Category Archives: Orioles Jerseys 2019

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Good morning, Camden Chatters.

This is where I would normally talk about the big baseball news of the day. Only today, there’s a whole lot of nothing. We’re in that two-day lull after the All-Star Game where teams are still on their break. There were no major league games yesterday, and one lone game (the Astros at the Rangers) on the slate for tonight. The Orioles, and 27 other teams, will have to wait until Friday to resume their 2019 schedule.

There’s not much going on in terms of player movement, either, which is a far cry from last year’s post-All Star Game hiatus, when the Orioles agreed to terms with the Dodgers on the blockbuster Manny Machado trade. It seems unlikely that a deal of that caliber is in the works for the Birds today, or any time in the near future.

So, now we just sit around and wait. As bad as the Orioles have been this year, it turns out that going four days without watching them is actually kind of boring.

Links
The 2019 First-Half Orioles’ Awards: The surges, surprises and stinkers – The Athletic
Dan Connolly hands out his midseason awards. I might have gone with John Means over Trey Mancini for Most Valuable Oriole, but otherwise, it’s hard to argue with any of his picks.

Hyde looking back and ahead – School of Roch
Brandon Hyde is optimistic that the Orioles will improve in the second half, and that more young players will be given opportunities. I’m skeptical about the first part, but the second part sounds like a fantastic idea.

Chris Davis on his O’s teammates and their hopeful futures – Steve Melewski
I’ll give Chris Davis credit: he has the right attitude and is saying the right things even while battling yet another hellacious season. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to take a lot more than just the right attitude to restore Davis to a useful player.

How much dealing will O’s do prior to Deadline? – Orioles.com
It’s July, which means it’s trading season! But don’t expect a total Orioles selloff like last year, because the Birds just don’t have that many valuable trade chips. One or two deals might be a more realistic estimate.

Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Just one Oriole has this birthday, and he appeared in just one game: right-hander Zach Clark, a UMBC alum whose lone big league appearance came on May 1, 2013. He gave up three runs in 1.2 innings in Seattle.

On this day in 1968, Earl Weaver made his debut as Orioles manager, beating the Senators, 2-0. Eighteen years and 2,540 games later, Weaver was an Orioles legend and World Series champion on his way to the Hall of Fame.

In 1987, Billy Ripken made his major league debut, playing second base alongside his Hall of Fame brother, Cal Jr., at short, and his dad, Cal Sr., as manager. It was the first time in MLB history that a skipper managed two of his sons.

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Good morning, Birdland!

We can all agree that the Orioles remain miles away from competing with the rest of their division let alone the American League. That won’t change this offseason no matter how hard the front office tries.

Trade the prospects. Sign the free agents. Offer a well-established manager a truck load of cash. Where would that leave the team? Probably with a small window in which they might compete, or possibly on the path to complete and utter disappointment.

Have you seen the Yankees and Rays this postseason? The Bombers have been a juggernaut all season, and the Rays have enough quality pitchers to make your head spin. Neither of those things is likely to change by 2020.

Links & Notes

Three Needs: Baltimore Orioles – MLB Trade Rumors
This article says that the Orioles need to make a decent effort to improve at the big league level in 2020. I tend to disagree. They shouldn’t tank, but they also don’t need to go make a bunch of trades or signings in order to improve. Stay the course that Mike Elias has laid out, and that could very well lead to another five or so wins next season.

Oriole fans struggle with Nationals question; former Orioles featured in Braves-Cards series – Baltimore Baseball
What’s the struggle? The Nationals are the worst. I mean, not as bad as the Red Sox, or the Yankees or that Blue Jays fan who threw the beer at Hyun Soo Kim, but still. They are the worst!

Checking in on Orioles prospects in Arizona Fall League at halfway point – Baltimore Sun
Last year, outfielder Ryan McKenna was lighting the Arizona Fall League ablaze. It has been less exciting for the the O’s youngsters this year, but that’s OK too.

Former Orioles Manager Buck Showalter Showing Interest In Managing Mets – NESN
Why, Buck? You have had a good career. There is no way that signing up with the Mets can end well. Enjoy retirement.

Manny Machado, San Diego’s franchise player, letting it be known he would like Padres to at least take a look at Buck Showalter, his former skipper, as they go through their managerial search.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 8, 2019
Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Chaz Roe and his crazy slider turn 33 today. The right-handed pitcher spent 45 games with the Orioles between 2015 and 2016. Now he serves as an important piece of the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen.

Well-travel utilityman Jason Pridie is 36 years old today. He played in just four games for the 2013 O’s, and has been out of affiliated ball since 2017.

Last, but certainly not least, we want to wish a very happy 42nd birthday to longtime Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. From 2001 through 2013, Roberts spent a lot of time at the top of some dreadful lineups. He made two all-star teams, led the league in doubles twice and topped the MLB in stolen bases once. He is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame and seems to be on track to become an important piece of the MASN broadcast crew moving forward.

1966 – The Orioles complete a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the franchise’s first World Series title. Dave McNally tosses a four-hit shutout and Frank Robinson’s home run supplies the offense.

