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Draft math: O’s to top 2019 total pool in just five rounds this year

If the 2020 First-Year Player Draft is going to consist of just five rounds, the Orioles would make six draft picks this summer, sometime in June or July. The draft date is to be announced later. It was originally going to be a draft of 40 rounds from June 10-12. Since we also know that Major League Baseball is going to freeze the bonuses from

How it might look in 2020: O’s infield

Over the next few weeks, let’s take a look at some aspects of the Orioles and how they were shaping up at the time that spring training was halted. Today, a look at the infield. Earlier, I made my projection for the five-man rotation in this entry. While we may see rosters larger than 26 players when baseball does start this year, we are going

A few more questions for O’s fans

At this strange time in baseball and throughout the country really, it is nice to have normal things in our lives. I’d like to think this blog is one. It represents someplace we can go to discuss baseball. Baseball talk is understandably taking a back seat now, but there is still room and hopefully time to discuss the game and the players and get away

Another look at what could be coming in a 2020 MLB season

The agreement between Major League Baseball owners and players this week ensures that players will get service time in 2020, even if there is not a season. While both sides seem very committed to playing this year and playing the most games possible, they did account for this scenario in their latest talks. Players on the roster all year in 2020, no matter how many

The comeback that rocked the Yard, plus draft notes

Camden Yards was full and loud. Orange shirts were everywhere. Spirits were high and Orioles fans were probably convinced their team was heading to the World Series. That is how it felt in early October 2014 and yesterday, during “opening day at home,” we saw a replay of the Orioles’ eighth-inning comeback win over Detroit in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. It

Some things that could be part of a reduced baseball schedule

Who would have ever thought we’d have an “opening day at home.” But today, on the day that the Major League Baseball season was set to open, here we are. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic we are getting ready to watch previous great games. And not watch, attend or report on new ones. Major League Baseball yesterday made an announcement with a spoiler

Remembering bus rides to, BP homers at Memorial Stadium

For love of the game. We’re not talking about a Kevin Costner movie here, but rather the love of baseball that probably all of us have, to some extent. For some, maybe love is too strong a word. For me, it’s not. I fell in love with baseball as a kid and I still love the sport. Almost everything about it. From a well-executed relay

Big Mike had a big year in 2019

In 2019, Orioles pitching prospect Michael Baumann had a special year. The right-hander threw well for both Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie and ended the season as the organization’s co-Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He shared the Jim Palmer Award with Single-A Delmarva’s Grayson Rodriguez. For an encore, Baumann will try to build on his gains from last season, continue to smooth out his

Where O’s could look with the No. 2 pick in the draft

The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is scheduled for June 10-12. The Orioles will hold the No. 2 overall pick for the first time. They’ve now picked No. 1 overall twice, but never had the second pick. While there has been talk that the draft could be delayed, that is only speculation right now. At some point they will almost certainly hold a draft

A few questions for O’s fans

Why not 10? No reason. Or maybe a shortened spring training, so a shortened amount of questions. No, not really. Just no reason. Major League Baseball will not start as planned on March 26. The Orioles were scheduled to open at home with a three-game series with the Yankees followed by a three-game series with Boston. I won’t be covering the team during a scheduled

The ramp-up back to baseball could be quick

If and when we get back to a point where baseball players can take the field, how long will it take before regular season games can be played? That’s a good question that can only be answered when we know the start date. But a shortened second spring training of at least two weeks seems likely. Would two weeks be enough? Probably not, but the

How it might look in 2020: The O’s rotation

Over the next few weeks, let’s take a look at some aspects of the Orioles and how they were shaping up at the time that spring training was halted. Today, a look at the rotation. To me the rotation was setting up this way: No. 1 - John Means: He was slated to be the opening day starter if the opener was going to be

A look at Orioles off the field during shutdown

The Orioles held a conference call today with both executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and senior vice president of community development and communications Jennifer Grondahl to discuss the current shutdown of baseball. Check Roch Kubatko’s blog for Elias’ updates on baseball operations and I will post Grondahl’s comments on the business side for the club here. Grondahl’s opening comments to reporters: “We’re

Season is delayed, but what about the amateur draft?

