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Will 2021 see O’s top prospect in Baltimore?

It is not a pressing question, but rather an intriguing one for the Orioles: Will catcher Adley Rutschman make his major league debut in 2021? That might seem quite unlikely for a player with just 130 professional at-bats and 12 games of full-season ball - and that at low Single-A - on his resume. But of all the prospects that were fortunate enough to play

A few questions for O’s fans

Today we throw a few questions your way. We didn’t make it to 10, but that was because we’re looking at a few recent blog entries and topics here and revisiting them. Then we’ll ponder a few questions. * We recently wondered if an O’s streak that started in 2006 will end soon. The Orioles have made at least one Rule 5 pick in every

O’s free agent pitching additions could have familiar look

When he spoke to reporters early this month, Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said the club would pursue signing starting pitching this winter and heading into the 2021 season. They could add major or minor league free agents. The Orioles rotation ended last season in a pretty good spot after Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer made their major league debuts. Jorge

When signing international amateurs, your mileage may vary

How much would a big league team pay to sign an amateur who becomes a future Most Valuable Player candidate? Many millions, no doubt. But when you sign a young talent, no one can know for sure what will happen many years later. When signing teenagers out of high school and international amateurs at 16 and 17, teams have to project down the road. How

A trade O’s fans may eventually be quite thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving, Birdland! I hope everyone gets to be with their family today, but we know that in 2020, that is probably not happening for everyone. Let this be the last Thanksgiving like this one. But here is a wish for all of Birdland to be healthy and happy on this holiday. I’m thankful for the wonderful community of Orioles fans that frequent this blog

Checking in with another Orioles Q&A

It’s been a while since we have done this here, so away we go. Time for another day when the readers bring up the topics, and we all dive in with opinions and try to answers any and all questions about the Orioles. Readers, please ask questions in the comments section and I’ll do my best to provide answers. As always, others are most welcome

Now on the 40-man, Rylan Bannon readies for run at the roster

When his cell phone rang Friday, infielder Rylan Bannon was outside doing work around the house. He didn’t see a name listed, so it was not one of his usual friends or contacts calling. But this was a call he was going to answer. “It was a random number, it said Baltimore, so I knew I had to answer that one,” Bannon said in a

Talking O’s farm with MLBPipeline.com’s Jonathan Mayo

The Orioles organization is “on the move.” That was the conclusion of MLBPipeline.com when the outlet recently published an article about the state of the O’s farm system. Jonathan Mayo wrote that article and joined me recently for a Zoom interview to talk about the Orioles minor leagues. The O’s are now No. 8, up from No. 13, in the latest MLBPipeline.com organizational rankings. That

An O’s streak could end in a few weeks

It was a year when National Football League teams in Indianapolis and Dallas opened new stadiums. The movie “Fever Pitch” debuted at the box office. The Chicago White Sox won their first World Series since 1917. The Tampa Bay baseball team was still named the Devil Rays. The year was 2005, and that was the last time the Orioles did not make a pick in

O’s farm has improved and six 40-man adds is latest example

The Orioles made a nice statement Friday about their improving farm system. A farm system that has risen to No. 8 in the game in the MLBPipeline.com organizational rankings. They protected six players from that farm from being taken in next month’s Rule 5 draft. They added all six last night to their 40-man roster. They added pitchers Michael Baumann, Alexander Wells, Zac Lowther and

Talking about creating more action in the game

As he left his job running the Chicago Cubs baseball operations this week, Theo Epstein addressed what he sees as issues in baseball. Issues that he believes he helped create and now wonders if the game will fix them. The issues involve a lack of action in the sport. There are too many strikeouts, too much swing and miss. Strikeouts are fun if you’re the

A former farmhand with thoughts on O’s prospects

He’s not a scout, a pitching coach or someone that works in a baseball front office. But he’s got an interesting perspective and I’ve known that since the first time I interviewed left-hander Brian Gonzalez, which was probably not long after the Orioles drafted him in 2014. After seven seasons in Birdland, Gonzalez left the flock recently to sign a minor league contract with the

Rule 5 protection date approaches for the Orioles

So a decision day is coming for the Orioles on Friday, unless they make some announcements before that. They have to decide which players to add to their 40-man roster to protect them from the December Rule 5 draft. They have five openings on their 40-man roster. That certainly does not guarantee they protect five players. They can protect as few as they want or

Is a frigid free agent season looming?

After a season of uncertainty - no one knew in July if the year would be played to the finish - baseball now faces more uncertainty. This one involves not games, but salaries and free agency. Will it be a chilly winter - and we are not talking about air temperatures? It could wind up downright frosty and we’re not talking about precipitation. There is

A look at one absolute roller coaster of a season

When the music stops at the beginning of or during the 2021 season, will DJ Stewart have a chair? After his own crazy season inside baseball’s own crazy 2020 season, will Stewart’s brief but remarkable offensive display last summer carry him back to the roster next season? In an outfield that includes Anthony Santander, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, a returning Trey Mancini (who

Is this player a free agent match for the Orioles?

