Washingon's top prospects take center stage at Nationals Futures Game

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The next generation of Washington Nationals stars will take center stage in ON DECK: NATIONALS FUTURES GAME on Tuesday, March 26, at 12:05 p.m. at Nationals Park. Serving as the exciting start to an Opening Week full of celebrations, this exhibition contest will showcase top prospects from across the organization’s Minor League system with current Nationals Major Leaguers in front of the hometown crowd.

“We’re incredibly thankful for the continued support of our fans in D.C., and we can’t wait for them to get a look at some of the players who will make up our next championship-caliber roster,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations & General Manager Mike Rizzo. “Players like James Wood, Dylan Crews, Brady House and Robert Hassell have certainly received a lot of attention, and I know that once our fans have the chance to see a full lineup of the young guys in our system, there will be even more of reason to be optimistic about where we’re headed.”

ON DECK: NATIONALS FUTURES GAME takes place less than a week before the Nationals open the 2024 home season, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, April 1, at 4:05 p.m. Single-game tickets go on sale in early December, and the 2024 Nationals Promotional Calendar will be announced next week. Fans can sign up for the free Nationals Fan Club at nats.com/FanClub to receive early access, insider information and additional offers.

Players participating in ON DECK: NATIONALS FUTURES GAME will be announced in March.

Félix Bautista Named America League Reliever of the Year

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Major League Baseball tonight announced that Orioles right-handed pitcher FÉLIX BAUTISTA has won the 2023 Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award. He was a unanimous choice by the voting panel, which was comprised of six all-time great relievers. Bautista becomes the second Orioles player to win the award, joining left-hander ZACK BRITTON in 2016.

Bautista, 28, went 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA (10 ER/61.0 IP) and a 0.92 WHIP in his 56 appearances for the AL East Champion Orioles, who finished with the AL’s best record (101-61) for the first time since 1997. The Dominican Republic native converted 33 of his 39 save opportunities, including five of more than 1.0 inning. He led MLB relievers with 110 strikeouts, the third-most by an O’s reliever in team history (since 1954), and struck out multiple batters in 38 of his 56 outings, the most multi-strikeout games in MLB this season. Bautista recorded the fastest strikeout pitch by an Orioles pitcher in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008) on June 28 vs. Cincinnati, striking out Spencer Steer at 103.3 miles per hour.

 “The Mountain” was named to his first career All-Star team and earned AL Reliever of the Month honors for April, June, and July. He was also named the Baseball Digest/eBay MLB Relief Pitcher of the Year. He was placed on the Injured List in late August before undergoing ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John) in October.

Bautista finished ahead of AL runners-up Emmanuel Clase (CLE) and Jordan Romano (TOR). Bautista and Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award winner Devin Williams (MIL) will each receive a special trophy that models the likeness of Rivera and Hoffman, respectively, pitching during their Hall of Fame careers. The Rivera and Hoffman Awards replaced MLB’s “Delivery Man of the Year Award,” which was presented to one winner in all of Major League Baseball from 2005-2013. These awards continue a longstanding baseball tradition of honoring the game’s top relief pitchers.

Orioles announce 2024 home game times

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The Baltimore Orioles today announced home game times for the 2024 season, including the introduction of 4:05 p.m. ET start times for all Saturday home games, except for the game against the Texas Rangers on June 29, which will begin at 7:15 p.m. The schedule also features the expansion of 6:35 p.m. start times to include all weeknight Monday-Thursday home games throughout the season, except for the game against the Houston Astros on Thursday, August 22, which will begin at 7:15 p.m. The earlier start time, which was introduced in 2023 for weeknight home games before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, allows families with children to enjoy more games on school nights and throughout the summer.

For the first time since 2018, the Orioles will open the season at Oriole Park when they host the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, March 28, at 3:05 p.m. The home schedule features 13 Saturday afternoon games beginning at 4:05 p.m., 29 weeknight 6:35 p.m. games, and 10 mid-week day games. Home Friday night games will remain at 7:05 p.m. All Sunday home games are scheduled to start at 1:35 p.m. and conclude with Kids Run the Bases for all children ages four to 14. All dates and times are subject to change.

