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Will the Orioles have a tough call on Vance Worley?

Right-hander Vance Worley was valuable for the 2016 Orioles. He could pitch as a starter or a reliever. He could pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen. He could get out both left- and right-handed batters. He could sit idle for days, then come into a game and be effective. But will the Orioles even make Worley a contract offer for the 2017 season? He

Orlando Gomez retires after a 52-year career in baseball

He managed Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and the 2011 Frederick Keys to the Single-A Carolina League championship. Now, after a 52-year career in baseball, Orlando Gomez is retiring. Gomez was named the recipient of the Orioles’ Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award after leading Frederick to a 80-59 record in 2011. He has worked for the Orioles for 12 years, managing three of the last

Could either of these two players make it onto O’s radar?

There were some rumors recently about a potential trade of outfielder J.D. Martinez from Detroit to San Francisco. If the Orioles lose free agent Mark Trumbo to another team, Martinez and his solid bat might play well in right field in Baltimore. A Tigers team that is looking to get younger and cut payroll might be willing to deal Martinez, who will be a free

They didn’t make top 10 prospects list, but could be in second 10

In late October, Baseball America released a new list of the Orioles’ top 10 prospects, coming off the 2016 season. Today, we’ll look at a few players that might make the second 10. But first, another look at Baseball America’s Orioles top 10:1. Chance Sisco2. Cody Sedlock3. Ryan Mountcastle4. Hunter Harvey5. Trey Mancini6. Keegan Akin7. Austin Hays8. Jomar Reyes9. Chris Lee10. Tanner Scott Here are

MLB payrolls: You need some dollars and some sense

We’ve had a lot of payroll talk on this blog this weekend. In this entry yesterday, we took a look at some of the Orioles’ payroll obligations for 2017. Today, let’s take a look at how big spending in baseball doesn’t always get the job done. The 2015 World Series was played between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. The Royals began

A look at the Orioles’ 2017 payroll obligations

After putting together an 89-win team on a payroll in the $150 million range in 2016, will the Orioles be spending a similar amount on talent in 2017? We are just guessing here, since no team is going to provide their budget and/or payroll information. There is no edge to be gained in doing so, so teams will not do it. But based on available

New O’s pitching coach can learn a few things from the last one

Did the Orioles make a trade of pitching coaches earlier this week? Not really, but while Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti are heading back to the Atlanta organization, the Orioles hired Roger McDowell as their new pitching coach. For the last 11 years he was the pitching coach ... in Atlanta. McDowell said Wallace is a mentor and Chiti is a friend. He has a

Stuffing together Turkey Day wishes and a few O’s takes

Happy Thanksgiving, Birdland! I hope everyone has a great day and holiday weekend with family and friends. I am very thankful for many things today. But I am always thankful that I get to cover my hometown team as a reporter, and that so many readers come here and take the time to leave comments and thoughts. Even if we disagree, I appreciate the input

With MLB revenues and ratings strong, lockout talk is puzzling

There has been labor peace for so long in baseball that the word “lockout” hasn’t surfaced for a long time. Neither has the word “strike,” unless we are talking about the possible result of a pitched ball. But yesterday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal’s story on FOXSports.com had a stunning headline: “Sources: Baseball’s 21-year run of labor peace could be in jeopardy. Owners will consider voting to

Alan Mills on joining the Orioles as bullpen coach

Teammates on an Orioles team that advanced to the American League Championship Series in 1996, Roger McDowell and Alan Mills are now reunited in Baltimore. Today, McDowell was hired as the club’s pitching coach and Mills as bullpen coach. While McDowell will have to get to know the Orioles pitchers coming from Atlanta, Mills is already quite familiar with many of them. He was the

In looking at the rotation, are O’s fans hopeful or fearful?

While this has the potential to be a quieter offseason than most for the Orioles, it also seems like it will be an offseason without the pursuit of a starting pitcher. At least one that can step right in on the big league level. Right now, the Orioles have six starters for five spots. Some feel the rotation gets off to a good start with

A possible outfield target, Jones talks WBC, Aberdeen’s schedule

Are the Chicago White Sox having a fire sale? Are they telling other teams in baseball that almost all of their players can be had in a trade? If the reports are accurate that any players with less than four years of team control are available, then they have a player that technically has less than four years remaining that is very attractive. A player

Could Brett Cecil’s deal impact O’s relievers?

