Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Villar ’

Baltimore Orioles: Why Jonathan Villar was traded

There were a wide range of reactions from Baltimore Orioles’ fans regarding the trading of Jonathan Villar. Many are questioning why he was traded. Many are saying that the Angelos’ don’t want to pay him, all among other things.

And the fact is that the Angelos’, by way of GM Mike Elias, don’t want to pay in fact. If he isn’t going to help them win a World Series, he’s taking up a roster spot. So they got something in return for him, a player who wasn’t going to be here anyways when the Orioles were ready to contend again.

First and foremost, Elias was a part of this exact same process in Houston. And look where they’ve ended up. So I think you just have to keep trusting the process, no matter how much a move might raise your eyebrows. Maybe something doesn’t make sense at the moment. But it might in the future.

As an example, look down the road a couple of years. The Orioles are going to find themselves in a position whereby they’ll need to pony up to keep Trey Mancini. What would you say if I told you the money they’re saving on paying Villar was going directly towards that goal? I’m not saying that it is, but…as yourself, is Mancini not more valuable to the organization than Villar?

That isn’t to say that Villar didn’t represent any value to the organization. He most certainly did. But some players become more valuable on the trade market to a team than they are on the field. The move frees up salary for the Orioles, and it allows them to reallocate resources to players who are more going to be bedrocks for the future.

Ultimately, as I said, trust the process.

Baltimore Orioles: Jonathan Villar traded to Miami

The Baltimore Orioles have officially parted ways with infielder Jonathan Villar. We pretty much knew that was going to happen yesterday with Villar already having been waived, however the good news is that the Birds consummated a trade. Villar was traded to the Miami Marlins for LHP Easton Lucas.

Chalk this up to well at least they got something back for him. Lucas was drafted by Miami in the 2019 player draft (14th round), and was immediately assigned to the Batavia Muckdogs. He was later sent to the Gulf Coast League Marlins. Overall in the minors he was 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA.

For a team that’s rebuilding and is in need of as many young arms as they can get, I suppose this was a good move. Again, at least they didn’t give Villar away. It’s still going to be a tough pill to swallow not having him in the lineup, as he produced well last year. But sometimes these types of decisions have to be made.

Baltimore Orioles: Should the Birds keep Jonathan Villar?

As we know, Jonathan Villar has been placed on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. The Birds had been trying to trade Villar, however have been unable to find a trade partner. Again, we know that Villar is an asset and that he had a decent season for the O’s last year. However I’m a bit surprised that there were no trade partners – it’s unclear if that was due to lack of interest or the O’s asking too much.

Is Villar better suited on the Orioles right now or not? Obviously you’d like to get someone back for him if in fact they aren’t going to keep him. But…again, is it better for him to stay or go. In general, I’d say they should keep him. But…should they?

I don’t believe that Villar is going to be a part of the solution when the team finally contends again. That’s why I say that it’s better for him not to be here. Some might say that it’s not worth cutting him loose unless they get something in return. However is there a benefit to the Orioles with him not being here?

And the answer to that is YES. They need to figure out what the long-term solution is going to be at second base. Not having Villar being a part of a log jam at that position means that they can try new guys at second base. And finding the second baseman of the long-term future should be the goal (at that position). And that appears to be where the Orioles are headed.

Baltimore Orioles waive Jonathan Villar

Here I thought the Baltimore Orioles wouldn’t be making any news this week, yet here we are. Late yesterday the Orioles placed infielder Jonathan Villar on waivers. The O’s had been trying to trade Villar prior to next week’s deadline to tender a contract to players (or non-tender them), but were unable to find a trade partner.

Villar is eligible for arbitration, and the Orioles didn’t want to absorb a dramatic increase in salary for a player who probably won’t be here when everything comes together. It’s a shame to be honest. Villar hit .274 with 24 homers last year. But ultimately baseball and all sports can come down to budgets, and that’s the driving force behind this move.

The Orioles will now look to replace Villar, primarily at second base. However he did at times play shortstop as well. And we’ll discuss where the O’s go from here in due course. Just not today. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Birdland, and know that I’m thankful and eternally grateful for each and every one of you who read this column daily. Have a wonderful day with your family and/or friends!

Baltimore Orioles equal 2018

With tonight’s win, the Baltimore Orioles equaled their 2018 mark of 47 wins. They did it tonight behind a fine effort by John Means. He tamed one of the best lineups in baseball for all intents and purposes. Means’ line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K

Dwight Smith Jr’s RBI-double gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the last of the second. And that lead held up until the sixth when Pollock smacked a two-run homer. Los Angeles is one of the best teams in baseball; you can’t totally shut them down.

