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How much will Sánchez addition alter O’s infield?

The Orioles’ addition of infielder Yolmer Sánchez via waivers on Friday raised several questions for which we have no real answers at this point. Do they plan for him to replace one of their arbitration-eligible infielders? Do they plan for him to compete for a utility infield job? What will his salary be in arbitration? Will the club try to reach a deal with him

Kennie Steenstra discusses Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer

They combined to make 10 starts for the 2020 Orioles, and rookies Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer made strong impressions. They showed talent, promise and poise and made strong major league debuts. A guy who knows both pitchers very well and worked closely with both this year was probably watching somewhere and nodding his approval. Kennie Steenstra was the pitching coach at Double-A Bowie in

Sometimes the eye test should outweigh the data/analytics

Lefty Blake Snell was cruising. In a game the Tampa Bay Rays had to win, he was dominating the Los Angeles Dodgers and trying to pitch the Rays to Game 7 of the World Series. Then, in a span of just four pitches in the sixth inning, he was out of the game. He had not given up a run, his team had a 1-0

Checking in with pitching coaches from the Bowie alternate site

It was all a bit of mystery. They were playing baseball at Double-A Bowie this year but there were not any games that counted. No other Eastern League teams came to town. Bowie was an important place however, as it was the site of the Orioles’ alternate camp this summer. No media or fans were allowed to watch and/or chronicle the happenings. But it was

More significant improvement: record or players?

When fans look to grade how successful the 2020 season was when it comes to the Orioles rebuilding, what is the best way to do that? Is it just noting the won-loss record and looking for progress there? Or is it about looking more at individual players, especially those that came up from the farm and finding successes there? Since we don’t have to choose

Talent is there, but staying on field has been a challenge for Austin Hays

The 2020 season for Orioles outfielder Austin Hays included a few firsts. He made the opening day roster for the first time. He hit his first inside-the-park home run and he went to the injured list because he was hit by a pitch for the first time. The last few seasons have seen Hays battle various ailments and injuries. A player that has said he

Ranking a few of the best aspects of the 2020 Orioles

There were quite a few things that went right and/or showed some promise during the 2020 season for the Orioles. They provide areas to build on as the club rebuilds and tries to work its way up in the American League East standings. Today, I list three things that worked or showed promise and I rank them in importance. 1) The bullpen was quite solid:

A player that got away is still raking years later

Here is something pretty remarkable. Nelson Cruz, who remains a feared hitter at 40, is about to sign his third contract since leaving the Orioles. In the offseason following the 2014 season, the Orioles, coming off an appearance in the American League Championship Series, had big decisions to make. One was whether to re-sign Cruz and how far to go to get him. They made

An O’s reliever who took a big leap forward this season

Even though one season was 60 games long and one was 162 games in length, O’s bullpen lefty Tanner Scott threw a similar number of big league innings in each, tossing 26 1/3 in 2019, when he spent some time at Triple-A, and 20 2/3 innings this season. But what he did with those innings was very different. The pitcher long considered a top bullpen

One vote for continuing some of the new MLB rules

Major League Baseball is closing in on completing a unique 2020 season. One that featured 60 regular-season games, 16 teams in the playoffs, but zero fans in the stands. While everyone hopes the fans return next year, we could also see some rules that we saw for the first time in 2020 returning next year. This could include the extra- innings rule for one. We

O’s still not ready to worry much about closer’s role

Should the Orioles look to establish one pitcher as their closer in the 2021 season? Baltimore had five pitchers record saves in the shortened 60-game season in 2020. The short answer for me is definitely not. No reason to try and find one established closer right now. In fact, on a rebuilding team, why not give several players a chance to save games next year?

How much did fans miss attending games?

If absence does make the heart grow fonder, can something similar work when it comes to baseball attendance? I’ve heard from a few fans lately that basically said they can’t wait to attend another Orioles game when they are allowed back into Camden Yards and it’s safe to do so. They missed going to games. I can tell you that applies to some of the

Will these two Orioles be back next year?

They are both infielders the Orioles claimed off waivers. They’ve gotten a golden chance to show they can play at the big league level with the Orioles since the start of the 2019 season. But after the performance of both fell off in the second half of the shortened 2020 season, their futures are maybe more uncertain today than they were heading into last year.

Rays are headed to World Series

The American League East champion Tampa Bay Rays are headed to the World Series. They won the first three games of the AL Championship Series against Houston, but then lost the next three. But behind right-hander Charlie Morton, they won 4-2 in Game 7 last night to head to the World Series for the second time in team history. In 2008, they lost, four games

O’s face some tough calls on 40-man adds before Rule 5

Last November, the Orioles added four players to their 40-man roster to protect those players from being selected in the December Rule 5 draft. They added Ryan Mountcastle, Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer and Ryan McKenna. How many players will the Orioles add next month? They’ve got a list of quality players eligible for this year’s Rule 5. But even with a lengthy list of players

Will the Orioles go position player with another high draft pick?

