Orioles-Nation http://orioles-nation.com Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:58:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Orioles Nation delivers Orioles minor league information you can't get anywhere else. From going to games to discussions with scouts, the ON Staff brings you news, scouting reports, and more from around the Orioles minor leagues, and frequently discusses the current happenings with the big league club. Orioles-Nation no Orioles-Nation LRinker@gmail.com LRinker@gmail.com (Orioles-Nation) Orioles Nation orioles, baltimore, baseball, scouting, minor, leagues Orioles-Nation http://orioles-nation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ON-Logo.png http://orioles-nation.com Baltimore, Maryland Weekly ON The Farm Podcast: Episode 4 “The End” http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/16/farm-podcast-episode-4-end/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/16/farm-podcast-episode-4-end/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:58:32 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15155 Tucker and Luke wrap up the minor league season, while Tucker says goodbye to ON

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ON The Farm Podcast: Episode 4 – “The End”

Topics of Discussion:

–  Bowie/Trenton Series

– Delmarva

– Aberdeen

– Farewell

  • Next steps

 

Other Prospects mentioned in the podcast Dylan Bundy, Jake Fox (not a prospect, but…JAKE FOX), Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Nola, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Jaron Long, Jake Cave, Tyler Glasnow, Michael Taylor, Lucas Giolito, Jake Johansen, Casey Gillaspie, Pat Connaughton, David Hess, AJ Cole, Brian Goodwin.

Words mispronounced: Too many to list.

 

Follow us on twitter dot com:

http://orioles-nation.com/onthefarm/onthefarm4.mp3

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http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/16/farm-podcast-episode-4-end/feed/ 0 Dylan Bundy,Jake Fox,Zach Davies Tucker and Luke wrap up the minor league season, while Tucker says goodbye to ON Tucker and Luke wrap up the minor league season, while Tucker says goodbye to ON Orioles-Nation no
ON Mailbag 9/1 to 9/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/14/mailbag-9-1-9-14/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/14/mailbag-9-1-9-14/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 14:33:53 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15149 ON Mailbag 9-1 to 9-14. Questions about Steve Pearce, Chris Davis, Dylan Bundy, and the Rule 5 Draft.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Luke Jackson.

How many of Chris Davis’s homers this season have been solo shots? Aside from a couple of nice game winners, it does seems that most of his dingers haven’t really mattered very much. Or is that just faulty memory on my part?

So obviously this question was asked and I did the research before the suspension for amphetamines. A quick note, Davis has not been vital to the Orioles success this year, but with the loss of Machado his absence from the lineup and the field hurts even more. I am going to write up a longer analysis for sometime later this week, but his loss is disappointing and puts into question his future with the team.

Anyways, I did some digging and for the most part you have a faulty memory. Of the 26 home runs Davis has hit to date this season, 12 have been with runners on base and 13 of them have come when the Orioles were either tied or behind in the game. Also interestingly, this year he has hit multiple home runs in a game only once, against Pittsburgh on May 20th when he hit three.  Also, he has hit 12 home runs so far against AL East opponents. Even with the down year Chris has been hitting important home runs still. This should also highlight the magnitude that home runs can have in games. An instantly scored run has incredible value and can change a teams chances of winning a game astronomically. I think the issue with your memory stems from that fact that Chris Davis has been having a  tough year at the plate especially with the batting average. These struggles shine a bad light on his whole season even though there have been some fleeting positives.

- Alex Conway

Steve Pearce has a 5.2 bWAR through 93 games and has a reasonable .320 BABIP. Is he one of the Orioles starting outfielders next year?

He certainly has to be in the mix for a starting outfielder spot. He has one more arbitration eligible year and his raise is not going to be enough, even after this terrific season, for the Orioles to seriously consider trading or non-tendering him. He has shown to be competent in the field as both a corner outfielder and a first baseman so he has a little versatility. Furthermore, he has made some adjustments to his game at the plate, which I discussed here, that make me think he can be a productive player moving forward. Whether or not he can be this productive for the remainder of his prime years, which are quickly dwindling, remains to be seen. Regardless, Steve Pearce is still going to be at the very least a great bench bat and a fill in for injured players who can backspin a fastball with the best of them and crush lefties. He will be on the Orioles next year and with some possible turmoil at the corner outfield spots, a starting job may be in his future.

- Alex Conway

Does it concern you that our lineup regularly makes above-average pitchers look like Cy Young candidates? Concern you as in 1-and-done, seeing as most playoff teams have top tier rotations?

Not really, no. The Orioles have made some middling starters look great in single games, sure, but they have also won many games that Cy Young candidates have started as well. They have beaten Chris Sale twice, Felix Hernandez, Masahiro Tanaka, etc. However, this does not give me confidence in there ability to beat tough pitchers in the playoffs either. The point here is that one game is basically coin flip scenario. Certain performances against journeymen and established aces in a 162 regular season reveal very little about the quality of the team. This is especially the case in the playoffs where even a seven game series is such a small sample size that almost any outcome is possible.

- Alex Conway

What players do you think the O’s will protect for the Rule 5 draft?

The three guys in particular the O’s have to decide on are Mike Wright, Parker Bridwell and Mychal Givens. Wright signed after he turned 19 and has been pitching in the O’s system for four years. Bridwell and Givens signed before they turned 19 and have been playing pro ball for five years. That makes them eligible for December’s Rule 5 draft.

Wright, 24, had an roller-coaster season that was written about by Lance Rinker. According to Steve Melewski, the O’s are likely going to protect Wright.  The last time I watched Wright pitch was late last year for Bowie. The first thing I saw was a big league body — he’s listed at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds. The next things I saw were a good plane, heavy fastball and the potential for a sharp slider, but also a tendency to find too many barrels. While he stumbled this year in Norfolk, he’s still a big league arm, albeit likely in the bullpen. His fastball/slider combination should play up in that role. His frame suggests a starter who can eat a lot of innings in the rotation, but his stuff is probably just too hittable in the rotation (159 hits in 142.2 innings at Norfolk this year). Wright has a chance to join the Norfolk-Baltimore shuttle at some point next year.

