About Phil Backert

Phil Backert

Phil Backert grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland loving the Orioles, Ravens, and Terps. After going away to college outside Philadelphia and playing baseball for four years, he moved back to Maryland, and currently resides in White Marsh. Phil interned with Sports Talk 1570AM, WNST during college which eventually led to producing “The Fighting Ungers” on Saturday mornings after he graduated. When FOX Sports 1370AM launched, Phil jumped on the opportunity to produce full-time. He produced “The Rob Long Show” from 2008-2011 until management decided to flip formats from sports talk to news. Phil is currently a Producer for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

The Rundown: Bundy Throwing Cutter, Who Hits Leadoff?

Dylan Bundy pitches.
It feels like spring training has been going on forever and we’re still four weeks away from Opening Day. The Orioles have lost a core group to the World Baseball Classic, but at least it appears that injured players Chris Tillman, J.J. Hardy and Zach Britton are all progressing well and remain on the timetable set by the team.   Bundy More Comfortable with Cutter/Slider One of the more intriguing storylines this spring has been Dylan Bundy’s willingness to add his cutter/slider back into his repertoire. This is a situation […]

The Rundown: Crowded Outfield in Sarasota

Joey Rickard throws.
Welcome back to “The Rundown.” Over the course of the season, we will try to tackle the most important topics surrounding the Orioles on a weekly basis. Spring Training is in full force with the Grapefruit League schedule starting on Friday, so hopefully many of these questions will be answered over the next month.   A Very Crowded Outfield Even with the injury to staff ace Chris Tillman, the starting pitching may not be the top storyline to follow this spring. Between the subtle shots between Adam Jones and Dan […]

The Rundown: Wild Card Edition

Chris Tillman winds up to pitch.
The Orioles look to extend their season past tonight as they head north of the border to square off against the Toronto Blue Jays. This season has been full of ups and downs, and has been at times very frustrating, but here we are again: the Orioles are in the playoffs. They are also at full strength for a playoff run for the first time under the Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette regime. It remains to be seen if that will matter, but it’s a lot easier to accept the […]

The Rundown: O’s Need Stagnant Offense to Wake Up, NOW

Chris Davis waits for Mark Trumbo as he crosses the plate after a home run.
The Orioles enter their final two series of the regular season with a two-game lead for the last Wild Card spot and only a game out from the top Wild Card position. After a very frustrating series against the Boston Red Sox, the O’s took care of business against the dreadful Arizona Diamondbacks with a sweep. The Orioles control their own destiny for the top wild card spot, but they will have to win some games in the house of horrors in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The good news […]

The Rundown: Did the O’s Trade Away Another Productive Pitcher?

Ariel Miranda of the Mariners pitches.
Beginning tonight, the Orioles get their final shot at the Boston Red Sox and the last chance to directly cut into the division lead without having to rely on other teams to help them out. The Red Sox will have two of their best pitchers throw in the series in Rick Porcello and David Price and the Orioles will as well with Kevin Gausman and Chris Tillman scheduled to take the mound in the four-game series.   Bundy Looking To Bounce Back We’ll probably never know if Dylan Bundy is […]

The Rundown: Showalter’s Chess Moves are O’s Secret Weapon

buck showalter staring off into distance with hat and sunglasses on
The Orioles took two out of three from the Detroit Tigers over the weekend and head to Boston for another huge showdown. More importantly, they are one more win away from having a winning road trip on this crucial nine-game stretch away from Oriole Park. The Orioles have given themselves a little breathing room in the Wild Card by winning the series against the Tigers and are now a series win away against the Red Sox to really making the division race a heated one in the last three weeks. […]

The Rundown: Jones Injury Exposes Orioles’ Lack of Depth

Adam Jones bangs his donut off his bat.
The Orioles avoided a sweep against the New York Yankees and find themselves one game out of second place in the American League East and holding onto a two-game lead for the second Wild Card. However, their eyes are still on the division and they now welcome in the first-place Toronto Blue Jays for a crucial three-game series. Obviously, every game from here to the end of the season is big, but the O’s have only two series remaining with the Blue Jays, one of which begins tonight (the other […]

The Rundown: Trumbo Mashing, but Not Hitting

The Orioles will look to end their eight-game home stand on a high note with Kevin Gausman taking the mound against the Washington Nationals. The right-hander has pitched better since the end of June with a couple of hiccups like his six earned run performance against the Toronto Blue Jays and a four inning, six walks start against the San Francisco Giants. However, Gausman is starting to rack up the strikeouts and is now averaging 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings which just happens to be 13th best in all of […]

The Rundown: Dead Weight on Roster is Dragging O’s Down

Ubaldo Jimenez sings during the O's 2014 playoff run.
After losing to the Boston Red Sox, and the comeback victory by the Toronto Blue Jays in New York, the Orioles find themselves one game out of first place and tied for second in the American League East. If that wasn’t bad enough, Chris Tillman is unable to make his start tonight and has been pushed back to (hopefully) Saturday due to a sore shoulder. The Orioles need to be firing on all cylinders, but another injury to Darren O’Day and nagging injuries to Steve Pearce and Chris Tillman are […]

