I’ve made some Orioles predictions over the past few weeks, in case you missed or forgot them. I don’t blame you.
The Orioles will acquire a starting pitcher but he won’t be on the mound for Opening Day, the rotation consists of the newcomer, Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, John Means and Dean Kremer, Colton Cowser begins the season in Triple-A, Gunnar Henderson will lead the team in home runs, Henderson won’t win a Gold Glove, Henderson will reach double digits in triples, Adley Rutschman won't go 5-for-5 with a home run on Opening Day, Coby Mayo will create a huge buzz in camp, Cedric Mullins will be healthier and better, the Orioles will experience some regression but they’re making the playoffs, they won’t get swept in the first round, they will exceed the 87.5 wins set as odds by BetOnline, they will go to an arbitration hearing with at least one unsigned player, the Orioles and Jacob Webb will find a midpoint and avoid a hearing, the Orioles will get swept during the regular season, Henderson will repeat as Most Valuable Oriole, Craig Kimbrel will exceed his 23-saves total from last year, DL Hall will record at least one save, Dillon Tate will make a dramatic comeback.
Let’s keep going.
Cionel Pérez will have better splits because they were bananas last season.
Right-handed batters hit .218/.293/.293 against Pérez in 2022. For his career, they’re slashing .261/.350/.378.
The 2023 season was harder for Pérez. Right-handers hit .305/.390/.381, compared to .213/.315/.287 by left-handers.
The three-batter minimum rule doesn’t allow for specialists. Pérez has to be able to defend himself against guys hitting from the right side. And he hasn’t been horrible at it until last season.
The bar was raised a bit too much in 2022. But Pérez was a much better pitcher in the second half last summer than in the first, and I don’t think he’ll revert to bad form.
Connor Norby will play in the majors in 2024.
Norby received 633 plate appearances during the regular season at Triple-A Norfolk. He appeared in 138 games over that span.
That’s a healthy amount.
The former second-round draft pick did more than just play for the Tides. He thrived.
Norby batted .290/.359/.483 with 40 doubles, three triples, 21 home runs and 92 RBIs. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 7 prospect in baseball among second basemen.
So, I say Norby makes his major league debut this summer but I’m not specifying the team.
It could be the Orioles, who are infield heavy in the organization. It could be with a different club.
I don’t think there’s a whole lot to prove in Triple-A other than working him at other positions besides second base and the corner outfield.
The Tyler Nevin acquisition will raise questions until Mike Elias explains it.
This might seem like a bit of a reach, but hear me out.
The Orioles acquired Nevin from the Tigers Monday night, a few seconds before I was slated to fill both hands with homemade garlic Parmesan wings, for our old friend cash considerations. Positions of strength were addressed. But why?
Elias isn’t running short on corner infielders and outfielders. Nevin is on the 40-man roster but out of minor league options.
Do we unroll our jump to conclusions mat and say Elias made a depth move in case he trades an infielder or two to obtain a starting pitcher? Or maybe the Orioles try to get Nevin through waivers later and stash him at Triple-A.
A major league move can be minor.
They know him and apparently like him. That could be ample reason.
Elias will be available to the media Thursday at the Birdland Caravan and can talk about Nevin – after the whole starting pitcher thing, of course.