1971 – Game 1 of the World Series goes to the Orioles. Dave McNally gets the win and Merv Rettenmund hits a three-run homer.

2014 – The Orioles announce that they have signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year, $40 million extension one day prior to the start of the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals.

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Hello, friends.

The All-Star starting lineups have been announced. Shockingly, there are no Orioles. No one even made it into the second round of voting. This was an inevitable outcome almost before the season even began, and it’s just as inevitable that next year there will be only one Orioles All-Star. Probably when the full rosters are announced on Sunday, the choice will be Trey Mancini, who’s earned a spot on the team even if it’s not a starting spot.

There’s nothing new to say about the Orioles being a bad team. The people who are in charge, including manager Brandon Hyde and general manager Mike Elias, are fully aware of what they have. When Hyde vents his frustration about the state of the starting rotation you can almost get the sense he’s hoping he’s still around when better pitchers start arriving from the minors.

Rosters of the O’s affiliates have their share of pitchers who still offer some intrigue. The O’s are determined not to rush Keegan Akin, who’s doing well enough in Triple-A. Bowie’s rotation has Zac Lowther and Alex Wells, and if you really want to squint, trade pieces from last July, Bruce Zimmermann and Dean Kremer. Hunter Harvey has been on fire in three inning bullpen stints.

This is not the end of the list. Michael Baumann pitched so well for Frederick that he earned a recent Bowie promotion. And down in Delmarva there are 2018 picks Grayson Rodriguez and Drew Rom, and some revival of good fortunes for wayward once-prospects Ofelky Peralta and Gray Fenter.

Probably more than half of these names will ever be any good for the Orioles. That’s the way it is with prospects. For a team as woeful as the Orioles are now, though, any prospect with some shred of hope feels like somebody to get excited about. Maybe that list of names will only grow as Elias and his people get more time to reshape the organization.

There have been 160 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere
Adley Rutschman makes perfect blindfolded throw (Cut4)
If there’s anything he can’t do, we haven’t discovered it yet.

The Orioles have good reason to be excited about Trey Mancini (Fangraphs)
Great breakdown of some of the specific ways that Mancini has improved from last year to this year. Hopefully that continues into subsequent years as well.

Prospects Keegan Akin, Ryan Mountcastle to represent Norfolk in Triple-A All-Star Game (Baltimore Sun)
It’s not all bad news in the Orioles organization. See also below:

Delmarva’s first half success gives Orioles reason for optimism (Baltimore Baseball)
It’s been quite a while since the Orioles had an affiliate dominate with actual prospects, rather than just a collection of guys too old for the level.

Orioles bullpen still unable to provide much relief (School of Roch)
The present day, however, still stinks.

Keep swingin’: Hanser Alberto now among the AL’s top 10 hitters (Steve Melewski)
As you are a Camden Chat reader, you probably know better than to equate “top 10 in batting average” with “top 10 hitters.” Alberto’s quirky keeping an average above .300 is still cool, though.

Rays offering $2 tickets to July 1-3 games vs. Orioles (Tampa Bay Times)
I thought this was an interesting contrast to the Baltimore Sun article that I mentioned yesterday, wherein the Orioles claimed to have done research that shows that lowering ticket prices would not increase their attendance.

Birthdays and anniversaries
Today in 1957, Maryland-born Orioles pitcher Ray Moore threw a complete game shutout in a 6-0 victory over the Indians. This was the fourth consecutive CGSO for the O’s, setting a new American League record.

One lone former Oriole was born on this day: 1970-75 outfielder Don Baylor, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 68.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: England’s Henry VIII (1491), early Methodist John Wesley (1703), Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712), movie maker Mel Brooks (1926), actress Gilda Radner (1946), actor John Cusack (1966), and YouTube personality Markiplier (1989).

On this day in history…
In 1846, Adolphe Sax received the patent for his newly-invented instrument, the saxophone.

In 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia were assassinated in Sarajevo. Exactly five years later, the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end what we now call World War I, which was sparked by this killing. About 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians were killed in the war.

In 1942, Nazi Germany launched an assault it called “Case Blue” on the Soviet Union, aimed at capturing oil fields in the Caucasus region. Initially successful, this offensive ultimately led to the brutal Battle of Stalingrad and defeat for the Germans.

In 1950, despite South Korean forces blowing up a bridge in hopes of slowing their advance, North Koreans captured the city of Seoul.

In 1969, a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village led to the Stonewall riots, which are now recognized as the beginning of the gay rights movement.

**

And that’s the way it is on June 28 – or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles play the Indians. Have a safe Friday. Go O’s!

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The Baltimore Orioles have added four Rule 5 draft-eligible prospects to the 40-man roster.
Finally, some Baltimore Orioles roster news! On Wednesday afternoon, hours before the 8 pm EST deadline to finalize 40-man rosters, the Orioles announced the addition of four prospects to the roster, protecting them from the upcoming Rule 5 draft in December.

