Baltimore Orioles trading Jorge Lopez to Minnesota

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Baltimore Orioles are trading closer Jorge Lopez to Minnesota. This in exchange for LHP Cade Povich, RHP Yennier Cano, RHP Juan Nuñez and LHP Juan Rojas. I’ll admit that it’s a bit ironic given that Lopez hit a bit of a skid while in Minnesota last month. But history makes for strange bedfellows at times.

The guys the Orioles are getting back aren’t by any means top prospects. However as good as Lopez has been, I would remind fans that he’s basically a one-inning pitcher. Will any of the four prospects make it to the big leagues? Tough to say. Right now they have highish ERA’s. But could they help the Orioles at the big league level? Absolutely.

They way you have to look at it (regarding this Lopez trade as well as the Mancini trade yesterday) is that the Orioles aren’t necessarily looking to contend this year. Now if they back into a playoff spot, great. However they’re already ahead of schedule. Next year the expectations might be a totally different story.

So the more prospects, even low-level prospects, you have in your system, the better. Because those prospects could be flipped to another team in exchange for a big league player in future years. This when the window to win is in the here and now, and for a player who could help the Orioles compete. Point being that “the plan” has never been just to rebuild the big league roster as a winner. But also to rebuild the minor league system.

In order to do that, you want all the prospects you can get. Obviously depending on the player being acquired (by the Orioles in the future), certain top prospects might be off the table. But the more prospects in your system overall, the more chances you’ll have at packaging a few together to net a return of a great player. Nevertheless, yesterday it was Mancini; today the news du jour is Jorge Lopez to Minnesota.

Baltimore Orioles trailblaze in Texas

The Baltimore Orioles began life in a post-Trey Mancini world in grand fashion last night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX. Spencer Watkins got the start, and was dominant for the Birds. Watkins’ line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

Watkins had the lead before even taking the field. Cedric Mullins’ solo homer in the first inning gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. An inning later we saw Mullins come to bat again, and he smacked an RBI-single, extending the lead to 2-0.

Later in the inning Anthony Santander smacked a bloop RBI-single that fell in. Ryan Mountcastle hit an RBI-single of his own, and the O’s were paper cutting Texas to death. They also got two runs in the fourth on RBI-doubles by Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle respectively.

Texas would smack solo homers in the seventh and eighth. These off the bats of Seager and Solak. Jorge Mateo would add an RBI-double in the seventh as well, capping off the Orioles’ 7-2 win. Obviously it wasn’t an easy game for the O’s given the Mancini trade, as was addressed by Brandon Hyde following the ballgame:

Very tough day. I had no idea how we were going to respond, and I was really happy with our at-bats, especially early. Cedric set the tone with an opposite-field homer there in the first inning. Spenser Watkins was fantastic. … Happy with how we responded after a tough day.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

The series continues tonight at Globe Life Field. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Spencer Howard. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini reportedly heading to Houston (updated)

The Baltimore Orioles did it. They made the tough decision to trade Trey Mancini this afternoon, with a little over a day left before the deadline. Mancini’s now headed to Houston where he’ll join his new team, the Houston Astros.

Word on the street is that the Birds are getting multiple pitching prospects in return for Mancini. So this article will be updated once the players’ names are released. However unless the O’s got peanuts in return, this was the right move to make, at the right time.

I assume that Mike Elias had exhausted his options, and was in essence made aware by Mancini’s representation that he (Mancini) wouldn’t be picking up his side of the mutual $10 million option next year. This meaning that he’s going to test the free agent market. So why risk losing him and not getting anything back?

Certainly it’s a tough pill to swallow for everyone involved – especially Orioles fans. Mancini was a fan favorite from day one, and he truly embraced the spirit of the Orioles and the city of Baltimore. He became a clubhouse leader, respected by just about everyone. And that was before he had cancer. Following that situation he further cemented his legacy in Baltimore and with the O’s.

Keep in mind that assuming he remains consistent and in fact doesn’t opt to pick up the mutual option (with Houston), he’ll become a free agent after the World Series. That means the Orioles will have as much a shot as anyone to sign him. Whether that fits into their long term plan remains to be seen. But it’s a possibility.

Needless to say, Trey was only here for a short time. But his impact will never be forgotten in Birdland. And I know that all Orioles fans will follow him on the side, and wish him well with Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros. As will this writer.

