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O’s game blog: Alex Cobb faces former team

After being swept in a two-game series by the New York Yankees, the Orioles continue their homestand tonight. They welcome in their American League East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays to start a three-game series. As game time was approaching the tarp was on the field and we may be in for a delayed start. The Orioles (2-3) lost 9-3 and 8-6 to New York

Chris Davis returns but Kohl Stewart decides to pause his season

After undergoing, by his count, at least eight COVID-19 tests over the past few days, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said today he does not have coronavirus. After being away from the club for two games, he returned to Camden Yards this afternoon. He is not in tonight’s lineup against Tampa Bay, but he is available when a three-game series starts at 7:35 p.m. As

A take on Joe Kelly’s suspension and another loss to Yankees

Might as well express what figures to be an unpopular opinion and then duck. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly got suspended for eight games for throwing at the Houston Astros in the sixth inning Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. He was not even ejected from the game, but he got hammered with this suspension that he is currently appealing. The Major League Baseball

O’s game blog: John Means faces Yankees at Oriole Park

The Orioles will turn to their 2019 All-Star pitcher, left-hander John Means, as they try to end a long losing streak versus the New York Yankees. The teams play tonight to end a brief two-game series. New York got homers from DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks last night in a 9-3 win. The Yankees built an early 5-1 lead after three innings and

Anthony Santander can relate to COVID-19 situation in MLB

He can certainly relate to the COVID-19 situation in Major League Baseball. The Orioles’ Anthony Santander contracted the virus and missed a large portion of summer camp. But he returned in time for the season opener and has played in all four games thus far. He is slated to bat fourth tonight in right field against the New York Yankees. But the Miami Marlins saw

For one night anyway, O’s-Yankees looked a lot like 2019

The first Orioles-Yankees game of 2020 looked like so many others from last summer. The Yankees bashed three home runs and they won by a comfortable margin. The O’s lost their home opener 9-3 at Oriole Park. DJ LeMahieu homered on the second pitch of the night and New York added two more homers in the third. Aaron Judge hit a solo shot and Aaron

O’s allow three homers, lose home opener to New York

The Orioles, who went 2-17 against the New York Yankees last year, extended two long losing streaks against them tonight. They could not get to right-hander Gerrit Cole until late in the night and New York enjoyed more longballs at Oriole Park. O’s right-hander Asher Wojciechowski looked like he had some decent stuff - he fanned seven in five innings and got 18 swings and

O’s game blog: Wojciechowski vs. Cole in series opener

After two days and two games postponed against Miami, the Orioles’ season resumes tonight with their home opener. They host the New York Yankees tonight and tomorrow at Oriole Park. The Orioles scored 14 runs in winning the last two games of the Boston series and they are 2-1. So are the Yankees, who have had games with Philadelphia postponed this week. New York opened

Orioles get back on the field tonight, plus other notes

After the uncertainty while they were sitting around their hotel rooms on Monday in Miami, the Orioles got a bit of certainty yesterday when Major League Baseball announced that they’ll host the New York Yankees the next two nights at Camden Yards. The Orioles will avoid, at least for now, playing the Miami Marlins after their team was hit with a widespread breakout of COVID-19.

O’s superfan Mo Gaba elected to Orioles Hall of Fame (updated)

He is a superfan who has faced super challenges in his young life. But today, in part due to his passion, knowledge, courage and so much more, the Orioles honored Mossila “Mo” Gaba in a super way. He has been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame as the second recipient of The Wild Bill Hagy Award. Mo, a resident of Glen Burnie, began calling

O’s may take the field again on Wednesday, plus other notes

It is the luck of the schedule. The bad luck of the schedule for the Orioles. After winning two of three in Boston and with the hopes of getting off to a decent start, they had the misfortune to be the team next scheduled for four straight games against the Miami Marlins. No offense to the Marlins, but until the team and its medical staff

New Oriole Isaac Mattson is closing in on the majors (with video)

The date was Dec. 4, 2019. That was the day that Isaac Mattson’s world briefly got turned upside down. A right-handed relief pitcher, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in round 19 of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft and had completed three good years in their system. He reached Triple-A last summer and he was finally closing in on that major league dream.