Infielder turned outfielder Ryan Mountcastle, pitchers Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer, and outfielder Ryan McKenna have all been added to the 40-man roster. The roster now stands at 39 players.

It’s been assumed for a long time now that Mountcastle, Akin, and Kremer were locks to be protected. All three figure to be fixtures at the major league level by the end of next summer.

McKenna was on the bubble, with his elite defense and speed yet subpar offensive performance with Double-A Bowie last season. While many, ourselves included, have pushed the narrative of a down year for McKenna, he still recorded a wRC+ of 104, maintained a walk rate above 10%, and swiped 25 bases.

The speed is real, as is the defense. The emergence of Austin Hays in center field and crowded outfield situation gives the Orioles the opportunity to keep McKenna in the minors and not rush his development. Protecting him on the 40-man keeps him safe in the organization until Baltimore is ready to make another decision about his roster status down the road.

Many fans began calling for the addition of RHP Gray Fenter, but even with active rosters expanding to 26 players next year, the odds of another team selecting Fenter in the Rule 5 draft and him sticking around for a full season are slim. He’s a good pitcher and someone worth following closely. Not adding him isn’t a knock on him.

The one surprise is certainly RHP Cody Sedlock. Sedlock was a first-round pick of the Orioles back in 2016 and is coming off a dominant season in the minors, splitting time between High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

Between the two levels, Sedlock went 5-3 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while striking out 100 hitters in 95 innings and limiting opponents to a .202 average. However, he’s spent the majority of his time in the Orioles organization dealing with injuries.

Like Fenter and his lack of experience above A-ball, Mike Elias seems to be gambling that other franchises will stay away from Sedlock, knowing his injury history and requirement to keep him on the active roster for a full season.

Brett Cumberland, the 29th ranked prospect in the Baltimore Orioles system, was also left unprotected. That move isn’t surprising. I don’t foresee any other team selecting Cumberland, giving the Orioles a bit more time to see if his well-regarded offensive tools come around.

With one roster spot open, will the Orioles look to make a waiver claim by the end of the week? Or will they bank it and use it down the road? Stay tuned to find out!

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Esta es la lista de los más valiosos en Series Mundiales, que comenzaron a premiarse en 1955, cuando Dodgers y Yankees.

Ha habido Series de dos y de tres ganadores y también de ninguno por la huelga. Esta distinción se considera una de las más importantes. Los ganadores son muy solicitados para modelar anuncios:

1955, Johnny Podres, Dodgers.
1956, Don Larsen, Yankees
1957, Lew Burdette, Bravos.
1958, Bob Turley, Yankees.
1959, Larry Sherry, Dodgers.
1960, Bobbt Ríchardson, Yankees.
1961, Whitey Ford, Yankees.
1962, Ralph Terry, Yankees.
1963, Sandy Koufav, Dodgers.
1964, Bod Gibson, Cardenales.
1965, Sandy Koufax, Dodgers.
1966, Frank Róbinson, Orioles.
1967, Bob Gibson, Cardenales.
1968, Mickey Lolich, Tigres.
1969, Donn Clendenon, Mets.
1970, Brooks Robinson, Orioles.
1971, Roberto Clemente, Piratas.
1972, Gene Ténace, Atléticos.
1973, Reggie Jackson, Atléticos.
1974, Rollie Fingers, Atléticos.
1975, Pete Rose, Rojos.
1976, Johnny Bench, Rojos.
1977, Reggie Jackson, Yankees.
1978, Bucky Dent, Yankees.
1979, Willie Stargel, Piratas.
1980, Mike Schmidt, Phillies.
1981 Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero y Steve Yeager, Dodgers (una de dos veces con más de uno).
1982, Darrell Porter, Cardenales.
1983, Rick Dempsey, Orioles.
1984, Allan Trammell, Tigres.
1985, Bret Saberhagen, Royals.
1986, Ray Knight, Mets.
1987, Frank Viola, Twins.
1988, Orel Hershiser, Dodgers.
1989, Dave Stewart, Atléticos.
1990, José Rijo, Rojos.
1991, Jack Morris, Twins.
1992, Pat Borders, Blue Jays.
1993, Paúl Mólitor, Blue Jays.
1994, Hubo huelga.
1995, Tom Glavine, Bravos.
1996, John Wetteland, Yaunankees.
1997, Liván Hernández, Marlins.
1998, Scott Brosius, Yankees.
1999, Mariano Rivera, Yankees.
2000, Derek Jeter, Yankees.
2001, Randy Johnson y Curt Schilling, Diamondbacks (segunda Serie con más de un ganador).
2002, Troy Glaus, Angelinos.
2003, Josh Beckett, Marlins.
2004, Manny Ramírez, Medias Rojas.
2005, Jeemaine Dye, Medias Blancas.
2006, David Eckstein, Cardenales.
2007, Mike Lowell, Medias Rojas.
2008, Cole Hamels, Phillies.
2009, Hidecki Matsui, Yankees.
2010, Edgar Rentería, Gigantes.
2011, David Freese, Cardenales.
2012, Pablo Sandoval, Gigantes.
2013, David Ortiz, Medias Rojas.
2014, Madison Bumgarner,
Gigantes.
2015, Salvador Pérez, Royals.
2016, Ben Zobrist, Cachorros.
2017, George Springer, Astros.
2018, Steve Pearce, Medias Rojas.
2019, Stephen Strasburg, Nationals.

