I give thanks to God every day when something like that happens and I come out of it unscathed,” he said. “I guess there’s a little bit of an innate toughness, but other than that, it’s by the grace of God.”

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Orioles and Blue Jays lineups to conclude series

orioles celebrate white

Adam Frazier returns to the Orioles lineup tonight after being unavailable due to a sore right thumb.

Frazier is batting ninth and playing second base.

Ramón Urías is the third baseman and Gunnar Henderson is the shortstop.

Anthony Santander, who homered twice last night, is in right field. Ryan Mountcastle is the designated hitter.

The Rays won this afternoon and are 1 ½ games behind the Orioles.

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Coulombe reinstated from injured list (plus notes)

coulombe pitches white

Left-hander Danny Coulombe is rejoining the Orioles’ bullpen tonight.

Coulombe was reinstated from the 15-day injured list after one appearance with Triple-A Norfolk on his rehab assignment. Left-hander Nick Vespi was optioned for the fourth time this season.

Left biceps tendinitis forced Coulombe on the IL after he posted a 2.77 ERA and 1.103 WHIP in 47 games. He’s struck out 48 batters and surrendered only three home runs in 39 innings.

This is the second bullpen move in two days. Mike Baumann was optioned yesterday, with Austin Voth reinstated from the 60-day IL.

The Orioles have a chance tonight to win their 25th series and beat the Blue Jays for the 10th time in 13 games.

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Veteran starters back Bautista for Cy Young Award

Felix Bautista

Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson see nothing wrong with it. Never to be accused of reliever bias in Cy Young Award voting.

Give it to the best pitcher, whatever role he fills. Whether he’s on the mound to start the first inning or the ninth.

Orioles closer Félix Bautista is aware of the chatter surrounding his candidacy. Irvin dresses only a few lockers away and gladly will lead the conversation.

“The fact that he’s in the discussion just points to how good he is,” Irvin said. “It’s impressive what he’s done this season. I mean, he’s averaging nearly two strikeouts an inning, and this is the best of the best in this league. So, for him to be doing that speaks to the quality of pitcher he is, and he’s been this season, and he’s most certainly deserving to be nominated, or even a candidate for the Cy Young.”

Bautista warmed and then sat last night, leaving him at 32 saves, a 1.52 ERA and 0.944 WHIP in 54 games, and 16.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He retired the side in order in the ninth the previous game, only the fourth time he hadn’t recorded a strikeout.

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Santander bounces back from injury to homer twice in Orioles' 7-0 win (updated)


The short notice didn’t reduce Dean Kremer’s effectiveness.

The previous back soreness didn’t drain the power from Anthony Santander’s bat.

Told yesterday that he’d move up to start tonight, Kremer twirled six scoreless innings against the Blue Jays. Didn’t walk a batter. Didn’t flinch at the assignment.  

Santander returned to the lineup and hit his 22nd and 23rd home runs, and the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays 7-0 for their eighth shutout of the season before an announced crowd of 19,132 at Camden Yards.

Jacob Webb retired the side in order in the seventh for his ninth scoreless outing with the Orioles over 8 2/3 innings, striking out his 12th batter. Yennier Cano had a clean eighth, aided by Cedric Mullins’ leaping catch at the fence to rob pinch-hitter Cavan Biggio. Cano was pitching on back-to-back nights.

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Hyde on Flaherty, Voth, Baumann, Frazier, McCann and taking batting practice

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The Orioles aren’t listing starters for Thursday night or the three-game weekend series against the Rockies. The rotation is fluid after the decision to push back Jack Flaherty.

Flaherty said he didn’t bounce back after his last start in San Diego. Specifics are scarce.

“It was decided yesterday pregame to just give him a little bit extra time,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “In his catch play yesterday, there’s a little bit of soreness, and so we just wanted to give him a little bit of a break, and we moved up Dean (Kremer) to today.”

Hyde described it as “general” soreness, which “normally goes away over the course of between starts, and we feel like we want to be a little bit precautionary with him and just let him not make his start today.”

Flaherty was acquired from the Cardinals at the trade deadline to provide a veteran presence and someone who could handle a heavier workload, and a six-man rotation was built to spare the younger arms and make it easier control innings. But Flaherty's return date after three starts with the Orioles isn’t determined.

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Flaherty: “Sometimes you don’t bounce back the way you want to” (plus tonight's Orioles lineup)


Jack Flaherty said he was scratched from tonight’s start against the Blue Jays because “sometimes you don’t bounce back the way you want to.”

Flaherty is referring to his Aug. 15 start in San Diego, when he allowed seven runs in three innings and came out after 84 pitches.