Update: According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it was a three-team trade, also involving Tampa. The Birds got RHP Seth Johnson and Chayce McDermott from both Houston and Tampa, Mancini goes to Houston, and CF Jose Siri goes to Tampa.

Baltimore Orioles: A step backwards?

Austin Voth got the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in the series final at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. And Voth pitched five outstanding innings, putting the Birds in a spot to win the ballgame. Issue was he didn’t get the run support that he should have. Voth’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.

The score was still 0-0 when Voth exited after the fifth inning. Runs were tough to come by this afternoon. However Cincinnati broke through in the last of the sixth with an RBI-double by a Votto. Later in the inning Farmer’s sac fly-RBI extended their lead to 2-0.

But the O’s did have some fight in them, as is usually the case. Cedric Mullins got a run in with a sac fly-RBI in the top of the seventh. And one inning later Anthony Santander tied the game at two with a solo homer.

Needless to say, Santander has a certain moxie about him that not everyone has. He comes through in the clutch when the team needs a base hit, a run, etc. And that’s a tough thing to find. The O’s are certainly thankful that he’s here as opposed to having to play against him.

All of that said, this ultimately wasn’t the Orioles’ day. Drury’s solo homer in the last of the eighth have Cincinnati the lead back, and ultimately a 3-2 win. The Orioles dropped two-of-three this weekend.

This leaves the Orioles at .500, while Cincinnati’s 40-61. Statistically this is a series the Orioles should have won. Is Cincinnati a better team than the Orioles? No. So thus, is this a step backwards?

I would submit that the answer to that appears to also be no. Look at it from the opposite perspective; did the Orioles ever take two-of-three from a much better team circa 2018-2022? Of course. Heck, last year they swept Washington at home, which ultimately led to Washington ripping their team apart and commencing a rebuild.

And as a reminder, the O’s aren’t totally out of their rebuild yet. This probably isn’t the beginning of their window to win a title. Now it’s certainly a year we’ll point to and say that they turned a corner, but they probably aren’t quite there yet.

All of that said, it’s also about how you match up with another team. You could have the best record in the league, and match up poorly with the mix of players an awful team has. It happens all the time. Now if the Birds lose the straight, maybe this ends up being a step backwards. But you aren’t going to win them all, abs you aren’t always going to win series’ against teams you should beat. That’s just how it works.

The Orioles now head to Globe Light Field to open up a three-game set against Texas. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Jon Gray. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Dean Kremer hit hard in loss

Dean Kremer got the start in the second game of three for the Baltimore Orioles in Cincinnati this evening. He started out in good shape, but Cincinnati hitters seemed to figure him out the second time through the order. Kremer’s line: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Kremer seemed to be pitching-to-contact. And at least from the second time through the order and onward, Cincinnati was swinging away. They made contact, and made good contact at that.

The O’s however did have an early lead. Anthony Santander continued his hot steak, playing a run in the first with an RBI-single. Later in the inning Trey Mancini scored on a balk, giving the Birds a 2-0 lead.

However it wouldn’t last. Papierski’s RBI-single in the last of the second cut the Orioles’ lead to 2-1. Two innings later in the fourth, Frayley’s RBI-single tied the game at two.

Almost immediately following the tying of the game, Cincinnati had the lead. And they never looked back. India’s two-run homer gave Cincinnati a 4-2 lead. Solo homers by Votto and Fraley later in the game ran the lead to 7-2, and Drury would cap things off in the eighth with an RBI-single, which sent the O’s to an 8-3 loss.

Is this a case of a “bad team” beating a “good team? I’d say it’s more of a bad team beating a team that’s quickly on the rise. But either way, just because you’re “good” doesn’t mean you win every game. The season ebbs and flows, and you have to take the good with the bad. The O’s will have a shot at winning the series tomorrow, and if they do they’ll be satisfied with that.

The series concludes tomorrow at the Great American Ballpark. Austin Voth gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cincinnati’s Nick Lodolo. GMe time is set for just after 1:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Comeback kids equal 2021’s win total

You could be the most ardent Baltimore Orioles’ hater out there, but you’d have no choice but to admit that they’ve turned things around in a fairly quick manner. In short, the rebuild’s working. And it’s working much quicker than previously thought. Kyle Bradish came off the IL last night and got the start in Cincinnati. Bradish’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K.

The lone two runs given up by Bradish came off a two-run homer in the last of the first by Votto. And for awhile it appeared that those two runs might stand up and give Cincinnati the win. But these Orioles have proven time and time again that they can come back. No matter what.

