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Gary Kendall talks about Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer

For this recent entry about Ryan Mountcastle and his addition to the Orioles’ 40-man roster, I spent some time interviewing Triple-A Norfolk manager Gary Kendall. I talked with Kendall talking about two pitchers. We discussed left-hander Keegan Akin and right-hander Dean Kremer, who were both also recently added to the 40-man roster. Outfielder Ryan McKenna joined that trio and now none of the four can

A look at how the catching position could shape up

If Adley Rutschman is the future of the catching position for the Orioles - and he most certainly is - the present in 2020 will probably look a lot like it did in 2019. Pedro Severino, Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns remain as the three O’s catchers currently on the 40-man roster. The club seems set with that trio for next season as they also

After strong 2019, Villar’s time in Baltimore may be ending

It sure looks like Jonathan Villar’s time with the Orioles is coming to an end. With seemingly little interest via trade, Villar was put on waivers yesterday. Any team can claim him, but they would also inherit his arbitration status and potential salary of $10 million or more for 2020. The Orioles’ decision appears to be that Villar is too pricey for a rebuilding club

It’s time for another Orioles Q&A

Don’t you love it when there is not one specific topic to discuss about the Orioles but many? I know I do, so it’s time for another Orioles question-and-answer session. You provide a question on anything about the club - the majors or minors, potential additions or subtractions, the upcoming Rule 5 draft - whatever you’ve got and I and our readers will provide some

Could either of these lefties be a fit for the Orioles?

When we mentioned free agent pitchers Marco Estrada and Trevor Cahill here on Saturday, there was not much sentiment among the readers for the Orioles to pursue either one. Both have a track record of some success, but struggled in 2019. Free agent lefty Brett Anderson however, is a pitcher with a track record of some success. But while he struggled in the 2017-2018 seasons,

Taking a look at two unheralded players who helped Delmarva

When I interviewed 2019 Single-A Delmarva manager Kyle Moore recently, we discussed his Shorebirds being named the Minor League Baseball team of the year by Milb.com. But we also discussed a few players who flew under the radar on that team, which went 90-48 this season and became the first South Atlantic League team with 90 or more wins since 2006. One was lefty hitting

A look back: The 40-man roster, Frederick on list of 42 and more

In looking back at the last week of stories here, we discussed a few interesting topics. Today we present a few of these for further discussion. * They included the Single-A Frederick Keys being named as one of 42 minor league teams that could lose their big league affiliations. The Keys have been an O’s affiliate since 1989 and they do quite well at the

Looking at a few more free agent pitchers

There are nearly 50 starting pitchers available as baseball free agency is now underway. We know the Orioles need starting pitchers and we also know they won’t be diving into the deep end of that pool or issuing any big-dollar contracts. In the early stages of the rebuild, they may not even sign anyone to anything longer than a one-year deal and no doubt some

Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer should get rotation shots in 2020

Both pitchers made it to Triple-A last season. Both were added to the 40-man roster this week. As the Orioles begin to find out which young pitchers on the farm can help them moving forward, left-hander Keegan Akin and right-hander Dean Kremer may be among the first to get shots. Being added to the 40-man means both pitchers will be in spring training next season,

Four to the 40-man: Hearing from the O’s added to the roster

For several Orioles prospects, it has been a big week filled with both anticipation and maybe a few nerves. Yesterday was the deadline for clubs to add players to their 40-man rosters to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Lefty Keegan Akin admitted some of that was going on for him. “It’s in the back of your head,” he said. “Honestly, I didn’t know

Gary Kendall on Ryan Mountcastle’s “special year”

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle’s path toward the majors took another significant step forward yesterday. He joined pitchers Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer and outfielder Ryan McKenna as additions to the Orioles’ 40-man roster Wednesday. The Orioles now have 39 players on that roster. Mountcastle was an easy addition after a season when he was named both International League Most Valuable Player and the Orioles’ Brooks

Sizing up a few rule changes and Rule 5 draft talk too

We will see a few rule changes in Major League Baseball in 2020. One involves relief pitchers. A pitcher that enters the game must stay in to face three batters or until the end of the inning. There will be a provision for an injury that could keep the pitcher from facing three hitters or getting to the end of the inning. So will this

The guy with the long name looks for longer stay in O’s rotation

He made 16 starts for the 2019 Orioles and it probably took some of us most of that time to learn how to spell his name, but right-hander Asher Wojciechowski could emerge in the O’s rotation again next season. At this point he’s probably among a top four in some order that also includes John Means, Dylan Bundy and Alex Cobb. Wojciechowski went 4-8 with

Frederick listed among teams that could lose MLB affiliations

If you are an Orioles fan that follows the minors and have been to games at Single-A Frederick, you’ve probably seen a team that consistently draws well and is an organization that, by almost any standard, is very well run. So that made it pretty surprising when the New York Times published a list of 42 minor league teams (subscription required) that could lose their

November edition: “10 questions for O’s fans”

Welcome in to the second offseason edition of 10 questions. There will be others as we progress through the winter. As always, answer all 10 questions, just a few or even just one. Provide short answers or long. Respond to other readers’ answers. All up to you. It’s all good and always interesting to check the responses. Today’s questions: 1) Will Keegan Akin crack the

Another O’s Q&A, plus a few other thoughts

Well, we did this here a little over a week ago and it’s time to try it again. A fan/reader question-and-answer session. You ask some Orioles questions - whatever you’ve got - and I’ll try to answer your questions and other readers please throw in your two cents also. Hope to hear from many of you today with many questions. They can be on any

Delmarva honored, plus a look at a pitcher eligible in the Rule 5

Earlier this week, the Orioles’ Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds affiliate was named the Minor League Team of the Year by Milb.com. Delmarva went 90-48 and earns this honor for the first time in its 24-year club history. The Shorebirds topped the previous team high for wins by seven (83 in 1996) and became the first South Atlantic League team to win 90 or more since the

Could a pair of former first-round picks elevate the O’s ‘pen?