The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is scheduled for June 10-12. The Orioles will hold the No. 2 overall pick for the first time. They’ve now picked No. 1 overall twice, but never have had the second pick. The Detroit Tigers, who went 47-114 in 2019, have the No. 1 pick for the second time in three years. They selected Auburn right-hander Casey Mize

For me No. 5 is No. 1 - how about you?

Keeping an ongoing dialogue with fans and readers during the shutdown of baseball is important to me. Along those lines, today I have a few questions for you. We shall start with a pretty simple one but I look forward to getting the responses. Which player is your favorite all-time Oriole and why? Mine is Brooks Robinson. He was a star player for the Orioles

Right-hander Zach Pop on his recovery from Tommy John surgery

He was a key player the Orioles acquired in mid-2018 in the trade of Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now Orioles minor league right-hander Zach Pop is going through the process of getting back to pitching after Tommy John surgery of last May. He is progressing well, but finding out some of the challenges of a process that can take a pitcher 12

Monday morning Orioles Q&A

No Sarasota dateline on this story. No spring competitions to track. No games to be played. The baseball industry is shut down for now and we all wait to find out when it will be back. Yes, it’s possible, I guess, that the season could be shut down. I see no reason to be too concerned about that just yet. For now, as we await

We’re waiting and wondering: What comes next for MLB?

So now what do we do? Everyone in baseball is asking that question today. From team officials and players, coaches and managers to fans and reporters. How do we go forward and what will we be writing about, wonder writers, reporters and columnists that cover the game. Here at this website, the offseason is actually pretty active for us. Roch Kubatko and I write stories

Shortened spring training schedule had noteworthy moments

SARASOTA, Fla. - So the Orioles’ spring training schedule came to an end when Major League Baseball made its announcements on Thursday afternoon. They finished with a Grapefruit League record of 9-7-3. They got in 19 games and had 15 more remaining, including the now canceled game at the Naval Academy. The Orioles produced a winning spring training record for the third time in the

Hanhold clicks with new coaches, makes run at bullpen spot

SARASOTA, Fla. - His spring training run of scoreless innings ended on an 0-2 changeup against a career minor leaguer with six big league at-bats in 2016. But Toronto’s Andy Burns hit it good in the sixth inning Wednesday at Dunedin, and O’s right-hander Eric Hanhold was finally scored on. He was an out away from six appearances and six scoreless innings when Burns hit

No game today, but it was an eventful day for the Orioles and MLB

SARASOTA, Fla. - For at least one day, rotation battles, utility roster spots and bullpen competitions took a back seat. One that was way, way in the back. Today was eventful and even emotional, filled with uncertainty and producing some answers but also even more questions. Today was a day we found out much more about Trey Mancini’s medical situation. That news came less than

Bruce Zimmermann pushing for current, future O’s rotations

SARASOTA, Fla. - Some of the minor league pitchers he played with last year have long since been sent back over to the Orioles’ minor league camp. But Ellicott City native Bruce Zimmermann is still in the O’s big league camp and seems to be building some momentum with each outing. The lefty’s ERA is 4.70 over three spring games, but he threw three scoreless

DL Hall on his 2019: “It was really big for development”

SARASOTA, Fla. - If you look at the first two full seasons for young left-handed pitching prospect DL Hall, you can see better stats in 2018 at Single-A Delmarva than in 2019 at Single-A Frederick. But in Frederick, as he faced better hitters he also was challenged to do things he had not before, and he might have gained a lot to benefit his future

