Orioles lineup in Toronto (Rinehart acquired from Mariners)

mountcastle homers in texas

Less than three hours before the trade deadline arrives, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has posted a lineup that includes Adley Rutschman in the leadoff spot again and Gunnar Henderson moving down to fifth against Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu.

Henderson is the designated hitter. Jordan Westburg is playing second base, Ramón Urías is the third baseman, and Jorge Mateo is the shortstop.

Ryan Mountcastle is batting second for only the second time this season.

Ryan McKenna is the center fielder tonight.

The Orioles are 65-41, including 17-9 in July, and 1 ½ games ahead of the Rays. They’ve won 16 of their last 22.

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Orioles option Wells to Double-A Bowie

well pitches white

Unable to exhibit the same patience displayed during their rebuild period, the Orioles optioned struggling starter Tyler Wells to Double-A Bowie after last night’s game. They made the announcement this afternoon.

Reliever Joey Krehbiel had his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk, and reliever Eduard Bazardo was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Wells produced a first half worthy of All-Star consideration, with a 3.18 ERA in 18 games and a 0.927 WHIP that led the majors. He’s made three starts after the break and allowed 11 runs and 10 hits with nine walks and three hit batters in only nine innings.

The final straw came last night, with Wells working only 2 2/3 innings and leaving after 63 pitches in an 8-3 loss to the Yankees. He was charged with three runs and three hits, walked three batters and hit another.

Manager Brandon Hyde said afterward that trust remained in Wells based on the first half, “but I’m also trying to win the game.”

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Rodriguez recalled and Bazardo optioned (plus game notes)

rodriguez v LAA white

The Orioles recalled Grayson Rodriguez from Triple-A Norfolk today and optioned reliever Eduard Bazardo.

Rodriguez is making his 11th start tonight and his first since May 26 against the Rangers. He went 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Norfolk, striking out 56 batters in 41 1/3 innings.

Rodriguez posted a 7.35 ERA and 1.743 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings with the Orioles before they optioned him. He walked 21 batters and struck out 56. He also surrendered 13 home runs.

Bazardo was sent down following yesterday’s 5-4 win over the Marlins. He was charged with three runs and retired only one batter in the ninth inning.

The roster still holds 14 position players and 12 pitchers. Outfielder Cedric Mullins is day-to-day with a sore right quadriceps muscle, and outfielder Aaron Hicks was scratched from yesterday’s lineup with lower-back discomfort.

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More on Cowser promotion, Bazardo's arrival, Cano's All-Star selection and O'Hearn's clutch hitting

cowser debut

The short-attention reaction to news of Colton Cowser’s promotion was, “What now?”

The moment is appreciated and then outdated.

Cowser is going to be in the lineup on most nights, the same way it’s working out with infielder Jordan Westburg. Manager Brandon Hyde will call upon the flexibility on his roster. He has no other choice.

Players will sit or rotate into the designated hitter spot. No one is going to get buried on the bench.

Cowser started in left field last night, an easier decision with Austin Hays recovering from a bruised left hip. Hays’ return creates another lineup complication, but nothing that Hyde can’t handle. He’s braced for it.

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O's game blog: Looking to pick up a win in the series against New York

Kremer throwing

Whether it is a well pitched game or a game where the offense breaks out or some combination, the Orioles could use it tonight to pick up a much-needed win at Yankee Stadium.

They entered this series at 49-33 and had gone 5-0-1 in their last six American League series, going 12-5 in those games. They were 3-3 this year against the Yankees.

But after losses in the Bronx by 6-3 and 8-4 scores, the Orioles are 49-35 and have now lost six of seven, eight of 12 and 10 of their past 16 games. Since May 26 they are 16-18 (.471) and have gone 4-6-1 their past 11 series.

They begin play tonight, in Game 3 of this four-game series, before they head to Minnesota, six games behind Tampa Bay for the division lead and two games ahead of New York for second place in the division. They hold the top AL wild card spot, leading Houston by 1 1/2 games and New York by two.

The Orioles have scored seven runs on 20 hits in this series in the Bronx, but they have been outhomered 5-2. Over the last five games the Orioles have scored just 10 runs. They have scored three or fewer runs in 14 of the last 25 games, going 3-11 in those 14.

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Orioles select Cowser and Bazardo contracts, option McKenna (plus notes)


NEW YORK – Colton Cowser is on the Orioles’ active roster and expected to be in their lineup for tonight’s game against the Yankees.

The first part is official.

The club announced that it selected Cowser’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk. They also selected reliever Eduard Bazardo’s contract and optioned outfielder Ryan McKenna to the Tides after yesterday’s game.

Catcher Anthony Bemboom and pitcher Chris Vallimont were designated for assignment to clear space on a full 40-man roster.

Cowser, the No. 14 prospect in baseball in MLB Pipeline rankings, is batting .330/.459/.537 with 10 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and 48 walks in 56 games. The fifth-overall selection in the 2021 draft out of Sam Houston State has accumulated 381 plate appearances at Triple-A over two seasons and slashed .292/.420/.500 in 83 games.

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First Orioles lineup of spring training (and notes)

Anthony Bemboom throw black

SARASOTA, Fla. – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde hopes to get two innings from left-hander Drew Rom in today’s exhibition opener against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium.

The lineup is stacked with left-handed hitters, including Ryan O’Hearn at first base and Nomar Mazara in left field.

Cedric Mullins is leading off and Anthony Santander is the cleanup hitter, their starts coming early as they prepare for the World Baseball Classic.

Coby Mayo gets the start at third base. Anthony Bemboom is catching.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adam Frazier 2B
Adley Rutschman DH
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Nomar Mazara LF
Joey Ortiz SS
Coby Mayo 3B
Anthony Bemboom C

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Drew Rom and a host of non-roster pitchers scheduled to take the mound for spring opener


SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles' 2023 spring training schedule begins today at Ed Smith Stadium. They host the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 this afternoon to begin a Grapefruit League schedule that runs through March 27 in advance of the club’s March 30th regular-season opener at Boston.

So the battle for rotation spots and pitching staff jobs takes another step today with the start of spring games. While veterans like Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson – barring injury – almost certainly have a starting-five spot secure, there are a host of others battling for only three other spots.

There are more strong candidates than just three for those jobs, including Grayson Rodriguez, Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Tyler Wells and DL Hall. And then there are Spenser Watkins, who made 20 O’s starts last year, Austin Voth, who made 17, and Bruce Zimmermann, who took the mound as a starter 13 times.

On Thursday night I hosted the "Orioles Hot Stove" radio show on WBAL and one of the guests was assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes, who is beginning his fourth season with the club and third in his current role.

Holmes said the entire pitching staff seemed to report in pretty good shape, and all did good work on their games and pitches over the winter.

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Orioles announce three minor league signings


The Orioles are conducting some minor league business, along with trying to fill out their major league roster.

The team announced the signings today of right-handers Eduard Bazardo, Wandisson Charles and Kyle Dowdy to minor league deals.

Bazardo, 27, made 12 relief appearances with the Red Sox this year and allowed five runs in 16 1/3 innings. He walked four batters and struck out 11.

The Red Sox used Bazardo twice in 2021 and he tossed three scoreless innings with one hit, two walks and three strikeouts. He was added to their 40-man roster the previous November.

Bazardo was designated for assignment on April 7, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Worcester. The Red Sox selected his contract in September and he elected free agency the following month after being designated again.

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