Mark your calendars: 2024 Birdland Memberships go on sale Thursday, November 30, at 10 a.m. Offering 10 diverse plan options, these memberships include exclusive benefits such as access to Opening Day and Postseason tickets, VIP experiences, and entry to the Birdland Membership Clubhouse. Members also enjoy up to 30 percent off on concessions, parking, and merchandise, along with flexible ticket exchanges and no-interest payment plans. For more details and to make a purchase, visit Orioles.com/Memberships.

Orioles tender contracts to 17 arbitration-eligible players

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The Orioles made the following roster moves:

  • Tendered 2024 contracts to LHP Danny CoulombeOF Austin Hays, LHP Cole Irvin, LHP John Means, INF Ryan Mountcastle, OF Cedric Mullins, INF/OF Ryan O'Hearn, LHP Cionel Pérez, OF Anthony Santander, RHP Dillon Tate, INF Ramón Urías, RHP Jacob Webb, and RHP Tyler Wells, as well as all pre-arbitration 40-man players.
  • Agreed to terms with LHP Keegan AkinOF Sam HilliardINF/OF Jorge Mateo, and OF Ryan McKenna on a one-year contracts for the 2024 season, avoiding arbitration.

Hyde named AL Manager of the Year

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The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) tonight announced that Orioles Manager BRANDON HYDE has been voted the American League Manager of the Year. This marks his first career Manager of the Year honor.

Under Hyde’s leadership, the 2023 Orioles claimed the club’s 10th AL East title and first since 2014, as well as their first playoff berth since the 2016 AL Wild Card. The Orioles finished the year with an AL-best 101-61 record, their first time claiming the AL’s top seed since 1997. Hyde guided the club to their first 100-win season since 1980 and tied the 1971 team for the fourth-most wins in club history (since 1954), joining National Baseball Hall of Famer EARL WEAVER as the only other O’s skipper to manage a team to a 100-win campaign. He led the Birds to their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2013-14 following last year’s 83 wins.

On August 23 vs. Toronto, Hyde collected his 292nd managerial win, moving into sole possession of fifth-most in Orioles history. Less than two weeks later, he secured his 300th win on September 4 at Los Angeles-AL, joining Weaver (1,480), BUCK SHOWALTER (669), PAUL RICHARDS (517), and HANK BAUER (407) as managers with 300 wins in an O’s uniform. He managed his 700th game with the Orioles on September 22 at Cleveland, joining Weaver (2,541), Showalter (1,353), Richards (1,063), and Bauer (726) as Orioles managers to reach 700 career games.

The Orioles went the entire regular season (52 series) without being swept for the first time in club history, becoming the fourth MLB team since 2000 to accomplish the feat, joining the Atlanta Braves teams of 2022 (51 series), 2004 (52 series), and 2002 (52 series). The Orioles have gone 91 consecutive regular-season series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept, the fourth-longest streak in MLB history according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Against AL East foes this year, the Orioles went 32-20 (.615), the seventh-best record against the division in club history. The Birds won the season series against the Blue Jays (10-3), Rays (8-5), Red Sox (7-6), and Yankees (7-6), the first time since 2014 that the O’s won the season series against each of their division opponents. The pitching staff set a single-season franchise record with 1,431 strikeouts, surpassing the mark of 1,248 set in 2016 and matched in 2019. The club’s 48 comeback wins paced the AL and were tied with Cincinnati for the most in MLB. For the first time since 1983, the Orioles secured a winning record in each full calendar month, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Orioles were one of the youngest teams in the majors this season. According to Baseball Reference, their average batter age of 27.2 years was the seventh-youngest in the majors, while their average pitcher age of 28.4 years was the 11th-youngest in the majors. A total of six players made their Major League debuts for Hyde’s Orioles in 2023, including top overall prospects COLTON COWSERHESTON KJERSTADJOEY ORTIZGRAYSON RODRIGUEZ, and JORDAN WESTBURG.

