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Quick Machado update

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado provided an update today on his comeback from his second knee surgery. During the club’s minicamp in mid-January in Sarasota, Machado said he felt he would be full-go by spring training and he still feels that way. Machado has been taking part in full baseball activities for several weeks now, after surgery on Aug. 27 to repair a partial tear

A few quotes from Buck Showalter’s press availability at FanFest

Here are a few quotes from Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s media availability with reporters at FanFest: On the Dan Duquette rumors in general terms and losing three key players: “Our payroll is going to go up this year, but we are going to be able to do some things during the season now. We will be able to do some things if needed, whether it

Dan Duquette meets the press at FanFest

After he addressed Orioles fans today at FanFest, Orioles vice president Dan Duquette talked further about the Toronto rumors and situation one more time with reporters behind the main stage. “It was important for the fans to know my singular focus has been on improving the Orioles,” Duquette said. “Some of the additions that we’ve made I feel will give us another strong and competitive

Tommy Hunter on Chris Davis and more from FanFest

While Chris Davis met with a large group of reporters here today at FanFest, Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter, his close friend, talked about the O’s first baseman. Davis has one game still to serve on his suspension and he’ll miss opening day. Does Davis have some repair work to do in the Orioles clubhouse? “Not with me,” Hunter said. “We’re good friends. I am sure

Schoop plans to be lighter and faster in 2015, plus FanFest and prospect notes

At the tender age of just 22, Jonathan Schoop realized his dream to play in the major leagues. He did it after just 70 games at the Triple-A level and he hit 16 homers last year for the Orioles, more than he’d ever hit in any minor league season. But Schoop knows there is more development to come for him and his game, and in

One special night: Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer share stories with fans in Baltimore

It was quite a night. Two Orioles legends talking with fans and telling stories on one stage at one time. In case anyone forgot, Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer are still pretty loved around Baltimore. Several hundred fans hung on their every story and word last night at Horseshoe Casino at a fundraiser for the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, which owns and

O’s fall to No. 22 in one farm system ranking and one 78-win prediction (updated)

As expected, the Orioles took a fall in the rankings when ESPN’s Keith Law released his latest list ranking all 30 farm systems in baseball. Rated 10th on this list last year, the Orioles are now No. 22. The Chicago Cubs are No. 1. As for the rest of the American League East, Boston is No. 5, Toronto is No. 19, New York is No.

Snider deal is latest O’s trade of prospects for help now

Travis Snider is no All-Star, but if he plays for the 2015 Orioles like he did for the 2014 Pirates, he could help the team and be a solid addition as they make another run at the playoffs. He is going to be 27 on Feb. 2 and is going to make just $2.1 million this season. If the Orioles like what they see, they

A look at the pitcher the O’s gave up for Travis Snider

The Orioles tonight acquired lefty-hitting outfielder Travis Snider from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Stephen Tarpley and a player to be named later. To make room on the 40-man roster, they designated catcher Michael Ohlman for assignment. Tarpley is a lefty that will turn 22 on Feb. 17. The Orioles selected him in the third round of the 2013 draft out of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community

No shift: Do MLB officials see fewer defensive shifts leading to more runs?

It seems that new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred caught some people a bit off-guard with a comment he made during his first day on the job Sunday. He mentioned the possibility of eliminating defensive shifts. In his blog yesterday, ESPN’s Buster Olney posted this video where Manfred made these comments. He also posted this transcript of that part of Manfred’s interview with ESPN’s

Blue Jays announce Paul Beeston to stay on through 2015 season

One day after a report that the Toronto Blue Jays no longer sought to negotiate a deal for Orioles executive Dan Duquette, the team announced tonight that Paul Beeston has signed a new contract to continue as its president and CEO. Beeston has signed a deal that will run through the 2015 season and he will retire at the end of the season, according to

Has the Duquette-to-Toronto story reached the finish line?