O’s build big early lead and hang on to take series

Heading into this series, the Orioles had only won two of the last 13 series against the Boston Red Sox. They went 7-12 against Boston last year and 4-6 at Fenway Park. Then they got blasted 13-2 on opening night. But behind two wins on back-to-back days, the 2020 Orioles are off to a 2-1 start and have a rare series win against Boston. They

O’s game blog: Shooting for a series win at Boston

The Orioles (1-1) and Boston Red Sox (1-1) wrap up their season-opening three-game series this afternoon at Fenway Park. Monday night the Orioles start a two-game series at Miami. They open their home season Wednesday against the Marlins. After allowing 13 runs and 17 hits on Friday as Boston went 10-for-19 with runners in scoring position, the O’s pitchers came up big in Saturday’s 7-2

O’s pitching better in second game and today they go for series win

After Friday’s opening night loss, a result of some poor pitching, the Orioles got the season’s first win less than 24 hours later. They beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 Saturday at Fenway Park and they can win the series there this afternoon. In the 13-2 loss in the opener, Baltimore pitchers threw 191 pitches over eight innings with seven walks. Yesterday five pitchers threw

O’s win behind Cobb’s outing and aggressive early swinging

The Orioles turned in a much different start today, with a strong pitching effort that got an early boost from some aggressive swinging. They beat Boston 7-2 to even the three-game series at Fenway Park. We all understand the need to work the count and get pitchers pitch counts up, but sometimes early count hacking can get the job done - if you swing at

O’s game blog: Alex Cobb makes season debut at Fenway Park

The first game of the shortened 2020 season was a dud for the Orioles. So let’s see, after a quick turnaround, what will unfold in the second one. The Orioles (0-1) play at Boston (1-0) this afternoon in the second game of a three-game series. The Red Sox scored four runs in the third and six in the fourth on opening night. They banged out

After blowout loss, Alex Cobb tries to pitch O’s to a win today

Between 2011 and 2018, the Orioles won eight opening day games in a row. Starting in 2011, they beat Tampa Bay, followed by Minnesota and Tampa Bay again. Then they beat Boston, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Toronto and Minnesota again. But they lost 7-2 last year at Yankee Stadium and 13-2 last night at Boston. Starter Tommy Milone cruised through two innings but then gave up

Opening night blowout: O’s lose big at Boston

In search of their ninth opening day win in the last 10 years, a couple of bad innings happened to the Orioles tonight. A couple of really, really bad innings. They got bombed 13-2 at Fenway Park in the 2020 season opener. Instead of another opening day win - and the club was 15-4 its previous 19 openers coming in - the Orioles have lost

O’s game blog: The season opener arrives

The Orioles begin their 2020 season tonight with the beginning of a three-game series at Fenway Park in Boston. Tonight the Orioles begin their 67th season in Baltimore. The year starts with a five-game trip to Boston and Miami. The Orioles tuned up for this with three exhibition games. They won 5-1 at Philadelphia and lost by scores of 4-2 and 6-4 to the Washington

O’s Austin Hays on first road trip travels and season outlook

For the Orioles it was another step along the way in trying to stay healthy to both begin and complete this unique 2020 Major League Baseball season. It was a flight to a road city, the hotel check-in and some things that were not exactly as they had been in previous seasons. But center fielder Austin Hays said the trip to Boston went smoothly. He

It’s the Orioles and Red Sox as a new season begins

Their opening day roster does not include John Means, Hunter Harvey or Trey Mancini. But ready or not, the Orioles begin their 67th season tonight at Fenway Park in Boston. The Orioles, individually and collectively, seem anxious to show the rest of baseball they are not a complete pushover and that they are making improvements. In a season shortened to 60 games, could they make

At Bowie, players will look to stay sharp and ready

The Orioles currently have 13 staff members working with a group of players at Prince George’s Stadium, the alternate site for the club’s 60-man player pool. Soon the player numbers will grow at Bowie, as the O’s today cut down to their 30-man opening day roster. The challenge for coaches at Bowie will be to keep that group energized during a hot summer where they

The offense was trending up last year, but does that continue?

Is it possible, even minus Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar, that the Orioles offense improves in the 2020 season? Those are two huge losses. Mancini was the club’s Most Valuable Oriole and became the 10th player in club history with 30 doubles, 30 homers and 100 runs. He hit .291 with an .899 OPS. Villar set career highs in hits (176), runs (111), triples (5),

Mullins in battle for outfield roster spot, plus other notes

When Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias was interviewed on the MASN telecast on Monday night in Baltimore, he was asked if any players had jumped out at him during summer camp. Elias cited catcher Pedro Severino and outfielder Cedric Mullins and said there are plenty of others that have looked good, better than they had in Sarasota in the first spring

O’s game blog: O’s and Nats in exhibition finale

The Orioles (1-1) play their third and final exhibition game tonight ahead of Friday’s opener at Boston. The Birds travel to Washington to face the Nationals (1-1) at Nats Park. The club will hold a workout at Camden Yards tomorrow and then travel to Boston on Thursday for the start of that three-game series. Washington won 4-2 over Baltimore last night at Oriole Park. O’s

Rays’ loss is O’s gain in the bullpen

He has had not one, but two Tommy John surgeries and pitched in the minor leagues since 2013 before finally getting his first big league chance last September. It went well for Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Cole Sulser. After a very strong finish to his Triple-A season, he made his big league debut that month with 7 1/3 scoreless innings and nine strikeouts for the

