Opposite dugout: Tigers in middle of the pack, but still battling and still surprising

Opposite dugout: Tigers in middle of the pack, but still battling and still surprising
Manager: Ron Gardenhire (1st season) Record: 10-13 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: RF Nicholas Castellanos (.330 with 16 RBIs), 1B Miguel Cabrera (.325 with 16 RBIs), OF JaCoby Jones (.275, .345 OBP), C James McCann (10 RBIs), LHP Francisco Liriano (2-1, 3.13 ERA) Season vs. Orioles: 3-0 Pitching probables: April 27: RHP Mike Fiers (2-1) vs. RHP Chris Tillman (0-4), 7:05 p.m., MASN2April 28: LHP Francisco Liriano (2-1) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (1-3), 7:05 p.m., MASN2April 29: LHP Daniel Norris...
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Zach Wilt: What has to happen in May for O's

Zach Wilt: What has to happen in May for O's
As a baseball fan, April is a month that I look forward to all year long. As an Orioles fan in 2018, I can't wait for this April to be over. The O's have just three more games remaining in this terrible month. They're currently 6-19, 13 1/2 games back of first place in the American League East and 8 1/2 games back of a wild card spot - it's never too early to think about the wild card. Another couple of weeks of losing baseball and the Orioles will most certainly be looking to sell at the...
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"MASN All Access" podcast: Enrolling in the School of Roch

"MASN All Access" podcast: Enrolling in the School of Roch
Attention, attention: Class is in session. Even though it's late April, Paul and I are heading back to school - the School of Roch that is - as MASNsports.com's Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko joins us on the latest episode of the "MASN All Access" podcast. The Orioles are in a slump. Everyone knows that. They have lost three straight, are 1-9 in their last 10 games and are in last place 11 1/2 games back in the American League East. Are there any rays of sunshine in sight? Roch tries to...
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Josh Michael: Lefty Lowther continues to improve his stock

Josh Michael: Lefty Lowther continues to improve his stock
Before the season began, I was extremely excited about the starting rotation that the low Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds were going to have due to the vast amount of talent it contained. So far, that excitement has been justified and the standout of the group has been left-hander Zac Lowther. The Shorebirds have one of the top three pitching staffs in the entire South Atlantic League and Lowther has been the ace of the staff in the early going. Lowther, who turns 22 next week, was drafted by the...
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Opposite Dugout: Rays are in midst of a rebuild

Opposite Dugout: Rays are in midst of a rebuild
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season) Record: 8-13 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: CF Mallex Smith (.344/.412/.871) 1B C.J. Cron (5 HR, 13 RBIs), OF Denard Span (17 RBIs), 2B Daniel Robertson (.318), RHP Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (11-8 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 24: RHP Jake Faria (1-1) vs. RHP Alex Cobb (0-2), 7:05 p.m., MASNApril 25: RHP Chris Archer (1-1) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (1-2), 7:05 p.m., MASN2April 26: RHP Blake Snell (3-1) vs. Chris...
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Andrew Stetka: Farm system leaves O's future in doubt

Andrew Stetka: Farm system leaves O's future in doubt
It's been an abysmal start to the 2018 season for the Orioles, and that could even be a massive understatement. In a year that seemed so crucial at the start with so many key cogs in the organization potentially moving on in the near future, the Birds have yet to take flight. It's something that has led many to look ahead, giving up hope of a postseason berth in 2018 before Memorial Day even hits. With organizational uncertainty, the Orioles have done few things to set themselves up for some...
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Zach Wilt: Strikeouts are sapping early Orioles offense

Zach Wilt: Strikeouts are sapping early Orioles offense
The Orioles are in a rut and are watching the losses pile up as they slide down the standings in the American League East. You can only keep telling yourself, "It's early," for so long. Here on April 20, it is still true, but the hole keeps getting deeper and deeper and digging out of it only gets more difficult as time goes on. There have been some gut-wrenching losses, like Wednesday's 6-5 defeat in Detroit, and other times the Orioles just have been outplayed by their opponents, like...
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Opposite dugout: Indians offense still trying to find its rhythm