Stephen Strasburg aumentó número de lanzadores galardonados

Los Más Valiosos en Series Mundiales han sido 67 con Stephen Strasburg esta vez, y de esos, 29 son lanzadores. Esta distinción no comenzó con las Series, sino en 1955, y el primero fue el pitcher, Johnny Podres, de los Dodgers de Brooklyn.

Los habido de todas las posiciones, hasta un designado, Paúl Molitor, de los Blue Jays en 1993. También han pemiado un solo segunda base, Bobby Richardson, de los Yankees en 1960, quien igualmente es el único MVP de un equipo derrotado en la Serie, que ganaron los Piratas.

En año hubo dos Más Valiosos y en otro, tres. Ver la lista.

Diez de estos MVP han sido terceras bases, diez outfielders, siete catchers, cinco shortstops y tres primeras bases. Los primeros seis ganadores del título, solo recibieron un trofeo, pero desde 1961 se les entrega también un automóvil último modelo.

Estos Más Valiosos son escogidos por un grupo de periodistas de la Major League Baseball Writers Association, que se nombran para cada Serie.

El Más Valioso de la Serie Mundial de este año, Stephen Strasburg, llevaba 10 temporadas en lucha para que su equipo llegara a la Serie Mundial. En esta década ha ganado 112 juegos, frente a solo 58 derrotas y efectividad de 3.17.

A los 31 años, a este nativo de San Diego, ya se le consideraba uno de los mejores lanzadores de ambas Ligas, pero frenar la áspera artillería de los Astros en dos juegos de Serie Mundial, ha sido su consagración.

Y no solo tuvo 2-0 en la Serie, sino también 3-0 en los playoffs, lo que nadie había logrado sumar, 5-0. En la postemporada, su efectividad quedó en 1.46, con 36.1 innings lanzados.

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NEW YORK — Mike Shildt began his life in baseball at his mom’s side, tagging along for her shifts at a Class AA ballpark and picking up odd jobs around the clubhouse.

When Shildt was recognized Tuesday night for the career that has followed, the late Lib Shildt was the first thing on his mind.

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Less than a week after his mother’s passing, Shildt was honored for piloting the St. Louis Cardinals back into the playoffs, narrowly beating Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win National League manager of the year.

Shildt earned the award in his first full season on the job, even though Counsell received more first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Minnesota Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli won the American League prize in a tight ballot over Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees. Both received 13 first-place votes, but Baldelli got more second-place nods. The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award.

Shildt teared up upon learning he’d been chosen. The 51-year-old is the first manager of the year who never played pro ball at any level. Of course, he’s been around the pro game since he was a child, when his mom took him to her job with the Charlotte O’s in the Baltimore Orioles’ system.

“Appreciative of the time and love she and my dad invested in me,” Shildt said.

Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as Cardinals manager during the 2018 season, and under his steady guidance, St. Louis has been among baseball’s best teams since. The club won 91 games and the NL Central crown this year, ending the franchise’s three-year postseason drought. The Cardinals gave Shildt a contract extension through the 2022 season.

“I set my sights on being the best coach I could be, just like being the best player I could be, and the journey has led me here,” Shildt said.

Atlanta’s Brian Snitker was third after winning the award last year. The Dodgers’ Dave Roberts finished fourth, and Nationals Manager Dave Martinez was fifth. Washington turned a 19-31 start into a World Series championship, but voting for the award concluded before the postseason began. The Nationals entered the playoffs as a wild card, not far off from preseason expectations.

Baldelli and Shildt are the eighth and ninth managers to win this award in their first full seasons on the job.

Baldelli took over a team that won 78 games in 2018 and pushed them to 101 victories and an AL Central title. He worked tightly with Minnesota’s analytics-focused front office — a shift from predecessor Paul Molitor, who won this award in 2017 — and oversaw a turnaround propelled by the team’s major-league record 307 home runs.

The self-dubbed Bomba Squad thrived under Baldelli, whose big-league playing career was spoiled by a rare disorder that led to frequent fatigue and soft tissue injuries.

One of Baldelli’s priorities was keeping players rested, a strategy that worked especially well with his catchers. Nobody started more than 73 games behind the plate for Minnesota, yet the trio of Mitch Garver, Jason Castro and Willians Astudillo combined for 48 home runs, most in the majors by any team’s catchers.

Jorge Polanco emerged as a star at shortstop, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton began to meet the expectations that followed exceptional minor-league careers, Nelson Cruz kept putting up big numbers and the bullpen emerged as one of the most reliable in baseball.

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Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash also earned three first-place votes and finished third. Oakland’s Bob Melvin was fourth, followed by Houston’s AJ Hinch and Cleveland’s Terry Francona.