Bridwell, 23, is one of my favorite arms in the system. If you catch him on the right day, you’ll see a sure-fire starter with a big league body throwing 91-93 with run, a plus change and flashes of an above average slider. If you catch him on the wrong day, though, you’ll see his raw stuff robbed by command and control issues stemming from inconsistent mechanics. A future in the bullpen is likely, but he’s the most talented arm in the system save for Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, so the safe bet here is that the O’s put him on the 40. That would put him on a similar track as Tim Berry, who was protected last winter before starting in Bowie this summer as a 23 year old. If he’s left unprotected, a team may very well take a flier on Bridwell on the off chance that he could be hidden in a big league bullpen. A team might think his velocity could tick up in relief, making his fastball/change combination play up. Bridwell will throw in the Arizona Fall League to try to cement his status on the 40-man. Check out Tucker Blair’s terrific report on Bridwell here.

Givens, 24, will also throw in the AFL. He’s a converted infielder who split time between Frederick and Bowie this year. Now a low-slot reliever from the right side, Givens will touch 95 with sink along with a hard slider, but — stop me if you’ve heard this one before — struggles to repeat his delivery and throw strikes. Teams love to take a chance on velocity in the Rule 5, which Givens offers, but the O’s are probably safe to keep Givens off the 40. He’s been a pitcher for just two full years, walks too many batters and probably doesn’t have anything to get lefties out at the highest level. However, Givens will be an interesting reliever to track next year, especially if he can throw more strikes. 

Some other eligible guys who have a shot to be role 4 relievers but aren’t likely to be protected nor selected: Matt Hobgood, Ashur Tolliver and Jason Gurka.

Luke Jackson

Where will Dylan Bundy start 2015?

The best bet for Dylan Bundy next April is probably Bowie’s rotation. I expect the O’s to monitor his innings very carefully, as they should. If he’s fully healthy and his stuff and command is close to where it was pre-surgery, he’ll do just fine in Bowie. What’ll also be interesting come the spring is how his brother, Bobby, looks. Bobby Bundy had a great year with Frederick in 2011, but struggled with injuries at the AA level in 2012 and is just now getting healthy once again. Could we see the Bundy brothers in the same rotation to start next year? Could be. Bridwell and Branden Kline are also good bets to be in Bowie’s rotation next spring.

Luke Jackson

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Baltimore Orioles first baseman, Chris Davis, suspended 25-games http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/12/baltimore-orioles-first-baseman-chris-davis-suspended-25-games/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/12/baltimore-orioles-first-baseman-chris-davis-suspended-25-games/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:06:54 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15152 Chris Davis has been suspended for 25-games by Major League Baseball for a positive drug test. Chris Davis released a statement discussing his responsibility for taking a banned substance.

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In the midst of one of the Baltimore Orioles greatest regular seasons since 1997, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that first baseman Chris Davis has received a 25-game suspension, without pay, after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program.

The suspension is effective immediately and the 25-game ban includes the remainder of the regular season and any postseason games that the suspension bleeds into. The Orioles have 17 regular season games remaining, which means Davis would miss the first eight post-season games if the team makes a deep playoff run.

Chris Davis released a statement for fans, below:

“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.”

Davis is only batting .196/.300/.404 over 127 games this season with 26 home runs and 72 RBI, but has struck out 173 times. He led all of baseball last season with 53 home runs and 138 RBI, and was a candidate for Most Valuable Player.

The Orioles currently lead the American League East by 10 games and could potentially clinch the division title by sweeping the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. They begin a four-game series today, followed by three games against the Toronto Blue Jays. Their magic number is down to eight games.

Steve Pearce will continue his role as the Birds’ everyday first baseman, while utility players Ryan Flaherty, Kelly Johnson and Jimmy Paredes will see a bump in playing time at third base and designated hitter.

Representatives for Major League Baseball could not be reached for comment on the suspension.

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The Baltimore Orioles may have a gem in Chance Sisco http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/11/baltimore-orioles-may-gem-chance-sisco/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/11/baltimore-orioles-may-gem-chance-sisco/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:43:08 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15151 Baltimore Orioles catching prospect Chance Sisco continues to impress with the bat. How far behind is the glove? Is he the Orioles next great prospect?

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Tucker Blair recently scouted Baltimore Orioles catching prospect Chance Sisco for Baseball Prospectus. His observations concluded what we already know about Sisco, which is that he can hit and that tool will likely carry him through the minors but his defense is shaky at best behind the dish.

“He shows enough ability at the plate for me to call him a regular major leaguer,” Blair said. “However, there is a large concern with the catching ability, and I question whether he sticks there in the future.”

Baseball America released their 2013 Draft Grades for the Orioles last October and considered Sisco to be the best pure hitter the Orioles selected in that draft. Sisco was selected in the second round, 61st overall, and the biggest advantage he has against pitchers right now is his plate discipline.

Sisco’s professional debut in 2013 fell short of the playing time necessary to qualify for the batting title, but he still dominated the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before being promoted to short-season Aberdeen. He batted .371/.475/.464 in 97 at-bats at the Rookie-level.

Over 114 games and 478 plate appearances for the Orioles Low-A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds, Sisco batted .340/.406/.448 with 27 doubles, a .392 wOBA and a 141 wRC+. His .340 batting average and .406 OBP led the South Atlantic League.

He may be new to working behind the plate as a catcher, but the 19-year-old prospect is certainly familiar with how to handle the bat.

Blair went on to say that Sisco is athletic enough to play another position, considering he played shortstop in high school, and a move away from catcher is likely the most beneficial thing for his career.

“The defense will likely never become anything more than fringe, and the bat may be best if away from the catching position, so he can focus more on hitting,” he said. “I think it is realistic for the Orioles to keep Sisco as a catcher for now, with the idea of potentially moving him to third or left down the road. There might even be enough athleticism to play second, but that might be too optimistic.”

Many players make the switch from catcher to another position, whether that occurs for Sisco before his major league debut or not is up to the Orioles. Players that started their careers playing catcher that made the switch are plentiful, with one of the more successful modern day players being Craig Biggio.

Biggio was a below average defender at just about every position he played, but he could hit well enough to warrant the punting on defense. He ultimately carved out a 20 year long career with a .281/.363/.433 career batting line, along with 291 home runs and more than 3,000 hits.

Steve Melewski, Orioles beat reporter for MASN, said that he expects Sisco to stay at catcher next year and any talk of moving him away from the position is premature.

“The Orioles are pleased with his progress there and there is no way they are moving him this soon,” he said. “He’s only been catching since his senior year of high school.”