Opposite dugout: Indians offense still trying to find its rhythm
Manager: Terry Francona (6th season) Record: 9-7 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: SS Francisco Lindor (15 hits, 7 RBIs); LF Michael Brantley (.333 with 1 HR, 6 RBIs); 3B José Ramirez (4 HR, 8 RBIs); RHP Corey Kluber (2-1, 1.52 ERA); RHP Trevor Bauer (1-1, 2.25 ERA), RHP Cody Allen (0.00 ERA, 3 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (6-1 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 20: RHP Trevor Bauer (1-1) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (0-2); 7:05 p.m., MASNApril 21: RHP Mike Clevinger (1-0) vs. RHP...
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"MASN All Access" podcast: Birds continue to struggle in cold weather

"MASN All Access" podcast: Birds continue to struggle in cold weather
As we continue to wait for spring to arrive, Orioles fans are waiting for the O's offense to heat up as well. What you don't have to wait any longer for is a new episode of the "MASN All Access" podcast. Paul and I discuss the possible effect the recent cold weather has had on the Orioles' bats. Did you know that out of 18 games played so far, only six have been played in temperatures of 60 degrees or warmer? And three of those six were in Houston, where cold doesn't exist and they have a...
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Josh Michael: Alex Wells succeeds by going against the grain

Josh Michael: Alex Wells succeeds by going against the grain
When it comes to pitching prospects, both before they are even drafted and after, all of the talk tends to be about how hard they throw their fastball. While I won't argue that it's nice when a guy can throw a mid-to-upper 90s fastball, I'll take a guy who gets outs, pounds the zone and makes a hitter earn his way on base. Orioles prospect Alex Wells, a left-hander, falls into that latter category, and I'm glad he's in the O's system. Wells, 21, is one of the rare International free agent...
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Opposite dugout: Sleepy bats a factor in Tigers' slow start

Opposite dugout: Sleepy bats a factor in Tigers' slow start
Manager: Ron Gardenhire (1st year) Record: 4-9 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 1B Miguel Cabrera (.245/.309/.367, 3 doubles), 2B Dixon Machado (7 doubles, 8 RBIs), 3B Jeimer Candelario (4 doubles, 1 HR), RF Nicholas Castellanos (.302/.362/.415, 2 triples), RHP Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 8.18 ERA), RHP Shane Greene (3.86 ERA, 2 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (4-3 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 17: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-1) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (1-1), 6:40 p.m., MASN2April...
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Andrew Stetka: Firing Showalter would answer only one of many O's questions

Andrew Stetka: Firing Showalter would answer only one of many O's questions
There's been lots of chatter in the last few days and weeks about the status of Orioles manager Buck Showalter. As everyone knows, Showalter is in the final year of his contract. He, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and a number of prominent players are all facing a walk year. But the Las Vegas sportsbook Bovada last week released its latest odds on the first major league manager to be fired, and Showalter topped the list at 3/2. He's leaped ahead of the likes of...
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Opposite dugout: It's World Series or bust for the Red Sox

Opposite dugout: It's World Series or bust for the Red Sox
Manager: Alex Cora (1st season) Record: 10-2 Last 10 games: 9-1 Who to watch: RF Mookie Betts (.370 with 2 HR, 9 RBIs); 1B Hanley Ramirez (.357 with 2 HR, 12 RBIs); LF Andrew Benintendi (.231 with 5 RBIs, 11 BB); LHP Chris Sale (1-0, 1.06 ERA); RHP Craig Kimbrel (0.00 ERA, 4 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 1st meeting (9-10 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 13: RHP Chris Tillman (0-2) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-0), 7:10 p.m., MASNApril 14: RHP Alex Cobb (0-0) vs. TBD, 1:05 p.m., MASNApril...
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Zach Wilt: Cobb's arrival will benefit both offense and mound staff

