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.
In a week in which our favorite team’s best baseball player is traded and they start the “second half” being swept by the Blue Jays, it’s going to be tough to keep a stiff upper lip and be positive, but here goes nothing…
1. Beckham does his best Manny Impression
When Tim Beckham moved back to shortstop on Friday night he must have been channeling his “inner Manny”. On Friday night, Beckham went 1-4 but his hit was a 2-run homerun in the fifth. He followed up on Saturday’s game with a 2-4 performance with one run scored. For two games it looked as if the shortstop position held ome magical charm for whomever played it. Beckham took an 0’fer Sunday, coming back to earth. Beckham is a former overall number one draft pick and while he’ll never live up to #13 at that position, I still hold out hope that 28 year old can be a serviceable shortstop for the next few seasons.
2. Johnny Baseball also channeling his bud
It is no secret that Manny Machado’s best friend on the Orioles was Jonathan Schoop. In a tear-jerking goodbye tweet from the superstar, Manny instructed Schoop to “carry the torch”. Schoop did just that slugging career homer number 100 Friday night – a game tying homerun in the ninth inning. Schoop hit .285 over the weekend in Toronto (4 for 14), with 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. If the Orioles weren’t able to build around a 26-year old stud shortstop, why not build a team around Schoop, a 26-year old stud second baseman? Get it done!
3. Former Orioles All Stars
This past Tuesday at Nationals Park Machado and three former Orioles – Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, and Josh Hader donned All Star uniforms for the mid-summer classic. Even though Manny was the sole Orioles representative for the 2018 game, the Orioles are tied for second in the American League with 22 All Stars since 2012. They are tied for fifth most in MLB during that span.
4. New Players Making an Impact
Two of the five players netted in the Manny Machado trade had pretty good starts in Bowie. Third Baseman Rylan Bannon was 2 for 4 in two games with a homerun and 5 total bases. Pitcher Dean Kremmer got a start and went 6 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits, striking out six while walking 3 to earn his first Baysox win. Breyvic Valera went 2 for 5 yesterday, scoring a run and driving in one for the Norfolk Tides. Yasniel Diaz – the key piece of the trade – started off hot lining an opposite field hit in his first at bat in Bowie. Unfortunately that was his only hit of the weekend, as he went 1-9.
5. Realistic Goal for AJ?
Adam Jones has yet to be approached by the club to gain permission to trade him. This seems to indicate that AJ will be here, at least through this season. Adam currently sits at 258 homeruns as an Oriole (261 total). With just 10 more homeruns this season Jones would tie Brooks Robinson for fourth all-time as an Oriole with 268. Jones, who only has 10 homeruns in 94 games this season, would have to get hot in the last 62 games, but in a season with little else to look forward to, I’d like to see The Cap-Ten achieve this milestone.
This week the AL East comes to visit OPaCY with first place Boston (70-31) in for 3, followed by a four game set with surprising Tampa Bay who sits a 50-49 and in third place.