The Orioles have played themselves in an interesting position. With 102 games behind them and the trade deadline on Tuesday, there isn’t a clear vision for executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias to follow as in years past.
With 51 wins, Baltimore are one win away from their 2021 total. The Orioles are three away from tallying their winning numbers in 2019. They have already surpassed the 47-win 2018 team – proof that rebuilding is about to flourish, albeit a bit ahead of time.
So, do Orioles (51-51) sell? Or, with the final wild-card spot only three games out of reach, do they buy into the deadline?
The answer is probably somewhere in the middle, closer to standing than shipping the names that have helped bring the Orioles back into relevance. The challenge on the deadline for Elias is whether he can successfully pass the test of competition this season, as well as keep rebuilding on track – or break the chemistry at the clubhouse that propelled Baltimore to this position. has helped.
“I hope any piece that really helps build that chemistry, but this is baseball, and it’s a big part of the game,” said outfielder Austin Hays. “Just gonna show up and hope I see all the nameplates on the lockers by the time the deadline goes.”
That’s all a player can do away from the decision-making process that goes on in the front office. A trade candidate, right-hander Jordan Lyles, said a sell-off would be “probably a bit disappointing”, noting that the Orioles have had a rough season so far.
“But everyone knows it’s a business, and we all know that people have to do their job and do what they think is best for the organization,” he said.
The players most associated with the trades are Lyle, first baseman Trey Mancini and outfielder Anthony Santander. With a ripe market for respite talents, even close Jorge Lopez may attract interest. However, there was no movement till Sunday night.
And as Baltimore weighs in on adding to the roster by the deadline—targeting a starting pitcher with team control will be the main priority—there is a feeling among those around the organization that Alias is likely to enter a bidding war. Not there.
The potential departures of some players can be particularly hard to stomach. Mancini, the longest-serving Oriol, is a clubhouse leader and has said he wants “Stay around and see what we can do.” After overcoming stage 3 colon cancer in 2020, he proved that he can return to the highest level of the sport and be successful. There is interest in the 30-year-old around the league, but his case could be difficult for Elias.
“He means a lot to us, and he’s the heck of a teammate,” said outfielder Ryan McKenna. “It will be tough. It will be really tough. He has been an Oriole for so long, so seeing him in another uniform will definitely be a transition.”
So much success can be traced to this season that Comrades manager Brandon Hyde often references, with the energy in the dugout being a major reason for 23 comeback victories. By mid-May, Hyde said, “that’s when I knew we had a chance to surprise some people and play some good baseball,” as his players share in the clubhouse.
There is a danger of breaking it on time limit. Elias said earlier this month that the front office “takes everything into account” when it comes to trades, and that overall chemistry will be one of those focuses.
Asked whether the path Elias chose at the deadline would send a message to the clubhouse – whether it was a sign the Orioles could compete for the playoffs or a figurative white flag on the season – Santander said no. thought.
“Maybe for the fans,” Santander said. “But for us? No, because our mentality is to come here every day to work hard and win games. Even if they sell, even if someone leaves, I think that’s the mindset: go there.” And try to win again.
Lyles thought that “there is probably some message to be said for the direction of the GM’s front office,” but the clubhouse players are “not thinking about it, worrying about it” during games. .
For the most part, Team Orioles is now intact beyond the deadline. After this year most of the roster still has team control, reducing the need for a move. And from a player’s side, the immediate focus is the next game, not the time limit.
“They can do whatever they want,” said Santander with a laugh and a wave of his hand. “That’s baseball.”
What’s to come?
After dropping two games out of three to the Reds, the Orioles travel to face the Texas Rangers before returning to Camden Yards. Coming in mid-August, Baltimore will face a heavy dose of former American League opponents. With the trading deadline on Tuesday, soon the Orioles will have a better understanding of how the remaining two months of the year look.
what was good
Once again, the Orioles’ bullpen kept him in the games. He also scored three runs against right-handed batsmen Brian Baker and Felix Bautista. In the series finale against Cincinnati on Sunday, the overwhelming performance was solid.
That group allowed six earned runs in 29 1/3 innings compared to the previous week.
What was not?
The offensive support behind that bullpen has been almost non-existent, with the Reds scoring 10 runs in three games against the pitching staff who entered Sunday with the worst ERA in baseball (5.16). Ryan Mountcastle remains in recessionGoing 3-for 34 in their last nine games, and Baltimore struck out 21 times between defeats on Saturday and Sunday.
“We are not [the bullpen] Any favors,” Hyde said. “We’re not scoring. You’ve got to be able to score. You’ve got to be able to get and add leads. We’re not aggressive enough, honestly, to help with our pitching.”
on the farm
Infielder Joy Ortiz made one appearance for Double-A Bowie in July, batting .404 for the month. He scored five home runs, scored 19 runs and posted 1.112 OPS as part of his 13 extra-base hits. Baltimore has a plethora of infield talent in its pipeline, and the road to promotion to Triple-A Norfolk is currently blocked by Jordan Westberg and Gunnar Henderson.
But the Orioles should call some of those prospects after the trade deadline to offset any potential moves, but that path could be cleared. Prior to July, Ortiz had hit .206 for the Baysox.
Orioles @ Rangers
Monday, 8:05 pm
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