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Orioles Get their Man in Alex Cobb

Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays.
In this space three weeks ago, I condemned the Orioles for their lack of moves to make the team a legitimate contender entering 2018. I criticized the outfield situation, namely the signing of Colby Rasmus (I’m still not sold on him, but he’s had a productive spring and seems to be a great teammate, at the very least). I tore apart the assembly of the starting rotation as I felt the Chris Tillman and Andrew Cashner signings served as nothing more than a pacifier for the fan base while the […]

Wednesday’s O’s Links: Hi, Alex!

Alex Cobb of the Rays in his windup.
While we were all scrambling to stock up on our bread, milk, and toilet paper yesterday evening, the Orioles were finalizing discussions with Alex Cobb to bring the free agent pitcher to Baltimore. Our staff gave their knee-jerk reactions to the signing here. Let’s get into some more Cobb, shall we? Rubbing Mud: Alex Cobb vs. PECOTA You may have noticed (if you’re into that kind of thing) that Baseball Prospectus’s projection system, PECOTA, isn’t a fan of Cobb. In this article from earlier in the offseason, BP’s Matt Trueblood […]

Knee-Jerk Reactions: O’s, Alex Cobb Reportedly Agree on 4-Year Deal

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb pitches.
The Baltimore Orioles have reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year deal with free agent starting pitcher Alex Cobb. cobb and orioles have agreement on terms. four years. believed to be close to 60M. @Ken_Rosenthal and @masnRoch are on top of it. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 20, 2018 ESR staff react to the news here… Derek Arnold Patience paid off in Baltimore, as the move that so many O’s fans have been hoping for all winter finally happened on the first day of Spring. A rotation of Gausman-Cobb-Bundy-Cashner-Tillman/Castro/Cortes isn’t […]

Caleb Joseph Should be O’s “Everyday” Catcher in 2018

Caleb Joseph swings the bat.
Every Orioles fan knows the road to success in 2018 depends on two things. First, the hitters hit. Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Tim Beckham, Mark Trumbo. All of these guys have to approach or exceed their career norms and generate a lot of runs to overcome the fact that the pitching staff is…not great. As to that pitching staff. The bullpen needs to meet their expectations and the starters need to exceed them. Part of that falls on Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman and […]

Monday’s O’s Links – Manny Goes Health Nut to Prepare for SS

Manny Machado playing shortstop.
It was a heck of a weekend for Baltimore sports fans, courtesy of the UMBC Retrievers. I’ve gushed about that elsewhere, so I’ll spare you here. On the baseball side of things, we’re now less than two work weeks from Opening Day…so of course it’s supposed to snow tomorrow. Get bent, weather. To those links. Oral History of Adam Jones’ WBC Catch A year ago yesterday, my son Brooks joined the world. Also a year ago yesterday, Adam Jones robbed Manny Machado of a home run in the World Baseball […]

Some Fans Scoff, But Flaherty Not Easy to Replace

Luis Sardinas plays third base in front of palm trees.
With just ten days left until Opening Day, the Orioles are still trying to answer a number of questions about their roster. In my last column, we talked about what I expect will happen with the 25-man roster regarding right field. Today, we’ll talk about the utility infield situation and who should–and probably will–head north with the ball club. The utility infielder needs to play good defense above all else. He needs to be able to fill in at every infield position in a pinch, and for Buck Showalter, shortstop […]

Friday’s O’s Links: Mark Trumbo Heads to DL

Mark Trumbo in his fielding stance.
As Opening Day crawls toward us, it seems that Ol’ Man Winter has no designs on releasing his grip on the Baltimore area any time soon. So for now, stay inside, get cozy, and check out these O’s links. Trey Mancini – Role Player or Future Star? Orioles Hangout’s Luke Siler takes a long and detailed look at Trey Mancini from the perspective of a scout wondering what the future holds for the Trey Train. It looks like Trey is set to be an average player, unless he can make […]

Thursday Thoughts: Big Fellas Ailing as Season Draws Near

Chris Davis swings his bat
his is a weekly column that dives into some random thoughts about the Orioles/MLB. I used to do eight as a nod to Cal Ripken Jr. As of last year, I cut it down to four or five, so consider it the Earl Weaver–Brooks Robinson era of Thursday Thoughts. – A.S. 1. Some might tell you it’s best to start with the bad and end with the good. Who wants to end on bad? No one wants that taste in their mouth. But today, we are going to kick off […]

Could Right Field be a Strength in Baltimore Again?

Austin Hays follows through on his swing.
The Orioles are two weeks away from the start of the 2018 season, a season in which the ball club will attempt to climb out of last place and regain the competitiveness that saw them reach the playoffs three times from 2012-16. While the answers are beginning to sort themselves out, the same questions linger. Who will play right field, who’s the utility infielder, who will fill the three bullpen openings, and who will fill the final rotation spot when the orange carpet rolls out on March 29th? When full […]

Wednesday’s O’s Links: Chris Tillman Threw Some Pitches

Chris Tillman winds up to pitch.
I’m really sick of winter, you guys (& gals). The Yard is calling my name. On the bright side, we’re pretty much just March Madness away from Opening Day. It can’t get here soon enough. In the meantime…links! Are the Orioles Done? Trying to improve the roster, that is. Matt Kremnitzer of Camden Depot reflects on what’s been a frustrating and confusing offseason, now that it looks, for all intents and purposes, like the O’s are finished adding to the roster. Free Tickets for Kids is a Great Start. Here […]

