A few questions for O's fans

A few questions for O's fans
It's been a while so it's about time for me to ask my readers once again about their opinions. Time for our latest edition of "A Few Questions for O's fans." With a lockout ongoing the news has come more slowly, but there have still been some things happening, such as the announcement this week of the 2022 big league coaching staff. So on to today's questions. * Trey Mancini, after missing the entire 2020 season, returned last year to produce a stat line of .255/.326/.432 and played in...
Continue reading

Rutschman should lead charge from farm to major leagues

Rutschman should lead charge from farm to major leagues
One is not officially signed yet and one is, but the Orioles have contract agreements in place with infielder Rougned Odor and right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles. The Odor deal was announced and Lyles' pact will become official after the lockout ends. The term placeholder - not a favorite of mine - comes to mind here. They were not added to be key players of the club's core moving forward. They were added to help now, eat innings, hit a few homers, hold down a position while the club waits for...
Continue reading

Toolsy Hays is the kind of player Orioles can build around

Toolsy Hays is the kind of player Orioles can build around
Over the years, in both the minors and major leagues, Orioles outfielder Austin Hays has flashed his vast potential and multi-tool talent. He showed more of that during a 2021 season where he was able to stay on the field for 131 games and 529 plate appearances. He ranked fourth on the team in both categories, behind only Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle. With young outfielders like Kyle Stowers and Robert Neustrom getting closer to the majors, and Yusniel Diaz still trying...
Continue reading

O's add Hoffman and Uvila in Rule 5, plus other notes

O's add Hoffman and Uvila in Rule 5, plus other notes
The Orioles added two pitchers Wednesday in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. This phase is very different than the major league Rule 5, which was postponed for now during the lockout. These players do not need to be placed on the 40-man roster and they are, essentially, now Orioles. No need to send either of them back to the team from which each was claimed. They can also play on any affiliate the Orioles send them to in 2022. Since these players were neither on any club's 40-man roster...
Continue reading

Jim Callis sizes up some O's on the farm

Jim Callis sizes up some O's on the farm
I recently talked with Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com about some of the players the Orioles selected in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft. But we also, for a separate Zoom interview, discussed some players that had big years this past season on the O's farm. Players who did not yet need to be added to the 40-man roster but players who, in the case of three of them, are closing in on a shot with the Orioles. We discussed outfielder Kyle Stowers, who played at three levels in 2021, ending the year...
Continue reading

Memory Lane trip: The 2015 Eastern League champion Bowie Baysox

Memory Lane trip: The 2015 Eastern League champion Bowie Baysox
They were the last Orioles affiliate to win a league championship. They had to rally from being down two games to one in a best-of-five finals to win, but did, and an epic postgame celebration followed when the 2015 Double-A Bowie Baysox claimed their one and only Eastern League championship. That Bowie team included Trey Mancini, Chance Sisco, Mike Yastrzemski and Corban Joseph, plus some minor league vets that came up big, like Quincy Latimore, Brandon Snyder, Terry Doyle and Garabez...
Continue reading

O's Chris Holt on pitchers using performance centers in winter

O's Chris Holt on pitchers using performance centers in winter
Recently, in this entry, I interviewed Orioles pitching coach/director of pitching Chris Holt and we discussed offseason velocity gains for pitchers. Can they make them, should they try to do so and how do they go about it? Holt and the organization are in favor of pitchers looking to improve their game, but they also have a strong interest in how a player intends to do this and what help and resources are available. During our discussion about velocity, I also asked Holt about the bigger...
Continue reading

Jim Callis' take on O's 2021 draft picks and a look ahead to 2022

Jim Callis' take on O's 2021 draft picks and a look ahead to 2022
They are still a long way from the major leaguers, but seeing a host of players from the 2021 Orioles draft class end the year playing so well at low Single-A Delmarva was a real plus for the organization. After drafting players they are high on in the first two drafts under Mike Elias - like Adley Rutschman, Kyle Stowers, Gunnar Henderson, Jordan Westburg, Coby Mayo and Heston Kjerstad - the class of '21 was raking late in the year with the Shorebirds after starting their pro careers this...
Continue reading

Even after injury-marred season Vavra ascends to 40-man

Even after injury-marred season Vavra ascends to 40-man
Even though injuries limited to him to just 48 games last season and he has only 40 games under his belt at the Double-A level, infielder Terrin Vavra made it to the Orioles' 40-man roster late last month . Drafted in round three (No. 96 overall) in 2018 by the Colorado Rockies out of the University of Minnesota, Vavra came to the O's organization in a trade for reliever Mychal Givens on Aug. 30, 2020. Givens went to the Rockies and the Orioles acquired Vavra and Tyler Nevin, along with a...
Continue reading

Memory Lane trip: The 2011 Carolina League champion Frederick Keys

Memory Lane trip: The 2011 Carolina League champion Frederick Keys
The year was 2011. Two teenaged Orioles prospects were about to play their first full seasons of professional baseball. One was an international signee, the other a No. 3 overall draft pick. They would soon become close friends and would play together in Baltimore. But that year, Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado began the season as teammates at low Single-A Delmarva and ended the year leading high Single-A Frederick to the Carolina League championship. The last two O's farm teams to win...
Continue reading

Delmarva Shorebirds will feature an international roster in '22

Delmarva Shorebirds will feature an international roster in '22
As the Orioles continue to work to improve their international program, some players signed and/or acquired by the club since Mike Elias took over as executive vice president and general manager, will make their way to full-season ball on the farm in 2022. The Orioles' two teams in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League had a strong international flavor last season and some of the top players are expected to compete for spots on the low Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds roster for the '22...
Continue reading

How much of Tanner Scott's 2021 season was derailed by injury?

