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After hitting .305, can Hanser Alberto do it again?

Maybe Orioles infielder Hanser Alberto won’t be thrilled to see 2019 blend into the background. It was a pretty good year for him and now we find out what he can do for an encore. A surprise .300 hitter in 2019, can Alberto produce a similar average for the 2020 Orioles? His .305 average last season ranked eighth-best in the American League and was 16th

For O’s pitchers less (fastballs) could be more

In October in this space, we took a look at fastball usage around Major League Baseball and how the Orioles stacked up in a comparison. We found that while the Orioles’ average velocity ranked pretty low compared to other teams, their usage of the fastball ranked pretty high. Orioles pitchers threw the sixth-highest percentage of fastballs among 30 MLB teams in 2019 at 54.9 percent.

Alex Cobb’s healthy return would provide rotation a big boost

When right-hander Alex Cobb signed a four-year deal for $57 million in March 2018, he was joining an Orioles team with a roster that included Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop, Mark Trumbo, Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Zack Britton and Brad Brach and hoped to contend in the American League East. When he reported to spring training last February, he was with a very different-looking

For this player, expectations will be high in 2020

He may not see the Orioles roster at all in the 2020 season. But at a time when expectations will be very low for the team in the standings, they will remain very high for at least one player in the organization come next season. That player is catcher Adley Rutschman. In June, the Orioles made him just the second overall No. 1 draft pick

After 223 losses over two years, can O’s fans remain patient?

Yes, we do discuss the Orioles rebuilding a lot on this blog. It’s interesting to discuss and it’s also the factor that dominates just about everything with the team right now. It seems every baseball decision is made with rebuilding in mind. Some call it tanking and it is your right to use any word you want. To me, that word has a connotation of

Free agent spending: Some do it, some don’t

Remember last winter when baseball free agent spending was moving at a crawl. If it was even moving that fast. The top contracts were not signed until after spring training had started. On Feb. 21, 2019, the San Diego Padres signed former Oriole Manny Machado to a 10-year deal worth $300 million. A week later, the Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a 13-year deal worth

In September burst, Austin Hays showed a strong skill set

In 63 plate appearances with a September call-up in 2017 with the Orioles, outfielder Austin Hays hit .217. In 75 plate appearances last September, he hit .309. But just beyond those numbers, Hays showed some real five-tool talent in his 21-game run last September. Hays hit for average and some power. He drove balls in the gaps. He ran down balls in the gaps and

Part two: A scout’s take on O’s prospects

A few days ago in this space we got a scout’s take on several young players in the Orioles organization. Today we get the perspective of this scout from outside the organization on a few more O’s prospects. And we start with his comparison of two young and talented pitchers in lefty DL Hall and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez. Hall was the Orioles’ No. 1 pick,

Pondering a few questions about Ryan Mountcastle

One aspect of the Orioles’ rebuild that could and should excite fans is seeing young prospects come up from the minor leagues. One of the O’s best is expected to make his debut next season. That is 22-year-old Ryan Mountcastle. His defensive position may not be set yet, but his bat looks ready. Mountcastle was an easy 40-man roster addition last month after a season

Looking further at some quotes from the Winter Meetings

Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias did a lot of talking at the recent Winter Meetings in San Diego. And not just to agents and other front office execs. He did a lot of talking to the media during the four days there. Here are a few of his quotes we read here at MASNSports.com and my take on them. Elias on the rebuilding

A scout’s take on some Orioles prospects

From time to time it is very interesting and also educational to hear from scouts from organizations outside of Baltimore to get opinions on Orioles players. I did just that recently with an American League scout who provided several solid insights on various O’s minor league players. He had coverage of a few O’s farm teams this year and got some good looks at players.

Post-Winter Meetings edition: “10 questions for O’s fans”

The Winter Meetings have come and gone. The Orioles added pitcher Marcos Diplán on waivers from Detroit. They added pitchers Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker in the Rule 5 draft. More additions are coming certainly. So it’s time for a post Winter Meetings edition of 10 questions. Answer one question or all 10. Provide short answers or long. Your call. Respond to other readers. Here’s

A look at how one O’s minor league pitcher used technology to improve

For the Orioles, the progress in 2019 of young pitcher Ryan Wilson had to be a real positive development. The 23-year-old lefty was moved from a bullpen role to starting and he had a big season for Single-A Delmarva. His year flew under the radar a bit as he pitched in a rotation with pitchers like Grayson Rodriguez, Gray Fenter and Drew Rom, but Wilson

The O’s have acquired eight young pitchers in 11 days

The Orioles had some solid success with their young pitchers on the farm during the 2019 season. And they keep adding young pitchers to that group that competed last season. Of the Orioles’ top six farm teams, four clubs led their leagues in ERA last summer. That was at Double-A Bowie, Single-A Delmarva, short-season Single-A Aberdeen and in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. And while

The Rule 5 draft is up today at the Winter Meetings

The Rule 5 draft is set for today at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. The Orioles have the second pick. At last year’s meetings in Las Vegas, the Orioles had the first pick in this draft and selected Oakland infielder Richie Martin. Martin, who turns 25 on Dec. 22, was originally drafted in the first round (No. 20 overall) in the First-Year Player Draft

On Mancini, former Orioles and chemistry experiments

If you get the feeling it would take a lot for the Orioles to trade Trey Mancini, you are not alone. And team management and comments from the front office can help lead one to that conclusion. Numerous times during and after the 2019 season, we’ve heard Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias talk about Mancini in very generous and glowing terms.