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Nationals add four to 40-man roster

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The Washington Nationals made the following roster moves on Tuesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

  • Selected the contracts of right-handed pitcher Zach Brzykcy, right-handed pitcher Cole Henry, left-handed pitcher DJ Herz and left-handed pitcher Mitchell Parker.
  • Designated right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott and first baseman Dominic Smith for assignment.
  • Requested Unconditional Release Waivers for right-handed pitcher Andrés Machado to pursue an opportunity in Japan.

Brzykcy (BRICK-see), 24, took part in his first Major League Spring Training in 2023 after a breakout campaign the previous year in which he went 8-2 with 14 saves and a 1.76 ERA in 51 games across three levels of Washington’s system. The hard-throwing reliever ranked second in the organization with 14 saves and ranked among all Minor League pitchers (min. 60.0 IP) in opponents’ batting average (3rd, .157), ERA (5th, 1.76) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (14th, 13.94). Brzykcy was the only pitcher in all of Minor League Baseball with at least 14 saves and at least eight wins in 2022.

Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Virginia Tech following the 2020 First-Year Player Draft, Brzykcy missed the 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April.

Henry, 24, has pitched to a 3.29 ERA, a .189 opponents’ batting average, 1.02 walks/hits per inning pitched and 11.30 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 34 games across three professional seasons. He has recorded 141 strikeouts with 39 walks in 112.0 innings pitched since making his debut in 2021. Henry was selected in the second round of the 2020 First-Year Player Draft out of Louisiana State University.

Herz, 22, went 3-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 22 starts between Double-A Tennessee and Double-A Harrisburg in 2023. He ranked third in all of Double-A and 13th in all of Minor League Baseball (min. 90.0 IP) with a .196 opponents’ batting average. His 133 strikeouts in 94.1 innings pitched ranked second among all Double-A left-handed pitchers. He was acquired by the Nationals along with shortstop Kevin Made from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Jeimer Candelario on July 31, 2023.

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Davidson, Vavra clear waivers and go to Norfolk

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The Orioles have made the following roster moves:

  • LHP Tucker Davidson has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.
  • INF/OF Terrin Vavra has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 36 players.

Gunnar Henderson named American League Rookie of the Year

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The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) tonight announced that Orioles infielder GUNNAR HENDERSON has been unanimously voted the American League Rookie of the Year, becoming the first unanimous winner in Orioles history. He is the first Orioles player to win the award since GREGG OLSON in 1989, and the seventh overall, also joining CAL RIPKEN, JR. (1982), EDDIE MURRAY (1977), AL BUMBRY (1973), CURT BLEFARY (1965), and RON HANSEN (1960).

Henderson slashed .255/.325/.489 (143-for-560) with 29 doubles, nine triples, 28 home runs, 100 runs, 82 RBI, 56 walks (1 IBB), and 10 stolen bases in 150 games (143 starts) this season. He led Major League Baseball rookies in Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement (bWAR) with 6.3, as well as in home runs and extra-base hits (66), while leading AL rookies in FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) with 4.6, as well as in triples, runs, RBI, and total bases (274). According to STATS, he ranked second among qualified AL rookies in slugging and OPS (.814) and third in on-base percentage. He became the fourth AL rookie since 2002 to score 100 runs in a season, joining Aaron Judge (128, 2017), Mike Trout (129, 2012), and Austin Jackson (103, 2010). He is also the first rookie in team history and 20th in MLB history to record at least 20 doubles, five triples, 20 homers, and 10 stolen bases in a single season.

Henderson set O’s rookie records in extra-base hits, runs, bWAR, and slugging percentage. His historic season led to him being voted the winner of the Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole Award by members of the local media who cover the team on a regular basis, becoming the fourth rookie to be named the winner of the award since its inception in 1954.

The 22-year-old infielder appeared in 84 games at third base (68 starts) and 83 at shortstop (64 starts), leading the Orioles with 13 Defensive Runs Saved, per Sports Info Solutions. Ten of those were at shortstop, sixth in MLB despite playing over 360 fewer innings at the position than anyone ahead of him. He led MLB with six Runner Runs, a metric designed to evaluate the performance of runners taking extra bases, per Statcast.

