Results tagged ‘ John Means ’

Baltimore Orioles’ John Means finishes second for AL Rookie of the Year

John Means of the Baltimore Orioles finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. Means had an impressive resume of course, but it wasn’t enough to get him past Houston’s Yordan Alvarez. The Orioles’ Rodrigo Lopez was also the runner up in 2002. The last Oriole to win the award was Greg Olson in 1989.

However just being one of the top three finishers is a feat for Means. And for the Orioles. The fact that an Oriole finished that high should tell us something about the direction of the rebuild. When you combine that with the fact that the Orioles’ minor league system went from being ranked in the 20’s to being top ten in one year, needless to say it bodes well for the future.

I’m sure that both Means and the organization would have loved to have gotten the award. Means certainly had the pedigree in terms of his numbers to win it. But again, even being in the running was pretty special. And combining that with his ASG selection says that the Orioles have a budding star on their hands.

Baltimore Orioles: Should the Birds go after a free agent pitcher?

There are lots of pitchers who will be on the open market in 2019, in theory all pitchers that could be available for the Baltimore Orioles. The question is whether or not the Birds would be in a position to sign a free agent pitcher. Would it make sense?

Tough to say. This isn’t so much about who they might look to sign or who might be available and in play. It’s more about whether or not they should delve into signing one.

First off we need to look at who the Orioles already have that might be penciled into the rotation. I would say that Dylan Bundy, John Means, and Alex Cobb are in line to be starters going into spring training. That’s right, Alex Cobb…remember him? He’s still under contract with the Orioles until 2022. Unless he retires or is traded, expect him to be in the starting rotation. (Although keep in mind that he’s also coming off of season-ending surgery in 2019.)

I think there’s also a legitimate chance that Asher Wojciechowski will get a shot to compete for a starting job also. If his second half from this year continues into spring training, he’ll be in line as a starter. But is there anyone else on the roster who jumps out as a potential starter?

To me, the closest other person on the roster now might be David Hess. He’s started before, obviously. But it’ll take a great spring for him to earn his way onto the roster. So with all of this in mind, there could very well be space for the Orioles to get themselves a free agent pitcher going into the season…

…but who? That’s another discussion for another day.

Baltimore Orioles: John Means closes his season in fashion

John Means was one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season for the Baltimore Orioles. Not that it matters, but he probably goes into spring training next year as the staff ace. That aside, he closed his 2019 season this afternoon with a decent outing against Boston at Fenway Park. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

The Birds took an almost immediate lead in this one. Jonathan Villar got aboard almost right away with a base hit, and he scored a moment later in a two-run homer by DJ Stewart. And the O’s appeared off to the races…

…save for the fact that Means surrendered a two1run homer to Bogaerts in the last of the first. Immediately following that homer Martinez would give them the lead at 3-2 with a solo shot of his own. But this day belonged to Means and the Orioles, and that brief blip on the radar wasn’t about to stop them.

Sure enough, Richie Martin‘s solo homer in the second tied the game back up at three. One inning later Renato Nunez‘s solo homer gave them the lead back. Incidentally, Richie Martin is another success story of this season. Of course the Orioles got him in last year’s Rule 5 draft. He had to be on the roster all season, and now moving forward he’s a member of the Orioles in full, meaning they can move him up and down the organization. Whether he’s a major leaguer next year or not remains to be seen. But I think he has a bright future at this level.

The O’s blew the lead open in the sixth. Austin Wynns‘ RBI-single extended the lead to 5-3. Martin would smack an RBI-double, making it 6-3. Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini would each add RBI-singles as well, giving the Birds an 8-3 lead.

Boston would put up an additional run, and they threatened in the eighth. They had the bases loaded and one out, but the O’s turned a double-play to end the inning. Trey Mancini would also hit his 35th homer of the season to cap off the Birds’ 9-4 victory.

And that brings us to tomorrow – the end of the line. It’s kind of hard to believe that we’ve been doing this since spring games began – back on February 23rd. But the Orioles have now played 161 regular season games. And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along to this point…

…and beyond. And yes folks, there is a beyond – Birdland Crush covers the Birds 365 days a year! The world certainly doesn’t end tomorrow. Just the season. The Orioles are already closing 2019 in a positive manner by taking a series from Boston at Fenway Park. Tomorrow they’ll try to make it a sweep.

So for the last time this season…the O’s will close the year tomorrow at Fenway Park. It’ll be a bullpen game for the Orioles and they’re yet to announce a starter, however whomever he is will be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: John Means a hard-luck loser

The Baltimore Orioles got another great start out of John Means last night against Texas. However the bats were quiet, making Means a hard-luck loser. It’s unfortunately part of being a starting pitcher sometimes in baseball. All Means can do is his job and handle the things he can control. He did that last night, it just didn’t work out. Means’ line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Means is going through a bit of a situation in his personal life, as his father was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. You may remember awhile back when he was placed on the family emergency list – he had traveled home to the Kansas City area to be with his Dad and his family. The Orioles then arrived in Kansas City, where Means turned in one of the best starts of his career in his hometown surrounded by his family. Needless to say, baseball’s a nice distraction for him right now.