It seems very unlikely to happen to me, but when an online sportsbook placed odds of big league teams signing specific free agents, the Orioles got on the list with one player. It was a player that has yet to play in the majors. And the Orioles were not listed as one of the favorites to sign infielder Ha-Seong Kim of the Korea Baseball Organization.

Baseball America sizes up the O’s top prospects

Baseball America released its new Orioles top 10 prospects list this week. The list shows that the Orioles continue to improve their farm system. Seven of these players were acquired on former general manager Dan Duquette’s watch, and three came since current executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias took over. It’s a list with some balance: There are five pitchers and five position

For one young pitcher, it was not easy to leave Orioles

After pitching in the Orioles organization since they drafted him in 2014, left-hander Brian Gonzalez found himself in a position he had never before dealt with. Five days after the World Series, he was a minor league free agent for the first time. Gonzalez, who turned 25 on Oct. 25, heard from a few teams, but the Colorado Rockies immediately showed strong interest. On Wednesday,

More on the benefits of the alternate camp

For a young pitching prospect like the Orioles’ Grayson Rodriguez, the Bowie alternate camp this season provided a solid development experience. No, he was not pitching in games as he would have been this season at Single-A Frederick, but he was facing hitters of a higher caliber than he would have in the Carolina League. The same applied to lefty DL Hall, who likely would

Taking a look at O’s skipper Brandon Hyde

On the day after the Manager of the Year awards were announced - Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay won in the American League and Miami’s Don Mattingly in the National League - it seems an appropriate time to say a few words about the manager here in Baltimore. Brandon Hyde just completed his second season as Orioles skipper. I think judging a manager is a

Aberdeen GM reacts to New York-Penn League news

As the baseball offseason begins to crank up, fans around the sport continue to wait on news about the future of Minor League Baseball. What has become pretty clear is that Major League Baseball is taking over running the minors. The current Professional Baseball Agreement that governs Minor League Baseball has run out as the two sides continue to negotiate the terms of a new

In MLB, here’s hoping for less off-the-field drama this time around

Once the Major League Baseball season started in late July, the focus shifted away from negotiations between players and owners and back to the field. It was wonderful to discuss wins and losses, player slumps, lineup and rotation decisions, and bullpen matters over money matters. But in this sport right now, the board room and what will happen there is as important as what happens

Talking the rotation, the infield and more

Taking stock today of a few topics that have recently been discussed in Birdland. * O’s executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias pledges to sign some starting pitchers this winter (minor league and/or major league deals) to bolster rotation depth. Is this the right move for now? The club had two of its young pitchers emerge last season in the rotation and Keegan

Could O’s homer leader be squeezed off 2021 roster?

He’s been an Oriole since the team claimed him on waivers from the Texas Rangers on May 13, 2018. Renato Núñez has now played in 263 games as an Oriole, hitting 50 homers with 141 RBIs. In the last two seasons he has ranked among the top 24 in the American League in homers, and in the top 25 in RBIs each season. That is

A few notes on new additions, Mo Gaba and Trey Mancini

The addition of players to be named later keep rolling in for the Orioles. The players always had names, of course, but now we know them as Orioles. Yesterday, the Orioles completed the trade of lefty Tommy Milone to Atlanta on Aug. 31 when they got 23-year-old infielders AJ Graffanino and Greg Cullen from the Braves. The O’s are owed one more PTNL for sending

A former Oriole may be about to cash in on a contract

In June 2012, the Orioles selected him fourth overall in the First-Year Player Draft. The expectations were high and they included hopes he would pitch at or near the top of their rotation for years. And for years, right-hander Kevin Gausman pitched for the Orioles. He sometimes showed flashes of brilliance, but never lived up to the first-round hype. Now, just over two years after

Bowie pitching coach Ramsey on Hall, Rodriguez and more

They are ranked as the Orioles’ top two pitching prospects and their inclusion in the 60-man player pool this summer was expected. They were not expected to pitch yet for the Orioles and they did not. But it was a big summer of developing - even without minor league games - for right-hander Grayson Rodriguez and left-hander DL Hall. Rodriguez will turn 21 on Nov.

A few thoughts on the Mike Elias press conference

Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias took a few questions from local Orioles media on Monday. It was his first meeting with reporters since the end-of-the-season Zoom get-together on the final weekend of the 2020 season. A few takeaways from this latest session: Interesting comments on the starting rotation: John Means, Alex Cobb, Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer would seem to give

The move took a few dollars, but made so much sense

Maybe Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias looked at this only from an on-the-field standpoint. It made perfect sense to pick up the $3.5 million option and bring shortstop José Iglesias back in 2021. Yes, he missed time injured, but when he played, he played great and was almost indispensable. He hit, he defended and he provided leadership. But beyond the value

Checking in with a few topics and thoughts

A few random thoughts for today’s blog. No asterisk for me: I can’t imagine anyone will forget the year 2020 anytime soon. It has been strange in so many ways to include baseball, where the season lasted just 60 games, the World Series was played at a neutral site and there were no fans in the stands until the very end of the year. But

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