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Are O’s ready for a Joseph-Sisco catching tandem?

The Orioles must be prepared to lose catcher Welington Castillo via free agency. He has a player option for $7 million for next year and seems likely to decline that and see what is out there via free agency. Then the question is: Will the Orioles pursue another catcher or are they satisfied with a Caleb Joseph-Chance Sisco catching combo? Castillo did a solid job

A look at more free agent starting pitchers

While we wait for free agency to start, we take another look at three free agent starting pitchers. You may have heard the Orioles could use some help in that regard. This past season, Orioles starters ranked last in the American League with an ERA of 5.70, which is the worst mark in team history. It was the highest rotation ERA in the majors since

Week in review: Talking free agent pitchers, team payrolls and more

In looking back at the last week of blog entries in this space, today we would love to get a few more comments/opinions on any or all of them. On Monday, we discussed flamethrowing lefty Tanner Scott in this entry. The southpaw is one of the top Orioles pitching prospects. He was a sixth-round pick out of Howard (Texas) Junior College in 2014. For Double-A

Presenting a top 10 Orioles prospects list

Baseball America started to roll out its latest top 10 prospects lists for major league teams this week. Before too long, we’ll see a new Orioles list. But today, I’m taking my own shot at a top 10 list for the club. These are my own thoughts and rankings, and for this one, I didn’t solicit a single opinion from a scout or team official

Talking Joe Girardi’s ouster, game times and more

There are 30 teams in the majors. As of yesterday, 20 percent are changing managers. As of yesterday, 30 percent of the 2017 playoff teams will have different managers next year. The Yankees’ Joe Girardi will not return to the Bronx. He has been the skipper the past 10 years, averaging 91 wins per season and finishing first or second seven times. His teams made

In major leagues, you need both dollars and sense to win

Each year in October, it is interesting to see if the clubs that advanced to the playoffs are the teams spending the most money on players. As is often the case and again this year, the answer is no. There is no question that having a big payroll is an advantage. How can having the ability to outspend your competitors not be? But having a

A look at a trio of free agent starting pitchers

Before long, free agency will be underway in Major League Baseball. As the Orioles look to improve their rotation, that is one area they will be looking at. The club has long been reluctant to chase free agents at the top of the pitching food chain. But maybe there are a few hurlers that could be costly, but also affordable, to help the team moving

Notes on DJ Stewart and Ryan Mountcastle

On their way to a 72-68 record and an Eastern League playoff berth, the Double-A Bowie Baysox were the best hitting team in the league this season. Bowie led all clubs in batting average (.283), on-base percentage (.345), slugging (.436) and runs (697). There were several hitters that had good seasons for Bowie, including Austin Hays, Garabez Rosa, Aderlin Rodriguez, Steve Wilkerson and Cedric Mullins.

Does Bowie flamethrower have future in the Baltimore rotation?

He has the best fastball velocity of any pitcher in the Orioles organization. On Sept. 20, lefty Tanner Scott made his major league debut versus Boston. He began his career throwing two 99 mph fastballs. The second was hit into right on a checked swing for a single. Welcome to the show, kid. Scott allowed two runs in one inning in his debut, but his

Who is your all-time favorite Oriole?

A few times in the past during one of my “10 questions for O’s fans” blogs, I ask, “What question should I ask you next time we do this?” Several of you have said ask us about our all-time favorite Orioles. OK. Today is that day. Tell us who your all-time favorite Oriole is and why that player is your favorite. If you can’t pin

Tough time to be an MLB manager and Houston forces Game 7

Dusty Baker will not return as the Washington Nationals’ manager. We found that out yesterday. We already knew John Farrell is not coming back as Boston’s manager. Are these two being made the fall guys for player postseason failures? You could certainly make a case for that. Baker’s teams won back-to-back division titles, winning 95 games in 2016 and 97 this season. But they lost

A look at the Orioles’ list of pending minor league free agents

To put in perspective how long Garabez Rosa has been in the Orioles organization, when Adam Jones was traded to the club in February 2008, Rosa was about to begin his second season on the O’s farm. Signed out of the Dominican Republic at 17 in November 2006, Rosa has played 1,154 games over 11 seasons in the Orioles’ minor league system. Save for a

Can Chris Davis become more aggressive and increase run production?

He faced pretty much daily criticism during the 2017 season and was easily the most criticized Orioles player. We don’t keep a sabermetric stat on that, but we don’t need one to know that Chris Davis took a barrage of criticism during the 2017 season. And 2016, as well. As a player with a long-term contract and the highest salary on the team, fans expected

MLBPipeline.com’s Jim Callis says O’s farm has made solid progress

After a year when the Orioles farm system has taken a nice step forward, we checked in with a few national analysts to get their takes. Today, we hear from MLBPipeline.com’s Jim Callis. Ranked well down the list when it comes to organizational rankings the last couple of seasons, the club is moving up and making decent progress. The Orioles had several players ranked among

Some Orioles payroll math

The Orioles should have at least a few dollars to spend this winter, based on their current monetary obligations for 2018 and what they have spent in recent years. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the salary for the Orioles’ opening day roster was $147.7 million in 2016 and $164.3 million last season. The Orioles have four guaranteed salaries on the books for 2017 with Chris

Asked and answered: The readers respond

Yesterday in this space, we asked the readers to answer a few Orioles questions. Today here is a look (as of late last night) at how you answered. Not everyone answered every question or in the manner asked, but hey, we had some fun reading the responses. Who will lead the 2018 Orioles in wins?: Right-hander Dylan Bundy was the easy winner here, getting 21

