By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.Just as we did after the conclusion of the 2016 season, the writers here at Baby Birdland, as well as our primary photo supplier Patrick Cavey, all submitted a Top 15 list and we averaged those lists together to get our all encompassing Baltimore Orioles Top 15 Prospects list. Continuing…
Sitting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Saturday night and watching the Baltimore Orioles help cure what has been ailing the Chicago Cubs got me thinking about the future of the home team. The non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching and as fans are aware, major changes loom at the end of the 2018 season.
The Orioles have contracts expiring both after this season and next season and face major decisions.
As of this morning (Sunday, July 16th), the Orioles are 42-48, 5.0 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. They sit 5.0 games behind the New York Yankees in the race for the second Wild Card spot in the American League; 5 teams stand between the Orioles and the Yankees for that spot.
Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette has proclaimed the team will be buyers as the deadline approaches (story). In my opinion, the allure of that second wild card promotes this type of misguided thinking. I don’t know about you but I am not interested in seeing this team sign a marginal player or two to maybe make the wild card. I know, the retort is “you just have to make the tournament”. Sorry fans, this is not a playoff caliber team and I for one am not interested in seeing a one-and-done just like we did in 2016.
Allow me to play General Manager for a moment and look at what the future of this team could look like. Keep in mind, the Yankees went with youth last year and has had some success.
Right now I would trade both Zach Britton and Brad Brach for prospects; Britton would have to bring 4 prospects in return based on the Cubs-Chicago White Sox trade for Carlos Quintana. Brach would bring lesser prospects but that’s okay. You could replace them with Chris Lee and Tanner Scott or even Richard Rodriguez. The one caveat to this is that these players need to be assured that they are up here to stay. The Norfolk shuttle has to play on these pitcher’s minds; if they’re thinking that if they don’t do well or they’re sent down cannot be conducive to success.
I previously proposed an outfield of Adam Jones, Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays Read it HERE and I stand by that. Release or trade Hyun-Soo Kim since you are not playing him much. Seth Smith’s contract is up at the end of this season so he could be let go.
Catcher could be a sticky position as Welington Castillo has a player option for 2018. His opting to stay here an additional season would hinder Chance Sisco’s progress to the big club. He could be traded by the deadline if you wanted to go full youth movement, however.
I would also let JJ Hardy walk at the end of the season as it looks like his vesting option will not kick in; injuries have left him a shell of his former self. I would then move Manny Machado to shortstop and promote Drew Dosch from the Norfolk Tides.
This infusion of youth could breathe some new life into the club and rejuvenate our veterans. Baseball would be fun and exciting in Baltimore for sure.
So to recap, here’s what I have:
Outfielders: Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays and reluctantly, Joey Rickard
Designated Hitter: Mark Trumbo
1B; Chris Davis
2B: Jonathan Schoop
SS: Manny Machado
3B: Drew Dosch
Catcher: Chance Sisco, Caleb Joseph
Pitchers: Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Chris Lee
Relievers: Tanner Scott, Darren O’Day, Mychal Givens
That leaves 7 spots on the 25-man roster that can be filled for 2018 either by free agent signings or with some of “our guys” (Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier, Donnie Hart). More youth options could be evaluated during Spring Training in 2018.
For right now, I give Chris Lee and Tanner Scott a chance and bring the rest of the Baby Birds up in 2018. This team needs to get younger and they can’t do much worse than what the team is doing right now. Realistically, this team is not a playoff team and we need to admit that and move to the future. It may hurt for a bit but it will be worth it in the end.
I’d like to hear what you fans think. Youth (and if so, whom), stand pat or buy?
From @BabyBirdland: After Rough Start, RHP @TheSushi07 Has Rebounded Somewhat Heading into Second Half
By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.Bowie Baysox (Class-AA) RHP Jesus Liranzo is in the midst of a mediocre season at the All-Star break. Recent changes, however, point to a strong second half for the 22 year old Dominican prospect.Photo: Patrick CaveyAt the break Liranzo owns a 1-3 record with 2 saves in a span of…
As it stands today, the Baltimore Orioles have 2 games remaining against the Minnesota Twins before the All-Star break. The All-Star break is considered the traditional midway point of the Major League season. The Birds sit at 40-46, 9.5 games out of first place in the AL East and are currently in the midst of a 5 game losing streak. Over the last 10 games they are 2-8 while falling to 5.0 games behind in the hunt for the second Wild Card spot.
Despite a 22-10 start in 2017 this team does not have what it takes to fight for a Wold Championship. Our pitching is poor, our offense is all or nothing in regards to the homerun and each night we seem to regress. We may “like our guys” but this year is not looking good.
There has been much debate about what the second half of the season holds and whether the Orioles should buy or sell prior to the non-waiver trade deadline. I’m not here to opine on that; the next three weeks will provide the answers. What I am here to do is give O’s fans some options for the second half. If the big league club has you down this is a list of some Minor League players to watch in the second half of the season.