Past managers of the year

AMERICAN LEAGUE

2019 Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota

2018 Bob Melvin, Oakland

2017 Paul Molitor, Minnesota

2016 Terry Francona, Cleveland

2015 Jeff Banister, Texas

2014 Buck Showalter, Baltimore

2013 Terry Francona, Cleveland

2012 Bob Melvin, Oakland

2011 Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay

2010 Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota

2009 Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles

2008 Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay

2007 Eric Wedge, Cleveland

2006 Jim Leyland, Detroit

2005 Ozzie Guillen, Chicago

2004 Buck Showalter, Texas

2003 Tony Pena, Kansas City

2002 Mike Scioscia, Anaheim

2001 Lou Piniella, Seattle

2000 Jerry Manuel, Chicago

1999 Jimy Williams, Boston

1998 Joe Torre, New York

1997 Davey Johnson, Baltimore

1996 Johnny Oates, Texas, and Joe Torre, New York

1995 Lou Piniella, Seattle

1994 Buck Showalter, New York

1993 Gene Lamont, Chicago

1992 Tony La Russa, Oakland

1991 Tom Kelly, Minnesota

1990 Jeff Torborg, Chicago

1989 Frank Robinson, Baltimore

1988 Tony La Russa, Oakland

1987 Sparky Anderson, Detroit

1986 John McNamara, Boston

1985 Bobby Cox, Toronto

1984 Sparky Anderson, Detroit

1983 Tony La Russa, Chicago

NATIONAL LEAGUE

2019 Mike Shildt, St. Louis

2018 Brian Snitker, Atlanta

2017 Torey Lovullo, Arizona

2016 Dave Roberts, Los Angeles

2015 Joe Maddon, Chicago

2014 Matt Williams, Washington

2013 Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh

2012 Davey Johnson, Washington

2011 Kirk Gibson, Arizona

2010 Bud Black, San Diego

2009 Jim Tracy, Colorado

2008 Lou Piniella, Chicago

2007 Bob Melvin, Arizona

2006 Joe Girardi, Florida

2005 Bobby Cox, Atlanta

2004 Bobby Cox, Atlanta

2003 Jack McKeon, Florida

2002 Tony La Russa, St. Louis

2001 Larry Bowa, Philadelphia

2000 Dusty Baker, San Francisco

1999 Jack McKeon, Cincinnati

1998 Larry Dierker, Houston

1997 Dusty Baker, San Francisco

1996 Bruce Bochy, San Diego

1995 Don Baylor, Colorado

1994 Felipe Alou, Montreal

1993 Dusty Baker, San Francisco

1992 Jim Leyland, Pittsburgh

1991 Bobby Cox, Atlanta

1990 Jim Leyland, Pittsburgh

1989 Don Zimmer, Chicago

1988 Tommy Lasorda, Los Angeles

1987 Buck Rodgers, Montreal

1986 Hal Lanier, Houston

1985 Whitey Herzog, St. Louis

1984 Jim Frey, Chicago

1983 Tommy Lasorda, Los Angeles

Sports on 11/13/2019

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Baltimore Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle is wrapping up a successful season in Triple-A and closing in on two Norfolk Tides records.
Many questions have surrounded Baltimore Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle since he became a first-round pick back in 2015, but the bat hasn’t been one of them. A career .294 hitter across 509 minor league games, Mountcastle has remained steady at the plate, while switching positions numerous times as the organization tries to find a home for their fourth-ranked prospect, 68th in all of baseball.

Now wrapping up his first full season in Triple-A with the Norfolk Tides, Mountcastle is closing in on two Norfolk records and finds himself in the conversation for winning the International League’s Player of the Year Award.

As pointed out by @TidesNotes on Twitter, Mountcastle is approaching the single-season record for both hits and home runs in a season by a Norfolk Tides player. It will take a hot stretch of games to end the season, after a full season of swinging a hot stick, but both records are in reach.

As of Sunday, August 18th, Mountcastle has 143 total hits and 21 home runs (.312/.341/.517 slash along with 29 doubles, and 71 runs driven in).

Most hits in a season, Tides history:

Kevin Elster (1987) – 170
Terry Blocker (1987) – 164
Mark Carreon (1987) – 164
Matt Franco (1996) – 164
LeRoy Stanton (1971) – 162
Mike Cervenak (2007) – 157

Ryan Mountcastle is on pace for 165 hits this season#Birdland #TidalTown

— Tides Notes (@TidesNotes) August 13, 2019

The franchise record is 170, set in 1987 by Kevin Elster. The Tides were the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets at this time and Elster was a second-round pick of New York in 1894. He eventually played in 940 major league games across 13 seasons with six different franchises. Elster last played in 2000 with the Dodgers, hitting .227 with 14 home runs.

With 16 games remaining in the 2019 season, Mountcastle needs 27 hits to tie the record. He needs just five home runs to tie the franchise record for home runs in single season, a record currently held by Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez hit 26 back in 2017.

