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O’s mourn the loss of a treasured member of the family

The measure of someone’s life is not it its longevity but it’s about the people you touch and impact along the way. The Orioles organization is devastated today with the news that a very loved member of the family, public relations director Monica Barlow, died at just 36 after a long battle with lung cancer. You only have to spend a few moments today on

How one oddsmaker looks at the Orioles after the Jimenez and Cruz additions

We often seem to enjoy looking at projections for how a team or player will do before each season. One of those projections is the over-under wins total set by oddsmakers and sportsbooks. I wondered, for instance, if the Orioles’ recent additions of Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz created a sizable change in how the oddsmakers looked at the club. The answer is that it

Checking in with the man who has three fewer draft picks this June (IronBirds note)

A lot of fans were excited when the Orioles signed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and outfielder/DH Nelson Cruz to free agent contracts. But the club had to give up its 17th and 55th picks in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft to get that duo. The Orioles had already parted with the 35th overall pick in the Bud Norris trade last July, so the O’s could have

How much will Nelson Cruz impact O’s offense?

They didn’t have to go far to do it, but the symbolic gesture by several key Orioles to attend Nelson Cruz’s press conference may be a big step forward for Cruz with his new team. With their words - and yesterday with their actions - the Orioles players have warmly welcomed Cruz to the team. They are not condoning his suspension, but they are also

Pen power: After solid 2013, Matt Hobgood to pitch out of bullpen again this season

After pitching out of the bullpen last season, Orioles 2009 first-round pick Matt Hobgood, will return to a ‘pen role in 2014. O’s director of player development Brian Graham confirmed that during an interview Sunday night. Not only that, but he said the 23-year-old right-hander has a chance to begin this year pitching at the Double-A level for the first time as a pro. After

In adding Cruz and Jimenez, Orioles assume some risk

When I asked Dan Duquette back at the Winter Meetings if the Orioles would consider signing a player that had a PED-related suspension, he indicated they would consider doing that. “We do our due diligence on all the players,” Duquette said then. “I think that, you know, being part of Major League Baseball, there is program in place that deals with that. Once it’s dealt

More notes and stats on Nelson Cruz, and a possible lineup (Hobgood note)

Well, we heard and read that the Orioles were all in on A.J. Burnett. They went from that to actually adding Suk-min Yoon, Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz. Of course, the Cruz deal is not official yet. Yes, the free agent season had some twists and turns over the last few days, weeks and months. When it becomes official, Cruz’s addition would give the Orioles

Some thoughts on Nelson Cruz

At the start of free agency, MLBTradeRumors.com projected that slugger Nelson Cruz could get a three-year contract worth $39 million. As we know, things change, and so did this free agent market. Today, the Orioles agreed to a one-year deal with Cruz worth $8 million plus incentives. Was that a deal the Orioles simply had to take? Sure seems so, and after earlier giving up

Did one signing fire up the Orioles’ fanbase? (updated with Cruz report)

It sure seems like one signing has energized a fanbase. The Orioles signed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year deal and suddenly no one is posting here that the team will finish in last place, is cheap, is too slow to act or will win just 70 games this year. Will that one signing make the difference for the Orioles on the field this year?

A look at one potential guideline for a J.J. Hardy contract extension

When Jhonny Peralta signed a four-year, $52 million free agent contract in November with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Orioles brass probably took note. Some feel the Peralta deal is a comp - a good comparison for a possible deal between J.J. Hardy and the Orioles. Hardy can be a free agent after this season and the Orioles say they want to re-sign him. They

After losing two 2014 draft picks, should the Orioles part with a third?