The salaries for good relief pitchers continue to rise. During a free agent period when it’s possible that Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen could sign deals approaching $100 million, former Terps left-hander Brett Cecil cashed in yesterday. The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a deal with Cecil for four years and $30.5 million, putting the average annual value at $7.625 million. The dollars and deal

For starters, rotations are pitching fewer and fewer innings

In recent seasons, getting starting pitchers to go deep into games has been an issue for the Orioles. But it has been for most teams in the American League as well. Some facts bear that out. In 2012, there were seven AL teams that saw their rotation average at least six innings per start. Last year, there were just two. In 2013, there were 19

O’s add Jesus Liranzo and Joe Gunkel to 40-man roster

The Orioles tonight added two right-handed pitchers to their 40-man roster. They selected the contracts of starting pitcher Joe Gunkel and reliever Jesus Liranzo. The two pitchers are now protected from being taken by another club in the Dec. 8 Rule 5 draft. The Orioles’ 40-man roster now holds 35 players. Liranzo is a 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic that had a very strong season

Players that could be added to the 40-man today, plus other notes

The Orioles today are expected to add a few players to their 40-man roster to protect them from being lost to another team in the Rule 5 draft. Today is the final date for teams to make 40-man additions to protect those players from being selected in the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings. This list is a partial list of

If Matt Wieters leaves, where does Caleb Joseph fit in?

If the Orioles do not re-sign catcher Matt Wieters, the club has some questions to answer at the position. Will Caleb Joseph become the starter or will the team look to sign someone they deem an upgrade? Or will Joseph become part of a platoon or a timeshare at the position? Joseph has become a solid defensive catcher, we have seen that. It came after

Dylan Bundy and his innings outlook for 2017

A few weeks after a successful rookie season, Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy turned 24 yesterday. When you consider that he entered the 2016 season out of options and having to stick on the major league roster all year, and with all of 38 2/3 minor league innings above Single-A on his resume, Bundy had a solid season indeed. He tied for second on the team

Orioles have lost draft picks before, but should they do it again?

Here is a question worth pondering: If the Orioles lose Mark Trumbo, thereby adding a draft pick, are they then more likely to give up a pick for signing a player that turned down a qualifying offer? In other words, will they give up a pick but have one on hand already to replace it. Trumbo, as expected, turned down the qualifying offer from the

A look at some of the available corner outfielders

With the Orioles in the market for at least one corner outfielder, let’s look at a few free agents the team could pursue. There is also the trade market, but there is no way to know which players are available through that avenue. Dexter Fowler: After the deal that turned out not to be a deal last winter and the hard feelings that resulted, you

Readers seek answers in latest edition of “10 Questions for O’s Fans”

It is time for another edition of “10 Questions for O’s Fans.” As you probably know, we do this about once a month to survey the pulse of Birdland on a variety of topics. Feel free to answer one or all 10 question and provide short answers or long ones. It’s your call and your opinions we’re looking for. This edition features a twist. Every

Notes on defensive metrics, Mark Trumbo and Jason Castro

The defensive metrics don’t paint a pretty picture. They scream that the Orioles need to improve their outfield defense. We know they need to improve because some of the metrics rank the Orioles last of all 30 major league teams. In this ranking from FanGraphs.com of outfield Defensive Runs Saved, the Orioles are at -51 DRS. Orioles outfielders also ranked last in Ultimate Zone Rating

Trumbo’s work last offseason will help him cash in during this one

Mark Trumbo set out to hit a lot of home runs in the 2016 season, then he went out and did it. Much easier said than done, but it’s nice when a plan comes together. And make no mistake, Trumbo went into the 2015 offseason with a specific plan to improve his ability to drive the baseball, and he went out and got that done.