The Rundown: O’s Improve at Deadline, but so do Division Rivals

Dylan Bundy winds up in a spring training game.
The Orioles were looking to put their first losing month of the season behind them in game one of a three-game series against the new look Texas Rangers. That is exactly what happened behind a dominant pitching performance by Dylan Bundy. The young right-hander allowed only one hit in a career high seven innings pitched while also striking out seven. I’m trying not to get over hyped…but who cares?! Bundy has looked like the pitcher that everyone thought he would be and has provided a huge spark to a rotation […]

The Rundown: For Orioles Rotation, The Future is Now

baltimore maryland orioles player with arms up
The Orioles bounced back from a four-game losing streak by sweeping the Cleveland Indians and in the process taking over Cleveland’s spot as having the best record in the American League. It’s amazing how this team just finds a way to right the ship when it appears they could go in a week-long tailspin. The O’s welcome the Colorado Rockies for a three-game stretch and they have a golden opportunity to continue their win streak as the Rockies struggle mightily on the road.   Upton Jr. Trade Rumors If it […]

The Rundown: Bundy’s Mixed Results, Harvey’s Latest Injury

Dylan Bundy throws in Sarasota.
The Orioles make their first visit of the season to Yankee Stadium (in July – how is that even possible?) tonight, currently holding onto a two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Kevin Gausman will look to win his first road game of the year and hopefully start to find more consistency over the next two and a half months of the season. The Yankees are close to deciding to blow it up and call it a season and this series would go a long […]

Word on the Street: Time for Bundy to Replace Ubaldo?

orioles player bundy winding back about to throw pitch
Ubaldo Jimenez turned in yet another awful outing on Friday night, and the Orioles can’t afford to run him out there again. Press play or read below for more. Here’s breaking news: Ubaldo Jimenez is terrible. The Orioles have finally hit a tipping point with the right-hander and with the All-Star break only a couple days away, it would not be a surprise to any if the organization decides to eat the rest of Jimenez’s contract and move on from the veteran. The team can’t continue using a guy who […]

The Rundown: West Coast Trip & Pitching Woes Perfect Storm to Sink O’s

Orioles catcher, pitching coach, and pitcher talk on the mound.
The month of July hasn’t been kind to the Orioles as they are still searching for their first victory since the calendars changed. The west coast trip is always brutal and this year has been no different as the weaknesses of the pitching staff have finally been exposed. Buck Showalter likes to preach that there are no Cinderellas in baseball due to the length of the season and the Orioles’ ability to hide their weakness known as their starting pitching staff for this long has been a miracle. The starting […]

The Rundown: Jonathan Schoop Exceeding Expectations

Jonathan Schoop smiles during Spring Training 2015.
The Orioles start a West Coast swing tonight, which means there will be a lot of late nights in Baltimore, leading to heavy eyes and extra coffee in offices all over Charm City. After another Boston Red Sox loss, the O’s now have a 4.5-game lead in the American League East. Speaking of the Red Sox, they decided to hold a team meeting after their recent loss and former Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez has been demoted to the minors after struggling once again. It’s a good time to be […]

The Rundown: Kevin Gausman Relying Too Heavily on his Fastball

Matt Wieters and Kevin Gausman walk from the bullpen.
It has been a very frustrating start to the week for the Orioles, as they have blown three-run leads in consecutive games, dropping both after coming off back-to-back series wins against the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. The team will turn to Ubaldo Jimenez on Wednesday and pray he can find a way to pitch well enough to stop the losing streak at only two games. Thursday is a much-needed off day, and then a series against the Tampa Bay Rays begins on Friday, when the team will […]

The Rundown: Pedro Alvarez Providing Big Lift to O’s Offense

Pedro Alvarez of the Orioles prepares to hit.
The Orioles will look to bounce back against the Boston Red Sox after dropping the last three games of the four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The O’s will have Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman take the mound in the series, which should give them an opportunity to find a way to win two games.   GALLARDO RETURNS THIS WEEKEND After completing his final rehab start on Monday night, Yovani Gallardo is expected to return to the Orioles on Saturday and pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays. We should […]

Word on the Street: Kim Continues to Impress

Hyun Soo Kim and Wayne Kirby bump fists.
Hyun Soo Kim picked up three more hits Friday night and is hitting .391. He is adjusting to MLB play very nicely. Press play or read below for more. After dropping the first two games of the Boston Red Sox series and looking like a team that may not be in the same class as their counterpart, the O’s found a way to win the next two games of the series despite horrific starting performances by Mike Wright and Ubaldo Jimenez. After a win on Friday night against the New […]

The Rundown: May Unkind to Chris Davis Once Again

The Orioles will look to even the series against the Boston Red Sox tonight, with Kevin Gausman taking the mound against former O’s prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. I hate labeling games must-win at the end of May, but the Orioles need to keep pace with a team that has been clicking on all cylinders for the entire month. These are the games you like seeing Gausman start as it will only benefit him later in the season.   WILSON CONTINUES TO IMPRESS Tyler Wilson will never be a top of the […]

The Rundown: O’s Have No Problem Forfeiting Draft Picks

orioles player matusz with arm back about to throw pitch
Chris Tillman looks to win his seventh game of the season as the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros. The Astros are one of the, if not the, most disappointing teams this season as they currently sit in last place in the American League West after earning a trip to the playoffs in 2015. Houston is currently riding a four-game losing streak so the O’s need to take advantage and with Tillman, Tyler Wilson and Kevin Gausman scheduled to pitch this series, the opportunity will be there […]
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