A trip down memory lane with Gary Kendall (with video)

He has been a minor league coach and manager for the Orioles organization and his tenure spans 20 years. It's a labor of love for Baltimore native Gary Kendall, whose first O's managing assignment was at Rookie-level Bluefield in 2004. Kendall, now manager of the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, had a big hand in sending many players on to Baltimore. The list includes Trey Mancini, Manny ... read more

Mountcastle on workouts, hopes for season and more (with video)

As he awaits the start of a season that could see him make his major league debut, Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle has been working out with other pro players in Florida. Like all of us, he's waiting to hear official word about the 2020 season. In a recent video interview with the 23-year-old Mountcastle, we discussed a variety of topics. Everything from fitting in within ... read more

Will these minor league southpaws have major league success?

To say the least, Orioles minor league left-handed pitchers Alexander Wells and Zac Lowther have a lot in common. A lot. They are close in age, with Wells 23 and Lowther just turned 24 on April 30. They were both non-roster invitee pitchers in O's big league camp in Sarasota. Both have been named the Orioles' Jim Palmer Award winner as Minor League Pitcher of ... read more

A visit with O's top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez (with video)

Like other minor league players right now, Orioles top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez is spending time at home while trying to stay ready for a season that might not be played. While fans are hoping, maybe even expecting to see some version of Major League Baseball in 2020, play on the farm is less certain. But the O's No. 2 ranked prospect, behind only Adley ... read more

Trying to get reps for the minor league players

The question has been asked a few times: What happens to Orioles prospects if there is no minor league season? Will they get in games and get some needed reps on the mound and at-bats? Well, if it is deemed safe, almost certainly the answer is yes. No doubt, the Orioles will find a way for their minor leaguers to get those reps if they ... read more

From player to coach: Collin Woody makes transition on O's farm

The day will come for all professional baseball players. Through their choice or a team's decision, their playing days will end. Sooner for some than others. Being told you are not good enough to continue would be not easy for anyone to hear. For 25-year-old Collin Woody, the words came late in spring training in 2019. A 38th-round draft pick by the Orioles in 2016 ... read more

Checking in with O's prospect Gunnar Henderson (with video)

Like all professional baseball players right now, O's prospect Gunnar Henderson is not playing in any games or getting any needed at-bats. This was slated to be his first full pro season after the Orioles drafted him last June. The O's selected Henderson with the first pick of the second round, No. 42 overall, out of Morgan Academy in Selma, Ala. He was a two-sport ... read more

A look at two of the new hitting coaches on O's farm

Had the baseball season started on time, or whenever it does begin in the minor leagues, the Orioles are excited to see several first-year pro coaches at work. There is a heavy flavor of youth, especially among the organization's hitting coaches. Among the new hitting coaches on the farm as of 2020 are Tim Gibbons at Double-A Bowie, Ryan Fuller at Single-A Delmarva, Anthony Villar ... read more

Baseball shutdown impacts O's rebuilding efforts

So the question has now been asked countless times: Does the shutdown of baseball hurt a rebuilding team like the Orioles? An obvious answer is yes, because young players, especially those in the minors, are not getting at-bats or innings right now. They're not working with coaches and gaining information from data and analytics. They are not competing against an opponent and learning how doing ... read more

Baysox GM on shutdown, the 2015 champs and more (with video)

A lot of Orioles fans may not know Brian Shallcross' name. He is the general manager of the Double-A Bowie Baysox. This former William and Mary kicker has been with Bowie since 2003. He's one of the good guys that works hard, most of the time behind the scenes, to keep his organization humming. The Baysox have a first-rate staff and they love their fans ... read more

Farm instruction during shutdown spans countries, languages

Recently in this space, I wrote about how the Orioles minor league staff was keeping in touch with farm players, often through Zoom videos. They have been working with and instructing players on a variety of aspects of the game. One of the coaches taking part in the videos is 28-year-old Patrick Jones, one of the organization's first-year coaches. Before the season was put on ... read more

O's farm pitcher Gray Fenter remembers his big 2019 season

His last start of an outstanding 2019 season never made it into his final season stats. That's because it was a postseason start. But in a season when right-hander Gray Fenter reminded the organization why he got an overslot draft bonus, it was a gem. In a best-of-three South Atlantic League playoff series against Hickory last September, Single-A Delmarva faced a must-win Game 2. Fenter ... read more

Cooking with the Orioles

A few days ago in this space, Orioles director of player development Matt Blood explained how players and coaches on the O's farm are keeping active and trying to improve themselves in various ways during the shutdown of baseball. Much of this is happening via video chats on Zoom. "As a group, we've had Zoom calls on just about everything there is to have a ... read more

Reaching out to non-baseball teams during MLB's shutdown

Today was supposed to be opening night in minor league baseball. Triple-A Norfolk would be hosting Gwinnett and Double-A Bowie would host Richmond. Single-A Frederick was scheduled to play at Fayetteville and Single-A Delmarva would be hosting Asheville. But when baseball was shut down March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Orioles' minor league teams had yet to even play exhibition games. There were ... read more

Baseball's shutdown impacting minor league preparation

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic in professional baseball reaches down to the minor league level. To players with salary concerns and the managers and coaches who are trying to develop them and prepare for an abbreviated season. Triple-A Norfolk's Gary Kendall is back home in the Salisbury area, doing yardwork and engaging in video conference calls to collect and share information that no longer ... read more

Revisiting the trade of Manny Machado

When the 2018 season started, the Orioles were trying to make one last playoff run with an opening day roster that included Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, Trey Mancini, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb, Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach and Darren O'Day. Two years previously, they made the American League wild card game, losing in extra innings in Toronto. But in 2017, ... read more

Big Mike had a big year in 2019

In 2019, Orioles pitching prospect Michael Baumann had a special year. The right-hander threw well for both Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie and ended the season as the organization's co-Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He shared the Jim Palmer Award with Single-A Delmarva's Grayson Rodriguez. For an encore, Baumann will try to build on his gains from last season, continue to smooth out his ... read more

Right-hander Zach Pop on his recovery from Tommy John surgery

He was a key player the Orioles acquired in mid-2018 in the trade of Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now Orioles minor league right-hander Zach Pop is going through the process of getting back to pitching after Tommy John surgery of last May. He is progressing well, but finding out some of the challenges of a process that can take a pitcher 12 ... read more

DL Hall on his 2019: "It was really big for development"

SARASOTA, Fla. - If you look at the first two full seasons for young left-handed pitching prospect DL Hall, you can see better stats in 2018 at Single-A Delmarva than in 2019 at Single-A Frederick. But in Frederick, as he faced better hitters he also was challenged to do things he had not before, and he might have gained a lot to benefit his future ... read more

A few notes from Twin Lakes Park

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles left-handed pitching prospect DL Hall, who ended last year on the injured list, begins this season fully healthy. The 21-year-old Hall didn't pitch in 2019 after Aug. 8 due to a lat strain. In 19 games for Single-A Frederick, the club's 2017 top draft pick went 4-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 80 2/3 innings. Hall said it didn't take too ... read more