The trade talk is silenced. Another important date is crossed off baseball’s calendar.
Unless you get excited over expanded September rosters - and only two additional players may be added in 2021 - there isn’t much left beyond the actual games.
It can’t be much longer. And how convenient if he simply has to go from Richmond, where Double-A Bowie is playing, to Triple-A Norfolk.
Maybe that’s still too soon.
The manipulating of the major league roster also is a point of interest. A deadline date isn’t required. And it’s such a popular exercise here that it should be part of the pregame stretch.
Will Jahmai Jones return to the majors in 2021? That’s the expectation as he keeps working on his defense at second base, but there’s obviously no rush to do it.
Can Yusniel Diaz get back on the field, get hot at the plate and still make his major league debut, or is 2021 as big a development bust as 2020? At least he’s able to run again as he recovers from turf toe.
What can Hunter Harvey show the Orioles over the last month and a half or however long he’s in the bullpen? They need to figure out whether he’s in their future plans. How much they can depend on him. And eventually how to use him and how heavy a load he can handle.
Is Matt Harvey going to run the table in the second half and never give up another run?
Does Jorge López keep getting starts or will the Orioles succumb to the temptation to make him a bulk reliever or a late-inning weapon? The arm intrigues. The issues after going one time through the order might be pushing the Orioles toward an experimental phase.
Does Ramón Urías keep impressing to the point where he’s a viable option at shortstop on opening day 2022 rather than the Orioles signing another veteran to a one-year deal and hoping to flip him at the deadline? His performance is one reason why the Orioles felt comfortable trading Freddy Galvis to the Phillies.
Does Galvis do enough after leaving the injured list with the Phillies that he’s a temptation again? A second shot at trade chip status? I don’t think it’s overstating that these are going to be important games for his career.
Can Ryan McKenna get regular work in the outfield and fewer rides on the Triple-A shuttle? His speed, defense and energy are plusses and he seems to have developed a knack for the dramatic.
Does Ryan Mountcastle stay in the conversation for American League Rookie of the Year?
Does another rookie, Rule 5 pick Tyler Wells, succeed as the closer after he’s reinstated from the injured list? And yes, mingle in the Rookie of the Year chatter.
Will Trey Mancini win the Comeback Player of the Year Award in a landslide or a landslide?
Will the Orioles negotiate an extension with Mancini rather than entertain more trade offers? Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias certainly has indicated that it’s possible.
What’s next for Heston Kjerstad, who remains shut down after a recurrence of the heart inflammation that kept him inactive following the 2020 draft? The Orioles are hopeful that he can resume workouts later this summer, but it’s cautious optimism. No one is predicting that he plays this year.
Will Dusten Knight perform a backflip on the Camden Yards mound? Will the Orioles at least bring him to the ballpark while is ERA can be seen only through a microscope?
Which leads to this question: Will the Orioles break the club record of 15 players making their major league debuts in a single season?
The record was set only three years ago. I have milk in my fridge that’s older.
Will people keep mixing up Shaun Anderson with Shawn Armstrong? And can the Orioles contribute further to the Conner/Konner/Connor confusion?
Meanwhile, I’m still unsure about the difference between cash and cash considerations. Is the latter a loophole for avoiding payments?
I’d like to consider paying my mortgage and be allowed to politely decline.