Zach Wilt: Cobb's arrival will benefit both offense and mound staff
After enjoying a much-needed off-day, their first since March 30, the Orioles are headed north to square off against the first-place Red Sox for a four-game weekend series that includes the annual 11 a.m. Patriot's Day game on Monday. It feels like the Orioles always play that game. The Birds took just one of three in their quick home series against the Blue Jays. Baltimore's offense scored only two runs in the first two games of that series before finally breaking out in the finale with five...
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Josh Michael: Undefeated Shorebirds are worth the price of admission

Josh Michael: Undefeated Shorebirds are worth the price of admission
The 2018 minor league season is in full swing now for the Orioles' four full-season affiliates, and while there is plenty of talent throughout the affiliates' rosters, the low Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds are the standouts thus far. I knew the Shorebirds were going to have a good pitching staff thanks in large part to having seven pitchers currently in the Top 30 Orioles' prospects list per MLBPipeline.com. Their offense was anticipated to be solid, but had some unknowns in it, as well. Thus...
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"MASN All Access" podcast: Steve Melewski recaps O's-Yankees series and looks ahead

"MASN All Access" podcast: Steve Melewski recaps O's-Yankees series and looks ahead
MASNsports.com's very own Steve Melewski was kind enough to join Paul Mancano and myself for this week's Orioles episode of the "MASN All Access" podcast. After a five-game losing streak that included a sweep at the hands of the Astros in Houston, the Orioles started the season 1-5 and looked at a daunting four-game series against the Yankees in New York. While some fans may have already been crying for mercy to start the season, wouldn't you know it, the Orioles went out and won three of...
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Andrew Stetka: Machado's move to short still puzzles

Andrew Stetka: Machado's move to short still puzzles
When Buck Showalter announced at Orioles FanFest in late January that Manny Machado would be moving to shortstop full-time, pushing Tim Beckham to third base, I didn't really blink at the move. It seemed inevitable, really, despite my own personal apprehensions. Machado is, as everyone knows, in his walk year. The move to short was conceivably to increase his value to potential trade suitors. From a personal standpoint for Machado, it would also increase his value as a free agent. Despite the...
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Opposite dugout: Blue Jays trying to remain relevant in AL East race

Opposite dugout: Blue Jays trying to remain relevant in AL East race
Manager: John Gibbons (11th year) Record: 6-4 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 1B Justin Smoak (.352 with 2 HR, 10 RBIs), LF Curtis Granderson (.364/.417/.545), 2B Yangervis Solarte (.308 with 2 HR), 3B Josh Donaldson (2 HR, 5 RBIs), RHP Marco Estrada (1-0, 2.77 ERA), RHP Roberto Osuna (4 saves, 0.00 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (7-12 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 9: LHP J.A. Happ (1-1) vs. RHP Dylan Bundy (0-0), 7:05 p.m., MASN2 April 10: RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1) vs. RHP...
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Zach Wilt: O's patient approach starting to pay dividends

Zach Wilt: O's patient approach starting to pay dividends
It was hard to stay positive after a 1-5 start to the season. Our outlook after opening day was so promising, with Adam Jones walking it off in the 11th inning in front of a sold-out crowd at Camden Yards. But after the Gatorade shower and celebration at home plate, the Orioles went the next week without another win and came to the Bronx looking for their second victory of the 2018 season. Despite their their struggles entering the series against the Yankees, there were some encouraging signs...
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Opposite dugout: With high expectations, Yankees stars off to sluggish start

Opposite dugout: With high expectations, Yankees stars off to sluggish start
Manager: Aaron Boone (1st season) Record: 4-2 Last 10 games: 4-2 Who to watch (2017 stats): OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (59 HR, 132 RBIs with 1.007 OPS), RF Aaron Judge (52 HR, 114 RBIs with 1.049 OPS), C Gary Sánchez (33 HR, 90 RBIs), LHP CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA), LHP Aroldis Chapman (3.22 ERA, 22 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (12-7 in 2017) Pitching probables: April 5: RHP Andrew Cashner vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka, 6:35 p.m., MASN April 6: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. LHP CC...
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