Lefty Keegan Akin on his outing against Braves

SARASOTA, Fla. - Making his fourth spring appearance tonight, Orioles lefty pitching prospect Keegan Akin fanned four - and threw one pitch he’d like to have back. An 0-1 fastball with two men on to the Braves’ top prospect went a long way. Center fielder Cristian Pache belted the blast to put Atlanta ahead 3-0 on Akin and the Orioles in the second inning at

Richie Martin on strong spring, learning from José Iglesias

SARASOTA, Fla. - He can be optioned this spring, as the Rule 5 restrictions no longer apply when it comes to infielder Richie Martin. It’s just that so far in camp, he’s doing all he can to keep that from happening. He made more starts at shortstop last season than anyone on the Orioles, but the club has since acquired José Iglesias to play there.

A look at some non-roster invitees pushing for spots

SARASOTA, Fla. - After Monday’s off day, the Orioles resume spring training games tonight when they host Atlanta at 6:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium. They have played 17 games, going 8-6-3, and they have 16 left in Florida, plus the exhibition game at the Naval Academy against the New York Mets on March 24. Opening day is March 26 in Baltimore versus the New

Wade LeBlanc has made solid case for rotation spot

SARASOTA, Fla. - At 35, left-hander Wade LeBlanc is the oldest player in Orioles camp. But just like some pitchers much younger, he is simply just trying to make the team. There is a track record and resume there. One that saw him pitch to an ERA of 3.91 over a three-year run from 2016 through 2018. But in 26 games last season with Seattle,

A few notes from Twin Lakes Park

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles left-handed pitching prospect DL Hall, who ended last year on the injured list, begins this season fully healthy. The 21-year-old Hall didn’t pitch in 2019 after Aug. 8 due to a lat strain. In 19 games for Single-A Frederick, the club’s 2017 top draft pick went 4-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 80 2/3 innings. Hall said it didn’t take too

After anxious free agent moments, Kohl Stewart ready for O’s debut

SARASOTA, Fla. - Baseball free agency is not great for all. The players that will not be getting big-dollar contracts sometimes have to sweat out the process, not sure where their next opportunity will come or if that opportunity will be a good one. Right-hander Kohl Stewart, signed by the Orioles on Dec. 29, admits he had some anxious moments . The Minnesota Twins outrighted

Thomas Eshelman on solid outing against Yankees (O’s win 5-1)

TAMPA - Right-hander Thomas Eshelman had a third straight solid outing for the club tonight as the Orioles built an early lead on the New York Yankees. Eshelman went three innings, allowing two hits and one run with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 43 pitches, 30 for strikes. He’s allowed two runs and four hits over eight spring innings. He might be considered

Hays feeling good about his game even as hits are slow to come

SARASOTA, Fla. - There is almost certainly no reason to have any concern about a player in spring training after only 18 at-bats. But Orioles outfielder Austin Hays, who had a big spring last year, is batting .111 so far at 2-for-18. He does have four RBIs and he feels like the hits will be coming shortly. He’s still penciled in as the center fielder

Keegan Akin on his outing today against Minnesota

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles lefty pitching prospect Keegan Akin made his second spring start and third appearance this afternoon. He touched 94 mph with his fastball and threw some nice changeups as he went 2 2/3 innings allowing one run against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium. Were he at minor league camp at Twin Lakes Park, Akin might be, as they say, getting his

O’s lefty John Means: “It saved my career”

SARASOTA, Fla. - In the 2018 season on the farm, lefty John Means pitched to a 3.72 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A, with a 1.26 WHIP and .268 opponent average against. In 2019 - in the major leagues - he pitched better. He posted a 3.60 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and a .234 average against. That ERA was the lowest by a Baltimore starter since

Valaika homers, LeBlanc gets win, bullpen strong late as O’s beat Miami

JUPITER, Fla. - On a day when the Orioles got just three hits, they beat the Miami Marlins 5-3 to split two games on their swing through the east coast of Florida. They head back to Sarasota with a record of 7-5-1 after a loss to Washington and win over Miami. Today they scored two runs on Pat Valaika’s third spring homer and two more