They are two young guns who were once starting pitchers but now could be valuable to improvement for the Orioles bullpen. They were both drafted in the first round. Both now enjoy pitching out of the bullpen, and next season 24-year-old Hunter Harvey and 25-year-old Dillon Tate could help improve an O’s bullpen that posted a 5.63 ERA last year. That ranked last in the

A look at a couple of free agent starting pitchers

So the Orioles’ rotation depth chart right now is lacking a bit, you may have noticed. Surely they will add some pitchers before spring training, even if it’s only minor league free agents and/or pitchers looking to make good after a poor or injury-marred season or seasons. They could look to add a major league free agent or two, but any such signing would likely

With GM meetings underway, Jonathan Villar trade talk could heat up

As the club they support is not loaded with talent, it seems that many Orioles fans are feeling some anxiety about what might happen with middle infielder Jonathan Villar. The only player in the majors with at least 24 homers and 40 steals in 2019, Villar produced 4.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to FanGraphs.com, to lead the club. Trey Mancini was named Most Valuable

O’s John Means finishes second for AL Rookie of the Year

Orioles left-hander John Means, who was a surprise as the club’s best starting pitcher in 2019, tonight finished second for the Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year Award in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Means, 26, received 53 points, getting 16 votes for second place and five for third place. Two writers from each AL city voted for their top

Checking in on some top minor league arms with Chris Holt

Today we continue a look at Orioles minor league pitching in 2019 through the eyes of director of pitching Chris Holt. We’ve published a couple of entries recently with Holt, and in this one, he’ll take a closer at four of the club’s top pitching prospects. DL HALL Hall was the Orioles No. 1 pick, taken No. 21 overall out of a Georgia high school

Is the focus on launch angle the reason for more strikeouts?

The technology in baseball is moving fast. In this recent entry, O’s minor league hitting coach Tom Eller gave us a bit of a primer on some of the technology that is in place as of 2019 on the Orioles farm. For most of us, it was probably both educational and enlightening. Eller was new to the O’s organization in the 2019 season. He started

So how long will this rebuilding take?

The topic came up again during yesterday’s Orioles Q&A session on this blog: How long will this rebuild take? The fans want to know. That is a very reasonable question, but it just doesn’t have an answer. You can guess, but that’s really all you will be doing. No one knows for sure, including general manager Mike Elias, who is heading up this rebuilding, how

Orioles Q&A and John Means on his offseason

Today, when we get to the comments section of this blog, the readers will be the stars. Here is the plan: Ask an O’s question, whatever you’ve got, and I’ll provide the best answer I can. Plus other readers can throw in their two cents. It’s time to open this up and get what is on your mind about the club front and center. I’ve

Chris Holt’s take on a few minor league pitchers

In this entry recently, I interviewed Orioles director of pitching Chris Holt. He was promoted to that position on Oct. 11 after serving as director of minor league pitching for the 2019 season. We addressed several topics earlier with Holt, and today we get his take on a few minor league hurlers. In 2019, four of the O’s top six farm teams led their respective

Who will get the biggest free agent dollars this winter?

No one is expecting the Orioles to be very active at the top end or even in the middle tier of the new free agent market. For the second year in a row, in MLBTradeRumors.com’s projection of its top 50 free agents, none are predicted to head to Baltimore. This is not surprising, of course, and was indeed expected. Predicting where free agents will land

Using technology to help hitters on the O’s farm

He was new to the Orioles organization in 2019 and was one of the first minor league coaching hires by the new front office after Mike Elias was hired as executive vice president and general manager last November. Tom Eller was already close by geographically. Eller had spent the previous 12 seasons as the head coach at Harford Community College in Churchville. In his tenure

Breakout season: Anthony Santander showed potential in 2019

He played briefly in the majors in 2017 and 2018. But it was this season where the Orioles started to see Anthony Santander start to reach some of his vast potential. Taken in the December 2016 Rule 5 draft from Cleveland in large part because of a potent bat, he showed it at the major league level in 2019. As the Orioles try to identify

Talking about the importance of winning on the farm

Several days ago, I posted this entry, gleaned from my interview with new Orioles director of player development Matt Blood. The 34-year-old comes to the Orioles from the Texas Rangers. He’s also worked for USA Baseball and was a scout with the St. Louis Cardinals, working in the same front office where the Orioles’ Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal once toiled. We covered a lot

Ranking a few questions and issues the Orioles face

Let’s take a look today at some issues the Orioles and their brass will have to deal with - some sooner, some later. We’ll even rank them from least important to most. No. 5 - How to continue to satisfy fans during the rebuild?: Yeah, good luck with that strategy because there is no miracle marketing plan or idea that solves this one. I’ve said

A look at the pitching on the farm this year with Chris Holt

The Orioles had a pretty solid year on the farm in 2019. Orioles’ affiliates finished with a .517 win percentage, to rank 10th among all 30 Major League Baseball organizations. They sent two teams to the playoffs, three really, but the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League postseason was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian. Baseball America rated the Orioles ninth in organizational rankings. But it was on

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