O’s game blog: O’s host Nats in Oriole Park exhibition game

With four days left before opening night, the Orioles will play their only home exhibition game tonight at Oriole Park. The Orioles (1-0) host the Washington Nationals (0-1). The same clubs meet at Nats Park on Tuesday night. The Orioles beat the Phillies 5-1 in game that went 9 1/2 innings last night at Citizens Bank Park. Pedro Severino, Cedric Mullins, Pat Valaika and Ryan

Thomas Eshelman’s latest solid pitch and other notes

The Orioles could have some big decisions to make later today. They’ll check on All-Star left-hander John Means and his availability to make the opening day start Friday night at Boston. Means was scratched from last night’s start due to arm fatigue and a case of dead arm. But pitching in his place at Philadelphia, 26-year-old right-hander Thomas Eshelman, he of the 6.50 ERA last

Eshelman throws scoreless ball in win over Phillies

Thomas Eshelman might be making a late push for a rotation spot. Or if John Means can’t make his first start, that could make room for right-hander Eshelman, who made a case for himself tonight in Philadelphia. Eshelman threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four singles, as the Orioles beat the Phillies 5-1 at Citizens Bank Park. It is the first of three exhibitions for

Still trying to find a way to get minor leaguers on the field

Beyond the players that are in Bowie or Baltimore on the 60-man player pool, the Orioles would love to get some of their minor league players on the field in some way this year. The regular minor league season has been canceled, but the club is hoping there will still be a chance for players to work out and perhaps play intrasquad games. During a

10 questions and one roster long shot making a nice impression

We are now days away from the start of a Major League Baseball season unlike any other. Teams will play 60 games and the Orioles will open Friday night at Boston. They’ll play three at Fenway Park and then two games in Miami before the home opener on Wednesday July 29, also against Miami, at Oriole Park. So this is our last offseason edition of

Michael Baumann on making player pool, Bowie camp (with video)

When baseball shut down on March 12, it shut down throughout both the majors and the minor leagues. Orioles minor leaguers at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota had not even played any spring training games against other organizations to that point. Most did not know which affiliate they would be sent to in April. When the shutdown came, 24-year-old

Making a pitch: Eshelman looks to stay in rotation battle

He can be a player that gets overlooked. When discussing the O’s rotation, others seem to get more play then he does. But he’s pitched twice in intrasquad games for the Orioles and right-hander Thomas Eshelman gave up one unearned run over three innings his first outing. In his second, he allowed one run over five innings with four strikeouts. He’s pitched twice opposite left-hander

With a week to go, projecting the opening day 30-man roster

The 2020 Baltimore Orioles’ season is set to start a week from today. The Orioles, for the first time since 1966, will open at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. The club started with 44 players on its 60-man player pool and that number is now 56. Several players have already been assigned to the alternate site at Double-A Bowie. Players there could make

All in the family for Pat Valaika, plus other notes

Beyond their coaches, big league hitters sometimes have someone else close to them they trust to help with their swing. It can be a friend, family member or even a player on another team. Orioles infielder Pat Valaika has his own hitting coach in his family. Valaika, 27, is one of five children, and his oldest brother, Chris, played four seasons in the majors with

Wynns trying to earn a roster spot as the outfield takes shape

Orioles catcher Austin Wynns doesn’t duck the question. He was asked if the 2020 season represents a big year for him. “Every year is huge,” he said during an interview Tuesday afternoon. “Every year, for everyone. You can’t take anything for granted. Each year, you have to take in strides. You have to improve, you have to be better and make adjustments. This game is

Rutschman finds the comfort zone and LeBlanc impresses

Catcher Adley Rutschman should be in the midst of his first full minor league season right now, possibly playing at Single-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie. But the baseball shutdown changed all of that. On Friday, he reported to Camden Yards to join the Orioles’ 60-man player pool. Stranger things have happened, but it seems unlikely they would use him in a major league game before

At O’s camp, Adley Rutschman is learning and soaking up experience

It was in a mostly empty stadium and it was merely an intrasquad game. There was not exactly a playoff intensity at hand. But in that environment Saturday night, Adley Rutschman was on the field at Camden Yards. On a diamond where future stardom is predicted for him, he took the field as a player for the first time. Rutschman, the club’s second No. 1

Aiming for a mightier ‘pen and other notes

The Orioles have certainly tried to build a better bullpen. Since the end of the 2019 season, they’ve added some new pitchers, and some holdovers have made changes that they hope will prove significant. Some talented young pitchers such as Hunter Harvey and Dillon Tate, who is injured currently, could be with the team for most of the 2020 season. O’s pitching coach Doug Brocail