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the last of the sixth, after playing to a 0-0 tie to that point. Renato Nunez pushed a run across on a sac fly-RBI. However one inning later Solak smacked a two-run homer for Texas, giving them a 2-1 lead. Forsythe’s ninth inning RBI-single in the ninth gave them an insurance run, and Texas beat the O’s 3-1 in game one of four.

Manager Brandon Hyde on Means’ outing (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I didn’t think he was especially sharp in the first, but he really settled down and had a really good changeup going. He was just cruising into the seventh inning. He was throwing the ball really well and just left a changeup out over for the two-run homer. But that really wasn’t the story. He did a great job, but we just didn’t hit with runners in scoring position. We didn’t do a very good job with situational hitting tonight. We had our opportunities. He definitely deserved better, but we just didn’t get it done offensively tonight.

The O’s were 0-for-13 with RISP last night. While it begins and ends with starting pitching, that right there was the game. Had even one of those runners scored, the game unfolds differently.

The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Brock Burke. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: John Means business in return to his hometown

John Means of the Baltimore Orioles got to watch a dream play out last night in Kansas City. Means’ hometown is about 30 minutes from there, and he grew up a huge Kansas City Royals fan. Athletes dream of playing in their hometown against their hometown team; not only did Means get to do it, but he pitched a gem in doing so. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Means was welcomed home in a semi-inauspicious manner, as Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo home run by Soler. However Means had some help in this game; that help of course in the form of Oriole bats. Pedro Severino‘s RBI-single in the second tied the game at one. Kansas City never had the lead or even got close again.

Anthony Santander smacked a three-run homer in the third, and the O’s were off to the races. Severino would add another RBI-single later in the inning, and Richie Martin a sac fly-RBI. Kansas City’s other lone run came on an RBI-single by Cuthbert in the last of the fourth. Other than that, Means kept them off the board.

And for their part the Orioles couldn’t stay off the board. Hanser Alberto‘s two-RBI single in the fifth opened the game up wide. Jonathan Villar would later steal home in the seventh to give the O’s a 9-2 lead. When all was said and done and the smoke cleared, the Orioles had defeated Kansas City 14-2.

Oriole bats were huge in winning this game – that goes without saying. But you have to feel good for John Means, who was able to provide such a dominant performance in his hometown in front of his parents and other family and friends. Means on the outing (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports:

It almost felt like my debut. I had so many friends and family here. The first inning, a little butterflies, you know in my home ballpark. But it was a cool experience. I didn’t think I would ever make it here, to be honest with you. It was always my dream, but I was a realist as a kid; I’ll probably have to get another job. But it was really cool. The big crown in center field. I grew up (and) probably came to 200 games here in my lifetime. I’m definitely familiar with the park.

Means seems like he understands what a cool moment he was afforded last night. And in saying that I mean the opportunity to get to play in his hometown, albeit as a visitor. Not every athlete gets to do that. Not only was he afforded that opportunity, but he seized it and ran with it. Pitching a gem like that in what amounts to his home ballpark is probably something that neither he nor his parents will ever forget.

The series continues tonight at Kauffman Stadium. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the I’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez. Game time is set for 7:15 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: What’s the goal for the second half?

The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB remain on the all-star break – for today. With the exception of Texas and Houston, who play tonight. But I digress. The second half opens in earnest tomorrow.

I would still question why John Means didn’t get into the All-Star game Tuesday night. It’s not just Means who deserves an explanations to why he didn’t get into the game. Orioles’ fans deserve to know why not one of their players appeared in the game. Yes, they have the worst record in baseball. But Means deserved to be on the roster, and has better numbers than some of the guys who did pitch.

That aside, Tampa comes to town tomorrow to open the unofficial second half of the season. What should the Orioles’ goal be for that second half? It’s too simplistic to say win as many games as they can. That should go without saying. It what goals should they have?

I’ll throw out a few. First off, they need to figure out what they’re doing at the trade deadline at the end of the month. If one or more guys end up getting traded, then the organization needs to figure out who takes their place on the roster. Basically, which prospects will get to come up. If that happens, the organization needs to ensure that they get it right.

Another goal should be to button up defensive miscues. Over the course of the first half several miscues haunted the Orioles in games. In some instances these miscues did cost the Orioles games. In others they piled onto a score that ended up getting out of control. Either way, it needs to stop.

And I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season. The goal is to win more than 47 games (last year’s total). They’re currently at 27; if they can win more than 20 games for the remainder of the season, it’ll have been a success on some level.

Anything on top of that is gravy, folks. Enjoy the last day of the break!

Baltimore Orioles: John Means stays in the pen

The Baltimore Orioles had one all-star in John Means. And in last night’s All-Star game in Cleveland, he didn’t get into the game. The American League defeated the National League 4-3 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of this. Especially now that there’s nothing at stake in the game – as in it’s an exhibition again – I think that every player on the roster should somehow get into the game. That isn’t a rule, however it’s just how I see things.