Melewski also said that Sisco’s receiving, blocking and game calling skills have all improved in the short amount of time he has caught at the professional level. Melewski also believes that Sisco is a good leader on the field and in the clubhouse.

“He’s still only 19,” he said. “For a 19-year-old to do what he is doing at that level is very impressive.”

Sisco has improved dramatically behind the dish, compared to where he was at in high school and his first year in professional baseball. According to Brian Graham, director of player development for the Orioles, Sisco could improve on his throwing but that has nothing to do with arm strength and more to do with proper footwork and the mechanics of receiving.

Jim Callis, senior writer for MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com, said he believes Sisco has a good chance to stay at catcher. Part of that has to do with the fact that he wouldn’t be as valuable anywhere else on the diamond.

“I think Sisco has a good chance to stay at catcher. He only has been catching for two years, he has enough arm strength and agility, and his receiving should improve with more experience,” he said. “Obviously, he’ll have the most value if he sticks behind the plate. He’s a well below-average runner, so third base would probably be a stretch if he had to move and first base might be the only real option. I like his bat, but I’m not sure he has the profile power for first base.”

Moving from a more demanding position to a less demanding one doesn’t guarantee success for anyone, but a move to left field, second or third base has the potential to lengthen Sisco’s career if he were to make it to the majors and keep his bat in the Orioles’ lineup more often than not.

The problem, of course, lies in the value attributed to having even a league average defensively gifted catcher who can hit for average and has gap power. Sisco’s bat profiles in that manner and if he continues to make strides defensively, which he seems motivated to do year-over-year, then he could wind up being one of the Orioles most highly touted prospects in short order.

According to Blair, after the award winning season he had for Delmarva, his next challenge as a professional baseball player most likely awaits him with the Frederick Keys.

“Sisco likely begins the 2015 season with Frederick, which is a natural progression from Delmarva,” he said. “The bat is more than ready for the jump from Low-A to High-A, but the Carolina League will be a good test for his defensive capabilities. The glove is lagging behind the bat currently, but not enough to keep him in Low-A.”

If he continues to dominate pitchers there, a mid-to-late season promotion to Double-A Bowie shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Saying Goodbye to ON http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/04/saying-goodbye/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/04/saying-goodbye/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:52:24 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15140 Time flies when you are having fun.

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Time flies when you are having fun.

It feels like yesterday I was sitting at a table, drinking a beer, and thinking about how in the hell I would get ON up and running again. Fast forward a year from then and the site is (somewhat) active and the reports are (mostly) updated. It was a tremendous year, filled with a wealth of opportunity and enjoyment. I had a long history of writing at this website, and the past year running the show was a tremendous opportunity and something that has helped to grow my baseball career. Unfortunately, I now have to step away from ON and everything that it has provided me.

Unless you live under a rock, you probably noticed that Jason Parks announced his departure from Baseball Prospectus to join the Chicago Cubs. The excellent Nick Faleris and Chris Mellen will be handling the spotlight now, and I will be falling behind them in some capacity. However, I am saying goodbye to ON so I can focus my efforts fully at BP and write about all prospects in general. Writing about the Orioles and their minor league system is obviously the source of my growth – my roots. When I was given the opportunity to first write at ON, I was thrilled. I now feel confident in my ability to cover the Orioles’ system, from top to bottom. However, the past year has allowed me to grow as an evaluator and focus on more than just the Orioles. At BP, I have been provided with a larger platform and a better exposure for my writing. I can’t thank them enough, and I have many individuals that have given me this opportunity. I am really excited for the future and what is happening at BP with this new leaf turned.

As for ON, the site will continue to operate. There will be significant changes coming, albeit the same general website focusing on the Baltimore Orioles from top to bottom. Lance Rinker, Alex Conway and Luke Jackson will continue to run the show after my departure. I trust them more than anyone on the Orioles’ market, as they all three provide various sources on knowledge and expertise within the public game. I have seen tremendous growth from all three of them in my time reading their writing, and I am hopeful that they can continue to move up the rankings in the public writing scene. Lance will take over majority of the lead at ON, as he is part-owner along with me. I’ll help out behind the scenes, but this is my goodbye from the public eye at ON.

This will be my last post for ON (although, there is one final podcast coming). For those that have read my work here, I thank you. I was fairly surprised at how quickly ON resurrected. Jordan Tuwiner built a terrific platform for us to talk about the Orioles’ Organization, and I was thrilled to continue the job this season. I cannot move forward and operate this site while writing and evaluating for BP (and working my day job) at the same time. In the future, I know the guys will continue the long tradition that ON has established in providing coverage of the Orioles.

As I began the resurrection of this site, I end with the same.

The years go fast but the days go slow 

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Waiver Trade Deadline Analysis http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/01/waiver-trade-deadline-analysis/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/09/01/waiver-trade-deadline-analysis/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:00:57 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15143 Staff Writer Alex Conway breaks down the Orioles moves at the August 31st trade deadline

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The Orioles made two moves in advance of the August 31st Trade Deadline. They traded minor league pitchers Mark Blackmar and Miguel Chalas to the Chicago White Sox for 30 year old left handed outfielder Alejandro De Aza. Blackmar and Chalas are noteworthy only for the lack of noteworthiness.  Also, the Orioles traded minor league infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan DeJesus Jr. to the Boston Red Sox for 32 year old left handed infielder Kelly Johnson. Weeks was acquired in the off season when the the team shipped increasingly expensive reliever Jim Johnson to the A’s and DeJesus was a minor league depth signing. It was clear that the organization thought that neither player brought much of anything to the major league team.  These moves add left handed bench depth as Dan Duquette continually looks to improve the 25 man roster, even if the moves add the most marginal value possible.

Kelly Johnson is a notable acquisition for really only two reasons. One, he is breathing. Two, he swings the bat left handed. Johnson has been abysmal at the plate this year with a current batting line of .212/.290/.354. Moreover, he actually has hit left handed pitchers better than right handed ones in his career. But, he still brings a left handed bat with some pop and can play first base, second base, third base, and possibly even left field. His skill set boils down to Ryan Flaherty with a little more pop and a worse glove. He improves the quality of the bench, but will likely not make a huge impact to the starting lineup in any meaningful way.