However the Birds weren’t going to be stopped. Dwight Smith provides an additional RBI-single in the bottom of that second inning to tie the game at two. Right when it looked like we might end up in extra innings, Oriole bats came to life.

Jonathan Villar gave the Orioles the lead back in the seventh. He hit a no doubter into the stands, which opened up a 5-2 lead for the O’s. The record will also show forevermore that Villar hit the 6,106th home run of the 2019 big league season – a new major league record. Again, forevermore the record will show that said record was broken by an Oriole.

Pedro Severino would add a two-run shot in the eighth, and LA would add a run in the ninth. However when all was said and done, the Orioles had a 7-3 victory. Their 47th of the year.

As I said, that ties last year’s win total. My goal at the beginning of the season was for the Orioles to win more games than they did in 2018. So tonight they equaled that mark. Incidentally, they only reached 47 wins on the last day of the season last year.

The prevailing odds are that they’ll achieve my goal. Many people say that’s setting the bar too low. Maybe it is. But at the end of the day they’ll be able to say they did better year-over-year. And that’s an important sentiment to take into spring training next year.

The series with Los Angeles concludes tomorrow evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by LA’s Rich Hill (himself a former Oriole). Game time is set for approximately 7:15 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: These Birds are royal

It doesn’t begin to pay Kansas Coty back for the 2015 ALCS, but the Baltimore Orioles walloped Kansas City this evening to take two-of-three. The Birds got a decent start for the second in as many games, this evening out of Aaron Brooks. Brooks’ line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

For the first time in what feels like forever, the O’s put up some wayward – or caddywampus – numbers. I thought that perhaps this past Sunday in Boston was going to be a game like this, however Boston came back and beat the Orioles handily. But Kansas City aren’t the BoSox. And this wasn’t Fenway Park.

Jonathan Villar got the party started in the second inning with a two-rum homer. Stevie Wilkerson would add an RBI-double later in the inning, and the O’s led 3-0. They jumped out to a lead, and never looked back.

Kansas City did however make a slight motion to get back into the game. Merrifield smacked a solo homer in the third inning. However that would be as far as they’d get. While Kansas City takes it’s team name from a color, the true colors of this game and this series were orange and black.

The Orioles would net back-to-back homers in the last of the fifth, which in effect blew the game wide open. Anthony Santander smacked a two-run shot, and Renato Nunez a solo homer. The Orioles at that point led 5-1.

And they also put out a few add-on runs. Probably unnecessary with the way this game ebbed and flowed, but always nice to have. And in fact with how this season’s gone for the Orioles, you can never have enough runs. Hanser Alberto hit a three-run homer in the sixth, and the Birds went into win by the score of 8-1.

The add-on runs are a good sign. As is the fact that the Orioles continued the momentum gained from the previous game. In fact, Jonathan Villar hit the walk off homer last night, and picked right up where he left off this evening. He of course hit the first home run in this game. Again, these are all good signs.

The Orioles will now open up a four-game set with Tampa at Camden Yards. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Ryan Yarbrough. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Mental lapses cost you wins

John Means have the Baltimore Orioles five incredibly solid innings this evening against Kansas City. The issue of course was that he seemingly fell apart in an abrupt manner – before the O’s could get him out. While an error certainly helped things along in that sequence, Means tired quickly. Means’ line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 earned), 2 BB, 4 K.

Again for five innings, Means looked good. And the O’s had a lead. DJ Stewart‘s RBI-double in the second inning gave them a 1-0 lead.

However a base hit and a botched fielder’s choice and an error in the top of the sixth gave Kansas City runners at the corners. Before the O’s could get someone ready in the bullpen Merrifield’s RBI-single would tie the game at one. Later in the inning Dozier’s two-RBI single gave Kansas City a 3-1 lead.

I’ve said this before but teams are holding the Orioles in account for 100% of their mistakes. Now the Orioles are in some instances starting to do the same, but if you get into games which are decided by the team that commits the fewer errors and so forth, generally a rebuilding franchise is going to lose that.

However the Orioles don’t quit. That’s certainly to their benefit. Jonathan Villar‘s solo homer in the last of the sixth cut the lead back to one. However the Orioles managed to run themselves out of that inning, with two runners being well off the bases in the end trying to advance. With two outs. Kansas City had both runners in a run-down, only needing to nail one of them. And they did.

And again, they made the Orioles pay for that. They led off the seventh with back-to-back home runs. That broke the Orioles’ back in a sense. Again, the Birds managed to run themselves out of the previous inning. And Kansas City held them to account.

But turnaround can also be fair play. As I said, the O’s are starting to do that also. Stewart would smack a run-scoring single in the last of the seventh which scored a run due in part to an error. Rio Ruiz would smack a solo homer in the last of the ninth, but it was too little too late and the O’s fell 5-4.