Ryan Mountcastle’s 19 homers this year are the third-most in a season by a Tide as an #Orioles affiliate, trailing Pedro Álvarez (26 in 2017) and Michael Aubrey (22 in 2010).

— Tides Notes (@TidesNotes) July 29, 2019

His impressive season has to put him in the conversation for the International League Player of the Year Award. The last time a Norfolk Tides player took home this honor was 1997 when Roberto Petagine won his first of back-to-back honors (also won the award in 1998 as a member of the Indianapolis Indians, an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds at the time).

The last Orioles player to win this award was Jeff Manto in 1994. Manto played the majority of the ’94 season with the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A affiliate Rochester Red Wings and ended the year with the Norfolk Tides (Mets affiliate at the time). A small, but weird fact.

Other Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers to win the award include Craig Worthington (1998), Rich Dauer (1976), Jim Fuller (1973), Bobby Grich (1971), Roger Freed (1970), Merv Rettenmund (1968), and Mike Epstein (1966).

At just 22 years of age and nearly five years younger than the average hitter in the International League, Mountcastle has been a consistent force in the IL and a bright spot on a Norfolk Tides team currently sitting at 51-70, the worst record in the league by one game. Like the franchise hit record, Player of the Year honors may also be a slight stretch, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Mountcastle has been one of the more exciting players in the entire Baltimore Orioles organization to watch this season.

You can’t talk about Ryan Mountcastle without talking about the possibility of a September call-up to the big leagues. I’m sticking with my prediction the last time I wrote about this topic- Mountcastle is added to the active roster, but doesn’t see more than a handful of at-bats. Even if the Orioles decide to go ahead and shut him down after the minor league season ends on September 2nd, he will have to be added to the 40-man roster ahead of December’s Rule-5 draft.

The 25-man roster is up in the air, but there’s no question about the 40-man addition. Get ready, O’s fans, Ryan Mountcastle is coming.

Norfolk wraps up their weekend series in Syracuse on Sunday afternoon before ending the season with eight games against the Gwinett Stripers (Atlanta Braves affiliate) and seven against the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox affiliate)

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The Orioles had honored Frank Robinson in a variety of ways since he passed away at age 83 on Feb. 7, but not in a manner that brought together his family, his friends and his Baltimore fans for a poignant tribute to the man who put the O’s on the map.

There was a huge memorial service at Dodger Stadium on Feb. 24, but the Orioles waited for the first weekend of the regular season to celebrate Robinson’s life and the contribution he made to the franchise as a player, manager and front office executive.

“Frank loved this place,’’ his widow, Barbara, said Saturday. “He loved the people here. It was his home. His whole life was built around here. It’s so final for me. It’s so hard for me because it’s his final place. This is a pain I thought I could never feel.”

Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer, dies at 83
ORIOLES
Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer, dies at 83

FEB 07, 2019 | 8:10 PM
His daughter, Nichelle, said it was difficult for her and her mother to make the trip to Baltimore for such an emotional evening, but they could not stay away.

“I just want to thank this city and the fans for loving him so much … and he loved them,’’ she said. “It has always been special here. This is our home away from home.”

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That love affair started when the Orioles traded pitcher Milt Pappas and two other players to the Cincinnati Reds to add Robinson to an Orioles team that won 94 games in 1965 and had finished higher than third just once in its first 12 seasons in Baltimore.

“He changed the face of the franchise,’’ Hall of Famer Jim Palmer said. “We were a good team. He made it great. We had 24 really good players and he took us exactly where we wanted to go — to the World Series.”

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“Frank Robinson was one of the greatest players that ever played. And I can not tell you how fortunate, how proud…Not only had to be as a teammate, but also as a dear friend. May you rest in peace.” – @Jim22Palmer

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The pregame ceremony featured speeches by Orioles greats Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell, Baltimore’s acting mayor Jack Young and Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray and a who’s who of former Orioles sat with the family in three rows of seats facing the stage that was built in front of the pitcher’s mound.

Young read a proclamation extolling Robinson’s achievements and designating April 6, 2019 as “Frank Robinson Day” in Baltimore City. Idelson also chronicled Robinson’s career from the year he was named National League Rookie of the Year for the Reds in 1956 through the singular achievement of winning the Most Valuable Player Award in both leagues to being named Major League Baseball’s first African American manager.

Brooks Robinson, Palmer and Powell all recounted Robinson’s arrival in Baltimore and the immediate impact he had on the team and their lives.

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“As far as greatness is concerned, he is in an elite class,’’ Brooks said. “Like players like [Mickey] Mantle, [Willie] Mays and [Hank] Aaron, he could do it all. We started winning and we [went to] four World Series after Frank arrived, and that was in six years.”

Powell talked nostalgically about the years he batted behind Robinson in the Orioles lineup, witnessing virtually all of his offensive heroics from the best possible vantage point.