Henderson was named AL Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News and Players Choice AL Outstanding Rookie, both of which were voted on by his peers. He was named an AL Silver Slugger Award winner at the utility position, becoming the 15th rookie to claim a Silver Slugger and first in Orioles history. He was also named to Baseball America’s Major League All-Rookie Team. He was selected AL Rookie of the Month for June and AL Player of the Week for the period of June 5-11, and was twice chosen as the winner of the Electric Play of the Week presented by Chevrolet.

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Orioles Sign Davidon to One-Year Deal

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The Orioles have made the following roster move:

  • Agreed to terms with LHP Tucker Davidson on a one-year contract for the 2024 season.

Henderson, Rutschman win Silver Slugger Awards

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Major League Baseball and Louisville Slugger tonight announced that GUNNAR HENDERSON (utility) and ADLEY RUTSCHMAN (catcher) have been named recipients of the 2023 American League Silver Slugger Award, the top offensive award in Major League Baseball. This marks the first career Silver Slugger Award for both players. Henderson becomes the first Orioles rookie to win the award in club history and the AL’s second-ever winner from the utility spot since the position’s addition in 2022. Rutschman joins MICKEY TETTLETON (1989) as the only Orioles backstops to earn the honor. Outfielder ANTHONY SANTANDER was tabbed as a finalist but was not selected as a winner.

Henderson, 22, batted .255/.325/.489 (143-for-560) with 29 doubles, nine triples, 28 home runs, 100 runs scored, 82 RBI, 56 walks (1 IBB), and 10 stolen bases in 150 games (143 starts) during his rookie campaign. From July 1 through the end of the regular season, he ranked among all AL infielders in runs (1st, 62), triples (2nd, 6), extra-base hits (T-2nd, 41), total bases (3rd, 169), hits (T-3rd, 88), RBI (4th, 52), doubles (18, T-5th), home runs (6th, 17), and slugging percentage (7th, .511). Henderson finished ahead of fellow AL finalists Brandon Drury (LAA), Whit Merrifield (TOR), and Isaac Paredes (TB).

Rutschman, 25, appeared in 154 games (149 starts), slashing .277/.374/.435 (163-for-588) with 31 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs, 84 runs scored, 80 RBI, 92 walks (6 IBB), and one steal. He appeared in 110 games (104 starts) at catcher and 46 games (45 starts) as the designated hitter; his 687 plate appearances were 76 more than any other MLB player who appeared in more than half of his games at catcher. Rutschman led AL backstops in nearly every offensive category, including batting average, on-base percentage, OPS (.809), hits, doubles, walks, total bases (256), times on base (257), and game-winning RBI (10). The Portland, Ore., native established himself as one of the game’s top players in 2023, making his first All-Star team and participating in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. Rutschman finished ahead of fellow AL finalists Salvador Perez (KC) and Cal Raleigh (SEA).

Baltimore was one of three MLB teams with multiple winners, along with Atlanta (Acuña, Jr., Olson, Riley) and Texas (Seager, Semien). Rutschman and Henderson become the fifth set of Orioles teammates to win the award in the same season, joining EDDIE MURRAY and CAL RIPKEN, JR. (1983 & 1984), Ripken, Jr. and Tettleton (1989), MELVIN MORA and MIGUEL TEJADA (2004), and CHRIS DAVISJ.J. HARDY, and ADAM JONES (2013).

The Louisville Slugger Award winners are selected by a vote of MLB managers and coaches, who cast ballots for the players they determine to be the best offensive producers at each position in their respective league. Votes are based on a combination of offensive statistics including OBP, OPS, OPS+, home runs, hits, RBI, and batting average, as well as the managers’ and coaches’ general impressions of a player’s overall offensive value. Louisville Slugger has presented the Silver Slugger Awards annually since 1980.

