Results tagged ‘ Baltimore Orioles ’

Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini recovering after colon surgery

When it rains it pours for the Baltimore Orioles. However the start of the season being pushed back pales in comparison to what Trey Mancini‘s been through this week. Mancini’s recovering this evening after having a malignant tumor removed from his colon.

Mancini of course left the team last weekend for an undisclosed medical procedure. We now know what that was for. The Orioles have said that at this time there’s no news on his rehabilitation, or when he’ll be ready. That might come next week. I don’t think that timetable should be a problem for anyone.

Join me in keeping Mancini in your prayers and wishing him well.

Baltimore Orioles: Season on hold

Major League Baseball has announced that the Baltimore Orioles’ season is on hold – along with the rest of the league. The statement by the league:

The Orioles themselves followed with a statement of their own:

This is obviously more serious than anyone would have ever thought it to be even a week ago. I’m not sure what else to say other than that. My hope and my prayer is that the situation improves substantially in the near future. This both for the sake of public health, and for the sake of the season. But mainly public health.

More as we hear it.

Baltimore Orioles: Season on the brink

As of right now, the Baltimore Orioles play Minnesota tonight in Ft. Myers. They play Toronto tomorrow in Sarasota. They open the regular season at home against New York on March 26th at 3 PM. That’s what the schedule says.

You know where this is going. In a very short span of time, the Coronavirus has ravaged American life. And as a “germophobe” myself, it’s not overly shocking. I guess what is shocking to me is that it’s gotten to the point to where the NBA is suspending it’s season, and the NCAA is no longer allowing fans at it’s post-season tournament games.

I shouldn’t say that it’s “shocking” to me. It’s just shocking in the sense that it’s come to this. When I think of pandemics, I think of the Spanish Flu circa 1918. Or the Black Death in Europe in the Middle Ages. I don’t think of 2020 and whether or not we’re going to play ball.

Look we all know the various options out there, and what the situation is. Some localities (Seattle and Oakland to name two) have banned mass events of more than 250 people. The Seattle Mariners have already said that they would be relocating home games to start the year.

Assuming the spread of the virus doesn’t severely curtail, my personal prediction is that the season will start similar to how the NCAA is doing things – games with no fans. The Orioles’ organization is obviously familiar with that concept, having had a fanless game in 2015 following civil unrest in Baltimore. And I suspect that’s a scenario they’d rather not have to repeat.

However here’s a much more grave prediction; the moment one player tests positive, MLB will follow the NBA’s example and suspend the season. Now when I say suspend, I mean suspend – not cancel. What happens once it’s safe to resume play is anyone’s guess.

This is a situation that’s changing on the fly. It seems like every hour yesterday there was something new. But any and all of these steps are probably necessary. Again, the O’s play tonight against Minnesota. All we can do is take things on a game-by-game basis.

Baltimore Orioles, Tom Eshelman blitzed by Toronto in Dunedin

The Baltimore Orioles ran into a buzz saw this afternoon in Dunedin against Toronto. Tom Eshelman struggled out of the gate. Or was it that Toronto’s bats were just hot? Probably a bit of both. Eshelman’s line: 2.0 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Eshelman’s trying to secure a spot in the back end of the Orioles’ rotation, meaning he picked a bad day to get roughed up like he did. However the fact that every other Oriole pitcher had similar results probably helps Eshelman’s case. After coming out of the game he didn’t seem to want to dwell on it:

Understand what I did and kind of move on from it. Not think about it too much. If you think about it a lot, then you screw yourself. Just take the negatives and turn them into a positive on my work days and get better for the next one

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Eshelman surrendered a solo homer to Bichette on the first pitch in the last of the first. That shouldn’t have been a huge issue, as solo home runs don’t beat you. But the game seemingly snowballed from there.

Gurriel smacked an RBI-double later in the inning. Grichuk added a two-run homer, and Jansen a solo shot. And before the crowd had seemingly settled in, the Birds trailed 5-0.

