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One national writer’s look at the Orioles and more one-run talk

Finally, a national reporter that took a close look at the Orioles. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, but it does seem many of the national analysts that have panned the club’s quiet offseason didn’t ask the club’s management or players to get it their take. ESPN’s Jayson Stark did. He wrote this piece on Wednesday. Here is an excerpt: Did you know that 32 of

Has baseball become too fascinated with radar gun readings?

Here is a baseball topic worth discussion: How and when did the sport become so obsessed with a pitcher’s velocity? I include myself in this and, it seems in the game today, when discussing a pitcher, we focus on it, almost at the exclusion of other aspects of pitching that are important too. I can remember a day last summer when I had a conversation

What’s with all the Roberts critics?

I can understand that some fans are disappointed that Brian Roberts has not been able to contribute much to the Orioles over the last few seasons. I can get that some fans doubt he can return to the form he once showed or even close to it. I can get that some fans don’t think he can come back at all. But I don’t get

A few thoughts on spring training stats for your viewing pleasure

If you are one of the lucky people today, you are either off work, off work during the day or maybe have access to a television at the workplace and you are among the MASN viewers getting their first look at the 2013 Orioles today. The game doesn’t count of course, but it’s still exciting to get that first look from spring training and the

Monday musings on close games, Granderson and Machado

Hitting on some Monday topics, as we now have some actual boxscores to look at and we all look forward to today’s first MASN telecast, when the Orioles play the Yankees at 1 p.m with a rebroadcast set for 7 p.m. tonight. The slim wins: There is no truth to the rumor that the Orioles were answering some of their critics by winning their first

When talking baseball prospects, do you prefer quality over quantity?

When it comes to baseball prospects, do you want quantity or quality? Do you want stars or depth? These questions were raised again this week when the Orioles had just two players ranked in the Baseball America top 100 prospects list, with Dylan Bundy at No. 2 and Kevin Gausman at No. 26. Of the American League East teams, Tampa Bay and Boston had five

Will the AL East race be wide open this year?

In the 2000 season, the New York Yankees won the American League East with 87 victories. Every year since then - all 12 of them, starting in 2001 - the East champ won at least 95 games. The East champ won 97 or more in seven of those seasons. Since 2001, the AL East winner has averaged 98 wins. But will that change this season?

Handicapping the starting rotation candidates

In talking about the Orioles’ starting rotation for this year, manager Buck Showalter told ESPN’s Jayson Stark this week that, “I can pencil in four. I can pen in two.” It’s pretty safe to assume he has Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen written with the pen while using the pencil for Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman. Four spots seem pretty set although Gonzalez and Tillman

Jim Callis on Dylan Bundy: “Why can’t he make the rotation out of spring training?”

Another top 100 prospects list was published yesterday and, for the third time in three lists, Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy was ranked among the best prospects in the sport. Baseball America ranked Bundy No. 2 on its list behind only Texas infielder Jurickson Profar. Bundy was also ranked No. 2 by MLB.com and No. 3 by ESPN’s Keith Law. Bundy went 9-3 with

Baseball vet with famous last name is prepping to manage Delmarva (with note)

The Orioles’ Single-A Delmarva affiliate will certainly have an experienced manager this year when Luis Pujols skippers the Shorebirds in his first season in the O’s organization. A native of the Dominican Republic, the 57-year-old Pujols has spent 13 seasons with Detroit and San Francisco as a major league coach, and in 2002 he was named interim manager of the Tigers six games into the

An O’s over-under look, Heyman on Duquette and a pitcher acting like a prima donna

If there is one thing that stirs up Baltimore sports fans, it is a diss or perceived diss of the Ravens or Orioles by someone with a national forum. I guess over-under odds for the season fits that bill, especially one that sets the number for the Orioles at 76.5. Those of you not familiar with these numbers, they are set by casinos and sports

What defines a great Orioles fan?

What makes someone a great Orioles fan? This is clearly a question with no right or wrong answer. It’s not a math equation with only one correct answer. But it is an interesting topic to ponder and I would love to read your responses about this during the weekend. This all is very subjective, but two big aspects of a good fan of any team

After surgery, Bobby Bundy looks to recapture the form he showed with Frederick

For a few seasons, he was the only Bundy in the Orioles organization. But last summer, he watched his younger brother Dylan blaze a trail through the O’s minor league system while his own career was going in another direction, eventually hitting brick wall. The Orioles drafted Bobby Bundy in the eighth round out of Sperry High in Oklahoma in June 2008. He worked his

Kevin Gausman on his innings limit, high expectations and powdered donuts

Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman officially reported this week to the club’s major league camp in Sarasota to prep for his first full season in the organization. The fourth overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft last June by the Orioles out of LSU, the right-hander was signed by the club just minutes before the deadline last July 13. Gausman’s bonus of $4.32 million is

How do fans feel now about Dan Duquette?