Orioles Announce 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

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The Orioles today announced their 2023 Holiday Gift Guide, which includes a variety of ticket packages, gift cards, and team store gear that make the perfect presents for fans of all ages. The club will also host two holiday events at the ballpark, a Black Friday sale on Friday, November 24 at the Official Team Store at Oriole Park, and a Giving Tuesday drive on Tuesday, November 28. More information can be found below.

BLACK FRIDAY EVENT

Fans can get a head start on their holiday shopping at the Official Team Store at Oriole Park on Friday, November 24. The team store will be open to fans from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature exclusive in-store only deals, including up to 50 percent off select items, and a gift with any purchase of $125 or more. Fans will have the chance to meet and take photos with Santa Bird from 9-10 a.m. and Santa Splash from 12-1 p.m., as well as spin the prize wheel, where everyone is a winner. Complimentary parking will be available in the North Warehouse Lot. For more information, visit Orioles.com/TeamStore.

GIVING TUESDAY

Oriole Park at Camden Yards will continue to serve as a hub for community involvement as the Baltimore Orioles and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield partner to host a drive-thru winter accessory collection on Tuesday, November 28 to benefit The Food Project. The collection will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of Home Plate Plaza on the Russell Street Service Drive (near Gate D). Fans can access the Russell Street Service Drive from Lee Street on the south side of the ballpark. Those wishing to donate are asked to bring new or gently used adult and youth sized coats, scarves, winter hats, gloves, and socks. Fans who participate in the drive will receive a complimentary ticket voucher for two tickets to a 2024 Orioles home game.

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Mike Elias named MLB Executive of the Year

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Major League Baseball today announced that Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager MIKE ELIAS has been voted the MLB Executive of the Year. The official award bestowed by MLB resulted from voting among the 30 clubs, each of which cast a vote prior to the start of the Postseason.

The Orioles posted a 101-61 record in 2023, finishing 2.0 games ahead of Tampa Bay to secure the club’s 10th AL East title and first since 2014. Baltimore’s 101 wins are tied with the 1971 team for the fourth-most in a single season in club history (since 1954), trailing 109 in 1969, 108 in 1970, and 102 in 1979. The O’s were the only team in the AL and one of three teams in MLB to win 100 games this season, along with the Braves (104-58) and Dodgers (100-62).

Baltimore’s core included homegrown players drafted and developed during Elias’ tenure, including All-Star catcher ADLEY RUTSCHMAN and Most Valuable Oriole Award-winning infielder GUNNAR HENDERSON, trade acquisitions like breakout right-hander KYLE BRADISH, All-Star reliever YENNIER CANO, left-hander DANNY COULOMBE, catcher JAMES McCANN, and first baseman/outfielder RYAN O’HEARN, and free agent veterans infielder ADAM FRAZIER, starting right-hander KYLE GIBSON, and outfielder AARON HICKS. 2020 Rule 5 selection TYLER WELLS led Baltimore’s starting rotation for the first half of the season before transitioning to the bullpen in September. Six players made their Major League debuts for the O’s in 2023, with five finishing the season on Baltimore’s 40-man roster: outfielders COLTON COWSER and HESTON KJERSTAD, infielders JOEY ORTIZ and JORDAN WESTBURG, and right-handed starter GRAYSON RODRIGUEZ. Kjerstad, Rodriguez, and Westburg finished the season with the Orioles and appeared on Baltimore’s ALDS roster.

Elias, who was also voted the Sporting News 2023 MLB Executive of the Year by fellow AL and NL executives, completed his 17th season in MLB and fifth in Baltimore this year. He was named the Orioles’ Executive Vice President and General Manager on November 16, 2018. During his tenure, the Yale alumnus has worked quickly to revamp the Orioles’ player development system, revitalize the club’s international scouting presence, and expand the team’s analytics department. As a result of these dedicated efforts, the franchise is now flush with young talent and positioned for longstanding competitiveness in the AL East. Over the last two seasons, the Orioles (184-140) own the third-best record in the AL and fifth-best in MLB, behind only the Dodgers (211-113), Braves (205-119), Astros (196-128), and Rays (185-139). The Orioles’ farm system retained its spot at the top in the 2023 midseason rankings by Baseball AmericaESPN, and MLB Pipeline, marking the second straight year that they have been ranked as the best farm system in baseball by these three outlets. The Orioles are the first organization to rank No. 1 in five straight MLB Pipeline farm system rankings.