Norfolk TIDES C Chance Sisco, 3B Drew Dosch and RHP Richard Rodriguez
Bowie BAYSOX 1B Aderlin Rodriguez, OF D.J. Stewart and RHP David Hess
Frederick KEYS RF Ademar Rifaela, LF Randolph Gassaway and LHR Keegan Akin
Delmarva SHOREBIRDS 1B Preston Palmeiro, SS Chris Clare and LHP Alex Wells
Aberdeen IRONBIRDS C Ben Breazeale, C Luke Ringhofer, RHP Brenan Hanifee and RHP Tobias Myers
I tried to give you some names that are not getting much publicity right now. All are good in their own right and worth your time to keep up with them. If you’re looking for a place to follow any of the aforementioned players go to Baby Birdland for complete coverage of all levels of the Orioles MInor League system.
The Baltimore Orioles are 39-41 this morning, 6.5 games out of first place in the American League East. They are just 2.5 games out of a Wild Card berth but have 5 teams (Seattle, Texas, Kansas City, LA Angels and Minnesota) ahead of them. Recently, Executive Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette proclaimed the Orioles will be buyers at the July 31st trade deadline http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-dan-duquette-orioles-plan-to-be-buyers-at-trade-deadline-no-matter-what-20150722-story.html.
As the team hovers at .500 and teases the fan base with the hope of making it into the playoff “tournament” I think it is time for some radical changes. Our pitching staff is struggling and it does not look as though we can wheel and deal for the big pieces necessary to turn things around. Realistically, the team is one more 7-game losing streak away from becoming an afterthought in the playoff race.
My solution: promote both Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays to Baltimore, put them in the outfield with Adam Jones and see what those three can do. Mullins and Hays can and do cover a lot of outfield ground and their presence in the corners may even help improve Jones’ play as well. They would also add a speed component to a team that needs to balance its offense so as to not be reliant on the long ball. Hays and Mullins also have some pop in their bats.
Adding these two will require making room on the 40-man roster and that can be accomplished by trading our two marketable players: Seth Smith and Welington Castillo. Offer Mark Trumbo as well as long as the offer to pay some of his contract goes along with it. If Hyun Soo Kim is not going to play, offer him for trade. As far as I am concerned, Joey Rickard and Craig Gentry can go too. The team needs to reboot; it would be wise to get what you can now and look into retaining Adam Jones, Zach Britton and Manny Machado.
The Orioles may be a completely different team in 2018 and we need to prepare for that reality. Bring up controllable players and see what they can do. Both would benefit greatly from Adam Jones’ mentorship and leadership.
Mediocrity will only go so far, so why not add two exciting players to the roster that the fans can embrace. There is so much doom and gloom written about this team and its chances of retaining players, so why not think outside the box and put some excitement on the field?
The fans aren’t stupid and I think most realize this is not a playoff team as it is performing now, improvements may be coming but they will be small. Let’s see what we could have, the future is now.
A youth movement may be just what this team needs.
Hello Orioles fans, here is the daily prospect report for Saturday, July 1st, 2017.
This season, I am following four Baltimore Orioles minor league prospects: RHP Jason Garcia (#20 per MLB Pipeline), RHP Jesus Liranzo (#14), OF Cedric Mullins (#17) and 3B Jomar Reyes (#9). Each day I will provide a summary of their game performance.
Jason Garcia (Bowie Baysox): won 11-0 @ Akron RubberDucks: did not pitch Season stats: 17 games, 4-2, 2 Holds, 38.1 IP, 5.87 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 27 R (25 ER), 51 H, 18 BB, 32 K, 3 HBP, .321 BA against
Jesus Liranzo (Bowie Baysox): won 11-0 @ Akron RubberDucks: did not pitch Season stats: 19 games, 1-3, 3 starts, 2 for 4 in saves, 3 holds, 4.88 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 31.1 IP, 28 H, 18 R (17 ER), 2 HBP, 22 BB, 37 K, .237 BA against
Cedric Mullins (Bowie Baysox): won 11-0 @ Akron RubberDucks: 3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 runs scored Season slash line: .314/ .357/ .556 with 32 runs scored, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 12 BB, 5 SB, 4 CS ** named Eastern League Player of the Week (4/6-4/16) **
Jomar Reyes (Frederick Keys): won 9-7 in 10 innings vs Lynchburg Hillcats: currently on the 7-day DL (right hand) Season slash line: .321/ .361/ .436 with 6 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB
Come back every day to keep up with how these four prospects are performing and don’t forget for more news, notes, and analysis on the entire Baltimore Orioles Minor League system, including a daily roundup of all the affiliates’ games, go to BabyBirdland and read the work of its’ hard working staff. Don’t forget to follow both @BabyBirdland and @CoachNick_14 on Twitter.