This, that and the other

Orioles starter Dean Kremer fell short of achieving Super 2 status and becoming eligible for arbitration. The cutoff was set at two years and 118 days of service time, down from two years and 128 days in 2022.

Kremer missed it this year at two years and 112 days.

The season was mostly a success for Kremer, who finished 13-5 with a 4.12 ERA in a career high 32 starts and 172 2/3 innings. Eleven of his victories occurred in night games, tied with teammate Kyle Gibson for second-most in the American League.

I can’t leave it at that. More digging must be done here, and I’m the man with the shovel.

According to STATS research, Steve Stone owns the club record with 24 victories in night games in 1980. Stone won the Cy Young Award in the American League with a 25-7 record.

Stone was 24-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 33 night games, and 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA in four day games.

The only AL pitcher with more than 10 wins in night games this season was Toronto’s Chris Bassitt with 12.

* Anthony Santander is the first Orioles player with 40 or more doubles in a season since Manny Machado collected 40 in 2016. He also became the team’s first switch-hitter with 95 RBIs since Bobby Bonilla had 116 in 1996.

Bonilla signed with the Marlins as a free agent after the season and won a World Series in 1997.

Santander’s 61 home runs over the last two years lead major league switch-hitters and he’s the first Orioles switch-hitter with at least 85 RBIs in back-to-back seasons since Eddie Murray in 1982-85.

Santander has hit 25 or more home runs in each of the last two seasons to join Murray (1977-80, 1982-85, 1987-88) as the only switch-hitters in team history to do it. He ranks among seven American League batters with 250-plus hits, 60-plus homers, 150-plus runs and 100-plus walks in the last two years, along with Houston’s Yordan Álvarez, Boston’s Rafael Devers, Texas’ Adolis García and Corey Seager, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani.

Why aren’t more people talking about him outside Baltimore?

* The Orioles didn’t protect anyone leading into next month’s Rule 5 draft in Nashville. No additions to their 40-man roster from within the organization.

I mentioned Maverick Handley as one of the eligibles who’s exposed in the draft, but there’s also another catcher – Randy Florentino, chosen in the Triple-A phase in 2022.

Florentino, 23, hit a combined .221/.292/.321 in 64 games between Single-A Delmarva, High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie. He threw out 22 percent of runners attempting to steal, going 4-for-5 with the IronBirds.

A scout from outside the organization raves about catcher Samuel Basallo, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 46 prospect in baseball, and his 70-grade arm. But Florentino also impresses him as “a good catch-and-throw guy.”

Florentino is good for catching depth. Every team needs it.

* Infielder Max Wagner, chosen in the second round in 2022 out of Clemson University, is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 14 prospect in the system. He soared up draft boards while graduating from defensive replacement with the Tigers to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Player of the Year.

The Orioles gave Wagner a $1.9 million signing bonus, but the power that produced 27 home runs in his final season at Clemson has been slow to surface as a professional.

Wagner appeared in 80 games this summer with High-A Aberdeen and 27 with Double-A Bowie and batted .239/.342/.405 with 21 doubles, four triples, 13 homers, 54 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 33 attempts.

The same scout brought up Wagner’s name to me without any prompting. The kid made an impression.

“(Dylan) Beavers has a quicker bat,” the scout said, “but I love Wagner’s swing and approach.”

So do the Orioles.

* The minor league transactions page last week listed another batch of minor leaguers released by the Orioles, mostly from the Dominican Summer League and Florida Complex League:

Aberdeen RHP Shane Davis
Delmarva SS Erison Placencia
DSL RHP Joldanny Genao
DSL RHP Francisco Crispin
DSL CF Héctor Jiménez
DSL CF Jonaiker Sandoval
DSL RHP Geronimo Rombley
DSL RHP Francis Martinez
DSL RHP Jairo Vásquez
FCL LHP Noelin Cuevas
FCL OF Luis González
FCL RHP Anthony Bello

* The Athletics signed former Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Daz Cameron to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Cameron has a better shot at returning to the majors with Oakland than he did with the Orioles, who selected him off waivers last November.

Cameron became a minor league free agent after batting .268/.346/.452 with 23 doubles, 16 home runs and 67 RBIs in 110 games with the Tides.

* The Hall of Fame ballot was released yesterday and included a dozen first-timers: José Bautista, Adrián Beltré, Bartolo Colon, Adrián González, Matt Holliday, Victor Martinez, Joe Mauer, Brandon Phillips, José Reyes, James Shields, Chase Utley and David Wright.

Bautista is a villain in Baltimore, as pointed out humorously by former executive Dan Duquette while trying to squelch rumors of the club's interest, but that isn’t the only connection. Bautista was an Orioles Rule 5 selection from the Pirates in 2003. Tampa Bay selected him off waivers in June 2004.

The 14 returnees are Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Beltrán, Álex Rodríguez, Manny Ramírez, Omar Vizquel, Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Buehrle, Francisco Rodríguez and Torii Hunter. Rodríguez appeared in 23 games with the Orioles in 2013 and finished with a 4.50 ERA and 1.364 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 22 innings.

Candidates remain on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for 10 years provided they are not elected, and they are named on at least five percent of all ballots cast each year.

Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of all ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame.

Helton received votes on 72.2 percent last year, and Wagner on 68.1.

O's could potentially be a good trade partner for ...
Maybe MLB free agent floodgates will open after a ...

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