This, that and the other

The Orioles close out the first half with an open spot on their 25-man roster that’s going to be filled by new pitcher Aaron Brooks.

David Hess was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday without appearing in a game. Sort of like Josh Lucas, except he was designated for assignment over the weekend to make room for Brooks on the 40-man roster.

Brooks’ role with the Orioles hasn’t been defined.

The rotation coming out of the break includes Dylan Bundy on Friday against the Rays at Camden Yards, John Means in one game of Saturday’s doubleheader and Andrew Cashner on Sunday.

Does Brooks also start Saturday? Seems doubtful because he needs to be stretched out.

Manager Brandon Hyde could choose Asher Wojciechowski, who allowed three runs yesterday in 4 1/3 innings in a 6-1 loss in Toronto, or Gabriel Ynoa, who was replaced as yesterday’s starter but apparently has been told that he stays in the rotation.

The rotation hardly is set, but the Orioles also are seeking relievers who can give them multiple innings and outs. Anyone who can hold a lead or keep a margin close.

Nunez-Watches-Hit-Gray-at-TB-Sidebar.jpg* I wrote yesterday that Renato Núñez has joined Boog Powell and Manny Machado as the only Orioles to reach 20 home runs prior to the All-Star break at 25 or younger.

Machado also hit 19 home runs at age 23 in 2015 and at age 24 in 2016. Machado celebrated his 27th birthday on Saturday.

Paul Blair hit 19 at age 25 in 1969 and Powell totaled 19 at age 24 in 1966.

Is Núñez a trade chip or a keeper?

Depends if the Orioles receive any offers that make him worth moving. Hold onto him if it doesn’t happen, trade him if the return is good.

Núñez is a designated hitter who can back up at the infield corners but is below average defensively. He isn’t a guy to build around, but the lineup isn’t loaded with power bats, which is why manager Brandon Hyde has been encouraging a more aggressive approach in order to manufacture runs.

The lack of flexibility that Núñez provides - he’s also out of minor league options - makes trading him a worthwhile endeavor and especially while selling high. But again, there has to be the right offer.

* The Orioles aren’t suffering a total power outage beyond Núñez. They’ve reached 100 home runs before the break for the eighth season in a row.

The Blue Jays are the only team with a longer streak all-time, doing it in 11 consecutive seasons including 2019.

The Yankees (1999-2006), Rangers (1998-2005) and Indians (1994-2001) also did it in eight straight seasons.

* A viewer of “Wall to Wall Baseball” on MASN wondered if Dariel Álvarez remained in the organization.

He does not.

Álvarez, 30, became a minor league free agent following the 2018 season and is playing in Mexico this year.

Toros de Tijuana signed Álvarez on April 4 and traded him to Saraperos de Saltillo on June 4. Joining Álvarez in the deal was former Orioles outfielder Henry Urrutia.

It’s still a small baseball world. And I still wouldn’t want to paint it.

In his first 72 games, Álvarez was batting .276/.300/.407 with seven doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 54 RBIs.

The Orioles signed Álvarez for $800,000 in July 2013 after he defected from the Cuban National Team. He immediately was viewed as having the best arm in the organization - at any level.

Álvarez is an outfielder again, the pitching experiment ending after his Tommy John surgery. The Orioles had an intriguing idea and couldn’t execute it.

blog comments powered by Disqus