Alejandro De Aza is a more interesting player. De Aza brings more skills to the table as a speedy outfielder who can hit righties well enough, steal some bases, and play every outfield position adequately. De Aza has struggled this year at the plate only hitting .243/.309/.354. However, he has hit righties  to the tune of .276/.343/404 this season which is basically his career line versus right handed pitching. His role on the team will likely be to pinch hit and punch run in particular situations. Also, he is likely to grab a start here and there in September and spell some of the regulars especially if the Orioles clinch the division early. De Aza essentially represents what the Orioles thought they might get in David Lough. Lough’s struggles at the plate have been frustrating and have limited his time in left field. De Aza is superior with the bat, which is not saying much of anything. De Aza will be a useful piece moving forward in the regular season and if the Orioles find a way to make it work, in the postseason as well. His speed and ability to steal bases make him a valuable asset off of the bench.

These moves highlight the most common trait of the Dan Duquette regime in Baltimore. Every move Duquette has made in his tenure is to improve the 25 and 40 man rosters. The improvements have shown results at the major league level as the team is on it’s way to three straight winning seasons and in all probability two playoff appearances. These moves, even the paper moves where the team has one extra bench bat for just one game, simply give Buck Showalter more talent and flexibility to win games. This strategy of small moves and excellent roster manipulation has proven fruitful. However, his hyper focus on the major league roster has certainly attacked the minor league depth and while the 40 man roster is of a higher quality than it was when Duquette took over, the overall quality minor league depth has suffered. If Duquette is the general manager moving forward for multiple years it will be interesting to see if when he has to adapt his strategies he can adapt.

 

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ON Mailbag 8/25 – 8/31 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/31/mailbag-825-831/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/31/mailbag-825-831/#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2014 17:04:06 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15142 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the week of 8/25 - 8/31. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Anyone in the O’s minors that had a “much better” year than was expected?
Christian Walker had a better season than I expected. Outside of that, I cannot think of anyone that really surprised me.
There have been guys that have put together great seasons, such as Chance Sisco and Mike Yastrzemski, but they were people I was watching heading into the season.
The difficult part of this question is how it’s answered. Certain players had great statistical seasons (Mark Blackmar, who was just traded), but I would not evaluate them highly relative to those statistics.

– Tucker Blair

Are there seriously no third baseman anywhere in the entire organization that could potentially be successful with a call up now??
Nope, which is why they traded for Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar (and selected Almanzar in the Rule 5 earlier). It is clearly a weakness in this system. It has been a weakness for a few years now.

– Tucker Blair

Is the sky falling?
With how mild this summer has been, maybe so.
If this is a comment about baseball, lolwut.

– Tucker Blair

Will Parker Bridwell start the year at Bowie next season?
Yes, he should. I continue to think Bridwell is one of the best arms in the system. He’s a 40-man roster choice, and the AFL will be a good stint to help promote him and/or figure out what the Orioles should do with him moving forward. The Orioles are not the only club interested in Bridwell.

– Tucker Blair

Have the Orioles made Suk Min Yoon a full-time reliever?
He was outrighted off the 40-man, but I would not necessarily say he is a full-time reliever. I really have no idea what his role will be heading into 2015. AAA is always impossible to speculate with player roles due to the volatility of minor league signings.

– Tucker Blair

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Mike Wright has turned his season around http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/25/mike-wright-turned-season-around/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/25/mike-wright-turned-season-around/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:15:19 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15136 Orioles prospect Mike Wright hit a rough patch with Norfolk this season, but has turned it around in August - putting up a 0.94 ERA in four starts.

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Expectations were high for Mike Wright, the 24-year-old right-hander, who kicked off his 2014 season with the Norfolk Tides. Last year, Wright was named the top pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles farm system after going 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 26 starts for the Bowie Baysox, which earned him a promotion to Norfolk on the final day of the season.

Though Wright hasn’t matched his success from last season, he began Aug. with 5.87 ERA over 107 1/3 IP, he has finally begun to turn his year around. Over his last four starts, all in Aug., he has a 0.94 ERA over 28 2/3 IP with a 0.87 WHIP and 20 strikeouts to five walks.

To cap that turnaround off, the International League announced today that Wright has been named the League’s Pitcher of the Week for the period of Aug. 18 – 24. Wright becomes the third Tides player to earn player of the week honors (Francisco Peguero, May 19 – 25; Steve Clevenger, June 2 – 8).

He more than deserves the honor after coming one strike away from throwing a no-hitter Thursday night in Durham. He went 8 2/3 innings and allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out a career-high 11 batters in the 5-2 victory.

Wright is now 5-11 with a 4.83 ERA on the season and leads his team with 25 starts. He has now won four of his past six starts after losing nine straight decisions from May to July. This marks the first time his ERA has been below five since May 16.

According to reports written up on Wright by Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus and Tucker Blair, Wright uses a mix of fatsballs, sliders and changeups with the pitches grading out as average to solid, but lacks any real solid offerings. Despite the lack of a premier pitch or two in his arsenal, Wright is tall and durable with a good delivery and clean arm action.

His fastball works in the low 90s with decent sink, he throws a hard slider that touches the mid-80s with the potential to miss bats, and his changeup rests in the low-70s with an ability to fool hitters when set up by his fastball.

Even with the hiccups from earlier in the season, Wright still projects to be a back-end of the rotation starter who can eat innings and provide league average production. Expect to see Wright in Sept. when rosters expand and then again next spring.

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ON Mailbag: 8/18 – 8/24 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/24/on-mailbag-818-824/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/24/on-mailbag-818-824/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 16:32:19 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15133 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the week of 8/18 - 8/24. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Should the Orioles move Manny Machado back to shortstop in 2015?
The now impending surgery changes this answer a bit. It may be hard for a position change with a possibly limited Spring Training. However, I think this more depends upon what the Orioles do with J.J. Hardy. If Hardy is brought back then I would assume that Manny would stay at third base. Manny definitely has the chops to play shortstop and would probably provide more value there with his bat and his glove. Also, Machado is a large kid already at 22 and may only thicken out as he ages. If that happens, he may have to go back to third anyways. Also, his glove at third may be the best in baseball, if he moves to shortstop that may no longer be the case.

