Entries Listing

Early camp helps minor league pitchers build innings, plus other notes

A group of 38 Orioles minor league players began workouts at Twin Lakes park in Sarasota, Fla., on Wednesday. This early minor league camp allows these players to get in some extra work before the full minor league camp begins March 6. It also gets these players ready in case they are needed in early Orioles spring training games. But O’s director of player development

ESPN analysts say Kevin Gausman will be Orioles’ X-factor this year

When ESPN’s cameras and reporters were in Sarasota, Fla., to visit Orioles spring training earlier this week, they discussed which one player could be the X-factor for the club this year. Analysts Curt Schilling and Buster Olney had the same answer: Kevin Gausman. They feel the 24-year-old right-hander with 25 career big league starts and 161 innings under his belt could take a nice step

As O’s look to reduce rotation from six to five, Jimenez aims to make decision a tough one

The question has been asked a lot this winter. Now we have finally reached the point where, in a few weeks, we may have the answer: How will the Orioles reduce six starting rotation candidates to five to begin the 2015 season? If it were put to a fan vote, Ubaldo Jimenez would probably be the odd man out. Luckily for him, this is not

Trader Dan: Duquette discusses dealing prospects for major league talent

Since Dan Duquette took over as Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations on Nov. 8, 2011, we have seen the team make several trades involving minor league prospects. There was a time when the Orioles were on the other end, trading established big league talent for prospects. The Erik Bedard deal is an example of this, but now the contending Orioles have a different

Orioles’ early minor league camp roster

The Orioles have a list of 38 players that reported to their minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., at Twin Lakes Park today. This group of players will get a jump on the rest of the minor league players and will be available to help the Orioles in early major league exhibitions. Their workouts begin tomorrow. Here is the roster: Beal, Jesse - RHP Bleeker,

Boston gets Moncada, O’s brass gets some props and more

Checking in on a few topics around the baseball world: * So should we be surprised when the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees flex their financial muscles? Not at all. The Red Sox are going to spend a total of $246 million on three players they’ve acquired since last season ended. That was a season that the Red Sox finished in last place

What happened when an opinion on a bullpen session and sabermetrics met on Twitter

So I had an interesting couple of hours on Saturday afternoon. It had nothing to do with the snow that turned Baltimore into utter chaos for quite a while. My “fun” came via Twitter. My colleague, Roch Kubatko, wrote an entry where he mentioned this about young pitcher Hunter Harvey: “A group of veterans, including (Darren) O’Day, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, and Tommy Hunter, stayed

Cruz and Markakis contracts called among worst deals of the offseason

We’ve spent much time this winter discussing and debating the Orioles’ losses from last season of Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller. At least according to one writer, the signings of Markakis and Cruz were among the four worst moves by all teams this winter. The Braves signed Markakis to a four-year deal worth $44 million and the Mariners signed Cruz to a four-year

A look at where Bundy and Harvey landed on another top 100 list

As the opening of a new baseball season gets closer by the day, the end of prospects ranking season is just about here. At a time when many publications produce their top 100 prospects list, the Baseball America list is still the granddaddy of them all - and still very respected. Published for the first time in 1990 when Steve Avery was the No. 1

Graham: “We are absolutely one of the premier development systems in baseball”

It was a question that took only a few words to ask, but a long, passionate and well-thought out answer was provided. I asked Orioles director of player development Brian Graham this week to provide his take on the Orioles taking a fall in several publications’ organizational rankings. Last year the Orioles farm system was rated No. 10 by ESPN.com and No. 12 by Baseball

A few minor league notes and a look at Chris Davis’ opposite-field homers

When the Orioles announced their minor league staff assignments this week, it became official that some staff members do return to the organization, but at different affiliates from 2014. Not that this is all that unusual on the farm. It happens pretty much every year. As for the managers, Orlando Gomez moves back to Single-A Frederick after two years as Gulf Coast League skipper. He

A quick take on O’s potential addition of Everth Cabrera

With the news of the Orioles’ potential signing of free agent Everth Cabrera, two questions come to mind: What role will he play on the team, and are the Orioles taking a risk on a player with baggage? While Cabrera was an All-Star in 2013 and led the National League in stolen bases with 44 in 2012, he served a 50-game suspension at the end

A few notes on the minor league staff announcements (plus prospect notes)

The Orioles made their minor league managing and coaching assignments official yesterday and they sure have a solid list of eight managers, counting four at full-season affiliates, two with short-season clubs and two for their Dominican Summer League teams. The managers at their top three affiliates either already are or could become the winningest managers for those teams by the end of 2015. Ron Johnson,

Orioles announce minor league coaching staffs

The Orioles announced their minor league coaching staffs today for their affiliates this afternoon. All six managers for their U.S.-based clubs will return for next year, but a few are with new teams. As previously reported here at MASNSports.com, Ron Johnson will return as manager at Triple-A Norfolk with Gary Kendall at Double-A Bowie, Orlando Gomez at Single-A Frederick and Ryan Minor returning to Single-A

Hearing from Henry Urrutia and Tyler Wilson, plus some power rankings

When we talk about outfielders that could help the Orioles this year, it seems that Henry Urrutia seldom gets much mention. But we should not forget that he hit .347 with a .913 OPS at Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, and .276 with the Orioles in 58 at-bats. He was named the O’s minor league Player of the Year that season. But last year was