One positive for the O’s was Stevie Wilkerson‘s solo homer in the top of the second inning. But if anything that seemed to inspire Toronto hitters even more. They put four more on the board in the last of the second, all but ending the competitive phase of the game.

Grichuk would homer again in the fourth (this of the two-run variety), and Espinal would add a two-run homer of his own in the fifth. One inning later Burns’ solo shot ran the tally to 14-1. Needless to say, it wasn’t a good day to be an Oriole pitcher – that is unless you stayed back in Sarasota. Mason Williams would add a solo homer in the eighth to get the O’s to within 14-2.

The Orioles announced before the game that Alex Cobb is being scratched from his scheduled start tomorrow due to a blister on his hand. Cobb of course had knee surgery last year, ending his season. The Orioles did say that he would probably play if it were a regular season game, however in this case they’re holding out.

The Orioles head to Fort Myers tomorrow night to take on the Minnesota Twins. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jhoulys Chacin. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Three-run sixth lifts the Birds

Keegan Akin is making a case to be in the Baltimore Orioles’ starting rotation this year coming out of spring training. However his chances may have taken a bit of a hit this evening against Atlanta at Ed Smith Stadium. Akin’s line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

The four strikeouts and one walk were certainly positives. However Akin surrendered a third inning three-run homer by Pache, giving Atlanta a 3-0 lead. Akin admitted after coming out that he made a bad pitch to Pache (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

I would say so (one pitch really hurt). Just kind of felt uncomfortable out of the stretch. That’s kind of been my whole spring training memo I guess. Yeah, one bad pitch and obviously leadoff walks don’t help to start the inning. Have to eliminate those. Other than that, I felt pretty good.

However the last of the fourth saw the O’s get on the board. Anthony Santander‘s solo homer cut the Atlanta lead to 3-1. Hanser Alberto smacked a solo homer of his own one inning later. But it was the sixth inning that decided the actual outcome of the game.

Jose Iglesias‘ RBI-double in the last of the sixth tied the game at three. The Birds would later load the bases, and they were able to take the lead when Renato Nunez reached on an error. Dwight Smith Jr. would later get hit by a pitch, giving the O’s a 5-3 lead. Yusniel Diaz would smack an RBI-triple in the seventh, to close out the scoring in the Birds’ 6-3 win.

Again, one of the good things here is that the O’s didn’t quit when they were down early. That’s a good sign, and indicative of the moxie that this team had last year. They didn’t win a lot, but they never quit. That.’s important.

The O’s head to Dunedin tomorrow to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Tom Eshelman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Chase Anderson. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: New announcers should look to the past

The Baltimore Orioles are revamping some of their broadcasters for the coming 2020 season. In all, there are 19 people who will serve as Oriole broadcasts this season, with different combinations going around throughout the season, and even some going between TV and radio. But there’s one guy to whom anyone calling Orioles games any year should look for guidance: Chuck Thompson.

I write a variation of this column during spring training every year; that being a tribute to the great Chuck Thompson. We all know who he is and his history with the Orioles. Not to mention national broadcasts. When he appeared nationally however, he was still uniquely Baltimore’s.

In mentioning the number of new people covering the team this year, I say that they should look to Thompson because of what he meant to the Baltimore community and to Orioles fans. As a hometown announcer, having the type of pull that he had is something that should be the goal.

That’s easier said than done. Back then every town and every team had it’s own Thompson. That voice of summer which represented good weather and good times. Philadelphia had Harry Kalas, New York Mel Allen, St. Louis Jack Buck, and Chicago Jack Brickhouse and later Haray Carey. Chuck Thompson was Baltimore’s “voice.”

While he did Colts games also, he’s synonymous with the O’s. When you would hear that smooth baritone of his, you knew it was time for Orioles baseball. I would argue that Orioles baseball wouldn’t be what it is today if not for Chuck Thompson. Until a certain point, the games weren’t televised. Fans’ only connection (unless they were at the game) was him broadcasting the games.