– Alex Conway

Will the Orioles extend JJ Hardy and/or Nelson Cruz a qualifying offer?
The qualifying offer for next year will be a little over $14 million so there is some risk there if either one of them accepts. If either of them accepts they would be one of the highest paid player on the roster. First, I think the Orioles will extend a qualifying offer to J.J. Hardy. Shortstops are in high demand and even with his power decline, his glove has been fantastic and he still puts up enough offense to be a plus. I think it will be pretty easy for Hardy to find a three year deal so there is basically no chance he will accept the offer and the Orioles can get back one of those draft picks they gave away. Second, Nelson Cruz which is a much murkier situation. Cruz had a hot start, but was cool for a couple of months but is turning it on again. He is 34 and him finding a multi-year deal after he could not last off season seems unlikely. He can’t field and if the bat gets much worse he’ll lose any value he has. I really don’t know what the Orioles will do, but if it were up to me I would extend the offer to him. I think he will seek another multi year deal and he could find a DH spot somewhere. If that happens, it is another draft pick, which would give the team a potential 5 in the top 100 picks. If he does accept the offer then he is a decent player at not that high of a free agent price.

– Alex Conway

When will the Orioles make Steve Johnson a full-time reliever?
I think he was realistically already this anyways. It is easier to turn a starter into a reliever rather than the opposite. Johnson does not have the stuff or command to consistently start in the majors. His FB was 86-89 when I saw him rehabbing in Aberdeen, and that is not too far off what he usually sits at. Velocity is not everything, but his command is not always even average. That is a tough formula to start with. He is more of an org depth guy or swingman type for me.

– Tucker Blair

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ON Mailbag: 8/11 – 8/17 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/17/mailbag-811-817/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/17/mailbag-811-817/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 16:16:38 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15128 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the week of 8/11 - 8/17. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Have the O’s signed anyone that excites you in the International market this year?
Not this year. I wish there was a longer answer that I could give here, but the only “significant” signing that is public knowledge would be Miguel Gonzalez. He was signed for 400,000 out of the Dominican Republic, and is not the same person as the Miguel Gonzalez that has been pitching with the Orioles on their big league team. I do not have terrific reports on him, but they are second and third-hand reports.

– Tucker Blair

Will Tim Berry, Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, and Zach Davies all start 2015 at Norfolk?

Berry – Yes
Wright – Yes
Wilson – Yes
Davies – Yes

Odds are that one will start at Bowie again, but realistically they should all be in AAA next year. The Orioles will sometimes start a prospect back at AA, but promote them to AAA shortly afterwards if they have a good first month. I don’t think any of these guys make the big league club out of spring training unless a role is changed (SP to RP).

– Tucker Blair

My 2 cents on the MASN dispute w/Nats:
No club owned network has ever been forced to operate at a 5 percent margin for their baseball programming. To date, Major League Baseball allows every club owned sports network to achieve a 20+ percent profit margin.
The issue isn’t about what the Nationals or the Orioles want in rights fees. The Orioles lost 20+ percent of their fan base that no longer come to Camden Yards, and the agreement was signed with that in mind.
This is Contract Law 101, and the existing agreement needs to be honored, not “arbitrated” by an appointed body with vested interests.

– Towson Professor

Interesting take, and a situation I am certainly no expert in – Tucker Blair

On Orioles-Nation’s prospect watch, at the bottom, each minor league player has a realistic role. What is Eduardo Rodriguez‘s realistic role?
I have Eduardo Rodriguez as a 55 OFP and a realistic 50. I think his realistic role is either a back-end starter or a reliever moving forward, although there is still a chance he is slightly more than that. He was a tough player for the Orioles to trade, and it always does not look good in public light when a team moves a prospect for a reliever. However, the Orioles made a move that they felt improved the club this year and this is all that matters for them.

– Tucker Blair

Does Eddie Gamboa have a future with the club?
Sure, but it is not an impact role. Gamboa has been a fun story, but it is important to remember he is an organization player that happened to boost his value slightly by learning a knuckleball. I still think he is a role 4 type, that could potentially provide some innings in a bind or maybe even be used sparingly as a long reliever/spot start type if they desperately needed it.

– Tucker Blair

We received a ton of September Callups questions. I will talk more about that in the upcoming week at the site.

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Minor League Scores – 8/12/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/13/minor-league-scores-81214/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/13/minor-league-scores-81214/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:37:31 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15122 Eddie Gamboa continues his return from suspension

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 5, Buffalo 7 Opponent Location Time Starter 55 – 69 Box Score Buffalo Bisons Away 7:05 PM Miguel Gonzalez
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 0, New Britain 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
60 – 62 Box Score New Britain Rock Cats Away 7:05 PM Nick Additon
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Frederick , Wilmington Opponent Location Time Starter
53 – 62 POSTPONED Wilmington Blue Rocks Away Game 1: 5:05 PMGame 2: After Game 1: Dylan DundyGame 2: Parker Bridwell
 
Notes: This game was postponed due to rain
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Delmarva , Hagerstown Opponent Location Time Starter
60 – 60  POSTPONED Hagerstown Suns Home Game 1: 4:35 PMGame 2: After Game 1: Mitch HoracekGame 2: Dariel Delgado
 
Notes: This game was postponed due to rain
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Aberdeen 0, Vermont 6 Opponent Location Time Starter
20 – 37 Box Score Vermont Lake Monsters Away 7:05 PM TBD
  • Hector Veloz: 0-1
  • Austin Anderson: 0-4, K
  • Alex Murphy: 0-3, K
  • Tanner Chleborad: 2.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 0 K
  • Nigel Nootbaar: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Notes:

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ON Mailbag: 8/4 – 8/10 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/10/mailbag-84-810/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/10/mailbag-84-810/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 15:40:52 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15121 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the week of 8/4 - 8/10. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Will Matt Wieters be ready for 2015 opening day?
Yes, the Orioles planned out the surgery in time for Wieters to be ready for Opening Day 2015. Tommy John for position players requires a shorter rehabilitation period, therefore, his rehab will only last about eight to ten months rather than twelve to eighteen months that pitchers have to endure.

– Alex Conway

Your thoughts on Brenden Webb? Is he done?
Webb is now 24 years old and in his second season with Frederick. Unfortunately, that usually is not a good sign for a player heading into the future. Webb displays plus raw power, a plus arm, and plus bat speed. However, he simply lacks the hit tool necessary and has always struggled to make consistent contact. I have seen Webb a lot this season, and there has just been difficulty with approach. He’s getting into a lot of bad counts and this has been a huge detriment to his ability at getting on base. I don’t think Webb is necessarily done playing baseball (unless he chooses), but his time with the Orioles may be at an end after this season. I have always been intrigued by Webb, and I hope he can latch on somewhere if his time ends in Baltimore.