MLB began its official Executive of the Year Award at the conclusion of the 2018 season, with Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics earning the inaugural honors, followed by Erik Neander of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019, Andrew Friedman of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020, Farhan Zaidi of the San Francisco Giants in 2021, and Chris Antonetti of the Cleveland Guardians in 2022.

Nationals announce 2024 home game times

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The Washington Nationals today announced the start times for the team’s 2024 home games, highlighted by an earlier first pitch for evening contests. Evening games will now begin at 6:45 p.m., while the majority of day games will remain at 1:05 p.m., 1:35 p.m. or 4:05 p.m. The Nationals once again host their traditional Fourth of July game at 11:05 a.m., this season taking on division-rival New York Mets. 

“Our goal is always to deliver a top-tier ballpark experience to our fans, and that includes making sure that attending a game at Nationals Park is as convenient as possible,” said Alan H. Gottlieb, Chief Operating Officer, Lerner Sports Group. “Starting our evening games 20 minutes earlier, combined with MLB rules that have significantly shortened game times, makes it easier for fans to stay the full nine innings – even on a school or work night.”

Nationals Park gates will continue to open at 5:30 p.m. for evening games and will open 75 minutes prior to scheduled first pitch for all games, unless otherwise noted. All gate and game times are subject to change. The full 2024 schedule is attached.

In addition to 6:45 p.m. start times making evening games more convenient for fans of all ages, Sundays at Nationals Park continue to be focused on families. The 2024 season welcomes the return of popular events like Signature Sundays, Kids Run the Bases and special giveaways, with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Special Kids Giveaway Mini-Plans are now available at nats.com/5Packs.

Select 2024 ticket plans, including Premier, Pick ‘Em and Ballpark Access, are on sale now at nats.com/Tickets. Holiday Packs, which include an exclusive Nationals gift, will go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 7. Single-game tickets will go on sale in December. Fans can sign up for the free Nationals Fan Club at nats.com/FanClub to receive early access, insider information and additional offers.

Nationals name Eddie Longosz head of player development

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The Washington Nationals announced the promotion of Eddie Longosz to Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Player Development and Administration on Friday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Longosz, 37, was promoted to this role after spending the last eight years as Washington’s director of scouting operations. He was promoted from assistant director following the 2015 season. In his role, Longosz assisted Mike Rizzo on all aspects of Washington’s amateur, professional and international scouting operations.

“Eddie Longosz has been integral to our organization’s success over the past 14 years,” said President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “He is a tireless worker with extensive knowledge of our Minor League players, coaches and system as a whole. He developed strong relationships with many of our current players during the draft process and has earned not only their trust, but the trust of those around them. Beyond his support of our draft operations, his expertise in emerging technology and analytics will enhance our process and make us more efficient. Eddie is very well respected around the league, and I could not be happier to have him leading our player development system.” 

Longosz is in his 14th year with the Nationals after joining the organization in 2010. He became a full-time scouting assistant in 2011, a role he held for four seasons before being promoted to assistant director of scouting operations in 2015.

A Washington, D.C. native, Longosz graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. He attended the University of Richmond (VA) and graduated in 2009 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. He is currently pursuing his Master’s of Business Administration from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business Executive Program.

Nationals mourn the loss of Frank Howard

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The Washington Nationals join the Howard family in mourning the loss of Washington Senators great Frank Howard. Howard’s decades-long career as a player, coach and manager leaves an indelible legacy on the sport of baseball, and he will long be remembered as one of the best players to ever wear the Curly W.

“Growing up a baseball fan in Washington D.C., Frank Howard was my hero,” said Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner. “The towering home runs he hit into the stands at RFK Stadium gave him the nickname ‘Capital Punisher,’ but I’ll always remember him as a kind and gentle man. The entire Lerner family would like to offer our thoughts and condolences to Frank’s family during this difficult time. The world of baseball has truly lost a giant.”

