The Orioles head to Cincinnati for their first interleague series of the season and despite the confusion, Kevin Gausman will be the one to take the mound for the O’s tonight to square off against Bronson Arroyo. It will be interesting to see which player between Mark Trumbo, Hyun-soo Kim and Seth Smith takes a seat tonight.
Due to a left-hander pitching game two, it could be Trumbo. No matter who gets the start, this is a prime spot for the offense to continue to mash the baseball, as Arroyo is sporting a horrendous 9.90 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.
Tillman Starts for Bowie
Chris Tillman returned to the mound in a competitive environment as he continues to make progress from a shoulder injury that has plagued him since the 2016 season. The right-hander’s velocity was consistently around 90 MPH which is to be expected as he continues to build arm strength.
It still might be aggressive to expect him to return in early May, but if he responds well from last night’s start in Bowie and gets stronger in his next start, it could be a realistic goal.
We all know how important a healthy Tillman will be so hopefully the good news continues for the staff ace.
How Long Can Mancini Be a Part-Time Player?
Trey Mancini hasn’t even played 15 games in the big leagues so it’s hard to draw any conclusions of how good he can be. The first baseman-turned-outfielder will struggle at some point. That’s baseball. However, Mancini has hit at every level and he has made an immediate impact with the Orioles. At this point, he should not be limited to games when a left-hander is on the mound.
I could be in the minority as Kim has a lot of support in Birdland, but to me, he’s better than Kim. Right now. Seth Smith is better than Kim. If Buck Showalter decides Mancini’s bat needs to be in the lineup, it would appear this would impact Kim the most.
Mancini can hit righties and lefties and the power is too much to ignore. We have yet to really see if his defense will be a liability, but Kim isn’t winning any Gold Gloves any time soon. This decision probably isn’t iminent, but if Mancini continues to hit like he has, it will be nearly impossible to keep him out of the lineup.
Orioles Philosophy on International Spending
Ben Badler of Baseball America did a good job laying out what the Orioles have spent internationally and how that is just not good enough, especially when the farm system is considered one of the worst in baseball.
Ken Rosenthal also wrote about it with comments from Dan Duquette and it appears it’s an ownership decision.
Since the start of the season, the O’s have already traded away money allotted to them for international spending in 2017 for two relief pitchers so it seems it will be more of the same for the organization moving forward.
I tend to side with the organization when it comes to their minor league rankings, as the “experts” appear to have missed out on Trey Mancini and possibly Bowie Baysox outfielder Cedric Mullins. Even though the organization isn’t bare of talent like the experts say, they also don’t have numerous players knocking on the door like the top minor league systems do. So, as with most things, it’s somewhere in the middle.
However, it makes no sense to ignore a demographic that has proven to breed major league players when you are given money to utilize it. Especially when you trade that money for players who are only considered bullpen arms. To their credit, they did trade international money for left-hander Chris Lee in 2015 and he could eventually crack the rotation.
In the end, not using all of your resources to improve your organization is extremely short-sighted, but if they keep winning on the big-league level, none of that will matter.