Revisiting notes on Mateo, McCann, Mullins, Pérez, Rutschman and Urías

Jorge Mateo white jersey

Time to revisit more notes from the 2023 season. And not just the facts.

Here’s another attempt to expand on them. Stretching the truth.

Fact: Jorge Mateo became the first player in Orioles history and the eighth in the majors since at least 1901 with multiple stolen bases in a team’s first two games of the season. He also became the first player in club history and the 14th player since 1901 with at least four stolen bases in his first two games to begin a season. Mateo became the ninth Oriole to steal at least 20 bases in the team’s first 68 games and the first since Nate McLouth had 23 in 2013.

Follow: If only Mateo could reach base more often, but that’s been his issue at every stop.

Top 100 prospects don’t usually move around this much. He’s been traded twice and claimed on waivers, and he’s only 28.

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The '24 Birds are no doubt counting on another big year from Yennier Cano

Yennier Cano white jersey

With the Orioles set to play the entire 2024 season without closer Félix Bautista, which pitchers replace him in the ninth inning and how well they do next year will have a lot to say about the O’s team performance for the year.

Obviously, we don’t know yet the makeup of the 2024 bullpen and if the team will look to acquire via trade or free agency someone that could pitch the ninth. But one pitcher that will be in that late-inning mix is right-hander Yennier Cano, mentioned in this space yesterday as a player that surprised us in the 2023 season.

He sure did. He was not even on the Opening Day roster and in the 2022 season, between the Twins and Orioles in brief action, he had posted an 11.50 ERA and 2.333 WHIP. Then that same guy began his 2023 O’s season with 17 straight scoreless outings. That is about as surprising as it can get.

After Cano became more hittable in the second half – somewhat expected when you are almost unhittable – he no doubt has some doubters entering the winter.

But let’s look at some numbers first.

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Late relief fails Orioles after rally in 5-2 loss to Guardians (updated)

Perez white

CLEVELAND – If the Guardians couldn’t get a run off Grayson Rodriguez tonight, maybe they’d just concentrate on getting him out of the game. Build up his pitch count with extended at-bats fueled by foul balls, dive into an Orioles bullpen that’s screaming for rest.

Rodriguez kept escaping jams to record four scoreless innings, but the Guardians broke through with two runs in the fifth. DL Hall began to warm, staying on an unplanned schedule of being used every other day.

Hall was summoned in the sixth after Rodriguez threw 99 pitches, the last striking out Kole Calhoun. The Guardians got their wish, and eventually a win.

The Orioles battled back to tie the game in the eighth, but Cionel Pérez loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the inning, Ramón Laureano drew a full-count walk against Jacob Webb and the Guardians scored two more runs in a 5-2 victory at Progressive Field.

Coupled with the Rays’ walk-off win earlier today, the Orioles (95-58) saw their division lead shrink to 1 ½ games and their magic number for clinching stay at seven. They’re 50-28 on the road.

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