First offseason edition: “10 questions for O’s fans”

It is time for the first edition of the offseason of “10 questions for O’s fans.” Feel free to answer one, two, three, any amount or all 10. Here are today’s 10 questions: 1. Who will lead the 2018 Orioles in wins? 2. Which player will get the most starts in right field? 3. Better candidate to have a bounceback year: Chris Davis or Mark

MLB’s replay review system comes under fire again

I have heard and read criticism of the replay review where Jose Lobaton of the Nationals was called out on review in the eighth inning on Thursday night. Lobaton beat the tag at first as Chicago Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras tried to pick him off. On replay it was noted his foot came off the bag while the tag was held. He was correctly called

A position-by-position look at O’s offense against league average

It is just one stat, but not a bad one to look at for any hitter - OPS. That is on base percentage plus slugging added together. Anything .800 or above, as we know, is a strong number. The high 700s are not too shabby. Among qualifying hitters, there were 37 players in the American League that posted an OPS of .800 or better this

O’s list of Rule 5 eligible players includes pitcher Pat Connaughton

He has only pitched 14 2/3 innings on the Orioles farm, but 24-year-old right-hander Pat Connaughton is eligible to be taken this December in the Rule 5 draft. Yep, that was fast. This will be the fourth Rule 5 draft since the Orioles selected Connaughton in round four out of Notre Dame in the 2014 draft and signed him to a bonus of $428,000. With

In playoff pressure-cooker, AL East manager job security takes a hit

It was about this time last year, when Orioles manager Buck Showalter was the subject of heavy criticism for not using closer Zach Britton in the club’s AL wild card game loss at Toronto. But almost no one suggested Showalter’s job was on the line and it wasn’t. He is signed through 2018. But two other AL East managers are the subject of rumors now

Are the Orioles ready to turn over right field to Austin Hays?

After he has had 63 plate appearances in the majors, are the Orioles prepared to turn over right field to Austin Hays in 2018? Should they make that bold move? It would be a bit of a bold move for a player that has only 166 minor league games and one full season on the farm under his belt. He was drafted in the third

A few facts and a few opinions

A few items worth nothing and a few opinions about them to start the second week of the offseason. Item: The Orioles offense was the best in the American League in August and the worst in September. This was a pretty stunning change. In August the team ranked first in batting average (.306), slugging (.534), OPS (.882), homers (57) and runs per game (6.0). In

Orioles will reload, not rebuild

It is a question worth asking even though we pretty much know the direction the organization will take: Should the Orioles be rebuilding now after posting a losing record in 2017, and with several veterans not signed beyond 2018? The Orioles seem much more inclined to be reloading than rebuilding. They are still looking to add to their roster and improve their pitching to make

What is the ceiling for Trey Mancini?

After a stellar rookie season, how much better can Trey Mancini play for the Orioles? What is his ceiling? MLBPipeline.com’s Jim Callis recently drew the ire of Birdland when he ranked his current top 30 major league rookies based on their future potential. Again, he was ranking not on current stats or performance, but future potential. In an interview for this article on that topic,

The longball in early playoff games and league prospect rankings

We have heard it many times before that “good pitching beats good hitting.” We have also heard the narrative that home runs “don’t play well in the postseason.” So far that has not been true. We are talking about a small sample size. In the wild-card games the four starting pitchers were Ervin Santana, Luis Severino, Jon Gray and Zach Greinke. They combined to pitch

J.J. Cooper says O’s farm has “taken a big step forward”

The Orioles’ minor leagues had a good year in 2017. That is the opinion of several national analysts I have spoken to in the last two weeks. Today, here is the second part of a series of interviews with national analysts on the O’s farm. For the Orioles, 2017 was a year where outfielder Austin Hays moved from Single-A Frederick to Double-A Bowie and then

Not a dynamic duo: Davis and Trumbo need to increase production in 2018

Improving their starting rotation is the biggest issue facing the Orioles as the offseason begins. But that is not the only one. In 2016, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo combined for 85 homers and 192 RBIs. This season they combined for 49 homers and 126 RBIs. Add to that Manny Machado’s slow first half and the middle of the Orioles order too often came up

Mancini on the minors, plus other topics and notes

You will find few players to provide a stronger endorsement for the job done by the Orioles minor league staff and coaches than Trey Mancini. After all Mancini is a one-time unheralded eighth-round draft pick that was one of the top rookies in the majors this year. He hit .293/.338/.488 with 26 doubles, four triples, 24 homers, 78 RBIs and an .826 OPS. This is

Key questions the Orioles face as the offseason begins

Finishing in last place is not what the Orioles organization or their fans had in mind. Not for the 2017 season. Not after leading the league in wins from 2012-2016. Not after the Orioles began the year 22-10. On May 9 they had the best record in the majors, playing .688 ball. That was better than three teams that would go on to win 101

O’s game blog: Kevin Gausman pitches season finale

The Orioles (75-86) put a wrap on the 2017 season today at Tropicana Field as they conclude a three-game series versus the Tampa Bay Rays (79-82). The Orioles will finish with their first losing record and fewest wins since going 69-93 in 2011. From 2012 through 2016, the Orioles averaged 88.8 wins per year and made the playoffs three times. But they will miss out

In September, homers and runs were hard to find

It seems that more so than most teams the Orioles ability to score runs is pretty much directly related to their ability to hit home runs. When they hit them often they score a lot more than when they don’t. August and September provide clear evidence in that regard. The Orioles have averaged just 1.00 homer for every game played in September, easily their worst

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