Schmuck: Frank Robinson wasn’t easy to get to know, but he was certainly worth the effort
ORIOLES
Schmuck: Frank Robinson wasn’t easy to get to know, but he was certainly worth the effort

FEB 08, 2019 | 5:00 AM
“I was fortunate to be on deck for most of the time Frank was an Oriole,’’ Powell said. “It was like watching Picasso at work. And when Frank took Luis Tiant all the way out of Memorial Stadium, I asked him, ‘Did you get it all?’ And he said, ‘Naw, I might have broke my bat.’ What a bomb. Frank went on to win the Triple Crown and I had a front-row seat.”

Former Oriole Ken Singleton was in the New York Yankees broadcast booth during the ceremony, but he remembers the way Robinson was revered in the Orioles clubhouse long after he was traded to the Dodgers in 1972. That reverence spread across the nation when he broke the managerial color barrier with the Cleveland Indians a few years later.

“First of all, he’s a historical figure, and not only for what he did on the field,’’ Singleton said. “He was one of the greatest players ever and, of course, the first African American manager in both leagues. Certainly that alone would place him in a historical framework, but he was much more than that. He was a real leader.

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“I played for the Orioles after Frank was here, and from what I understand, he was so good he was referred to by his number instead of by his name. They know if ‘20’ got hot, they were going on a roll. I’ve heard of situations where he walked in the clubhouse and said, ‘Boys, I feel good, jump on for about a week or 10 days,’ and he would go do it. That was the type of person he was and the type of player he was.”

‘The best player I ever played with’: Teammates, others remember Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson
ORIOLES
‘The best player I ever played with’: Teammates, others remember Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson

FEB 07, 2019 | 3:50 PM
This night was about the mark Robinson left on baseball and the Orioles franchise, so it featured players from the golden era of Baltimore baseball. But Robinson’s importance to the city and the sport was not lost on some of the veteran members of the current team.

“When somebody has impacted the game so much like he has, especially a certain organization, it’s nice to see that person gets their due respect,’’ said Orioles pitcher Alex Cobb, who met Robinson several times when he was a kid growing up in Vero Beach, Fla. “I know he played before my time, but I was a big baseball fan growing up. He would always come to Dodgertown for the fantasy camps and I would chase him around and get his autograph.”

Reliever Mychal Givens had a closer connection. He said Saturday that his great grandfather was a friend of Robinson’s and was revered in his home.

“Frank once wrote me [a letter] when I was a young child playing baseball, “ Givens said, “so he meant a lot to me and my family and for everything he’s done, especially being the first black manager. That’s a great accomplishment and I’d like to see more out there. To talk about his past and talk about what he’s done is a really good thing for everybody now who doesn’t know.”

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The Orioles went 54-108 in the first year of their much-publicized rebuild under the direction of new executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias, and they now enter the offseason with their sights set solely on the future.

So what are the O’s biggest needs entering 2020, and what moves have they made to address them? MLB.com is keeping track here. As the offseason continues, be sure to check back for updates.

BIGGEST NEEDS

Pitching

Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Orioles need it in the rotation. They need it in the bullpen. They need it everywhere. Baltimore owned the Majors’ highest staff ERA in 2019. The club surrendered an MLB-record 305 home runs. The O’s played much of the season with three regular starters and no defined roles in the bullpen. To say they need arms is an understatement.

The Orioles are planning to get Alex Cobb back after he missed most of 2019 due to right hip and knee surgery. So that’s one. Baltimore also hopes No. 11 prospect (per MLB Pipeline) Keegan Akin wins a rotation spot out of camp this spring. The O’s will also continue to comb the waiver wire and hope something sticks. But to ensure more basic-level competency on the mound, they probably need to at least tiptoe into free agency and aim higher than the one-year deals they gave last year to Nate Karns and Dan Straily, neither of which lived up to expectations. Looking toward the lower tier of market, maybe names like Trevor Cahill, Shelby Miller and Jhoulys Chacín profile as fits.

Middle-infield depth

Baltimore has a dearth of middle-infield prospects in the upper Minor Leagues and must prepare for the possibility that its two regulars from 2019 — Jonathan Villar and Richie Martin — may not open ’20 with the O’s. Villar could wind up with another club and Martin may be in the Minors.

The Orioles are likely to either shop or drop Villar, who is coming off a really good year but may be owed more than $10 million in arbitration. Martin hit .208 with a .581 OPS as a Rule 5 Draft choice as a rookie and seems destined for more seasoning at Triple-A.

Without them, Baltimore’s only players with shortstop experience are Hanser Alberto and recently claimed utilityman Pat Valaika.

Prospects

Because the O’s are rebuilding, every move they do or don’t make comes with an eye toward the future, and that means prospects are en vogue. Last year’s drafting of Adley Rutschman and others gave Baltimore an above-average farm system, but the organization wants to climb higher on that list, and the only way to do so before June’s Draft is by dangling Villar and Mychal Givens, and perhaps Trey Mancini and others, on the trade market this winter.

MOVES MADE

Oct. 30: Valaika claimed, five players outrighted

The Orioles’ first attempt at acquiring middle-infield depth led them to the waiver wire and Valaika, who played parts of the past four seasons for the Rockies. A natural shortstop with experience at five defensive positions, Valaika enjoyed a 13-homer season as recently as 2017, but he spent most of 2018-19 in the Minors.

