Your Oriole Questions Answered, Half 1

It’s time for part one of our monthly Orioles mailbag. Questions are edited for length, clarity and grammar.

Question: As 2023 approaches, how do you feel about bringing in an experienced, veteran rookie who can be number 1 for a few months or even a season? Maybe this starter can relieve the pressure on returning John Means and Grayson Rodriguez. With the wider left field, do you think the Orioles appeal to Charlie Morton, Nate Eovaldi or Noah Syndergaard? Of: Brian Sturm via Facebook

Answer? Brian, I think the Orioles will want a veteran starter. I’ve been a longtime Charlie Morton fan, but he turns 39 later this year and has a $20 million team option with Atlanta for next year. The Orioles know Eovaldi, and although he’s been injured this season, he knows the AL East well, and I think he’s someone they could be interested in. Syndegaard has earned $21 million this year, and I think he’ll be looking for a longer contract than the Orioles have in mind.

There will be many names linked to the Orioles this winter, and you mentioned some possibilities.

Question: Do you see the Orioles spending to launch high-level free agents or hitting this offseason…or will the spending be to keep our own guys around? Of: @Bmore2SC

Answer: Jacob, I think the Orioles free agent spending will be mostly on pitchers, starting pitchers. If they’re spending on position players, I think it could be for a veteran receiver or infielder, but I don’t see them spending much there. As for the club’s players, many have less than three years of experience, so they will have relatively low salaries. Austin Hays, Jorge Mateo, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander and Dillon Tate will be eligible for raises because they are eligible for arbitration.

Question: Do you think Mike Elias bet against the Orioles for the playoffs and, if so, do you think he changed his mind? How did time trades affect the team’s performance and chances of making the playoffs? Of: Michael Martz via email

Answer: Michael, I don’t think the trades of closer Jorge López and first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini have changed the club’s playoff prospects much. Since being traded, the Orioles have suffered just one one-point loss, and Felix Bautista has performed well as the closer. On MLB Network radio last Sunday, he predicted the team would make the playoffs, so I think he’s more optimistic now.

Question: Do you think Gunnar Henderson will be called up by August 23rd, and if so, will it benefit the Orioles in terms of service time? Is this true, and can we expect it then? Of: Alan Reister via Facebook

Answer: Alan, Gunnar Henderson could be called up at any time. I know Mike Elias is thinking about it, and it could definitely happen on September 1st when the lists expand to 28.

Question: I think Henderson will be the only one to be called. What do you think. I don’t see Kyle Stowers until next year. Of: @WalterMaselli1

Answer: Walter, if Henderson is called on September 1 and no other roster changes are made, that would prevent Stowers from being called. If there are injuries among the outfielders, I think Stowers will get the next call.

Question: Why didn’t Hyde give Tyler Nevin more of a chance? It has a good OBP. We know he can hit. A month is barely an audition. Jorge Mateo, Ramón Uríass got more than that. Voltigeurs have had years to develop. Not only is Rougned Odor performing poorly, but he has no future with the O’s. Of: Damon Stout via email

Answer: Damon, Nevin is batting .199 with a .299 on-base percentage. He had 151 at-bats. Mateo and Urías can play second, short and third while Nevin is an outfielder and corner fielder. It’s clear that Mateo and Urías are good defenders. Nevin does not play second base or shortstop. As for Odor, he’s been a useful presence at the clubhouse and delivered key shots to the team.

Question: Has anyone other than Ken Griffey Jr. hit the warehouse? Has it ever been done in batting practice. I was at the All-Star home run contest and I remember Juan Gonzalez hitting the front of the upper deck in left field. Of: Greg Haynes via email

Answer: Greg, I was there for that too, and it was a memorable day. I heard bullets hit the warehouse during batting practices, but nothing was documented. I remember when the Orioles moved there, the conventional wisdom was that it happened occasionally in a game. As you know, we are still waiting for it.

Question: The Orioles have a ton of prospects on the field. Gunnar Henderson is the shining star and should be a stallion. What does your crystal ball show for the positive side of other prospects (Jordan Westburg, Cesar Prieto, Connor Norby, Joey Ortiz, Darrel Hernaiz, Terrin Vavra, Coby Mayo)? Who do you envision as future All-Stars? Of: Greg Fuchs via email

Reply: That is a troublesome query, Greg. Apart from Vavra, I solely noticed the others play briefly in spring coaching, though I noticed Ortiz and Westburg play Bowie as soon as at the beginning of this season. I believe Westburg has the best ceiling, and I am actually intrigued by Prieto, who is just in his first season in professional ball. Please ask this one once more in 2023, and I may need a greater reply.

Query: Why do you assume the Orioles did not commerce Anthony Santander after they offloaded López and Mancini on the commerce deadline? Of: Glenn Fuller by way of electronic mail

Reply: Glenn, there was an energetic marketplace for López as a result of he was an All-Star reliever. Mancini was in his remaining season earlier than free company. Santander cannot be a free agent till the top of the 2024 season, and I believe Mike Elias’ asking worth was very excessive. Within the case of López and Mancini, the Orioles obtained six younger pitchers, and until the groups provided good pitching prospects, they weren’t going to commerce Santander.

Query: Since there at the moment are three wildcard groups, how are the playoffs decided? Who’s taking part in who? Of: Ray Heller by way of electronic mail

Reply: Ray, The 2 groups in every league with one of the best information get byes within the wild card spherical. Presently, these groups are the Astros and the Yankees. The division winner with the worst report performs the third wildcard group whereas the wildcard groups with the 2 greatest information play one another. All sequence are greatest 2 of three. The group with one of the best report is the house group for all three video games.

Query: As many readers know, your tenure at BaltimoreBaseball.com coincided with their loss. Whereas this season has clearly been much more thrilling to cowl, I am curious if that made it simpler or more durable to cowl the group? Are the losses more durable to money in now as a result of they’re within the playoffs, versus the losses that solely mattered as a result of it may make a distinction in the event that they obtained the primary or second draft choose? Of: Dave Gruber on Fb

Reply: This season has been plenty of enjoyable to cowl, Dave. It is so much simpler when there is a good story for each recreation, and win or lose, each recreation has playoff implications. It’s a lot simpler to seek out good situations with a aggressive group than with a group that loses greater than 100 video games per season.

Query: You famous draft picks that went to Single-A Delmarva, however the place is Jackson Holliday and the way do the Orioles resolve who goes the place and when? Of: Mark in Sacramento by way of electronic mail

Reply: Mark Jackson Holliday, the primary choose in final month’s draft, performs for the Florida Advanced League group the Orioles in Sarasota. He’s 3 for 8 in his first three video games. The Orioles’ Participant Growth Division decides which minor league groups gamers shall be assigned to. Gamers drafted in highschool often play for FCL groups whereas school gamers are sometimes assigned to Single-A Delmarva after a brief spell within the FCL.

Query: What occurred to Richie Martin? I believed he had potential? Of: Judy Stinchcomb by way of electronic mail

Reply: Judy, Richie Martin performs with Triple-A Norfolk, and he was on the Orioles’ journey to Toronto as a part of their three-cab group. The Orioles have quite a lot of promising infielders, and I believe it is potential Martin might be a serious leaguer once more. Nevertheless, the Orioles appear to assume their just lately drafted gamers have extra potential than Martin, and the guess right here is he’ll be with one other group in 2023.

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