Those mental lapses, whether they show up in the scorecard or not, cost the Orioles the game. Think back to that unearned run in the sixth. Think back to the O’s running themselves out of that inning. If things break differently this could be a win instead of a loss.

However that’s part of rebuilding. Lesson learned, in a sense. These games will happen, and as I’ve said many times the organization all but promised fans that at the beginning. It’s a painful process. You just have to hope that if the process is administered properly it culminates in the organization being in a good spot.

The series with Kansas City continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Brad Keller. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Ball always bounces for Boston at the Fens

I would say that Ty Blach‘s day for the Baltimore Orioles was slightly more good than bad. However he certainly had an interesting game, getting six runs and then giving them back. Blach’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Some of the runs Blach surrendered behooved he and the Orioles in that they had a lead and they gave them outs. But they all add up. The O’s took an early 3-0 lead on Renato Nunez‘s three-run homer in the first inning. It looked like it might be a good day for the O’s at that point.

Trey Mancini‘s second inning two-RBI single extended the lead to 5-0. One inning later Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-double extended it to 6-0. But that’s a dangerous position in which to find oneself at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. It’s perhaps the quirkiest park in the majors, and those quirks usually play to the advantage of the home team.

Comebacks always start innocently enough. Boston better two runs in the last of the third on RBI-groundouts. And as I said, it somewhat behooved Ty Blach to surrender those runs. The Birds got outs out of the deal, and they were only one run at a time. Speaking for myself, as a coach I would take that 100% of the time. But in retrospect, Boston was piecemealing their comeback together.

The turning point of the game came in the fourth inning. Jonathan Villar was called out in an inning-ending play on the base paths when he contacted the Boston shortstop. The umpires ruled that he had impeded the fielder’s ability to field the ball.

My point would be what is he supposed to do, run around the guy? Either that or allow the fielder to make the play and then potentially tag him out? It’s a judgement call, but one that went in Boston’s favor. And as I said, the game all but changed on that moment, especially seeing that the bottom of that fourth inning brought a solo homer by Travis (cutting the Orioles’ lead to 6-3).

The last of the sixth was the nadir of the game. Vazquez’s RBI-double cut the lead to 6-4, and left runners at second and third. Moreland then sent a pop into shallow center field. And…the ball fell in the “Bermuda triangle.” This allowed both runners to score, tying the game at six. The ball always bounces Boston’s way at Fenway Park.

I did have a question about the tying run, however. The runner nic’d catcher Chance Sisco as he went by, making it tough for him to field the incoming ball and have a shot at tagging the runner out. Earlier in the game Villar had been called out on the base paths for contacting a fielder. Apparently that rule isn’t universally applied. Sisco would later leave the game after taking a ball to the groin. Again, the ball bounces Boston’s way at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts would smack a two-RBI single later in the inning to give Boston a lead, and they never looked back. Trey Mancini would smack a sac fly-RBI in n the ninth, but the Birds ended up falling 13-7 in Boston. They went 0-for-7 on the road trip.

Many of the tack on runs Boston scores came on singles which were either just slow enough, or against the shift. Oriole pitchers put out several good pitches which justifiably should have gotten them out of the at-bat. But Boston hitters managed to find the holes. Far too often the Orioles are using the shift and opposing teams are either finding a hole, or hitting the ball right where a fielder otherwise would have been had there been no shift on.

And there’s no science to that. It just happens. And it happens a lot to the Orioles. Ultimately it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t, regarding a shift. The ball just bounced the other way a lot today – and the bounces always go Boston’s way at Fenway Park.

The O’s now head home to open a three-game set with Kansas City. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Can’t compete with lightning in a bottle

The Baltimore Orioles had to endure an hour and fifteen minute rain delay before getting last night’s game against New York going. That means that starter Asher Wojchiekowski was sitting on ice during that time as the team waited out the rain delay. Wojciechowski’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 5 K.

Wojciechowski wasn’t horrible by any means. In fact, my personal opinion is that he pitched better than his numbers indicate. The Birds as a whole are catching New York at the wrong time. In winning last night, they’ve won six straight games.

To that point, they also seem to know that they’ve caught lightning in a bottle. No matter who they’ve brought up from the minors or plugged into their lineup to replace injured players, it seems that they’ve all magically worked out.

New York smacked back-to-back homers in the third, between Tacuhman and LeMahieu. Gregorious would add an additional homer later in the inning, and New York led 3-0. As if Tauchman (who to be honest I’ve never even heard of until he came to town with New York this week) hasn’t caused the Orioles enough trouble, he robbed the Birds of a homer later in the game. Flat out robbed them by climbing the wall. Again, lightning in a bottle.