A few questions with spring training a few days away

While Orioles fans freeze in the Baltimore area, the sun and warmth of Sarasota is calling. Spring training begins this week. Almost time to play ball. Orioles pitchers and catchers report to Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday with their first workout set for Friday. Position players join them for the first full-squad workout on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The first exhibition game is March 3 and

With scoring down, MLB officials take a close look at the sport

Under new commissioner Rob Manfred, it sure looks like Major League Baseball officials are going to take a long and thorough look at the sport with the decline in offense in recent years. The average big league team scored 4.07 runs per game last year, the lowest in a non-strike year since 1976, when it was 3.99. The Orioles averaged 4.35 runs per game last

Machado is not one of top 10 third basemen, according to one list

Nothing can stir up an Orioles fan like a perceived slight about their team or their players. So it was this week when some fans reacted to me via Twitter, upset that Manny Machado did not make MLB Network’s list of “The top 10 third basemen right now.” The shredder, the formula used by the network, is not as big of a fan as last

Hardy on 2014 back issues, O’s young talent and more

When you look at the Orioles and their attempt to replace the 40 homers Nelson Cruz hit last year, one source of added pop for 2015 could be at shortstop. At FanFest, J.J. Hardy revealed that he played part of last year with a back injury that may have hampered him in 2014 more than he let on at the time. It could have been

A key part of two playoff runs, will Orioles bullpen be strong again?

When the Orioles made the playoffs in both 2012 and 2014, the bullpen was very good both years, ranking third in the American League in bullpen ERA each time. That ‘pen performance also helped the Orioles to lead the AL in one-run winning percentage both seasons. It was a big part of those playoff teams. The O’s had a 3.00 bullpen ERA in 2012 and

Minor league core four: A look at four O’s homegrown pitchers added to the 40-man

Over the winter, the Orioles added four pitchers from their farm system to their 40-man roster. That speaks well for the club’s player development operation, as none of the four were drafted since 2012 and all four made improvements on the O’s watch to get to this point. The four pitchers added were: * Oliver Drake, a 43rd-round pick in 2008 * Eddie Gamboa, a

Prospect profile: Glynn Davis elevated his game in 2014

While Dariel Alvarez and Mike Yastrzemski had strong 2014 seasons on the Orioles farm and are now among the club’s top 10 prospects, another outfielder also took his game to a higher level and did so without getting much attention. Glynn Davis played very well between Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He didn’t make Baseball America’s list of the O’s top 30 prospects, but there

Outfield and DH math: Who gets ABs to replace production of Cruz, Markakis?

The Orioles will be looking to replace the offensive production of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis this season after both players left the club via free agency. In both cases, it appears that it will not be one individual player that attempts to duplicate their offensive production, but several that get the chance. Last season, Cruz took 37 percent of the at-bats by O’s left

A pre-spring training edition: 10 questions for O’s fans

It is time again to survey Birdland on a variety of Orioles topics. It is time for another edition of “10 questions for O’s fans.” If you’ve been keeping up, we’ve done this once every month this offseason, but I somehow let January get by without doing so. My brain must have been impacted by the cold. Or I was distracted by the Dan Duquette

Taking a look at the top 30 Orioles prospects per Baseball America

Earlier, we took a look at the top 10 prospects in the Orioles farm system and today we expand that to look at a list of the club’s top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. You can find it all in the publication’s Prospect Handbook. A review of the top 10: 1. Dylan Bundy 2. Hunter Harvey 3. Christian Walker 4. Chance Sisco 5. Dariel

De Aza on contract, leadoff chance and more (plus Keys stadium naming rights deal)

So the Orioles have settled 10 of their 11 arbitration cases before they went to any hearings. Shouldn’t it be 11-for-11? It probably should. The lone case to resolve is with outfielder Alejandro De Aza. The player is seeking $5.65 million with the club offering $5 million. Can’t the sides just meet in the middle? What is the holdup here? Will there really be a

Logan Verrett is out to buck the Rule 5 odds, plus over/under stats

If you are a young player and you get selected in the Rule 5 draft, there are worse teams to be selected by than the Orioles. It didn’t take long for 24-year-old right-hander Logan Verrett to realize that after the Orioles selected him with the 13th of 14 picks made in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. “I was ecstatic to find

Michael Ohlman on being traded by the Orioles

Sometimes when a minor league player is traded, it doesn’t make big news. It might not be mentioned very much on MLB Network or ESPN and to some fans may just be a line or two in the transactions list. But we should never forget those are players whose lives have been changed by those deals. Like the rest of us, they develop close friendships

A look at AL East starting rotations

While there has been a lot of focus on what the Orioles have lost since the 2014 season ended, their starting rotation is intact. In fact, they have six starters for five spots heading into spring training. The Orioles rotation was good last season. It should be again and good pitching keeps you in games. The Orioles ranked fifth in the American League and were

Kids press conferences produced fun, laughter and more at FanFest

There is always something special about seeing the sport of baseball produce a smile on a kid’s face. We saw that in abundance on Saturday during the latest edition of Orioles FanFest. I was asked to help moderate two kids press conferences with players. I would call this a hidden gem of FanFest. At least it was hidden to me (my bad for that) until

Kevin Gausman on trying to win a rotation spot and more

Right-hander Kevin Gausman, who turned 24 on Jan. 6, is about to start his fourth season in pro ball. It will be his third year spending at least part of the season in the big leagues. Will it be the first season that he is no longer on the shuttle from Triple-A Norfolk to Baltimore? In 2013, Gausman had three separate major league stints. In

« January 2015 | Main Index | Archives | March 2015 »