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: Can Gausman Slow Down Pirates’ Pillaging Offense?

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop gets ready to defend.
After taking the first two games against the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles dropped the final two even though both were winnable games. The O’s begin a two-game series against the last place Pittsburgh Pirates which should be good news, but due to their struggles outside the American League East, maybe it isn’t. The Pirates have scored at least 11 runs in two of their last three games so Kevin Gausman will get the first crack at slowing down a red-hot offense. Even though it hasn’t looked pretty, the right-hander […]

The Rundown: Did Orioles Let Another Good Pitcher Walk?

Parker Bridwell of the Orioles pitches.
Did the Orioles really need to get back to playing against the American League East to snap their losing streak and look like the team that was one of the best in April? I don’t think it’s that easy and things can quickly change tonight when Chris Tillman returns to the mound. All the credit must go to Dylan Bundy for continuing to look like the ace we have always envisioned. I just can’t get over how much of a veteran he looks like every time he toes the rubber. […]

Word on the Street: Castillo a Pleasant Surprise; Can Gausman Get on Track?

Welington Castillo of the Orioles runs the bases.
While Welington Castillo has been a pleasant surprise, the O’s need more from Kevin Gausman. Press play or read below for more. After a 1-6 road trip that saw the Orioles lose every game by one run, all the team needed was return to Camden Yards to get back to their winning ways. The O’s are now 14-3 at home this season after Welington Castillo’s game winning home run in the bottom of the 10th against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Speaking of Castillo, the catcher is now […]

The Rundown: O’s Need More from Manny Machado

Manny Machado trots around the bases.
The Orioles return to action tonight against the Detroit Tigers hoping to snap a four-game losing streak. Wade Miley will take the mound and try to get the O’s back on track while also looking to regain his command. Not counting the White Sox start that saw him get nailed with two line drives in the first, the left-hander has walked at least four hitters in his last three starts. To Miley’s credit, he has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of starts this season, but he […]

The Rundown: Kevin Gausman & the Return of the Splitter

Kevin Gausman of the Orioles pitches on the mound.
The Orioles continued their winning ways on Monday night which is a good thing since they will now have to square off against Max Scherzer in game two of the Beltway Series with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound for the O’s. The way this season has gone, it shouldn’t surprise any of us if somehow the Orioles found a way to win even though on paper it appears that they are already at a disadvantage.   The Return of the Splitter It’s amazing what happens when you actually throw your […]

The Rundown: Dylan Bundy’s Ceiling Rises with Each Start

After a wild weekend in New York, it was another crazy night in Boston with the terrible defense for the Red Sox and the unthinkable acts from some of their fans. The Orioles, like they have done often in the Buck Showalter era, persevered and won a ballgame in tough conditions. It won’t get any easier tonight as Chris Sale takes the mound for the Red Sox. If you play daily fantasy baseball, Sale will be a popular choice tonight as not only is he good, but the Orioles struggle […]

The Rundown: Adam Jones Steady, Gausman’s Start Worrisome

Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles prepares to swing.
The Orioles will attempt to win another series tonight (if the rain holds off) and they will try to do it behind left-hander Wade Miley. The veteran credits former Orioles pitcher Scott McGregor for his success to end last year and his strong start to 2017. McGregor told Miley to try easier and I don’t know how that phrase has made a pitcher who has been in the league since 2011 more effective, but that’s where we are with Miley. The 30-year-old owns a career 4.14 ERA so it will […]

The Rundown: Tillman Makes Rehab Start, Trey Forces Way Into Lineup

Trey Mancini follows through on a swing.
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 […]

The Rundown: Big Day for Chris Tillman’s Recovery

Chris Tillman winds up to pitch.
The Orioles kick off the second week of their season by heading to Boston, currently sitting in first place in the American League East. After having three off days already to start the year, the O’s will finally get into a routine, playing 15 games in the next 16 days. Bundy Makes His Second Start of Season It was nearly impossible to not get excited watching Dylan Bundy carve up the Blue Jays in his first start of the year. Bundy brought back his slider/cutter into his repertoire and it […]

The Rundown: Trey Mancini Has Earned a Spot

Trey Mancini swings for the Orioles.
Opening Day is less than a week away and there are many questions that still surround the 25-man roster for the Orioles. Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette will more than likely wait all the way until the deadline to set the team as they figure out the last two bullpen arms and final bench spots. However the roster shakes out, the Orioles will once again be positioned to contend for a playoff berth.   Mancini Has Earned a Spot The Orioles can go a lot of different ways with this, […]

The Rundown: Mancini Manning RF Again, Tillman Still Ailing

Trey Mancini in his O's batting helmet.
There hasn’t been a lack of storylines this spring training for the Orioles, and with another three weeks to go, it will only intensify. At this point, the 25-man roster begins to take shape, but it has been difficult to predict the final spots and I can see it changing numerous times over the next couple of weeks.   AS THE OUTFIELD TURNS This has been a crazy story all spring and continues to take wild turns with the minor-league signing of Pedro Alvarez and the position change of Trey […]

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 […]
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