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Ryan Blake

Ryan joined the Eutaw Street Report crew for the site's launch in 2013 having spent the 2012 season as a member of the Orioles' tarp crew. Before then, he had never really considered writing, but has grown to enjoy sharing his opinions and is now ESR's "Hot Take" artist. In addition to his Orioles commentary for ESR, he contributes to baseballfam.com. He is also the man behind the @OriolesFanProbz account on Twitter, where he provides both insight and jokes while interacting with fans. Ryan started working in 2016 as a bat boy with the Bowie Baysox. You can follow his personal twitter: @ryguyblake

Boiling Point: Last Night’s Swap of Hellickson and Kim is Final Straw

Hyun-soo Kim of the Orioles runs the bases.
Last night, the Orioles traded OF Hyun-Soo Kim, minor league LHP Garrett Cleavinger, and international bonus pool money for RHP Jeremy Hellickson and cash considerations in a deadline deal that makes me feel a lot of angry emotions. I’m not mad that we traded Kim away. I get it; he wasn’t being put to use in Baltimore. I’m also not mad that we acquired a little starting pitching help in order to take some innings away from Dylan Bundy. I get that, too. What frustrates me is the continued incompetence […]

Lost & Clueless in Birdland

cartoon of sad orioles bird face
Baseball is weird and the Orioles are weird and I don’t understand any of it. Had you asked me a month ago what I thought of the 2017 Orioles, I would have told you that I expected the team to win about 95 games. Somehow, they had managed a 22-10 record despite an injured “ace” in Chris Tillman, an injured All-Star closer in Zach Britton (and Brad Brach struggling as the replacement), two starters (Ubaldo Jimenez and Kevin Gausman) with earned run averages over 6.00, a normally consistent Darren O’Day […]

A Farewell Letter to Matt Wieters

Matt Wieters tips his hat in the line at the All-Star Game introductions.
Dear Matt, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we dubbed you “Mauer with Power” and “Jesus in Cleats” before you even appeared in a Major League game. We should have let you be Matt Wieters. You see, O’s fans were looking for anything to consider a diamond in the rough. We drafted you during the tenth season of what would become fourteen in a row of losing baseball. You tore your way through the minor leagues and, by the time you made your debut in 2009, fans saw a potential franchise […]

Hot Take Tuesday: O’s Should Move Dylan Bundy Back to Bullpen

Dylan Bundy winds up in a spring training game.
Dylan Bundy has been a bright spot for a team that has struggled mightily in the starting pitching department for much of the season. Entering Tuesday night’s game at Fenway Park, Bundy’s ERA sits at a respectable 3.82. The Orioles are 6-5 in the 11 games Bundy has started since joining the rotation after a strong first half in the bullpen. Now, all of a sudden, a combination of Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman, and Ubaldo Jimenez looks like a pretty solid potential postseason rotation. Gausman looks like he is […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Duquette Should Stay, but Hire Help for Pitching

A man in an Orioles uniform and a man in a business suit stand side by side.
We’ve all watched the games. We’ve all felt the frustration. We’ve all agreed that middle-of-the-rotation guys cannot be counted upon to lead a team into contention. It’s been all about the offense for years now. The last time the Orioles finished the season outside the top five in home runs was 2010. On the other end of the spectrum, the Orioles have finished in the top ten in all of baseball in ERA just twice in my lifetime – 1997 and 2014. The story of the Dan Duquette era has […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Adam Jones isn’t a Good Center Fielder Anymore

Adam Jones makes a catch in spring training
Adam Jones has, for almost nine full seasons, been the Orioles’ everyday center fielder when healthy. He has four Gold Glove awards to his name, three of which came in succession from 2012-2014. His propensity to blow bubbles as he chases fly balls drives some O’s fans up a wall, even those with Adam Jones bubble-blowing bobbleheads perched atop their dressers. Say that five times fast. In 2013, Rawlings began an effort to make the Gold Glove Award more accountable for truly determining the best fielders in the game by […]

Hot Take Tuesday: The 2015 O’s Should Have Sold at the Deadline

head shots of dan duquette with orioles manager
This isn’t your typical “hindsight is 20/20” cliché. I actually wrote an article last June in which I said the Orioles would be better off selling at the deadline. After reading that article again 14 months later, a few things made me laugh and a few made me shake my head. The team ended up finishing with an even .500 record at 81-81, trailing the division champion Toronto Blue Jays by 12 games and missing out on a Wild Card spot by five. At that point, going into an offseason […]

Word on the Street: If Kim Goes to DL, Reimold/Rickard Platoon in Order

orioles baseball player waiting at home plate to hit baseball
Hyun Soo Kim tore it up for the O’s in the first half, but aggravated his hamstring last week. If he goes on the DL – he’ll test the hammy on Sunday – a Joey Rickard/Nolan Reimold platoon could bridge the gap. Read below or press play for more. Hyun Soo Kim was booed on Opening Day at Camden Yards by many fans who thought he was selfish to refuse a minor league assignment after a poor Spring Training. The outfielder hit just .178 in the spring and did not […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Despite Pitching Woes, O’s Are Legitimate Contenders

Kevin Gausman walks off the mound.
The All-Star break is upon us and, if you ask just about any of your fellow Orioles fans, they will tell you that the starting pitching situation in Baltimore is scary. No, not Cleveland Indians or Washington Nationals or Arrieta-led Chicago Cubs “scary.” When I say our starting pitching situation is scary, I mean it generally makes me want to curl up in a ball, lay on the floor, and cry until Mark Trumbo saves the day with a Trumbomb. “Chris Tillman and pray for rain” has become a commonly […]