Cincinnati walked Trey Mancini in the sixth. And as I’ve said before, the old saying that nothing good ever happens after a walk only applies if you’re in the field. If you’re at bat, good things can happen after a walk. And that’s exactly what happened, as Anthony Santander smacked a two-run homer into the left field grandstand, tying the game at two.

And despite putting off several Cincinnati rally attempts, the O’s entered the ninth inning still tied at two. And it remained tied, at least until Cedric Mullins’ two-RBI single gave the Birds a 4-2 lead. On top of that, they immediately tacked on a couple of insurance runs, as Mancini added an RBI-single, and Ryan Mountcastle’s sac fly-RBI.

All in all, it amounted to a 6-2 Orioles’ win. And yes, another comeback win. These O’s seem to play better from behind.

At 51-49, they’ve now equaled last season’s win total. Which given how most they looked at times last year, is really remarkable. Heck, they looked almost just as lost at various points in April of this season. But they’re firing on all cylinders now, no matter how you spin it.

The series continues tonight at the Great American Ballpark. Dean Kremer gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini wows perhaps one final time

The Baltimore Orioles taxed Jordan Lyles with starting the final game of this week’s series with Tampa, and the current homestand. However the focus wasn’t on Lyles today for the most part. He put the O’s in a spot to win (and was credited with the win of course), but the main focus today was on Trey Mancini. And boy did he ever not disappoint this afternoon. Lyles’ line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K.

The O’s got on the board in the last of the third when Anthony Santander smacked an RBI-double. And that one run would in theory have stood the test of time. Lyles and the Oriole ‘pen were strong this afternoon. But that’s almost not even news anymore. What is news is what the eighth inning had in store for the Orioles and Oriole fans.

We’ve all heard the trade rumors swirling around Trey Mancini. And we all know Mancini’s story when it comes to the cancer treatments he had to undergo. While the national media and the league have tried to spin it into a feel-good baseball story, in reality it’s a Baltimore story. And the fans at today’s game who applauded for Mancini at every turn of the way absolutely got that.

Mancini came up with Austin Hays on second base in the last of the eighth inning. Almost on cue, the fans rose to their feet and saluted Mancini, who at that point was POSSIBLY entering into his final at-bat as an Oriole at Camden Yards. And what an at-bat of consequence it was shaping up to be, with the Birds leading 1-0 and a runner in scoring position. Mancini was in a position to give the O’s at least one insurance run, and possibly put a cap on his career as an Oriole at the same time.

But as can often happen in moments like these in sports, Mancini did perhaps the thing not a soul expected. He sent a fly ball to fairly deep right field. The Tampa right fielder misplayed the ball and if fell in play. Not only that, but it rattled around a bit in the right field corner.

Hays scoring was a given. But as Tampa played the ball back in, Mancini was waved home. And he slid into home plate just before the tag, and kicked up a cloud of dirt in the process. This gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead, which solidified into a 3-0 win. They took three-of-four from Tampa, and four-of-seven on the home stand.

Again, make no mistake that Mancini’s story is a Baltimore story – this as opposed to a great story for MLB, which is what the league and the national media wants people to believe. And if come the trade deadline (August 2nd) Mancini’s no longer an Oriole, that was a great Baltimore and/or Oriole moment today. Because there would have been NO BETTER WAY for him to close out his Orioles’ career (at Camden Yards). It’s obvious that he doesn’t want to leave, nor do the Orioles really want to trade him. It’s just something that may have to be done.

Incidentally, the backhanded question to be asked could be whether or not the Tampa right fielder committed an error on the play. The ball appeared to deflect off of his glove ever-so-slightly. And I mean REALLY slightly. But the guy had obviously lost the ball in the sun based on his body language, and I presume that the official scorer picked up on that and awarded an inside-the-park home run as opposed to an error. Either that or he got caught up in the moment himself. Either would be an acceptable answer.

The O’s now head to the Great American in Cincinnati to open a three-game series this weekend against the Cincinnati Reds. The Birds have yet to announce a starter, but whomever he is will be opposed by Cincinnati’s Mike Minor. Game time is set for approximately 6:40 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Tyler Wells injured in loss

The Baltimore Orioles have avoided the injury bug this year, save for John Means. But that string came to an end last night as starter Tyler Wells left in the fifth inning with back discomfort. Brandon Hyde isn’t rushing to judgement quite yet, but he said that there was a good chance that Wells was destined for the 10-day IL. Wells’ line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

Tampa took an early lead off of a two-run homer by Choi in the first inning, and a solo shot in the second by Raley. However Rougned Odor’s RBI-single in the last of the second got the Orioles on the board.