However the O’s battled back. Jonathan Villar‘s RBI-triple in the last of the third cut the lead to 3-1. Villar would later score on Trey Mancini‘s RBI-groundout. However in the first two games of this series the Birds have gotten to within one before NY stopped the rally on numerous occasions. And then NY would pile on again – in this case, Romine smacked a two-RBI double in the fourth to give them a two-run lead once again.

But the O’s came back again. Anthony Santander‘s two-run homer in the fifth brought the O’s back to within one. But again, New York wasn’t in the mood to let them get over the hump. They would go onto tally four more runs, and their bullpen closed the door on the Orioles. The Birds ended up falling 9-4.

The silver lining is that the O’s are hanging with New York – for awhile. You can clearly see their yearn to win based on how often they come back. But again, NY is playing on a totally different level. The injuries they’ve had this year could have been considered catastrophic based on who they lost and who they’ve had to plug in. However what they’re doing is somewhat of a freak of nature. As I said, lightning in a bottle.

The series concludes tonight at Camden Yards. John Means comes off the IL to make the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s James Paxton. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: When common sense fails

The Baltimore Orioles got a decent start so to speak out of Gabriel Ynoa this evening. The numbers don’t indicate that, but Ynoa was also the victim of some hard luck. Ynoa’s line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 1 K.

The O’s started the season with six of their first nine games against New York. At the time, New York had their share of the injuries – as they do now. I suggested that the Orioles were lucky to be seeing their AL East rival while they had some injury problems.

What I couldn’t have known is that no matter who New York plugged into their lineup was going to succeed. Guys would be coming up from the minors and smacking home runs at will. It’s one thing to have a next man up philosophy and have guys play well. But whomever put on the pinstripes ended up being flat out dominant. Much to the chagrin of nearly every other team.

New York took a 1-0 lead on a second inning homer by Romine. However Trey Mancini‘s RBI-single in the third tied the game at one. However one inning later the O’s has two runners on, one of which (in the form of Jace Peterson) was at third. The O’s attempted a double-steal, and Peterson was called out at home plate.

However the Orioles challenged the call. In my personal view it wasn’t even close – replays clearly seemed to show that Peterson slid across home plate well before the tag was put on. However the call was upheld on review, ending the inning.

That was a key turning point in the game. It definitely put the Orioles a bit off-center for a spell. Trey Mancini was so angry that he had to be restrained from going on the field and saying something he would regret. In seeing the replay, it seems to be common sense that the runner was safe. Peterson clearly beat the tag. But the Orioles would argue that common sense failed them this evening.

As I said and as I tweeted during the game, that was a major turning point. Or perhaps a launching point. Because New York took full advantage of the opportunity they were given, and took the lead in the fifth. By the end of the sixth, they had extended it to 6-1.

In full, New York smacked five home runs in this game. That’s something that’s plagued Orioles’ pitching all year. But all five of those homers came from the bottom of the order. And the majority of them came on the bats of guys who in essence are fill-in’s. It’s one thing to fill in admirably for a regular player. These guys are flat out playing like world beaters.

However the Orioles battle back. Jace Peterson smacked a two-run homer in the sixth – and this time the league office allowed the run he represented to cross home plate (if you can believe that). Chris Davis would add a sac fly-RBI later in the inning, which was followed by a two-run homer by Jonathan Villar which tied the game at six.

The Orioles has battled back against the pinstripes and tied the game. Brandon Hyde correctly saw that a lefty hitter in Ford would lead the seventh off for New York. So he correctly brought in southpaw Paul Fry to face Ford. Again, common sense. And good sound baseball rationale.

But common sense once again bit the Orioles. Ford would homer against Fry, as would Tauchman. Those homers gave New York a 9-6 lead, which turned into a 9-6 victory.

Again, that foul call at the plate set the tone for the rest of the game. While the Orioles came back, they were off-center for the remainder of the evening. And while you have to admire some of these guys from New York who are tearing it up when they have no business doing so, from the opponent’s perspective it.’a frustrating to see. Regardless of what the Orioles did, New York was ready for them.

If you’re inclined to suggest that the play at the plate could and should have been overcame, you’re right to say that. However keep in mind that the Orioles would have left 2-1 had that call been reversed as it should have been. Not to mention that the inning would have continued. You just never know what would have happened. For the record, Jonathan Villar managed to hit for the cycle tonight, becoming the fifth Oriole in history to do so.

The series continues tomorrow night at Camden Yards. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Birds, and New York is yet to announce a starter. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

UPDATE: Brandon Hyde said after the game that he felt the non-overturned call at home plate was “pathetic.”

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