Inducted into the Nationals Park Ring of Honor in 2016 for his contributions to Washington D.C. baseball, Howard hit 237 of his 382 career home runs during his seven-year tenure with the Senators from 1965-71, ranking behind only Ryan Zimmerman for most career long balls while representing Washington D.C. The Nationals’ tradition of identifying the landing spots of long or significant home runs at Nationals Park pays homage to the white seats at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial (RFK) Stadium that marked the mammoth home runs hit by Howard.

“I’d like to send my deepest condolences to the family of Frank Howard,” said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “Frank was a legendary figure in this town and a player that D.C. baseball fans truly admired. I had the utmost respect for him both as a ballplayer and as a human being, and it was always a pleasure seeing him at Nationals Park. He was generous with his time and was never afraid to pass along his knowledge and wisdom. He will be missed.”

“Hondo” came to D.C. on Dec. 4, 1964, as part of a seven-player trade with the Dodgers, and a love affair between player and town began almost immediately. Teammates, media and fans alike marveled at Howard’s tape-measure home runs, many of which taunted cavernous D.C. Stadium’s dimensions.

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Orioles Announce Scouting Promotions in Baseball Operations

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The Baltimore Orioles today announced the following promotions within the scouting departments in Baseball Operations: MATT BLOOD has been promoted from Director, Player Development to Vice President, Player Development and Domestic Scouting; KOBY PEREZ has been promoted from Senior Director, International Scouting to Vice President, International Scouting and Operations; MIKE SNYDER has been promoted from Director, Pro Scouting to Senior Director, Pro Scouting; GERARDO CABRERA has been promoted from Latin American Supervisor to Director, Latin American Scouting; KEVIN CARTER has been promoted from Senior Analyst, Pro Scouting to Manager, Pro Scouting; HENDRIK HERZ has been promoted from Senior Analyst, Scouting to Manager, Domestic Scouting Analysis; CHAD TATUM has been promoted from Senior Analyst, Scouting to Manager, Domestic Scouting; WILL ROBERTSON has been promoted from Senior Analyst, Pro Scouting to Special Assignment Scout; ALEX TARANDEK has been promoted from Analyst, Scouting to Senior Analyst, Scouting; MICHAEL WEIS has been named Senior Data Scientist, Draft Evaluation, and MARIA ARELLANO has been named Senior Manager, International Operations and Baseball Administration.

 

“We are very proud to announce this wave of promotions for a group of exceptionally talented and hard-working people,” said MIKE ELIAS, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager. “Each has played a vital role in the recent success of the franchise, including the numerous accolades for our top-ranked farm system, the expansion of our international scouting presence, and of course bringing the AL East championship back to Baltimore with a historic 101-win season. I would like to congratulate each of these individuals on their well-deserved promotions and thank John Angelos and the entire partnership group for their steadfast support and investment in Orioles baseball.”

 

Blood will be responsible for overseeing the Orioles’ player development and domestic scouting operations, including staff recruitment and development, implementation of player development strategies and programs throughout the entire minor league system, and First-Year Player Draft operations. He will continue to report to Elias. Blood joined the Orioles organization as the Director of Player Development in September of 2019. During his tenure, the Orioles have ascended organizational farm system rankings, now rated as the top system in all of baseball by Baseball AmericaESPN, and MLB Pipeline. He has 12 years of Major League experience and has spent 18 years in professional and amateur baseball. Prior to joining the Orioles, Blood served as the Director of Player Development for the Texas Rangers for the 2019 season. He also worked for the St. Louis Cardinals as an area scout from 2009-15 and served as the Team Director for USA Baseball’s 18U National Team from 2016-18. Blood graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2007 with a degree in economics. He resides in Baltimore with his wife, Allison, and their two children, Henry and Ben.