As I’ve said before, I think that fans of all teams should have the right to watch the All-Star game and have a member of their team in the game. That means he should play in the game. But ultimately, Means didn’t play. However he was still an all-star. Nothing can take that away from him.

Baltimore Orioles’ John Means to represent Birdland in Cleveland

The Baltimore Orioles will be represented by pitcher John Means at tonight’s MLB All-Star game. Means was selected last week as the Orioles’ representative, and will be eligible to pitch in the game. He’ll be out in the bullpen, at least for the beginning.

There are some who decry the rule, however I support the idea that every team has to have a representative on the All-Star team. MLB and the NFL both have this rule, however the NBA and NHL do not. I’ve always believed that fans in every town should have the right to sit down and watch the All-Star game, and have a member of his or her home team on the roster.

Not only that, but each team should be represented in the game. It’s not enough to just have someone on the roster as a token representative. Managers and coaches should find a way to get that guy into the game as well. If that means using a starting pitcher as a match-up reliever, do it. If it means using someone merely as a pinch-runner late in the game, go for it. Fans want to see their players in the game. Find a way to get them in.

Again, there are plenty of folks who disagree with me. Many prefer how the NBA and NHL do things. If you like watching 13-12 hockey games and 180-170 basketball games, be my guest. Furthermore you have to give people a reason to tune in. Sure people want to see the stars, and for sure the stars are there. But the quickest way to get people not to tune in is to not have a member of their team in the game.

The good news is that the game is once again an exhibition. The era of the game deciding home field advantage in the World Series is over. So enjoy the game tonight, Birdland, and riot on John Means!

Baltimore Orioles drop first half finale in Toronto

The Baltimore Orioles were unable to complete the sweet in Toronto this afternoon after having won the first two games of the series. The Orioles started Asher Wojciechowski In hopes of seeing what they had in him going forward into the second half. Unfortunately for all involved, Wojchiekowski never really got it going. Wojchiekowski’s line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Wojchiekowski gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to Gurriel, which gave Toronto a 2-0 lead. Toronto also got an RBI-double from Jansen in the fourth, and another to Tellez in the sixth. Needless to say, it wasn’t the Orioles’ day from the outset.

Later in that sixth inning Toronto would get an RBI-single from Hernandez to extend their lead to 6-0. The Orioles would net a token run in the seventh on Chance Sisco‘s solo homer, leading the final score to 6-1. Certainly the O’s hoped to finish off the first half in a more positive manner, however they went 5-4 in the last three series’. As many struggles as this team had in the first half, that’s impressive.

There are some who will say that the Orioles losing today shows no organizational tenacity. In essence, they were happy taking two-of-three. This of course as opposed to sweeping the series.

First off, again keep in mind that this season was never about winning now. Sure if by some miracle that had happened the Orioles would have taken it. But the organization did a good job of preparing the fanbase for what this season was going to be.

Secondly, taking two-of-three in most series’ will put you in playoff position. Now that isn’t going to happen this year, but in general if you win two-of-three you’re going to be doing fine. Players and coaches will always say they wish they could have swept the series, but privately they’ll take the series win.

The team will now disperse for the annual “midsummer vacation.” John Means of course will be off to Cleveland for the All-Star game. Everyone else will go wherever they’re going. As for me…The Delmarva Shore beckons for a few days!

Baltimore Orioles: John Means business in return

John Means came off the IL to make the start last night for the Baltimore Orioles against Cleveland. And he couldn’t have picked a better game to return, as he was on the ball himself, and Oriole bats produced a donnybrook of a win. Means himself didn’t go too deep into the game because the O’s wanted to be cautious after his IL stint, but he looked good while he was in – and the bullpen followed suit. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

It’s been a long time since the Orioles have won a game running away like that. Chance Sisco‘s two-run homer in the first inning set the tone. Later in the inning Hanser Alberto‘s two-RBI double actually doubled the Orioles’ lead to 4-0. And they were off!

The good news was that the O’s kept the pressure on. Dwight Smith Jr. added a sac fly-RBI in the second. Sisco added another RBI-single, and Anthony Santander‘s homer broke the game wide open. The Orioles held an 8-0 lead after two innings once the smoke cleared.

As I said, John Means and the bullpen kept Cleveland in check. And that’s been tough to do thus far this season. Sometimes playing with such a big lead is tough because you end up letting tour guard down. If anything that might be natural. However the Orioles were nose to the brine stone throughout the entire game. They weren’t losing their focus on this night.

And for good measure, they added a few runs on late. The seventh brought a Rio Ruiz RBI-single, and the eight two separate two-RBI doubles. One by Chance Sisco, and the other from Anthony Santander. For one game, it seemed that everyone participated.

Orioles fans would have liked to have seen games like this earlier and more often this year. However for once, the skies opened up and let us see just what this crop of players are capable of doing. It’s a trend that Orioles fans certainly hope continues into today’s game.

The series with Cleveland continues today at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Zach Plesac. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

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