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Manny Machado follows the ball after a swing.
I made a vow to myself today – I was going to write a positive piece about the Orioles. I’m tired of being “Negative Nellie.” For the first time in 25 years I probably won’t attend a game at Camden Yards in 2018 (due to retirement and moving away from the area). I’ll still be tuned into “Extra Innings” every night. Here are the reasons why:   Manny Machado We’re watching one of the best players in the game. Yes, he needs a few more singles to fall in and […]

Monday’s O’s Links: Lance Lynn Signs…Elsewhere

Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn delivers.
Over the weekend, O’s fans had our Lance Lynn dreams crushed, when it was reported that the righty had agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins. A one-year deal…sounds like the kind of thing the O’s should have been able to offer a hefty amount for, in a win-or-die season, yes? Sigh. To the links… East Notes: Lynn, Orioles, etc. Roch says that the O’s “appeared open to three guaranteed years, but preferred two with a vesting option” in their talks with Lynn’s representatives. I’m not sure Roch […]

The Orioles Were MLB’s Slowest Team in 2017

Chris Davis trots around the bases.
Have you ever watched a bird try to fly against a strong headwind, pumping its little wings furiously in an effort to move forward, only to be slowly blown backwards, or at the very least, staying stationary, stuck in a sort of avian limbo? I always feel bad for those birds when I see them. It’s sort of the same feeling I get watching the Baltimore Orioles try to run. You don’t hear much about speed when it comes to the Orioles, and when you do, it’s in the form […]

Friday’s O’s Links: That’s Our Secret Weapon? Seriously?

Richard Bleier throws from the mound.
Someone took our advice, but it wasn’t the O’s. Jon Jay…really? Richard Bleier was a nice surprise…can he do it again? And the Orioles “secret weapon” will depress you to no end. To the links! The Rays’ Unique Starting Rotation Now this is annoying. Earlier this week, Steve Caimano wrote right on this site that the O’s should use a “3-man rotation,” splitting the fourth and fifth days among guys only expected to get through the lineup once. It seems the Tampa Bay Rays were listening – they’re doing just […]

Thursday Thoughts: O’s Go”Half-In” on a Bunch of Things

Alex Presley swings the bat.
1. Coming into spring training, just about everyone knew the Orioles would have some position battles. One of the more intriguing ones in my mind was in right field, which has become a common theme. In fact, both corner outfield spots have been in flux since Nick Markakis left after the 2014 season. In 2015, Alejandro De Aza started in left while Travis Snider was the team’s right fielder on Opening Day. In 2016, it was Joey Rickard in left with Mark Trumbo in right field. Last season, Hyun-Soon Kim […]

Wednesday’s O’s Links – Riding the Trey Train into 2018

Trey Mancini watches the ball after making contact.
Right to it today… No Excuses Hold Up in O’s Failure to Aggressively Pursue Jon Jay Dan Connolly covered the O’s for The Baltimore Sun for many years. He was a victim of a round of layoffs/buyouts a few years back, and now he covers the team for his venture with Steve Cockey, Baltimore Baseball dot com. He’s been beating the Jon Jay drum all offseason, and last night, after Jay signed with KC for peanuts, Dan took the O’s brass to the woodshed over their lack of interest. Ownership, […]

Forget a 6-Man Rotation, O’s Should Use a “3-Man Rotation”

Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman, Dylan Bundy of the Orioles all pitching.
Ok, you’ve read the headline and either a) determined I’m insane and decided not to read; or b) determined I’m insane and decided to read just so you can leave an angry comment. For those of you who’ve chosen option “b”, before you leave your angry comment please hear me out. The six-man rotation is the “flavor of the day.” in MLB. It gives your starters extra rest. If you use your off-days creatively, it’s really a five-man rotation with a swing man as the schedule requires. And with the […]

Monday’s O’s Links: Kevin Gausman Sizzles in Latest Spring Start

Kevin Gausman pitches in Sarasota.
Just as we were starting to think warm thoughts, with Spring Training games in full swing and some unseasonably warm weather gracing us, Winter roared back into Baltimore over the weekend. Hopefully you have electricity, and there are no downed trees in your yard or neighborhood causing havoc. That wasn’t fun at all. For those O’s fans in the diaspora – be glad you weren’t close to home for our most recent “bomb cyclone.” ‘Tweren’t enjoyable. Now, to the links! Nine Up, Nine Down for Kevin Gausman After suffering a […]

An O’s Fan’s Guide to Spring Training

people standing by entrance to stadium with large potted plants
Spring Training means baseball is finally here. An additional perk? It gives us a fantastic reason to leave this bipolar Maryland weather & head down south for some sunshine & palm trees. This was my second Spring Training trip, but my first time staying in Sarasota. If you’ve never been to Spring Training, I highly suggest making the trek! This is a vacation every baseball fan simply must take at some point in their life. I attended the first three O’s Spring Training games of the Grapefruit League season. If […]

ESR Joins The Fanimal on 105.7

Colby Rasmus finishes his swing and watches the ball as he starts to run.
Did you know that 105.7 actually has SPORTS TALK on Saturday mornings now, as opposed to just financial advice snoozefests? At least for an hour, anyway. From 8-9 AM (for now – stay tuned), the Editor-in-Chief of this here site and of our sister site, Russell Street Report, Tony Lombardi, hosts “The Fanimal,” a jam-packed hour of sports talk geared solely towards those of us who root for the Orioles and Baltimore Ravens. Tony is joined by Miles Goodman and a local musician every episode. This week, Tony was kind […]