– Tucker Blair

The Orioles absolutely reject Nick Hundley’s $5MM club option for 2015 right?
Yes, they definitively will. Nick Hundley is good piece and appears to me to have the ability to be a very solid backup catcher. However, with Wieters likely returning for Opening Day and Caleb Joseph (who will be making the league minimum for the foreseeable future) has shown himself very capable of being a stout backup catcher. Also, as a thought that just popped into my head, Joseph has been so adept behind the plate this year that it may allow Wieters to rest and DH more often than he has in the past which could be beneficial for the both of them. Anyways, back to your question, the only scenario I could see Hundley returning is if the Orioles decide to trade Matt Wieters which seems highly unlikely at this point in time.

– Alex Conway

Why are people not talking about Mike Yastrzemski more?
I just wrote a full scouting report on Yaz over at BP. There are also several non-Orioles scouting reports included within that link. I have no problem saying that Yaz is a top 10 prospect within this system. It may not be a flashy tool set, but he does everything right.

– Tucker Blair

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Manny Machado and Selective Agression http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/08/manny-machado-selective-agression/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/08/manny-machado-selective-agression/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:00:24 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15105 Staff Writer Alex Conway discusses how Manny Machado has has changed his approach in 2014 and why this is leading to more success at the plate

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In the off season, actually for my first ever post here at ON, I wrote about how Manny Machado‘s 2013 second half struggles lied in his inability to select pitches he could hit. Essentially, his innate ability to get bat to ball combined with a poor understanding of knowing which pitches he could drive led to him swinging and making contact on pitches he could not barrel up. This led to an increase in fly balls – especially infield fly balls – which indicate poor contact is being made. Machado was swinging at junk and this caused his batting average and extra base hit production to plummet in the second half of 2013.

Fast forward to now, and Manny has been hitting .301/.340/.494 for the last two months after a cold start coming off of his knee injury. He has a .193 ISO during that time period as well as a 24.3% line drive rate. Manny certainly has been barreling up the ball for the last two months and has been one of the only Orioles hitters  doing so since the All Star break. Therefore, I wanted to see if Manny has changed his approach in any meaningful way and has learned to be selectively aggressive. Meaning, while he still is never going to be an on base machine, he can still be patient enough to wait on pitches he knows he can hit and hit well rather than making contact on pitches he cannot hit well.

Looking into his basic 2014 plate discipline numbers, interestingly, reveals little to no positive change from 2013. He is swinging more at pitches in the zone and out of the zone. He has an O-Swing% of 32.8%, a Z-Swing% of 68.6% and an overall swing% of 49.9% all of which are two to three percentage points higher than last year. Furthermore, he is making less contact on pitches in and out of the zone. His O-Contact% is 63.5% and his Z-Contact% is 85.4% alongside an overall contact% of 77.9% all of which are three to four points lower than last season. If Manny was swinging and barreling up better pitches to hit his swing rate may be the same, but he should not be swinging at pitches out of the zone more often. Furthermore, his contact rate would be higher especially on pitches in the zone, which it is not. Also, his swinging strike rate is up and his pitches seen in the zone are down. So, if those numbers are not showing why Manny is being more successful to date this year, then either there is another reason or it has simply been luck so far.

A quick look at some other figures tells a slightly different story.  His walk rate is nearly two points higher to date this season and his pitches per plate appearance is up from 3.53 P/PA to 3.68 P/PA. While that may not seem like an astronomical increase, it is significant. Manny had 710 plate appearances last season, if he had this season’s rate of P/PA he would have seen 106.5 more pitches last year. Therefore, his increasing strike out rate is not surprising simply because he is seeing more pitches. He also is not striking out at an absurdly high rate to begin with, only slightly above 2014 league average. Basically, Machado is seeing more pitches this year than last, and this has led to a higher walk rate and a higher strike out rate.  This, however, does not quite prove the theory of selective aggression that I am purporting.

Using heat maps, this theory can truly be put to the test. Manny may be swinging slightly more and making a little less contact, but what matters here is whether or not he is swinging at good pitches for him to hit, which his recent numbers and line drive rate would suggest he is doing. Below are two heat maps. One is of Manny’s 2013 season swing rates by pitch location, the whole season, and the second one is his 2014 season swing rates by pitch location to date.

Manny 2013 Swing Manny 2014 Swing

Of note, Manny Machado thus far in 2014 has swung significantly less at pitches out of the zone that are down and away, down and in, and up and in.  Also, he has focused on swinging at pitches that are middle in, middle, down, middle up, and even up and away. This allows him to extend his arms and drive the ball, especially the other way. In 2013, Manny focused much more on pitches in the middle of the plate and up and in. The swings at pitches that are up and in especially, and the other problem areas as well, zapped his ability to make solid contact and nosedived his 2013 offensive production.

Next up in this what is turning more and more into a slideshow are contact rate heat maps for 2013 (first picture) and to date in 2014 (second picture).

Manny 2013 Contact

Manny 2014 Contact

 

Manny seemed to make much more contact on pitches inside and outside the strike zone in 2013.  In particular, he made contact at a much higher rate on pitches up and in, down and in, and up and away. These are pitches that Manny simply cannot drive well, which means that if he is making contact with these pitches they are most likely to be outs, which in turn led to his struggles in the second half of 2013.  In 2014 his contact rates are much more concentrated within the strike zone and specifically middle in, down, and up. He is still making lots of contact on pitches too far up and away and down and away, but much lower than he was in 2014. This minimizes the bad contact and allows him to see more pitches that he can make hard contact on.

To bring it all home, below are two more heat maps. These heat maps are Manny’s batting average by pitch location again for the entirety of the 2013 season and the 2014 season to date. Again, the first one will be 2013 and the second one will be 2014.

Manny 2013 AVG

Manny 2014 AVG

These heat maps reveal more about how Manny’s approach at the plate has transformed. In 2013, the averages were decently high all around the plate and even out of the zone. However, this is not necessarily a great thing. Manny was swinging at pitches wherever they may be and his average was not great in many of those pitch locations. Fast forward to 2014, and the hitting zones are much more concentrated and with higher batting averages. The section that is middle in Manny is hitting .242 on pitches thrown to that location and is swinging 82% of the time at pitches in that location, tied for highest of any spot on his 2014 swing map.  He is swinging and driving pitches that are middle in, up, and down. He can drive the ball by extending his arms on up and away pitches and he can pull his arms tight to either pull the middle pitches or inside out them to center field or right field. These are the pitch locations that Manny can hit and hit hard and he is swinging more at those pitches than he was in 2013.