And that’s why that era of announcer was so important. Most people always remember their hometown voice as a result. Because if you wanted to follow the games, radio was the way to do it. So again, to the new voices of Orioles baseball, take a listen to Chuck Thompson. He was the best. The absolute best. Ain’t the beer cold?!

Baltimore Orioles: A mixed bag in a tie

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t get quite the same crisp effort out of starter Kohl Stewart this afternoon that they’ve gotten out of other starters this spring. Now granted Stewart had a stiff assignment in taking on the New York Yankees today; furthermore he wasn’t shelled by any means. He was somewhere “in the middle,” as I like to say. Stewart’s line: 3.0 IL, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Stewart, who hadn’t pitched in a game in a while (save for simulated games), said he felt he gave himself something on which to build (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

It felt pretty good. It’s been a while, you know? So finally getting in the game instead of doing some of these sims that I’ve been doing. My stuff felt really good, especially as long as it’s been since I’ve been against live hitters. I felt like I executed the majority of things that I wanted to today. I made a few mistakes and they made me pay for it, but as far as building on this and getting some of thsoe things corrected that I didn’t do, we know exactly what I need to do a little better and we can make that happen in between starts.

Chris Davis continued his hot spring with an RBI-single in the last of the first to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. Dwight Smith Jr. would add an RBIsingle later in the inning as well, and Pedro Severino would add a sac fly-RBI. However New York would storm back with three runs in the second, tying the game at two.

They would then take the lead in the fourth with a two-run homer my Milone. Now for the record, that wasn’t charged to Kohl Stewart. He had exited the game by then.

However an inning later Dwight Smith Jr. would bring the Birds back to within one with an infield RBI-single in the fifth. A Yusniel Díaz RBI-single in the eight would then tie the game at five. Which is how it ended. The teams opted to call it a day and leave it as a tie. Which of course is like kissing your sister. But results don’t matter at this stage.

The more pressing matter is the condition of Trey Mancini, who’s left the team and will undergo elective surgery for a non-baseball related condition this week. We don’t know what the condition is, nor how much time Mancini will miss. The Orioles ask that his privacy be respected at this time.

None of that sounds good. Nor do some of the quotes coming out of the Orioles’ clubhouse, with several players and coaches expressing that Trey is in their prayers. I’m not going to speculate on what the issue is, as per the family’s request through the team. However I would ask that all readers keep Trey Mancini and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

The O’s now find themselves with their line off day during camp coming up tomorrow. So no game! The facility will be closed, and players will be asked to stay away. Even during spring guys value their time off. So I’m sure they won’t have any issue following that edict!

Baltimore Orioles blanked against Tampa

The Baltimore Orioles pitched well for the second consecutive game. That’s seemingly been the motif this spring, as the O’s have pitched well in most games. This afternoon they sent Baltimore native Bruce Zimmerman to the mound, and he didn’t disappoint. Zimmerman’s line: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

Zimmerman was solid on a day when Orioles’ pitching in general was solid. And after coming out of the game he himself seemed very satisfied with his outing (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I think I threw really well. I had a little bit of control issues that first inning. Loved having that solid defense behind me today, picking me up with that double play as well as a couple of those wind balls that Rio (Ruiz) played extremely well because it was moving around a lot up there.

I think my second and third inning I was able to settle down and really attack some hitters. Changeup was really good today. Didn’t really get to use my breaking balls as much, but overall I think it was a pretty solid day and the defense helped me out, which was nice.

After Zimmerman exited however, Tampa got on the board. Martinez’s RBI-single gave them a 1-0 lead. And as they say, that’s your ballgame.

It may not have been a good day at the plate for the O’s, but the pitching was once again solid. And I think the coaches understand that not all games are going to yield big runs on offense. Especially against a team like Tampa who gets on base through any means necessary. But the fact that the pitching shut them down for the most part today is something that should give coaches and fans a lot of hope.