Once you have given up the 17th and 35th picks in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, why not part with another one? That is a question the Orioles face now, as they have been linked to players like Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales on the free agent market. This morning on MLB Network, Ken Rosenthal said the Mariners and Orioles remain the most likely landing

A closer look at the Orioles on the Baseball America top 100

The Orioles’ top two pitching prospects are ranked among the top 20 prospects in all of baseball on the latest Baseball America top 100 list, which was released last night. Dylan Bundy was rated No. 15 with Kevin Gausman at No. 20. Baseball America ranked pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez No. 65 as he makes the list for the first time at age 20. Baseball America’s John

Three Orioles make Baseball America top 100 prospects list; Bundy, Gausman in top 20

Three Orioles pitching prospects made Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list that was released tonight. Dylan Bundy is ranked No. 15 with Kevin Gausman No. 20 and Eduardo Rodriguez No. 65. Two other Orioles came close to making the list. When Baseball America did its first draft of the top 100, pitcher Hunter Harvey was No. 108 and infielder Jonathan Schoop No. 110, according to

Ron Darling on Jimenez’s mechanics and how his addition might impact the clubhouse

I wrote about this some yesterday, but it is a valid concern with right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. That is, his high pitch counts, as he averaged 17.3 pitches per inning last season, which was among the highest in baseball. Part of this is due to, of course, his high strikeout and walk totals. While he struck out the ninth-most batters in the American League last year,

More on Jimenez, some rotation talk and what might come next

We can debate the merits of the O’s contract agreement with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez - a deal being reported as a four-year, $50 million contract - but I hope this puts one notion to rest forever: the notion from some that the Orioles put profits ahead of winning. Fans can argue moves the club makes or that it should spend more, but the club’s payroll

Some thoughts on Ubaldo Jimenez

The Orioles have been saying they wanted to add a pitcher and tonight it has happened. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko first reported that the Orioles were finalizing a four-year deal with Ubaldo Jimenez. Now multiple reports say the deal is done, pending a physical. All along I have been concerned that signing either Jimenez or Ervin Santana along with giving up a first-round pick was too

Remembering a former Oriole, the injuries he battled as he announces retirement

Sometimes you meet people in life that have the amazing ability to smile and stay upbeat even when they experience tough times. That describes Jim Hoey pretty well. Many O’s fans may not even remember Hoey, who announced his official retirement from baseball today. The Orioles drafted the tall, hard-throwing right-hander out of Rider University in Round 13 in June 2003. He may be best

Dave Wallace on working with young pitchers and those in the minors

First-year Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace comes to Baltimore with an impressive resume. The Orioles will be the fifth team he has served as major league pitching coach. But Wallace has plenty of experience working with minor league pitchers also, and he spent the past four seasons as minor league pitching coordinator for the Atlanta Braves, overseeing the progress and development of that organization’s minor

Pitching staff flexibility: Those with options give O’s more options (updated)

Orioles lefty Zach Britton is out of options and that might give him an edge in the battle to win the fifth starter’s job. Of course, he’ll have to pitch well and won’t get the job simply because he can’t be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers. Britton could also wind up in the bullpen, which became a bigger possibility when lefty Troy

This Orioles pitcher deserves more props

Is Miguel Gonzalez underrated? I think the answer to that is yes and I think he is underrated by some of his own fanbase. Gonzalez has been a solid starter for most of the last two years for the Orioles and here’s a big one - he’s pitched well against the American League East. Over the last two seasons, Gonzalez is 20-12 with a 3.58

Some free agent pitcher talk, Duquette audio and a thank you

It is interesting to look back now at an ESPN.com story from November authored by former major league general manager Jim Bowden. He ranked what he thought then would be the 50 biggest free agent contracts this winter. He listed Robinson Cano first, projecting he would get an eight-year, $200 million deal. He was close on the average annual value, as Cano signed a 10-year

A few notes and thoughts on O’s agreement with Suk-min Yoon

So the Orioles reached an agreement today with Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon on a three-year contract. Here are a few notes on the 27-year-old right-hander: * Yoon dealt with some shoulder issues last season when he pitched as both a starter and reliever for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. He went 3-6 with seven saves and an ERA of 4.00. Over 87