One inning later Adley Rutschman was able to score in the third on a wild pitch, cutting the Tampa lead to 3-2. However Tampa would tack one on in the fifth on Diaz’s RBI-double. Wells departed shortly thereafter after feeling the discomfort in his back. Wells on his situation:

I was out there and it happened, and I was like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t feel great.’” I didn’t want to continue to try to test it because I know, you see it so many times with other people. One extra one and it just irritates it, and I wanted to make sure I stayed on top of it and didn’t really get to a point where I made it any worse.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

But the fight went on despite Wells’ injury. Trey Mancini’s RBI-double in the last of the fifth brought the Birds back to within one at 4-3. And the score remained right there nearly until the bitter end. Or what we thought was the bitter end. Jorge Mateo smacked a solo homer in the last of the ninth to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

However Tampa’s Arozarena’s two-run double in the tenth gave Tampa the lead back. And it ended up being the game-winning moment, as Tampa took this one, 6-4. And on we go to tomorrow.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Jordan Lyles gets the start for the O’s, and Tampa is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Ramon Urias slugs Orioles Magic into the yard

Spencer Watkins set the Baltimore Orioles up to be in good shape this evening at Camden Yards. While he left in line to be the loser, he put the O’s in a spot to win the game. Watkins’ line: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Keep in mind that the opponent against whom the Birds are playing this week is a contender. That of course being the Tampa Rays. And here we are in the second straight game, and they’ve found a way to win.

The O’s took an early 1-0 lead in the last of the first on a solo homer by Cedric Mullins. However whole that was a harbinger for later, the O’s would have to fight back from that point. Arozarena’s RBI-single in the third tied the game at one, and Tampa took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on a solo homer by Paredes.

Things would unfortunately get slightly worse before they’d get better. Quinn would finish off the fourth inning with a run-scoring double, and Tampa led 3-1. BUT…as long as Ft. McHenry stands on guard at the mouth of Baltimore harbor, these Orioles won’t quit.

The O’s began their modest comeback in the last of the fourth with an ANTHONY Santander solo home run. That cut the lead to 3-2, however the O’s still trailed. For the time being, that is…

…but they wouldn’t trail for long. The O’s would put a runner on in the last of the eighth. Tampa was looking to wind down the game and get to the last of the ninth with their closer. However that wasn’t to be as Ramon Urias strode to home plate.

There may well be many days where Tampa and their curious (at times) antics are going to succeed. More often than not, in fact. But if Urias was going to have anything to say about it, their antics were about to fail. And as his two-run homer cleared the wall and pumped Orioles Magic into the yard, the fans took notice. Because the time’s they are a-changin’.

The O’s would also get a sac fly-RBI by Trey Mancini later in the inning, running the final to 5-3. Again, these Orioles DO NOT quit. And I’m not doing so, they’re endearing themselves to a whole new generation of Orioles fans. They’re giving those people an incredible gift; the opportunity to experience Orioles Magic first hand.

The series continues tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Tyler Wells gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Drew Rasmussen. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles tame Tampa in series opener

Austin Voth wasn’t perfect in his outing last night for the Baltimore Orioles against Tampa at Camden Yards. But he pitched around situations, and put the Birds in a spot to win. Voth’s line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

The Orioles threatened in the second, loading the bases with nobody out. But while they only pushed one run across in that sequence, at least they scored one. It was more than the day before against New York. And it came on a sac fly-RBI by Rougned Odor.

However Tampa reminded the Orioles why it was important to bank runs as much as they could. In short, one run wasn’t going to be enough. Lowe smacked a solo homer in the top of the third, tying the game at one.

The Birds put traffic back on the base paths in the fifth. And they were able to push more across this time. Ryan Mountcastle smacked a two-RBI single, and the O’s seized the lead back at 3-1.

Later in the inning Anthony Santander reached on a fielder’s choice and an error, forcing another run across. Austin Hays would tack on a sacrifice fly, giving the Orioles a 5-1 lead. Which turned into a 5-1 win, thanks to the Orioles’ bullpen being so strong. At 3.09, the Orioles have the third-best bullpen in the major leagues in terms of ERA. That’s a huge tool.

The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. Spencer Watkins gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Shane Mclanahan. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.