Pregame injury/illness notes and lineup changes (O’s win 5-3)

JUPITER, Fla. - The Orioles changed their original lineup today ahead of this game with the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Catcher Austin Wynns and shortstop José Iglesias were scratched. Wynns took a foul ball in the groin area the other day, so the Orioles left him back in Sarasota. “He (Iglesias) has a little cramp in his upper quad, we just pulled

Mike Elias on Chris Davis, other topics during Orioles.com coverage

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias joined our live streaming coverage of the game on Orioles.com and MLB At-Bat on Tuesday. He discussed several topics including the hot-hitting start of first baseman Chris Davis. “Well, we don’t get caught up in spring training results, but that said, he looks better this spring than he did last spring,”

Slow day on offense as Orioles lose to Nationals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - After scoring 36 runs in a three-game stretch last Thursday through Saturday, the Orioles have been held to exactly three runs in each of the last three games. Today they lost for the first time in a week, 5-3 to the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The Orioles did not score after the fourth inning and

Brandon Hyde updates Mancini and other notes (O’s lose 5-3)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Over the next two days during this east coast trip, the Orioles will get every position player, except Trey Mancini, into the game either today against the Washington Nationals or tomorrow versus the Miami Marlins. Mancini came out of yesterday’s game not feeling well after two at-bats. “He’s just not feeling great,” manager Brandon Hyde said before today’s game. “The

J.J. Hardy on instructor role, possible coaching future at O’s camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - It is a nice sight for Orioles fans. Former O’s shortstop J.J. Hardy back in the orange and black. He was back wearing team colors Monday as he began a week-long run in camp as a guest instructor. A very popular Oriole from 2011-2017, Hardy was known for airtight defense and remarkable consistency at shortstop. He’s also remembered for the great slide

Asher Wojciechowski on his scoreless start against Tampa Bay

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are starting to stack up some good outings from their starting rotation candidates. Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski was the latest to deliver today. In his second spring start, he pitched three hitless and scoreless innings, facing the minimum nine batters against the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium. This followed John Means with his nine up and out outing yesterday

Melanie Newman to make O’s broadcasting debut today

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today is a special day for new Orioles broadcaster Melanie Newman. She’ll work an Orioles broadcast for the first time and call some play-by-play alongside Geoff Arnold on the Orioles Radio Network as the O’s host Tampa Bay at Ed Smith Stadium. Newman joins the Orioles from the Carolina League’s Salem Red Sox, for whom she served as the lead broadcaster on

Rio Ruiz is raking, bullpen talk and O’s win streak notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - He is still not outhitting Chris Davis, but Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz had quite a day Sunday in Clearwater. In the 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, he went 3-for-3. Ruiz hit all three balls hard, smacking a booming double to left in the first and a solo homer to left in the fourth. He pulled a line drive single into

John Means rolls through three versus Phillies (O’s win 3-2)

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Left-hander John Means is looking ready for opening day already. He’ll have several spring outings yet to go, but today he buzzed through a frontline Phillies lineup, recording nine straight outs in a three-inning outing. Means had one web gem behind him. Bryce Harper hit a hard grounder wide of first in the opening inning. First baseman Stevie Wilkerson made a diving

O’s close in on first cuts, plus other pregame notes

CLEARWATER, Fla. - As they prepare to play the Phillies today at Spectrum Field, the Orioles are closing in on their first round of spring cuts. It will likely happen in the next day or two before the club heads for the east coast of Florida for two games starting Tuesday. “It is starting to get around that time, so we’re starting to discuss (that),”

A couple of young hitters are showing their smarts too

SARASOTA, Fla. - They are subtle changes and tweaks that are made. But they show the Orioles that a couple of their top young hitting prospects in Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle can make needed adjustments that will serve them well as they try to consistently hit major league pitching. Hays posted a walk rate of just 4.3 percent in 2019 at Triple-A and 4.2

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