How much of Tanner Scott's 2021 season was derailed by injury?
He is the lefty reliever with the power arm, but inconsistent control and command. We've seen him look like the best reliever in the league and also one that had no idea where the ball is going. But while he put together some really strong numbers during the shortened 2020 season, southpaw Tanner Scott struggled late in the 2021 season. There may have been an easy explanation for that, but until we see more of him in 2022, we just don't know for sure. In 2020 - and, yes, it was over just 20...
Continue reading

Orioles' goal: Turn highly rated farm into major league wins

Orioles' goal: Turn highly rated farm into major league wins
Within a span of about eight days in August, the Orioles farm system got some major recognition from the two top outlets that cover prospects and player development. Their farm system was rated No. 2 by Baseball America in mid-August. Then, in late August, the Orioles were ranked No. 1 in organizational rankings by MLBPipeline.com. In was part of a steady rise for the O's farm system. In the 2020 MLBPipeline.com preseason rankings, the O's were rated No. 13 and then they moved to No. 8 by...
Continue reading

Adley Rutschman's arrival will be a 2022 highlight

Adley Rutschman's arrival will be a 2022 highlight
Looking forward to a day when we talk about baseball more than lockouts, the most anticipated date on the calendar for the 2022 Orioles figures to be the arrival day for catcher Adley Rutschman. The day that baseball's No. 1 prospect arrives in the majors. Unlike some players that go back and forth and take a while to establish themselves at the big league level, Rutschman's arrival will likely be permanent, and greatness is expected from the start. That is a lot of pressure, but it goes with...
Continue reading

Veteran pitchers could provide more development time for younger ones

Veteran pitchers could provide more development time for younger ones
When it was reported this week that the Orioles reached an agreement with right-handed starting pitcher Jordan Lyles for the 2022 season, the news was met with mixed reviews from the O's fan base. Some were pleased at least that the team invested a one-year deal for $7 million on a player, signing someone to a big league deal and for more than a player could earn on a minor league deal. Others noted that Lyles' ERA was only 5.15 last year and he led the majors by allowing 38 homers. But it...
Continue reading

Will DJ Stewart face a challenge to hold his roster spot?

Will DJ Stewart face a challenge to hold his roster spot?
There were high hopes for the two hitters the Orioles selected at the top of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. There was Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart, taken No. 25 overall by the club in round one. There was Florida high school infielder Ryan Mountcastle, taken No. 36 by the team. Both, of course, have made the big club, but save for a few stretches here and there, Mountcastle has been much more productive than Stewart. And while Mountcastle seems to have a future on the team batting in...
Continue reading

A look at more free agent pitchers

A look at more free agent pitchers
Now that the Orioles have an agreement with right-hander Jordan Lyles for 2022, pending a post-lockout physical, are they done looking for pitchers? Not very likely. Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at some back end rotation options as noted by MLBTradeRumors.com and going in alphabetical order. So we have addressed pitchers like Brett Anderson all the way through Lyles. Yep, he was in our last grouping of pitchers that were potential future Orioles. He was mentioned in this post....
Continue reading

A few notes on O's agreement with Jordan Lyles

A few notes on O's agreement with Jordan Lyles
For the Orioles, a new pitcher arrived just before a baseball lockout did. It was just after midnight this morning when Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted that the Orioles were in agreement to add free agent right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles on a one-year contract worth $7 million that includes a club option for the 2023 season. Lyles pitched for the Texas Rangers the last two years. He signed a two-year deal with Texas for $16 million on Dec. 13, 2019. In 12 games during the shortened 2020...
Continue reading

Hopefully the players and owners won't test fan patience

Hopefully the players and owners won't test fan patience
Maybe I am completely wrong here, but at least as is relates to the game's fans, a lockout in Major League Baseball, for now, means very little. Yes the flow of news will slow but there will still be topics to discuss and the game will return at some point. The at some point part here is the really important part. MLB tested the emotions of its fans during a pandemic in 2020 and some of its fans are still hurting in some ways, financially or otherwise. MLB should consider that during these...
Continue reading

A few thoughts as O's tender six players contracts

A few thoughts as O's tender six players contracts
Perhaps only a lockout could keep the Orioles from making what seems now almost daily changes to their 40-man roster. Yesterday began with the club holding 40 players on the 40-man. It ended with them at 38 after tendering contracts and/or reaching agreements with all six of their remaining arbitration-eligible players. No one was non-tendered. No one was traded. The Orioles have also signed infielder Rougned Odor, 27, to a one-year contract and outrighted infielder Richie Martin to Triple-A....
Continue reading