Clevenger looking to catch on to opening day roster spot with Orioles

As a kid growing up in the Baltimore area, Steve Clevenger went to Camden Yards and dreamed of playing on that field for the Orioles one day. His dream came true late last season when the Orioles acquired him from the Cubs in July and he was a September call-up. In four games, Clevenger handled himself well behind the plate and went 4-for-15 with two

A.J. Burnett reaches an agreement with the Phillies (O’s add Morillo)

So much for the Monkton connection. Pitcher A.J. Burnett has agreed to a one-year deal to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies and will not be coming to Baltimore for the 2014 season. Not long after word got out that Burnett intended to pitch this season and not retire, he was immediately linked to the Orioles since he makes his home in Monkton and reportedly had

Matusz on the mound: Lefty looks for rotation spot in spring training

We’ve seen pitchers go from the bullpen to the starting rotation. We’ve seen pitchers go from the rotation to the ‘pen. Can a pitcher go from starting to relief and back to the rotation? Brian Matusz is going to try to pull that off and his quest begins this week on the sunny fields of Florida. The Orioles are going to take a look at

A look at Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez

They are two right-handers from the Dominican Republic and they are two of the best starting pitchers remaining on the free agent market. They are 31-year-old Ervin Santana and 30-year-old Ubaldo Jimenez. To sign either, a club would have to give up a draft pick. For the Orioles that would mean giving up the 17th pick in the first round next June. Should they consider

Who gets the DH at-bats for the Orioles this year?

The Orioles could certainly get a lift this year with better production out of the designated hitter spot. Last season, O’s designated hitters batted .234 with 21 homers, 69 RBIs, a .415 slugging percentage and .704 OPS. The O’s ranked ninth in the American League in batting average from the DH spot, 13th in OBP, fifth in slugging, fourth in homers and eighth in OPS,

Revisiting the Gausman-Wacha comparison with Jim Callis

When Orioles fans watched Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals pitch so well - dominating at times - in the playoffs last fall, it might have led some to wonder if Kevin Gausman could do that for their team one day. There are many reasons to compare the two young hard-throwing, right-handed pitchers. They are similar in age, with Wacha 22 and Gausman turning

Do the Orioles need to spend to win?

Let me start by saying I agree with those fans that feel the Orioles should spend more on their payroll. Dan Duquette has mentioned the $100 million figure for the 2014 payroll and the O’s should spend at least that much on talent for this season. With their payroll somewhere probably around the low $80s right now, they have some money to spend according to

Latest free agent reports not music to the ears of O’s fans

For Orioles fans, the emotional roller coaster is still running at high speed. One day they hear the club is “all in” on A.J. Burnett and that he wants to pitch for their team. Today, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko quotes a source saying Burnett to Baltimore now “doesn’t look good” and that he wants to play in the National League. Of the remaining pitchers, when all

Adam Jones on his community service award and some O’s topics

As one of four players in the majors last season to win both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award, Adam Jones keeps pretty good company on the field. But after receiving an award last night, he is keeping good company now off the field as well. Jones received the Babe Ruth Museum’s Community Service Award at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. It

O’s farmhands help Perth advance to Australian League championship series

In November, eight Orioles prospects were on the championship team in the Arizona Fall League. In fact, several O’s players came up big in the championship game as Surprise beat Mesa 2-0 for the title. Eduardo Rodriguez got the win with three shutout innings and the two runs were scored by Jonathan Schoop and Henry Urrutia, who doubled twice in the finale. Now some O’s

From The Bronx to Baltimore through San Francisco: Monell looks for backup catcher’s job

If Johnny Monell ever comes with up a big hit to lead the Orioles over the Yankees, he’ll be beating his hometown team. The Orioles acquired the Bronx, N.Y., native in late November, sending cash to the San Francisco Giants for Monell, a player San Francisco had designated for assignment a few days earlier. Now, after seven minor league seasons in the Giants organization, Monell

After long road to the majors, is David Lough ready to take flight as an Oriole?

