Each Monday, in this spot, I’ll try to give you fan’s look at what transpired with our Birds the past week and what lies ahead for the club. My only promise is that the piece will be totally biased and from a real fan, so here it goes.
After a week’s vacation for me, lots has changed with our Orioles, but one thing has not changed – the losing. The new “Baby Birds” (sort of…) lost six of seven this week. Another week to forget. Lots has transpired since my last post, let’s see where this goes.
1. New Man in the Middle
On Friday night, Cedric Mullins became the 11th Oriole to make his MLB debut this year. More importantly, his start in centerfield seemingly marked the end of an era with Adam Jones stepping aside from his usual spot in centerfield which he has faithfully manned for the ballclub since coming over from the Mariners in a 2008 trade. (More on Jones later). Mullins got off to an excellent start, doubling in his first MLB at bat and knocking in two runs. For the weekend, the 5’ 8” Mullins went 5 for 13 (.385) with three walks and a .500 OBP. In fairness, three of his five hits came in his debut Friday night. He added a spark with his energy on the field and as an O’s fan I hope it’s the start of another long-tenured centerfielder roaming in Camden Yards.
2. Simply Class
End of an Era!!!! Embrace Change!!!!
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) August 10, 2018
With Mullins penciled in at centerfield all weekend, one of the most beloved Orioles of all-time – Adam Jones – was relegated to a new position – right field. Did Jones sulk? Nope. He had himself a pretty decent weekend himself going 5 for 16 (.312) with two walks and two RBI. Jones was also the first guy on the dugout step cheering on Mullins after his first career hit on Friday night. Jones is a class act, through and through.
3. More on Jones
With Adam Jones regular starts in centerfield seemingly over, you have to look back at what he’s accomplished as an Orioles centerfielder. Jones is first in starts as an Orioles centerfielder with 1,537 starts, 13,548 innings. He’s second in games with 1,555, putouts with 3,885, assists with 91, and Gold Gloves with 4. His 259 home runs as a centerfielder are good enough for fifth best in the American League all-time. I still contend that there is a place on this team for Adam Jones, even in a rebuilding effort. On Friday night he became the best right fielder to start for the Orioles since Nick Markakis. Guys like Mullins could learn a lot from the way Adam approaches the game and what he does for the community on his off time.
4. Still NOTHING NOTHING on Victor Victor
— Victor Victor Mesa (@victorvmesa) August 11, 2018
The Cuban sensation Victor Victor Mesa is still working out in the Dominican tweeting video of his swing and seemingly eating up the fact that his followers all want to see him in their team’s uniform. The Orioles still are said to be the front runners, but there is very little news across the web as to where that stands. My understanding is that Mesa must obtain citizenship in a country outside of Cuba in order to be eligible for the MLB International Draft. There are just so many unknowns that it’s difficult to handicap the Orioles chances at Mesa. One thing is for sure, Victor Victor may be the most anticipated and hyped draft pick since the 1989 draft of LSU’s Ben McDonald.
5. Since the Break
For those of us who were confounded by the Orioles lack of offense most of the season, the bats have awakened since the All Star Break. The club’s .287 average ranks them first in MLB since the break. The team’s 37 home runs and .490 slugging percentage since the break is good enough for second in MLB. They’ve also scored 125 since the break, also good enough for second in the majors.
This is a light week for the club this week with two off days. The Birds play two at home versus the Mets before a three game weekend set in Cleveland.