The move came as part of the first real roster reshuffling of Baltimore’s offseason, the club also outrighting Mason Williams and four pitchers to Triple-A Norfolk: Josh Rogers, Ryan Eades, Luis Ortiz and Tayler Scott. All played minor roles for the Orioles in 2019.

Oct. 1: Sulser claimed

The Orioles concluded the regular season with an open spot on the 40-man roster and immediately filled it with another flier arm, claiming right-hander Cole Sulser from the Rays. A 29-year-old rookie, Sulser appeared in seven games for Tampa Bay in September and did not allow a run. The O’s also claimed Eric Hanhold, a right-hander with a similar profile, from the Mets in mid-September.

Nov. 4: Ynoa elects free agency; Cobb reinstated

The Orioles, already searching for pitching, will need to replace the workload provided in 2019 by Gabriel Ynoa, who was outrighted off the roster, rejected an assignment to Triple-A and became a free agent. Ynoa went 1-10 with a 5.61 ERA in 36 games (13 starts) in 2019, his first full season in the Majors. He logged a career-high 110 2/3 innings – the third most on the Orioles’ staff – while bouncing between the rotation and long relief.

Ynoa, 26, is 4-13 with a 5.39 ERA across 55 big league appearances for the O’s and Mets, 20 of them starts.

The Orioles also reinstated right-handed Alex Cobb from the 60-day injured list in what was essentially a paper move. Cobb missed all but three starts in 2019 to back and knee issues, underwent hip surgery in June and is expected to be healthy by Spring Training. He takes the 40-man roster spot previously occupied by Mark Trumbo, who became a free agent at the conclusion of the World Series.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.

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At least until the Rule 5 draft protection deadline later this month, the Orioles’ roster is probably through its first tumultuous period of the offseason, with the settled nature of the next few weeks bringing the Orioles close to the one-year anniversary of the stewardship of executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias.

Though Elias’ work on the roster really got kicking in January, the team’s overall mission for the major league roster has been a symptom of the wider goal of improving the talent base in the organization. Where that’s had the most impact in the past year has been on the pitching side. The Orioles have cycled several pitchers off the roster and replaced them with outside waiver claims.

That serves two purposes: First, it cycles pitchers onto the roster from other organizations to fill what was a pretty significant gap in the Orioles’ depth chart in terms of major league ready pitching they developed themselves. Asher Wojciechowski and Aaron Brooks stuck.

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Others, like Chandler Shepherd, Tom Eshelman, and Ty Blach, didn’t make the grade and were cycled back off the roster. But their mere presence in the organization at Triple-A Norfolk, along with all the pitchers the Orioles outrighted in the past week, could change the equation for how the team handles its highly touted next wave of pitching prospects who are approaching Triple-A Norfolk, if they aren’t there already.

This year’s Norfolk staff was full of up-and-down types, many of whom weren’t as much in the development business as in the shuttle business. It’s pretty clear there’s a difference. For instance, left-hander Keegan Akin was there to develop, and spent the whole year with the team without any real consideration to make his major league debut.

While that’s not ideal, that’s a better fate than the organization shuttling players up and down, or on and off the roster, as happened with Jimmy Yacabonis, Matt Wotherspoon, Eshelman, Blach and countless others.

And that doesn’t include those who remained on the roster, like Evan Phillips, Tanner Scott, David Hess and Branden Kline. All those pitchers remain likely parts of the Orioles’ plans, and are valuable depth pieces that the organization believes can be part of their future.

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As the roster stands now, there’s plenty of optionable pieces to work with on the pitching side. But there will also be a group of pitchers in Akin’s position at Triple-A Norfolk who are there to pitch in the rotation and develop without being subject to the major league roster whims — including Zac Lowther, Alex Wells and Bruce Zimmermann. Mike Baumann could be part of that group by midseason, if not sooner, and both Akin and Dean Kremer will be added to the 40-man roster this month. Akin is certainly an option for 2020, but there won’t be any rush with Kremer, who the organization thinks highly of.

That’s what makes removing Luis Ortiz, Tayler Scott, Eades and Shepherd from the roster and hanging onto them since the season ended significant. Same goes for the decisions to knock Eshelman, Yacabonis and Blach off the roster during the season — and it’s probably why someone like Gabriel Ynoa opted to try and pitch elsewhere in free agency rather than stay in the organization this year.

While they’d certainly rather be on it, it’s a good place for the organization to be in to be able to add those types of Triple-A pitchers to the roster in a pinch than have to mess with one of their highly rated prospects’ development.

They showed no willingness to do the latter in a season when progress on the farm was far more important to the Orioles than what happened at the major league level, and there’s reason to assume that might be more drastic a dichotomy in Year 2 under Elias and Co.

There will be plenty more roster churn to come this offseason, and with Opening Day, there will be a 26th roster spot to play with. But every player the Orioles keep in the organization can still serve the purpose of helping those who can deliver on Elias’ promise of a sustainable contender in the future.