The adjustments made to Machado’s plate discipline provide a selective aggression that make him a better batter. As stated before, he is unlikely to become an on base machine. But, Manny has shown that he can hit doubles and home runs. If he maintains a higher average and his selectively aggressive eye at the plate he can continue to be an all star level player for the Orioles. Time will tell how pitchers adjust and how Manny adjusts, but the developments this year over last provide a great picture into Manny’s ability to adapt and thrive.

 

(Heat Maps provided by Fangraphs.com)

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Role 4 Roundup: Wynns, Gurka, Rheault http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/07/role-4-roundup-wynns-gurka-rheault/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/07/role-4-roundup-wynns-gurka-rheault/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15107 Austin Wynns, Jason Gurka, and Dylan Rheault may one day make the majors.

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The path to the majors is a treacherous journey with many hurdles to jump, walls to climb, and cities to travel through. When you watch the minors in the detail and length that I do, you see the daily grind the players go through. Most, if not every single one, wants to make it to the bigs. It has been their dream for years. Of course, many do not reach the big lights. It is the disappointing side of the game, and I have said goodbye to many friends over the past decade while following the minors closely. It is especially difficult watching Double-A games, because the sick truth is many of those players are on their last baseball breath. However, I want to discuss a few players that are never talked about and could have a potential to crack the majors as a role 4 guy. After watching Caleb Joseph the past month, I suddenly feel the urge to explore the O’s minors.

The following are a group of players that I view to have a certain tool that could play at the major league level. I do not view any of these players as impact prospects, but they have “something”:

Austin Wynns, C, Low-A Delmarva: I have been continuously impressed by Wynns since last season watching him at Aberdeen. In my views this season at Delmarva, Wynns has demonstrated a plus glove and arm. He is a natural behind the plate with a good Austin Wynnschance at catching for a long time in the minors. He is a college guy backing up Chance Sisco right now, but multiple scouts have told me that they love his defense and one even said “it’s no secret why Wynns has been the guy catching Hunter Harvey“. He may not have the bat, but Wynns will play in the upper minors for a while and could eventually get a cup of coffee. I’ve seen worse players make it to the majors.

Jason Gurka, LHP, Double-A Bowie: I have mentioned Gurka a few times at ON, but he is largely overlooked in the public eye. He is a reliever in the minors, which generally does not exploit much excitement from…well, anyone. As a talent evaluator, I do not care about that, as I am strictly looking for players that have some ability to provide an asset at the highest level. Gurka has a low 90’s fastball with sink that he hides well out of his hand against lefties. His changeup is fringe, but he mostly relies on a sharp slurve that lefties really struggles to pick up out of his hand. Gurka profiles as a LOOGY at the highest level, but that’s not an insult. Gurka is a major league talent that will eventually get a shot, even if it is not with the Orioles.

Dylan Rheault, RHP, Low-A Delmarva: He is a giant, standing at 6’9″ and 245 lbs. With that said, the obvious issue is keeping his body in unison and balancing all the moving parts of his huge frame. Rheault is overlooked, generally because he is also a reliever and does not throw 95 mph. However, he is one of those relief arms that gives the hitter a different look. Rheault throws around 90 mph, but the balls comes off a terrific plane and hitters struggle to barrel it. He also displays a sweeping slider, which is also effective. The issue with Rheault is that he “pushes” pitches out of his hand. He throws from a nearly side-armed slot, and instead of letting the ball fly out of his hand, it will become pushed. Iv’e seen this a few times, and I know it is something the Orioles are working with him on (I specifically saw B.J. Surhoff talking to him about this). Rheault may not be a buzz-worthy prospect, but he could be a viable reliever if he can settle some of these mechanical issues down.

 

These three players will not make any prospect lists, but I always enjoy scanning the minors for the role 4 types that could potentially end up as the 25th man on a major league roster one day. These three have that ability, even it it is still a longshot at this point.

 

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Minor League Scores – 8/6/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/07/minor-league-scores-8614/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/07/minor-league-scores-8614/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:39:34 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15106 Glynn Davis continues hit hot hitting ways in Bowie

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Today’s Result Tomorrow OFF Opponent Location Time Starter 54 – 64 Gwinnett Braves Away 6:35 PM Steve Johnson
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Portland 7, Bowie 4 Opponent Location Time Starter
57 – 60 Box Score Portland Sea Dogs Home 6:35 PM Nick Additon
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Carolina 11, Frederick 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
52 – 59 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Branden Kline
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
56 – 58 Lakewood Blue Claws Away 7:05 PM Mitch Horacek
 
Notes:
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Vermont 4, Aberdeen 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
18 – 33  Box Score Vermont Lake Monsters Home 7:05 PM TBD
Notes:

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Minor League Scores – 8/5/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/05/minor-league-scores-8514/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/05/minor-league-scores-8514/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 03:13:28 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15104 Dylan Bundy makes another rehab start for the Frederick Keys

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Buffalo 6 , Norfolk 2 Opponent Location Time Starter 54 – 64 Box Score OFF OFF OFF OFF

Notes: This was an 11 inning game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Portland 3, Bowie 1 Opponent Location Time Starter
57 – 59  Box Score Portland Sea Dogs Home 6:35 PM TBD
Notes: This was an 11 inning game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Carolina 3, Frederick 7 Opponent Location Time Starter
52 – 58  Box Score Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Brady Wager
Notes: This game was an 8 inning game shortened by rain
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 8, Delmarva 5 Opponent Location Time Starter
56 – 58 Box Score OFF OFF OFF OFF
Notes:
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
18 – 32 Vermont Lake Monsters Home 7:05 PM TBD
 
Notes:

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Nick Markakis hits a milestone http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/05/nick-markakis-hits-milestone/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/05/nick-markakis-hits-milestone/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15097 Nick Markakis continues to move up the list in certain categories as an Oriole. He's top 10 in nearly a dozen categories. If this is his last season in an Orioles uniform, where does he rank all-time?