Young O’s hitters need to find right level of aggressiveness

In Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle, the Orioles have two homegrown players with a lot of offensive talent. Hays was a finalist in 2017 for Baseball America’s National Player of the Year in the minors. Mountcastle was the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year last season when he was also the International League MVP. Besides having in common youth and an abundance of talent,

Wade LeBlanc throws five scoreless in intrasquad action

Two starting pitchers in line to start the third game of the 2020 season matched up tonight during the Orioles’ fourth intrasquad game at Camden Yards. Lefty Wade LeBlanc started for the home team wearing white while right-hander Kohl Stewart took the mound for the visitors in orange. LeBlanc threw a strong game with five scoreless innings and his squad won 3-0 in a six-inning

Some interesting names emerge as O’s add to player pool

He was not even a non-roster invite to spring training in February, but the guy they call “Big Mike” could make his major league debut during the shortened season of 2020. Right-hander Michael Baumann, who has some of the best stuff on the Orioles farm, was added to the club’s 60-man player pool on Friday. The O’s list of additions also included their 2019 top

Núñez on his 2019 production, Cobb on labor talks

He may have entered pro baseball as a big bonus kid from Venezuela, but it took Renato Núñez quite some time to get an extended big league chance. It happened in his third season with his third team. And it was with the Orioles, who acquired him on waivers from Texas on May 13, 2018. Later that summer he got a chance to play every

Even during short season, the search for MLB success goes on

He had a very decorated minor league career. He was the Orioles’ No. 1 prospect at the end of the 2016 season and twice was in Baseball America’s top 100 nationally. He hit .340 while winning a batting title in the Single-A South Atlantic League and he’s played twice in the All-Star Futures Game. But 25-year-old catcher Chance Sisco is still searching to find big

A few notes on openers, testing and some draft math

There are a few ways the Orioles could go with their rotation come opening day on July 24. They could have the traditional five-man look or go with a six-man rotation. If pitchers are not built up enough yet, teams can even piggyback starters, where one pitches the first half of the game and another the rest. They could also go with an opener. If

With international signing period extended, can O’s take advantage?

We recently learned a couple of things that could have a long-range benefit for the Orioles. Major League Baseball has pushed back the end of the current international amateur signing period to Oct. 15, 2020 and the Orioles have nearly $1.6 million remaining from their original pool of $6.48 million to sign players. This is not to be confused with the start of the next

Miguel Castro on first few days of camp and more

During his Zoom interview session with reporters today, Orioles right-handed reliever Miguel Castro was asked about the growing number of players opting out of playing this season around the sport. Among the latest today is Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis, a former Oriole. Did Castro have any concerns about reporting to the O’s camp and playing this year? “It is very unfortunate what is really

Opt-outs are increasing in MLB, but none so far in Baltimore

The number of major league players deciding not to play in the 2020 season is growing. In the last day, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price and Atlanta right-hander Félix Hernández were added to the list. So were Braves coach Eric Young Sr. and Indians bench coach Brad Mills. Earlier, Ryan Zimmerman, Welington Castillo, Ian Desmond and Mike Leake were among the players that opted

O’s individual work during baseball shutdown paying off now

There are a few things emerging after watching two days’ worth of Zoom video interviews from Orioles camp at Oriole Park. The players certainly put their time to good use after spring training shut down in mid-March. And fthey seem determined to abide by the extensive health protocols in place to give this season every chance to both get going and to be played to

Hyde on the big picture, Davis on clubhouse accountability

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde understands that anything can happen in a short season of 60 games. It’s a sprint, not a marathon. He’d love nothing better than for his team to surprise people and be contending deep into the summer. He also surely realizes that - short year or not - the odds of that are still long. And the Orioles still have a bigger

Ryan Mountcastle had a big 2019, but is his time coming now?

While it should be fun to watch the Orioles play if Major League Baseball can indeed safely get the shortened 2020 season up and running, it could be even more fun with a certain outfield alignment. What if the Orioles had 23-year-old Ryan Mountcastle in left field, along with 24-year-old Austin Hays in center and 25-year-old Anthony Santander in right? Yep, that would be fun.

Will the 2020 season produce a legit World Series champion?

Even if the coming 60-game Major League Baseball season gets played to conclusion through the World Series, fans are going to look back at this season for years and see strange things. Like a home run champion that might hit, say, 21 homers. Or a pitcher leading the majors in wins with seven or eight. Or a saves leader with 16. Or a World Series

An expected announcement, but still a tough day on the farm

It was not exactly a secret that there would not be Minor League Baseball in 2020. But when the news became official on Tuesday afternoon, it was not any easier to take. The minors are hurting and it’s a brutal time for owners, staff, players and fans on the farm. With all those teams, all those locations and all those players, there was going to

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