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National Zoo, Gov. Moore announce names of oriole chicks

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The public has voted and now the 10 oriole chicks hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s (NZCBI) Bird House have names! In June, Bird House keepers celebrated the arrival of seven orchard oriole chicks—the first of their species to hatch in human care—which hatched in the Bird Friendly Coffee Farm Aviary. That same month, three Baltimore oriole chicks hatched in the same exhibit, in a nearby tree. Both species are native to Maryland, and the Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. Given the chicks’ significance and the species’ ties to the region, NZCBI partnered with Maryland Governor Wes Moore to name these special birds.

The winning names for the orchard oriole chicks are: 

  • Charm – Baltimore’s nickname is Charm City
  • Chessie – The Chesapeake Bay estuary borders both sides of Maryland
  • Crabcake – Maryland’s favorite seafood dish
  • Harriet – Marylander Harriet Tubman guided enslaved people to freedom as a conductor of the Underground Railroad
  • Thurgood – Marylander Thurgood Marshall served as the Supreme Court’s first African American justice from 1967 to 1991
  • Zappa – Famed musician Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Francis – Marylander Francis Scott Key authored “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States 

In choosing names for our three Baltimore oriole chicks, Governor Wes Moore was inspired by Maryland’s own Major League Baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles! The first chick was named in honor of “Mr. Oriole” himself, former third baseman and Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. The second chick’s moniker honors former shortstop and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. Moore bestowed the name Adam Jones on the third chick, honoring the former outfielder and five-time MLB All-Star. 

Visit the new Bird House at the Zoo to see and learn more about these special birds and so many more!

Nationals announce front office hires

Mike Rizzo

The Washington Nationals announced the hiring of three members in their scouting department on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

  • Danny Haas – Vice President, Amateur Scouting
  • Brad Ciolek – Senior Director, Amateur Scouting
  • Reed Dunn – Assistant Director & National Crosschecker, Amateur Scouting

Haas, 47, joins the Nationals after spending the previous five seasons (2019-23) as a special assignment scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Prior to his time with Arizona, Haas worked for the Baltimore Orioles from 2012-18, first as a national crosschecker (2012-14) before being promoted to special assistant to the executive vice president of baseball operations (2015-18). He worked for the Boston Red Sox from 2002 to 2011, spending the final six seasons (2006-11) as a regional crosschecker, and in 2004, was named Boston’s Scout of the Year. He joined the scouting ranks with the Red Sox in 2002 after a five-year professional career from 1997 to 2001. A native of Paducah, Kentucky, Haas played college baseball at both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. He was selected by the Red Sox the 18th round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft out of Louisville where he earned a degree in criminal justice. 

Ciolek, 37, spent last 12 years as a member of the Baltimore Orioles scouting department, most recently as their director of draft operations (2022-23). Prior to that role, he served as their supervisor of domestic scouting operations (2019-22), assistant director of scouting (2017-19) and scouting administrator (2013-16). He joined the Orioles in 2011 as a player development intern at their complex in Sarasota, Florida. Prior to joining Baltimore, he spent four seasons (2007-10) with the New York Mets and one year (2012) as an analyst for Bloomberg Sports. Ciolek graduated from Seton Hall University in 2009 with a degree business administration and earned his Master of Business Administration in computer information systems from Colorado State University in 2017.

Dunn, 39, returns to the Nationals after working in the Atlanta Braves amateur scouting department from 2014-2023, most recently as their East Coast crosschecker. Dunn’s regional scouting coverage included the drafting of players such as Michael Harris II, Austin Riley, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright, among others. Dunn began his career in baseball with the Washington Nationals in 2007 as a scouting assistant, a role he held until 2009, until he was promoted to scouting coordinator. He was promoted to area scout in 2010 and spent the next four years covering amateur players in Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Dunn graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2007 with a degree in sports management.

López clears waivers, elects free agency

Orioles-Logo

The Orioles have made the following roster move:

  • RHP Jorge López has cleared outright waivers and elected free agency in lieu of accepting an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk.

López DFA, Zimmermann recalled

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The Orioles have made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled LHP Bruce Zimmermann from Triple-A Norfolk.
  • Designated RHP Jorge López for assignment.

The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 39 players.