A look at reliever salaries and Rule 5-eligible Orioles

In baseball, the price of talent seems to always be going upward. But for those pitchers we know as closers, the pay rate is about to really escalate. This steep incline may have started when free agent right-hander Jonathan Papelbon left the Red Sox to sign a four-year deal with the Phillies worth $50 million in November 2011. That broke the record for total contract

A look at the qualifying offer system

There has been some discussion about baseball’s qualifying offer system. It is a system that can be a drag on player salaries and the players union is obviously not a fan of that. We could see changes in the system when the new collective bargaining agreement is announced. But for now, the current system is in place, and 10 players, including the Orioles’ Mark Trumbo,

Talking qualifying offers, free agents and awards snubs

So Mark Trumbo got a qualifying offer and Matt Wieters did not. Buck Showater was an award finalist but Zach Britton was not. A rather newsworthy day involving the Orioles. I thought the Orioles should have extended Wieters the qualifying offer, maybe moreso this year than last. After a season where he proved that his right elbow is sound, throwing out 35 percent of attempted

Surprising news: Zach Britton is not a finalist for Cy Young Award

So much for Zach Britton becoming the fifth Orioles pitcher to win the American League Cy Young Award. He would have joined Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Mike Flanagan and Steve Stone. But the finalists for the award were announced tonight and Britton did not even make the final three. First, let’s look at his resume. Britton recorded 47 consecutive saves this season, going 47-for-47. According

PECOTA misses big again on O’s, plus early 2017 predictions

When it comes to Baseball Prospectus and its PECOTA projections, it is time to admit that projection system just cannot make accurate projections on the Orioles. The system missed by a mile on the Orioles yet again in the 2016 season. The projection was for last place in the American League East at 72 wins. The end result was a tie for second place, with

Conversion projects: O’s move two draft picks from the field to mound

Last year, when they played in college, right-handers Ruben Garcia and Matt De La Rosa were position players that pitched for just a few innings. But after being drafted by and signed by the Orioles, they are now full-time pitchers. They are basically conversion projects similar to right-hander Mychal Givens, now a fixture in the Orioles bullpen. Givens was a second-round pick in the 2009

Should the Orioles revisit pursuit of Dexter Fowler?

When it comes to outfielder Dexter Fowler and the Orioles, has that bridge been burned? Could the soon-to-be free agent and the Orioles talk contract again after what happened in February? First a quick review. It was reported on Feb. 23 that Fowler had agreed to a three-year deal with the Orioles worth $33 million. The O’s had obtained a right fielder and leadoff hitter

An O’s minor league outfielder who elevated his game this year

It can be exciting to see a minor league player who has had more downs than ups for a certain period of his career, but then has a big year and turns a bit of a corner. This is one of those stories. The Orioles selected outfielder Randolph Gassaway out of a prep program in Georgia in the 16th round of the 2013 First-Year Player

One curse ends and one offseason begins after an epic Game 7

There was a time when you could hardly score a run off the Cleveland Indians’ pitching staff in this postseason. There was a time when Cleveland manager Terry Francona almost never lost a World Series game. But that all changed the last few days as the Chicago Cubs’ 108-year curse ended last night. Or more accurately early this morning. The Cubs beat the Indians 8-7

World Series game blog: Indians host Cubs in Game 7

The last time the Cleveland Indians won the World Series, it was 1948 and they beat the Boston Braves, four games to two. The last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, it was 1908 and they beat the Detroit Tigers, four games to one. Tonight, one of those teams will end a long World Series victory drought with a win in Game 7

In first year of new deal, Chris Davis dealt with big expectations

It is hard to call a season where a player hit 38 homers disappointing, but 2016 probably was exactly that for Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Even in a year when only seven American League players homered more. Expectations have been very high for Davis since he hit 53 homers, drove in 138 runs, had an OPS of 1.004 and finished third for the MVP

A take on Matt Wieters, a look the World Series TV ratings

Will the Orioles make catcher Matt Wieters a qualifying offer for the second year in a row? Should they? Wieters hit .243/.302/.409 last year with 17 homers, 66 RBIs and an OPS of .711. His batting average and OBP were his lowest since 2013 and his slugging percentage was his lowest since 2010. On the other hand, the Orioles went 64-47 when Wieters was the

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