Have the Orioles found a late bloomer in outfielder David Lough? Manager Buck Showalter talks often about players sometimes finding themselves in their late 20s and Lough, who was acquired in a trade with Kansas City in December, turned 28 on Jan. 20. Lough has paid his dues and maybe this is his time. He’s played 677 games with 2,593 at-bats in the minors. He’s

List of players reporting early to O’s minor league camp

A few days after the Orioles report to spring training on Feb. 13, several minor league players will report to an early minor league camp at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, Fla. Here is the list of players reporting on Feb. 21: Pitchers: Steven Brault Parker Bridwell Zach Davies Oliver Drake Jason Gurka Hunter Harvey Branden Kline Aaron Laffey Marcel Prado Stephen Tarpley Luis Vizcaino

Remembering when Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson was an O’s draft pick

When Russell Wilson walked off the field as a Super Bowl champion quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night, it led one Orioles scout to recall the 2007 baseball season. That was the year the Orioles drafted Wilson in the 41st round out of the Collegiate School in Richmond, Va. He was an excellent high school baseball player with potentially top 10 round talent. The

Hunter on closing, Lough on defense, Patton on suspension and more

There was a great crowd Saturday at FanFest. We could hear you often from behind the main stage where the media spent most of the day interviewing O’s players and coaches, past and present. Here are a few quotes and notes worth passing along: * Pitcher Troy Patton will miss the season’s first 25 games after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of Major

Jim Palmer on A.J. Burnett and the O’s rotation

He hasn’t thrown a pitch in a game for the Orioles in nearly 30 years, but Hall of Famer Jim Palmer remains one of the most popular people in the organization with O’s fans. As you may have heard, he knows pitching pretty well, so it was worth hearing his opinion about the O’s current pitching rotation and particularly their pursuit of free agent pitcher

Bundy expects to throw from mound at end of March

Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy continues to progress well from his ligament-reconstructive elbow surgery on June 27. He provided the latest update to reporters this afternoon here at FanFest. “I’m seven months out now,” Bundy said. “I was supposed to throw (from) 90 feet yesterday in Florida but it got rained out. Was pretty bummed about that. I just threw 60 feet flat ground. So

Wieters on trade rumors, arbitration and more

Matt Wieters’ name came up in trade rumors this winter, but in a Fanfest media interview he deflected those rumors and indicated he doesn’t think much about it. “Until I’m told I’m going somewhere else, I’m going to be happy to be here in Baltimore,” he said. “I love the guys in the clubhouse and love the guys here and we’re looking forward to this

Hitting coach Jim Presley on Lough, Davis and the leadoff spot

Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley is already a David Lough fan. Presley became one even before Lough became an Oriole. He said he admired the way Lough had played last season with Kansas City and he and manager Buck Showalter talked about him in the dugout one night. Presley told Showalter he’s a player he’d like to have on his team one day and in

Ryan Flaherty on his winter work and shot to win the second base job

A slightly heavier Ryan Flaherty showed up at FanFest today. He has added a few pounds during a winter where he spent a lot of time here in Baltimore working out with two former Orioles. He knows he has a chance to be the club’s everyday second baseman come opening day, but he is not calling himself the leading candidate for that job. “You know,

J.J. Hardy says he hasn’t yet discussed extension with O’s

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is about to enter the final year of his contract and could be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. He says he is very open to remaining an Oriole, but so far there have been no contract talks about an extension. “Obviously, I love it here in Baltimore,” Hardy said this afternoon at FanFest. “The last three

Troy Patton talks about his 25-game suspension

Orioles pitcher Troy Patton said he let the team down and he has some repair work to do with the team and the O’s fans. Patton was suspended for 25 games without pay in December after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. Patton says he has an issue with attention deficit disorder and took

Signings this week are latest example of O’s working to improve international efforts

For the Orioles, the effort to get better on the international front continued this week with the additions of two players the club is high on. The Orioles purchased a 17-year-old first baseman, Carlos Diaz, from the Mexico City Red Devils. Diaz is from Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico. The Orioles signed 16-year old international free agent third baseman Jomar Reyes. Reyes is from Santo Domingo,

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