This whole situation involving Dan Duquette has to be a bit deflating to some Orioles fans. Oh, wait. Wrong sport. My bad. At this point, I can’t tell if fans are tired of this story, which has pretty much turned into a mini-series, or whether they can’t talk about it enough? The latest report Sunday indicated Toronto brass was ending any negotiations about a trade

A few random notes

A few Sunday news items and notes: * The Orioles sure didn’t seem to have any interest in outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who agreed to a one-year deal worth a base salary of $2 million with the Miami Marlins. Perhaps there was good reason for the lack of interest, starting with the fact that Ichiro is now 41 and his best days are well in the

Some props for O’s prospect Walker, plus another Toronto take on Duquette

Orioles first base prospect Christian Walker got some props yesterday. He was ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the seventh-best first base prospect in the sport. This is a nice ranking for Walker, which comes at a position that is usually plentiful with solid hitting prospects. Maybe it is a sign that he may have a chance to make the back-end of some top 100 prospects lists

A look at potential O’s trade target Jeff Hoffman

There are a lot of ifs at work here. But if the Orioles acquired pitcher Jeff Hoffman from Toronto, and if we then re-ranked the list of the Orioles’ top prospects, then Hoffman might rank behind only one player. He is a hard-throwing right-hander that just turned 22 and, if added, might immediately be the Orioles’ No. 2 prospect behind only Dylan Bundy. ESPN’s Buster

After strong second half, will Lough earn bigger role in 2015?

When he hears that the Orioles are looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder, I wonder if David Lough ever says to himself, “Hey, I’m a left-handed-hitting outfielder. Give me a chance.” I’m sure he does, and who knows? He may well get a bigger shot than we think come April. Right now, barring any additions, Steve Pearce is penciled in as the starter in right field

Notes on Rasmus, Bundy and Duquette

Colby Rasmus, we hardly knew you. We sure talked about you a lot, though. Rasmus signed a one-year deal with Houston on Tuesday, reportedly for an $8 million guarantee. That was apparently more than the Orioles were willing to go, which was said to be in the $7 million range. When it came to Rasmus, it seemed some fans really wanted him and the pop

A look at offense in the American League East

Pitching and defense are pretty important to most teams and very important to the one here in Baltimore. The Orioles used very solid starting pitching, excellent defense and the longball to win 96 games last year - doing so during a season when some of their key players got hurt and missed a lot of games. Their 2014 offense was decent, but unspectacular and certainly

Another look at projecting the 2015 payroll

In early November, I took a shot at predicting the Orioles’ payroll for the 2015 season and came up with a figure of $121 million. We can take another shot now that we have more information. We now know that the three key free agents - Nick Markakis, Andrew Miller and Nelson Cruz - are gone, and we now have more concrete salary arbitration figures.

A look at salary arbitration and one possible outfield option

A lot of baseball fans think that free agency is to blame for the large guaranteed salaries in the majors. And while there is no doubt a lot of truth to that, salary arbitration may be the real culprit. During a player’s first few seasons, the team holds the cards. Most players work for a salary at or near the major league minimum. Still a

North of the border: Columnist’s take from Toronto on Duquette story

No doubt some Orioles fans and local media too are probably a little confused over the situation involving Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and the Toronto Blue Jays. There is plenty of speculation, but few actual answers right now. Will he or won’t he become the president and CEO of the Blue Jays? That uncertainty extends north, to Toronto, where reporters

Looking at the leadoff spot and other notes

As we continue to wonder if the Orioles will add an outfielder and just who that may be, another interesting question is which player will be the club’s leadoff hitter now that Nick Markakis is a Brave. The odds-on favorite is probably Alejandro De Aza, the likely starter in left field. That is unless manager Buck Showalter has a surprise in store for us or

If O’s, Jays do talk Duquette compensation, Birds should aim high

For now, Dan Duquette is the executive vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles and managing partner Peter G. Angelos told MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko last night that he will continue to be. Duquette is under contract through 2018 and Angelos denied reports that the Orioles and Blue Jays have begun negotiating a compensation package that would allow him to leave to become president/CEO of

In their search for an outfielder, is the O’s guy already here?

It is a fair question that some fans have been asking: If the Orioles have an outfielder like Dariel Alvarez that is almost ready for the majors, why not turn right field over to him come April rather than sign another outfielder? After all, Jonathan Schoop won the second base job at spring training last year. Could Alvarez do that in Sarasota this year? While

Will Gamboa’s long road lead to Baltimore in 2015?

It has been a very interesting last few months for Orioles right-hander Eddie Gamboa, who made it back to the club’s 40-man roster on Dec. 3 when he signed a major league contract. That was a real triumph for Gamboa. For the last two years, he’s been transitioning to a knuckleball pitcher. Last March, he worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings in big league exhibition games,

Fun while it lasted: Is Tampa Bay headed back to the bottom of the AL East?