“You just try to make the right decision of making sure that you feel right,” Flaherty said. “Sometimes after starts you just don’t bounce back the way you want to.”

Flaherty declined to share any specifics, saying “just in general.”

“Throwing yesterday, just didn’t quite feel like you quite bounced back, and sometimes those are hard decisions to make, especially when you want to take the ball every time out. Just one of those things.”

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Kremer replaces Flaherty as tonight's starter (Baumann optioned)


The Orioles have changed starters tonight, with Jack Flaherty scratched from his assignment.

Dean Kremer is starting against the Blue Jays, and Thursday is now listed as TBA.

A couple breaks in the schedule and a six-man rotation put Kremer on six days’ rest following his outing in San Diego.

No explanation was provided for the switch. Manager Brandon Hyde will address it later today in his media session.

Flaherty was supposed to make his fourth start with the Orioles. He’s allowed 10 runs over eight innings since his one-run debut in Toronto.

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A few more thoughts on Wells reliving his reliever days

Tyler Wells vs. TB

The Orioles are a long way from setting their pitching staff for the postseason. As manager Brandon Hyde reminds us, he’s just trying to get through each game and hope that no one else is injured.

He won’t count his playoff chickens before clinching is official and the team can hatch a plan.

However, some light was shed yesterday on its bullpen strategy.

Tyler Wells is going back to his former relief role at Triple-A Norfolk beginning tonight, with the Orioles shortening his appearances to freshen an arm that can be used as a weapon. The decision made after he posted a 3.18 ERA and 0.927 WHIP, for a time the lowest in the majors, during a first half that created some chatter about his candidacy for the All-Star team.

Three starts after the break rattled his season.

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Baumann surrenders three runs in 10th in Orioles' 6-3 loss to Blue Jays (updated)


First baseman Ryan Mountcastle made a diving catch and slapped his mitt on the bag, almost in one smooth motion. A double play with style points that kept the deficit at one run. A moment that the 2023 Orioles tend to use as a springboard to a comeback.

The Blue Jays scored again to stretch the lead. They handed reliever Mike Baumann his first loss in the 10th inning.

It doesn’t always work.

Jordan Westburg roped a game-tying double down the left field line off reliever Yimi García in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Orioles stranded two in the ninth and Brandon Belt hit a first-pitch homer off Baumann in the Blue Jays’ 6-3 victory before an announced crowd of 20,612 at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (77-48) had a chance to rise more than 30 games above .500 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2014. They’re 27-14 in series openers, and 8-3 against the Jays.

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Wells switching to bullpen on rehab assignment and beyond (plus other notes)

wells sad white

Tyler Wells is moving from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk, where he’ll pitch in relief Wednesday night in a new twist to his injury rehab assignment that reverts back to his past.

Wells made three starts with the Baysox and allowed three runs in 8 2/3 innings. The Orioles restricted him to two innings and 27 pitches on Saturday as part of their plan.

“We’re going to shorten his outings a little bit, just have him throw less pitches and less innings and kind of see how that goes,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “But we’re really encouraged by giving him some rest, giving him some time off. He’s throwing the ball much better here as of late, so we’re going to put him in Norfolk.

“Different ball, more like the major league baseball, and put him in the bullpen there and then see how that goes.”

Wells was a Rule 5 reliever in 2021 before the Orioles converted him back to starter the following spring. They’re using a six-man rotation and can more easily control Wells’ innings in the bullpen after he threw 113 2/3 this season, 10 more than last year.

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Orioles lineup vs. Blue Jays in series opener at Camden Yards

rodriguez pitches black

The Orioles are back home tonight and trying to improve their record to 28-13 in series openers.

Anthony Santander is out of the lineup again with lower-back soreness. Ryan McKenna is in right field.

Gunnar Henderson is batting third. Austin Hays is the cleanup hitter.

James McCann is catching, with Adley Rutschman serving as designated hitter.

Ryan Mountcastle has reached base in 26 consecutive games. He went 11-for-13 against the Blue Jays during a four-game series in Toronto.

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Because You Asked - Brave New World

John Means smiling

On Sept. 24, 2014, the Orioles defeated the Yankees 9-5 in the Bronx to move 32 games above .500. They lost their next three, won 1-0 in Toronto and finished the regular season 96-66.

The 2023 edition is 77-47 heading into tonight’s series opener against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards, with a chance to soar 31 games beyond the .500 mark for the first time in nine years.

Can’t clip those wings, though strains happen. And be careful with that back.

I remind myself of this daily as I hoist my mailbag. Lift with the legs, the only exercise they get.

I’m lightening the load by answering a few more questions this morning, the latest sequel to the beloved 2008 original, while my body adjusts to East Coast time.

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