This has been a good place over the last few months to take the pulse of the fans on the Orioles. On the moves they made and the ones they didn’t. On O’s fans’ expectations for this team and on the predictions of others. Today, I want your opinions on the man heading it all up - Dan Duquette. Have O’s fans become Duquette fans

Hope springs eternal

This is the day where hope spring eternal. Orioles pitchers and catchers report today in Sarasota. There is only one day all year we can say that and this is it. Welcome back, Orioles! The start of spring training is always a day to dream big. Maybe this will be the year, fans say. For the first time in a long time, O’s fans don’t

Brian Graham: “We have one of the best minor league systems in baseball”

Today in this space, I conclude my two-part interview with Brian Graham. On Jan. 25, the Orioles promoted Graham from coordinator of minor league instruction to director of player development. Graham is now the man in charge of the Orioles’ minor leagues. In his sixth season with the club, Graham joins a newcomer to the organization, Kent Qualls, who has been named director of minor

Notes on King Felix, Hobgood and spring training

Checking in on a few topics from this week and looking ahead to spring training. Yes, he is the King. The baseball world was buzzing for a while Thursday with the report that Felix Hernandez may be about to sign a seven-year, $175 million dollar deal with the Seattle Mariners. There are some reports out of Seattle now that say those terms may not be

Searching for a third plus pitch, Kevin Gausman just may have found one

The day the Orioles drafted pitcher Kevin Gausman out of LSU in the first round last June, the right-hander said he agreed with scouting reports that labeled his fastball and changeup as pitches that were well ahead of the quality of his breaking pitches at that point. That day, Gausman said the improvement of his breaking pitches would be a huge key for him moving

Report: Joe Saunders agrees to a contract with Seattle

He got the start and helped pitch the Orioles to two huge playoff wins, but left-hander Joe Saunders will not be returning to the O’s. Saunders has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Saunders went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in those two playoff starts, both of which were must-wins. He started the

Orioles’ list of minor leaguers reporting early to spring training

The Orioles have announced a list of 29 players who will report to Sarasota on Feb. 18 for an early mini-camp before the official start of minor league spring training for pitchers and catchers on March 2. Double-A Bowie manager Gary Kendall will be the camp coordinator. Here is the roster: Pitchers: Tim Berry Tom Boleska Parker Bridwell Zach Davies Rob Delaney Jason Gurka Devin

In the battle to make the rotation, how will some of the young pitchers fare?

With the start of spring training now just days away and with possibly just one rotation spot available to several Orioles pitchers, what will the camp competition mean to some young pitchers in particular, guys like Brian Matusz, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta? That threesome - and Chris Tillman - were the basis for optimism in recent years when looking at the future of the

An interview with the new top man in the Orioles’ minor leagues

Brian Graham is not new to the Orioles. But as of Jan. 25, he has a new position with the Orioles. Graham was promoted from coordinator of minor league instruction to director of player development. Graham is now the man in charge of the Orioles’ minor leagues. Graham joins a newcomer to the organization, Kent Qualls, who has been named director of minor league operations,

Mound move: Mychal Givens isn’t an infielder anymore

Mychal Givens, the Orioles’ second-round draft pick in 2009, is officially moving to the mound. After playing three seasons in the club’s minor leagues as an infielder, Givens will begin his life as a pitcher when spring training begins in Sarasota, a club official confirmed this afternoon. Givens, drafted 54th overall by the club out of Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., and signed to

The Bundy and Gausman factor (four Orioles in Law’s top 100)

There were some very interesting responses over the weekend to my latest edition of “10 questions for O’s fans.” I was a little surprised by some of the responses to the question about pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. I asked readers that if they believe one or both could make the major league rotation this year, when might that happen? The surprise was in

O’s come to terms with Hendrickson, Pineiro

A club official has confirmed the Orioles have agreed to terms with 38-year-old lefty Mark Hendrickson on a minor league contract. Hendrickson last pitched in the majors during the 2011 season, going 1-0 with a 5.78 ERA for the Orioles in eight games. He went 8-11 with a 4.80 ERA for the Orioles from 2009-11 in 113 games. The Orioles are intrigued to see what

There are reasons teams show patience with young pitchers (O’s rank 13th)

During this winter, the message from the Orioles brass has been that they are reluctant to trade their young pitchers and that they place a high value on them. If they don’t get a similar value in return, they have said they will be happy to hang onto them and not trade. We have heard basically that exact message for weeks from both Dan Duquette

Ten more questions for O’s fans

Welcome to the second edition of 10 questions for O’s fans. This weekend, I’ll throw out 10 more questions and topics and look forward to your responses and answers. Respond to one, two, three, six or all 10. It might help to number your answers to make it easier to follow the comments. Click here to read again the first 10 questions you were asked

Pitching prospect check: Jason Gurka has been flying under the radar

He was not a high draft pick and he has made just one start in 89 career pro appearances. Jason Gurka hasn’t garnered much attention during his Orioles minor league career, but after back-to-back very solid seasons, he has slowly but surely worked his way up and is someone worth watching in 2013. Gurka was the Orioles’ 15th-round pick out of Angelina (Texas) Junior College

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