Since 2008, the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays have combined to win three American League East titles while the Yankees and Red Sox have combined to win four. That is not bad for two franchises that spent so many seasons losing and cannot spend at the same level as those teams. Tampa Bay, and then Baltimore, took on and at times passed the big boys

What the 2015 season might bring for some top O’s prospects

Baseball America released its list of the top 10 Orioles prospects at the end of October. Four players on that top 10 are already on the Orioles’ 40-man roster and probably six or more potentially could play for the Orioles this season. Today, let’s take a look at what we might see from this group come April. 1) Dylan Bundy, RHP: Bundy is likely to

How will the Orioles fare statistically in 2015?

Among the fun things about baseball are our constant speculation about the upcoming season, and our debates about how the team and certain individuals will do. Today it might be interesting to look at some O’s team stats posted last year and get your takes on whether the club will go over or under that total in 2015? Will they be better or worse in

Pondering whether Schoop can take his offense to another level (Santarone note)

Jonathan Schoop is already a rare player in that he was a signed international amateur that made it all the way through the from the lowest levels of the Orioles’ farm system to becoming a major league starter. Now the question is can he stay as a starter, and how will he do with even more seasoning and experience? Some fans were very understanding of

If Mussina gets the call to the Hall, will he go in as an Oriole?

Former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina has some work to do in his bid to make the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. In his first year of eligibility in 2014, Mussina was named on 20.3 percent of the ballots with 14 players getting a higher percentage. On Tuesday, Mussina was named on 24.6 percent of the ballots with 13 players getting more votes. A player

Prospect profile: Catcher Jonah Heim makes solid early impression with Orioles

When the Orioles drafted three high school catchers among their top seven picks in the 2013 draft, they knew it was going to take time to develop the trio and for them to advance through the farm system. So far, the process is going quite well for Chance Sisco, taken in the second round (61st overall) in 2013; Jonah Heim, taken in round four (129th

Some position player stats and notes, plus a list of the top remaining free agents

In a recent post, I took a look at the Orioles’ solid pitching rotation and how some of the hurlers fared during the 2014 season. Today, here are some notes and stats looking back on some of the key Orioles position players from 2014. Chris Davis: While he hit nearly 100 points lower in 2014 (.196 after .286 in 2013), Davis hit under .200 against

Notes on Hank Peters, speed-up rules and free agent outfielders

Checking in on a few Orioles and baseball topics this morning: Hank Peters’ passing: The Orioles lost a treasured family member and team Hall of Famer Sunday when former general manager Hank Peters died Sunday morning. The O’s GM from 1975-87, Peters built the Orioles’ last World Series-winning team in 1983. A few times over the years, I had a chance to meet Mr. Peters

Former Orioles GM Hank Peters dies at 90 (updated with Angelos statement)

Hank Peters, the architect of the Orioles’ last world championship team in 1983, died this morning of complications from a recent stroke. He was 90. Peters was the Orioles’ general manager from 1975 through 1987, and the club won two American League championships on his watch, in 1979 and 1983, and beat the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in 1983 to win the club’s third

Chemistry lesson: How important is the clubhouse mix?

In building a winning baseball team, you need to have plenty of talented players. That part is obvious and a given. But how do aspects like team chemistry and character of the individual players factor in? Are they important, even if you can’t put a stat on those intangibles like you can a batting average or ERA? When the Orioles acquired Nelson Cruz, who was

A look at Colby Rasmus and the ISO power stat

If the Orioles do sign outfielder Colby Rasmus, in one sense, maybe he fits right in. He is a player that can deliver home runs while also striking out a lot. The O’s have some players that do that. But one stat I read about Rasmus was rather surprising and it is how he fared last year in Isolated Power. In a writeup about Rasmus

With 11 pending free agents, the Orioles face big questions soon

Will there be a mass exodus of Orioles following the 2015 season? There sure could be and it has some fans very concerned already, apparent by reading some of the comments here. As many as 11 current members of the 40-man roster are potential free agents following the coming season. Is the O’s window to win closing that fast? There are two starting pitchers in

Starting the new year with good starters

Happy new year, everyone! I hope 2015 is your best year yet. As for the Orioles, they begin the new year with a pretty solid starting rotation. If pitching is the biggest key to any season - and starting pitching is even bigger than the bullpen in terms of importance - the Orioles seem to be in decent shape in that regard. As some readers

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