There was no announcement or press release from Major League Baseball. But numerous outlets this week reported that the order of the First-Year Player Draft is set for 2021. The Orioles will have the No. 5 pick in the first round. After speculation that MLB would use the reverse standings, as always, for the draft order, several outlets confirmed this week that will be the

Taking a look at the Orioles’ solid outfield depth

When spring training for the 2021 season begins, the Orioles could be looking at a logjam. It presents a bit of a problem, but yes, it is a good problem to deal with. They may have too many quality outfielders for too few spots, especially if you add in players yet to make it to Baltimore. This is not a surprise to us, as it’s

No games, no problem: Delmarva still held events at Perdue Stadium

As the summer was rolling on, it became apparent it would be a year without minor league baseball. Around the country, that hit some teams and their local communities pretty hard. No games for the fans to see, no revenue for the teams to generate. But that didn’t keep Orioles farm teams from reaching out in their local communities to host events that brought some

After superb finish, O’s knew they had their ace back

It was just a four-start sample and that’s not a lot of innings. But it was a stunning four starts. For the Orioles, it was a stretch of games where they realized their ace was back. And while an injury kept left-hander John Means from making the opening day start this year, if they had to pick that guy for 2021 today, it would be

A tale of two seasons for Orioles catchers

The catcher position is historically one that does not produce much offense. Of course, there are always exceptions, but generally speaking, teams are happy if they get modest offense from their catchers. For a good portion of the shortened 2020 season, the Orioles had to be delighted with the offense coming from their catchers. They used three players at the position with Pedro Severino making

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

So, it’s been two weeks since the last Orioles game and we are definitely moving into full offseason mode around here. The American League Championship Series begins today with the Houston Astros facing the Tampa Bay Rays. While we move along this offseason and go through the holidays and wait to find out if there will be a Winter Meetings this year, we take time

Showing the way: 2020 rookies provide hope for those on farm

When some young talent came up from the Orioles farm system this year and performed well in the major leagues - players like Ryan Mountcastle, Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer - it was a real positive for the organization in many ways. For one, it showed that the organization did have some nice talent down below and knew how to develop it. It was a

What did the 2020 season mean for O’s rebuilding?

While we wait to find out if the Houston Astros are really going to tick off baseball fans in 2020, it’s time to again ponder the Orioles’ rebuilding efforts. I have asked this question of fans often the last year or two and I’m asking again today: How do you feel about the club’s rebuilding efforts and do you see hope for the future? I’ll

On the passing of a local sports legend and other notes

It was sad to learn that Baltimore sportscasting legend Vince Bagli died yesterday at 93. He certainly lived a full and wonderful life and touched so many people along the way. Seeing the tributes pour in, it seemed like every reporter/writer/broadcaster knew him well and at one time got mentorship and/or words of wisdom from Vince. Usually, it started with him asking you questions: Were

In 2020, O’s ‘pen was good again

There are areas where we saw improvement during the 2020 Orioles season, but few as dramatic as the bullpen. The bullpen ERA improved by nearly two runs per game. And the ‘pen changed from one that gave up a lot of homers and was among the easiest to get a hit off in the American League to a stingy one in allowing homers and much

Minor league restructuring still to be determined

Beyond discussing the setup for the Orioles fall instructional league camp that began Monday during a Zoom press conference yesterday, O’s executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias briefly addressed the future minor league situation. It is one of much uncertainty and unanswered questions. The agreement between Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball has expired. The sides continue to negotiate a new agreement,

Orioles’ instructional league roster

The Orioles may have wrapped up the 2020 regular season and ended activities at the Bowie alternate site, where some young players got critical development time this summer. But today they are starting their fall instructional league. It’s an opportunity for more young and developing players to get individual and team work in at the organization’s Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla. “Our instructional

Rule 5 pick to MVO: Another look at Anthony Santander’s 2020

When Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander slumped late in the 2019 season, he hurt his final numbers. They looked good at the time, but not great. This year, there was no late-season slump, although there was an injury. But while his batting average stayed the same in 2020, most of the other numbers were significantly better. Santander did enough in 37 games of a 60-game season

The MLB postseason: On to the next round

One big difference in the Major League Baseball playoffs this year, beyond the obvious ones like no crowds at games, is very few off-days. There will be two off-days in the World Series. But no off-days before that. We saw the wild card round of three games (if needed) in three days. The American League Division Series will begin Monday with five games in five

A look at O’s rotation improvement in 2020

The Orioles’ rotation ERA this year was 5.09 for the 60-game season. They had it down to 4.75 with just a few games to go. But short outings by Jorge López, where he gave up eight runs, and Dean Kremer, where he gave up seven, raised it again. The O’s finished 11th in the American League in rotation ERA. Had they kept their ERA in

A few random notes and some chat about the skipper

The Orioles public relations staff put out some excellent season wrap-up notes and stats on the club. Some of these stats were posted throughout the season, and here are some of the final numbers: * The Orioles led the major leagues with a batting average of .409 when putting the first pitch in play. San Diego was second at .408, followed by Atlanta at .399,

Comparing Ryan Mountcastle’s major league start to Manny Machado’s

Not only did Ryan Mountcastle have a stunningly good rookie year for the Orioles, but if you compare his first 35 big league games to Manny Machado, Mountcastle comes out ahead. Well ahead. It was one strong performance and probably better then we had a right to expect. He walked more, he defended fine, he ran very well and he hit. Man, did he hit.

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