The O’s return home to Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow as the New York Yankees come to town. Kohl Stewart takes the mound for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Clarke Schmidt. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ pitching bombs the bombers

This has been a good camp for the Baltimore Orioles thus far. While the bats are coming along well, Oriole pitching has been really solid – to this point. Tom Eshelman got the start tonight in Tampa for the Birds against New York, and was true to form. Eshelman’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

New York has a decent lineup. Granted they have a lot of injuries right now (that will continue into the regular season), they still have a great lineup. Orioles’ pitching, led tonight by Eshelman, kept them at bay.

The O’s got on the board early in the first inning when Austin Hays scored from third on a wild pitch. He was followed to the plate by Dwight Smith Jr., who later scored on a pass ball. After getting two runners in scoring position the O’s netted two runs without a base hit.

And as I’ve written many times before, that illustrates why it’s good to have base runners. Sometimes quirky things like wild pitches happen. If they happen with nobody on base, in reality it never happened. But if it happens with guys on base, you can see runs scored, or runners moved up. Every little bit helps.

2019 Oriole-killer Voit smacked a solo homer in the second, bringing NY to within 2-1. But Oriole pitching shut them down after that. Miguel Castro followed Eshelman into the ballgame, pitching the fourth inning. He struck out the side, which bodes well for the Orioles’ pen this year.

However before Castro took the field, the O’s got a two-RBI single from Richie Martin which ran the lead to 4-1. They would also get an RBI-single in the ninth from Mason Willians, in what amounted to an insurance run. That’s also a good sign, because in a regular season game that could be big. While the Birds lost most of them, they played a lot of close games last year. An insurance run could be the difference between a win and a loss.

This game was also notable because it was the Orioles’ first game under the lights this spring. Most of the regular season games occur at night obviously, so getting in a few in the spring is always a good thing. As time goes on we’ll start seeing 6 PM starts at Ed a Smith Stadium sprinkled in as well.

Tomorrow the O’s head to Port Charlotte to take on the Tampa Rays. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Sean Gilmartin. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Austin Wynns a tie for the Birds

The Baltimore Orioles returned to Sarasota today from their Florida East Coast trip to take on the Minnesota Twins in Sarasota. Keegan Akin got the start for the O’s, and despite surrendering a solo homer, looked pretty good. Akin’s line: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Akin made one mistake. In essence, one bad pitch. Former Oriole Cruz smacked a solo homer in the first inning. But that’s how you learn. Over the years numerous pitchers have struggled against him. Including many Oriole opponents in 2014.

The O’s evened things up in the last of the third when Chris Davis smacked an RBI-single. This only to see Minnesota re-take the lead in the fourth on Celestino’s RBI-single. And the score stood at 2-1 in favor of Minnesota until the end.

And at that, I mean the bitter end. As in the ninth. Minnesota added a solo homer in the top of the ninth. That’s what one would normally call an insurance run. But keep in mind that the mark of this team last year was that they never gave up. They played until the end. And that was the case today.

Following a walk and a base hit in the last of the ninth, T.J. Nichting smacked an RBI-single to right, bringing the O’s to within 3-2. Austin Wynns then yielded another run on an infield RBI-single. That tied the game at three – which is where it ended.

Again, wins and losses don’t matter in these games. Neither do ties, which as we know doesn’t happen in the regular season. But the part of this game that’s promising is that the guys in the game at the end – including Austin Wynns – refused to allow the O’s to lose. That’s the type of pedigree that you want on the team and within the organization. As tough as last season was, we saw it then. And we’ve seen it here and there this spring.

Chris Davis continued his hot spring with an RBI this afternoon. If he can continue this trend into the regular season, that should equal a win or two more for the O’s. Not all of them need to be homers, but if he can get on base that helps. And it helps a lot at that.

The O’s head to Tampa tomorrow evening to take on the NY Yankees at Steinbrenner Field (in what’ll be the first night game for the Orioles this spring). Tom Eschelman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Deivi Garcia. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

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