Hot Take Tuesday: O’s Should Consider a Bud Norris Reunion

orioles pitcher bud norris about to throw pitch
Last week, I took a break from writing my weekly hot take article due to the fact that my fingertips were still recovering from typing that scorching column in which I suggested the Orioles trade Mark Trumbo, which, by the way, went over very well if you ignore all the comments including the words “stupid” or “idiot.” One person even suggested that I, the author, get traded for starting pitching. In theory, that’s not a bad idea, though I don’t think I have much value in this trade market, unfortunately. […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Orioles Should Trade Mark Trumbo in July

Mark Trumbo swings in a spring training game.
A few weeks ago, I prefaced my hot take article by saying that I had considered writing about how Ubaldo Jimenez should stay in the rotation despite his struggles, based purely on the fact that our offense is good enough to bail him out most of the time. Since then, Jimenez has allowed 17 runs (14 earned) in just 12 innings over a span of four starts, two of which lasted under two innings. That’s bad no matter what metrics, advanced or not, you take into account. With Tuesday’s recall […]

Word on the Street: Flaherty Proving his Value at Third Base

Ryan Flaherty stretches and watches.
I’m sure some of you have seen some of my posts for the new “Hot Take Tuesday” series here at Eutaw Street Report. My mission is to come up with an unpopular opinion and back it up with facts and statistics. I’ve swung and missed a few times, have been called an idiot on several occasions, and have been forced to eat my words when my opinion backfires. This week, I’m bringing my hot take to Word on the Street, and it’s one that opposes a past article I wrote. […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Manny Machado Should Be the O’s Leadoff Hitter

Manny Machado swings.
Buck Showalter seems to have finally diverted from his infatuation with putting Joey Rickard and his just-barely-above-.300 on base percentage at the top of the Orioles lineup. Rickard, who started off the season playing very well but has since regressed to the mean, has hit leadoff just once in the past week. Instead, Buck has decided to give Adam Jones a shot in the leadoff role, where he had started just 21 games in his 11-year career prior to last week. Jones, whose .287 OBP is the worst among the […]

Hot Take: Brach & Givens are O’s Most Valuable Bullpen Pieces

Brad Brach looks in for a sign from the catcher.
Part of being an opinionated sports blogger is the occasional realization that sometimes, something you wrote is completely wrong and deserves a trip to the virtual recycle bin. The issue could be irrelevancy or it could be timing. Last night, for me, it was the latter. After a long day at work and the ultimate decision that Hot Take Tuesday would be pushed back to Wednesday this week, I sat down with a Natty Boh and watched the Orioles offense strike out 19 times and leave 11 men on base […]

Word on the Street: Machado Impresses Anywhere on the Diamond

Manny Machado prepares to throw the runner out.
Manny Machado has continued his superb play since moving to shortstop with J.J. Hardy on the DL. Wherever Buck puts him, the young phenom impresses. Press play or read the transcript below for more. Manny Machado has entered the “best player in baseball” conversation with his strong start to the 2016 campaign. After becoming just the seventh player in Orioles franchise history to record 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season last year, Machado has picked up right where he left off and appears to be the […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Gausman and Bundy Remain a Future 1-2 Punch

Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy stand side by side with their caps off and held to their chests.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote an article last month about the Orioles’ history of poor coaching when it came to the development of young pitchers. It was an interesting read, not because of the focus on former O’s prospect Jake Arrieta‘s current dominance with the Chicago Cubs, but because it relates to three current O’s hurlers. Arrieta, Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, and Chris Tillman were all expected to be the future of the starting rotation in Baltimore. Tillman has been the O’s biggest success of the four, and, while […]

Hot Take Tuesday: A Healthy Nolan Reimold Needs More Playing Time

baltimore orioles reimold waiting for pitch
As a member of the division rival Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, outfielder Nolan Reimold took a trip to the disabled list for what seemed like the millionth time in his six-year MLB career. This time, the issue was a strained calf. He was activated on July 27, 2014, and has been healthy ever since. Reimold, who has missed time in the past with an Achilles injury and a herniated disc in his neck, among a flurry of other ailments, has a reputation in Baltimore as being highly injury-prone. While […]

Word on the Street: Deep Outfield is a Welcome Change for O’s

Nolan Reimold swings.
Despite losing the final two games of their four-game set against the Chicago White Sox, there are plenty of good signs in Birdland. Their improved outfield depth is one of those signs. Press play or read below for more. The Orioles dropped their final two games against the Chicago White Sox, splitting a four game series that featured a lot of offense on both sides. The Orioles now hold a 14-10 record, tied with the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East. The series against Chicago […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Jones Hitting the DL Would Help Short & Long Term

Adam Jones bangs his donut off his bat.
Adam Jones was acquired in a February 2008 trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, and Tony Butler to Baltimore with Jones and sent LHP Erik Bedard to Seattle, where he was supposed to be the ace of a staff that featured 21-year-old Felix Hernandez. Jones became a star almost immediately, earning his first of five All Star bids and winning his first of four Gold Glove awards in 2009. He quickly earned a reputation as the face of the Orioles franchise, helping convert […]

Hot Take Tuesday: Ryan Flaherty Has Little Value to the Orioles

Ryan Flaherty stretches and watches.
For quite some time, I have tried without success to understand the love affair many Orioles fans seem to have with the man they call Flash. Ryan Flaherty was a Rule 5 selection prior to the 2012 season and has spent the majority of the last four seasons on the Orioles’ 25-man roster. Despite never posting a batting average above .224 or getting on base at a rate higher than 29.3% in a single season, Flaherty has stuck around due to his defensive versatility and ability to play multiple positions. […]
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