More on Diplán, the rotation and more

The Orioles are still adding young pitchers. They’ve now acquired six in the last week. It started with getting lefty Easton Lucas from Miami for Jonathan Villar. It continued when they got four right-handers from the Los Angeles Angels for Dylan Bundy. In that deal they added Isaac Mattson, Kyle Bradish, Kyle Brnovich and Zach Peek. On Monday at the Winter Meetings they claimed right-hander

It’s opening day ... of the Winter Meetings (with updates)

Will the Orioles be busy at the Winter Meetings in San Diego that begin today? No doubt they will. But will that work and various meetings lead to actual moves? That is what we are waiting to find out. In recent years, the Orioles have often come away from the Winter Meetings with a Rule 5 pick - some years more than one - but

Another look at the new pitchers in the organization

One thing that would certainly aid and maybe hasten the Orioles’ rebuilding efforts would be seeing some of their young pitching prospects move on to have big league success. Along those lines, the Orioles added five young pitchers to their organization in the last week. Last Monday they acquired lefty pitcher Easton Lucas from Miami in a trade for infielder Jonathan Villar. Two days later

A look at the Rule 5 draft with Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper

The latest edition of the Rule 5 draft is set for Thursday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. The last Rule 5 draft where the Orioles did not make a selection was in 2005. Yep, it’s been that long, and the Orioles are certainly expected to make a selection again this year when they pick second behind Detroit. The order of the draft is

Another Orioles Q&A and updating their 2020 draft picks

After an eventful week around Birdland with the trades of Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy, there is plenty to talk about. Plus the Winter Meetings begin next week in San Diego. The Orioles added five minor league pitchers in the deals for Villar and Bundy and are expected to make at least one pick in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. So today, with a lot

Appreciating Dylan Bundy, and some quotes from the other side

Through it all - from his stunning pro start with the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds in 2012 to more than 100 starts for the Orioles - Dylan Bundy was a class act. I’m pretty sure he will continue to be that for his new team, the Los Angeles Angels. After nine pro seasons with the organization, Bundy is no longer a part of Birdland. The right-hander

Orioles trade right-hander Dylan Bundy to Angels

He was the Orioles’ top draft pick, taken No. 4 overall in 2011, and made 103 starts in an Orioles uniform. But today right-hander Dylan Bundy’s time with the club ended as he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for four minor league pitchers. The deal was first reported by The Athletic, which said that right-hander Isaac Mattson would be one of the players

Rebuilding is indeed as difficult as advertised

A few days after the end of the 2019 season, I wrote about the fan reaction to rebuilding and the Orioles season that had just ended. It was a season of a lot of interaction with fans here on this blog, on Twitter and on my postgame radio show. Around the area, anywhere and everywhere, fans seem to like to tell me their opinions and

He wasn’t non-tendered, but Jonathan Villar is no longer an Oriole

So, in the end, the Orioles found a trade partner for infielder Jonathan Villar. In a bit of a surprise, it was the Miami Marlins. Miami acquired Villar last night and sent to the Orioles 23-year-old minor league lefty Easton Lucas. Drafted in round 14 in June out of Pepperdine, Lucas went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA, pitching in one game in the Rookie-level Gulf

The Mo and Mancini Show was again pretty good

Sometimes pro athletes do special things for kids and it’s great. Sometimes those players may be in and out their lives quickly and that’s fine too. They did something great and it usually has lasting impact. Sometimes it goes further for the player and the kid. Sometimes much further. To see evidence of that close to home, we need look no further than Trey Mancini

At his tailgate today, Mancini speaks on possible loss of Villar

At his Purple Tailgate fundraiser for his good friend Mo Gaba today, the Orioles’ Trey Mancini briefly discussed some team business. Like his teammate, infielder Jonathan Villar, hitting the waiver wire and possibly being non-tendered by the club. Last year, Villar hit .274/.339/.453 with 33 doubles, five triples, 24 homers, 40 steals, 111 runs and an OPS of .792. He produced the first season with

Is another O’s first-round pick going to be moved?

As a pitcher taken with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 draft, right-hander Dylan Bundy arrived in the Orioles organization bearing the weight of some very high expectations. Those expectations that he would be a No. 1 starter, and maybe a dominant No. 1, were not realized. Tommy John surgery and shoulder issues took care of that. Bundy has been solid at times

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