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If you look at a list of all-time Baltimore Orioles career records or stat categories it wouldn’t be uncommon for the same two or three names to top each one. Some combination of Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray and George Sisler will be the leaders throughout.

Nick Markakis has joined the 1,500 hit club, which places him eighth in hits all-time for the organization and jumping up to seventh place should be accomplished before mid-August. Former Oriole great Boog Powell currently occupies sixth place all-time with 1,574 career hits and Brady Anderson is fifth with 1,614.

In order for Markakis to crack the top five in career hits as an Oriole he would have to be re-signed by the club beyond the 2014 season. Barring an injury that costs him significant time, he could accomplish that with just one more season in an Orioles uniform. To crack the top four, and displace past greats such as Eddie Murray and George Sisler would require him to amass 2,080 and 2,295 career hits as an Oriole.

Markakis has averaged over 180 hits a season throughout his career, with exception to his injury shortened 2012 season. If Markakis and the Orioles agreed to extend his career with this organization for the foreseeable future, he could crack 2,000 career hits by 2018, assuming health and staying on his 180-hit pace of course. He would likely pass Murray in 2018 for fourth all-time and likely pass Sisler by 2020.

If Markakis were to pass Sisler his real work would then begin to take a crack at Robinson and Ripken. Robinson gathered 2,848 career hits and Ripken managed 3,184, and are also one and two in most other offensive and defensive categories for the team. It may seem like a pipedream for any fan to believe Markakis could become the Orioles all-time hit king, but the one thing he’s really good at is amassing hits consistently year-in-year-out. It’s certainly possible, however unlikely.

Other categories that Markakis is top 10 all-time in are as follows:

Category Total Rank
Doubles 310 7
Total Bases 2245 9
Times on Base 2063 9
Singles 1037 10
Extra Base Hits 461 10
Sacrifice Flies 45 10
Runs Created 813 10

 

While Markakis never developed the power many thought that he had, or would have, he still became a consistent presence in the lineup that could get on base. The perception that Markakis would ever become a perpetual 20 to 25 a year home run hitter is still mind-boggling, especially considering he didn’t hit for power in the minors, but he is anything but a disappointment.

If the 2014 season is to be his last in an Orioles uniform, where does he rank as an Oriole all-time?

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Minor League Scores – 8/4/2014 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/04/minor-league-scores-842014/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/04/minor-league-scores-842014/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 02:39:53 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15101 Mike Wright struggles through another start for the Tides

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Buffalo 7, Norfolk 4 Opponent Location Time Starter 54 – 63 Box Score Buffalo Bisons Home 12:05 PM Tyler Wilson
Today’s Result Tomorrow
OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
56 – 55 Portland Sea Dogs Home 6:35 PM TBD
 
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
OFF Opponent Location Time Starter
48 – 57 Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Dylan Bundy
 
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 2, Delmarva 0 Opponent Location Time Starter
56 – 56 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Home 7:05 PM Luis Gonzalez
Notes: This was a 7 inning game
 
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 2, Delmarva 0 Opponent Location Time Starter
56 – 57 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Home 7:05 PM Luis Gonzalez
Notes: This was a make up of a game postponed on 8/3, This was a 7 inning game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Aberdeen 6, Williamsport 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
18 – 32 Box Score OFF OFF OFF OFF
Notes:

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Minor League Players of the Week: 7/28 – 8/3 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/04/minor-league-players-week-728-83/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/04/minor-league-players-week-728-83/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:00:46 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15099 Davis and Davies carry Bowie for the week, and Rutledge racks 'em up in Frederick

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Position Player of the WeekGlynn Davis, OF (Double-A, Bowie)

.346/.370/.462 (9/26) with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, SB

Davis has the raw tools. His plus speed and excellent defensive capabilities provide for the foundation of a solid player. The swing has always been the concern, with too much noise that cancels out the effectiveness of his plus bat speed. Davis is beginning to lessen some of the noise, but I still have deep reservations towards whether he can produce against upper-level pitching. He is still having some trouble recognizing spin, but Double-A is going to be a terrific test for the Maryland native.

Starting Pitcher of the WeekZach Davies, RHP (Double-A, Bowie)

2 GS, 13.1 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 13 K

Davies has been on a roll recently, and I have written about him essentially everywhere on the site. He won the player of the month, and I also touched on him briefly in the Mailbag.

Relief Pitcher of the WeekLex Rutledge, LHP (High-A, Frederick)

2 G, 4.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K

It was not a good week in the O’s system for relievers, but Rutledge has quietly been performing in the past month. Over the past 13 appearances, he has a 0.69 ERA and given up 7 hits in that span. Rutledge relies on his 12-6 curveball majority of the time for his outs, but can pump the fastball when he needs to. It took some time for the lefty to figure it out, but maybe he has turned the corner in the second half of this season.

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ON Mailbag: 7/28 – 8/3 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/04/mailbag-728-83/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/08/04/mailbag-728-83/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:00:14 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=15098 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the week of 7/28 - 8/3. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Does Francisco Peguero have a future with the Orioles?
I believed once his rehab was up that he would have joined the 25 man roster and replace David Lough mostly due to the fact that the Orioles had to DFA him to keep him the minors. However, they did not, and he snuck through waivers even with his pedigree. He may be a September call up, but he has no future with this team. He has hit left handers decently well in AAA, but cannot hit righties and doesn’t do much else all that well. He is depth and depth of a decent quality which is a good thing to have, but his future is limited with this team.

– Alex Conway

Should Gordon Beckham be a trade option for the Orioles?
Possibly, but he has been very bad this year at the plate and according to the metrics has not been all that great in the field either. He currently has a career low line drive rate, career low walk rate, and a career high strikeout rate. Using fWAR he is currently a -0.2 player. I don’t necessarily believe that Gordon Beckham is that bad, but those are all really bad trends. He will probably be available via a waiver trade, but I don’t think he would really improve the Orioles second base situation over what they currently have.

– Alex Conway

Zach Davies. What he got?
Davies has been impressive this year. I have seen him quite a few times now. His changeup is still the best pitch, and he has extreme confidence in throwing it at any time. I watched his last home start against Altoona, and he was able to consistently pound his fastball and change down in the zone. The second time through the lineup is where he really started to throw the kitchen sink at Altoona, using a heavy dose of his curveball and changeup. Honestly, there is not much difference from my report earlier in the year. You can read that report over on Baseball Prospectus.
– Tucker Blair

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