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.
It’s really bad, Orioles fans, REALLY bad. Once again, I’m going to focus on anything I can find to be positive about. It gets harder each week, but here we go.
1. Manny Machado, All Star Shortstop
Sunday evening, we discovered that our very own (at least as of this draft) Manny Machado was the American League’s leading vote-getter at shortstop and will represent the Orioles in DC on July 17. Machado also makes MLB history that night when he becomes just the fourth player in MLB history to start an All Star game at third base and shortstop joining Alex Rodriguez, Arky Vaughan, and Cal Ripken, Jr. Not surprising, but Manny is the sole representative of the Baltimore Orioles. Adam Jones was the only other player even in the conversation with his .282 average and 10 homers.
2. Speaking of Manny…
After going 2 for 3 Sunday versus the Twins, Manny Machado is just 34 hits away from 1,000. While it remains a long shot that Manny will register 34 more hits in an Orioles uniform, he is on pace to become the fastest Oriole to hit the 1,000 mark by number of games played. Nick Markakis holds the current Orioles mark with 1,000 hits in 875 games. Manny played in his 850th game as an Oriole on Sunday.
3. …And speaking of All Stars…
Two days before the MLB All Star Game, DC will play host to the 2018 SiriusXM All-Star Futures game. The Orioles system will be represented by left-hander Alex Wells and third baseman Ryan Mountcastle. The game will pit minor league All Stars representing the U.S. – for whom Mountcastle will represent, versus the World All Stars – for whom Wells, a native of Australia, will represent. Wells signed with the Orioles as a non-drafted free agent in 2015 and was named the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the year in 2017. Mountcastle was selected 36th overall in the 2015 amateur draft.
4. The New Mr. Oriole
"I think the best scenario is what the Yankees did with [Aroldis] Chapman: trade him away, get great pieces and then re-sign him."
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) July 7, 2018
As the losses continue to mount, new trade rumors pop up every day, most centering around 26 year old phenom, Manny Machado. Another guy in a contract year putting up decent numbers is The Captain, Adam Jones. This week, Jones was asked on MASN whether he would waive his rights as a 5/10 player, which is a player who has been with a club for five consecutive years and a major league player for ten years who cannot be traded without their consent, and his comment was further demonstration of his standing as the new, “Mr. Oriole”. Jones commented, “I think the best scenario is what the Yankees did with [Aroldis] Chapman: trade him away, get great pieces and then re-sign him.” While it would pain me to see Jones in another uniform for the next few months, I’d love to see the guy get another shot at the playoffs and a championship AND I’d love to see him and his veteran leadership return in 2019 to lead what will likely be a younger squad, moving forward.
Mark Trumbo is another guy who could be valuable to a playoff contender looking for a big power bat. Trumbo, who returned to the Orioles from the DL on May 1, took a little while to get his home run swing back, but since June 17, he is tied for second in the AL and is tied for third in the majors with eight home runs.
It’s a busy week for the Birds with eight games in seven days. The second place Yankees (58-29) are in town for a double header on Monday night, followed by 2 more the next two days. Philly sneeks into town for a rain make-up game for a match-up that was originally scheduled for May 15. The Texas Rangers round out the first half of the season with three games over the weekend just before the All Star break.