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Early Returns are In – This is Fun!

The minor league teams are off and running in Birdland and it’s clear that the changes implemented with the arrival of Mike Elias, Sig Mejdal and a cast of new scouts, instructors and trainers is working out quite well. Pre-quarantine, both Bowie and Delmarva won half of their respective leagues and the rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League took that title to show things may be looking better a bit sooner than expected. Still, it’s gotten better. The way the farm teams are playing here in 2021 through […]

Fry, Plutko, Sulser Huge in O’s Bullpen Resurgence

Paul Fry
The Orioles bullpen is off to a surprising start through six weeks of the season. A group that was near the middle of the pack by most measurements in 2020 now finds itself near the top of MLB in those same categories in 2021. Those numbers could largely be credited to the suddenly-dominant Cesar Valdez, who has established himself as one of the American League’s top closers. But looking past him, there are three other prominent bullpen arms with encouraging starts to the season leading the way for one of […]

Rebuild Rolling Along

Yusniel Diaz swings for the Nofolk Tides
The early returns are in and things are looking up throughout the Orioles minor league system. While the big league club is showing their ceiling, it looks like the levels below them are demonstrating limitless potential. Double plays made and plate appearances in which batters see a lot of pitches are certainly a welcome change, but the pitching has been in some ways absolutely off the charts. D.L. Hall controlled the zone in start number one and he didn’t have his best stuff. Grayson Rodriguez had five Ks in four […]

John Means is Everything Good About a Reuild

John Means celebrates his no-hitter
Orioles fans are in a position of privilege. On the surface, that statement may sound blasphemous; the team has been nothing but poor since 2017. The previous front office did several disservices to the player development pipeline, via imprudent trades and anachronistic methods and philosophies. The team refused to engage the international market in a meaningful way. All of that, though, led to the situation in which the Orioles currently find themselve. In a weird, convoluted way, they HAD to suck for this to happen. A full reset, led by […]

Means a Part of the Future, or Best Trade Chip?

John Means pitches.
Yesterday, John Means entered the baseball record books when he threw a no hitter.  In addition to this being a no hitter, it was the first ever non-perfect game where a batter reached base without a walk. HBP or error.  He threw 70% of his pitches for strikes, had a swinging strike % of 33% and threw 26 out of 27 first pitch strikes.  It was truly one of the best pitching performances we have ever seen. While you never expect a no hitter, Orioles fans have grown accustomed to […]

Cinco De No-No! John Means No-Hits M’s

For the first time since 1991, the Baltimore Orioles are on the right side of a no-hitter, as John Means continues to solidify himself as a true MLB Ace. Means faced the minimum in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon, as the only baserunner came via a dropped third strike. While we can be disappointed that he lost his perfect game in such an odd way, Birdland will instead focus on the positive, as Means became the first Orioles pitcher to throw a complete-game no-no since Jim Palmer in 1969. That’s right, […]

Franco’s D, Catcher Framing Raising Pitch Counts

Pedro Severino
submitted by Danny Majerowicz (@dmajer347) We are a month into the 2021 Major League Baseball season and the Baltimore Orioles have been, in some ways, a pleasant surprise and even wagerers have taken notice, ready to bet online. John Means pitched his way into Cy Young whispers. Cedric Mullins consistently flashes five tools. Matt Harvey looks closer to the Dark Knight version of himself than the oft-injured version. Such surprises have resulted in a near .500 record—much better than just about anyone expected. And while the first month of Orioles […]

IronBirds C Chris Burgess Excited for 2021 Campaign

Chris Burgess
Get to Know a Guy: Chris Burgess Why should you keep your eye on O’s minor league catcher Chris Burgess this year? Here’s why… In the summer of 2019, while recuperating from a serious bike accident, there wasn’t much I was allowed to do. However, living within walking distance of Ed Smith Stadium, I was able to make it there and keep my spirits up by watching my boys play ball.  Inside those walls was one of the most intriguing and exciting baseball teams I’ve ever seen, the GCL Champion (man […]

O’s Fans Dare to Dream with 2131 Eutaw Street

Austin Hays & Cedric Mullins
Almost 10 years ago, one of the Baltimore Orioles’ marketing department’s most successful campaigns tapped Nick Markakis’s and Adam Jones’s popularity with the home fans as they carried the team back to prominence over the last decade. Using their respective uniform numbers, 21 and 10, and that they played neighboring positions in the outfield in front of Eutaw St., the marketing department came up with the slogan “2110 Eutaw Street” to form a side identity of Buck Showater’s Orioles. This season there are two new Orioles outfielders who are catching […]

O’s Stock Report – April

Ryan Mountcastle watches a pitch
Stock Up John Means Means has carried his success from the end of last season into this year. Entering May 2nd, only three American League starters have better ERAs than Means this season, and his 1.8 bWAR is tops in MLB among pitchers. His 1.70 ERA, .838 WHIP and 27.3 K% are all career highs. Over his last 10 starts dating back to last season, Means is 5-1 with a 1.63 ERA. He has established himself as a true ace. The aspect of Means’ game he’s improved upon the most […]

Is the O’s Pitching…Good?

Bruce Zimmermann pitches
Alright, I know that title sounds a bit outlandish, but hear me out! So far, we obviously know who the Birds’ standouts have been. Matt Harvey took on the Yankees a few nights ago and showed himself like he was prime Dark Night, only giving up one run and one hit over 6.0 innings. That’s something that nobody expected out of Harvey at this point in his career. Watching John Means just feels like it’s unfair. He has a top four ERA in baseball (1.50) and he’s showing off his […]

Baby Birds to Watch in 2021 – Part 2

Blaine Knight pitches.
 See Part 1 here. Dan Hammer I am really intrigued by his athleticism and leg strength when I think about his future. Very strong and powerful lower body athlete with little on-mound experience so far. Only 35 pro innings means we don’t have much to go on although he performed very well in his small sample size. Good heat and he uses a slider and change up to keep hitters off balance. Watching him go through calisthenics and all the pitching exercises and he absolutely tests the pliability of the […]

Baby Birds to Watch in 2021: Part 1

As the Orioles system transitions into one of the best in the league, there are lots of individual performances to examine closely. Some players are new to the Orange and Black. Lots of others have begun their climb up the farm but now have new coaches or instructors to impress. Some are in the early stages of their development and it’s not clear what direction they’re heading as players. 2021 will answer all or most of these questions and will be a welcome continuance of a rebuilding effort that fans […]

How Can Birds Put the “O’s” Back in Offense?

Austin Hays takes a spring training AB
The early returns on the Orioles offense are pretty dreadful. They are currently 12th in the AL in runs scored, 10th in BA, last in OBP, 13th in slugging, last in wOBA and last in wRC+. They also have the AL’s worst walk rate and 3rd highest K rate. Even with offenses down around the league, those numbers are U-G-L-Y! However, does that mean Orioles nation should be in a panic? Well, not really. First of all, you have to remember that the sample size is still small. A few […]

Mullins’ Life as a Lefty Off to a Promising Start

Cedric Mullins in the batter's box.
Last Tuesday on ESR, Rob Shields highlighted how Cedric Mullins has improved since he first came up in 2018. This 2021 season has only been going on for two weeks, but it is already his best yet. My theory is that Mullins’s resurgence is primarily due to changing from being a switch-hitter to only batting from the left side. To test that hypothesis, let’s briefly look at MLB’s history with switch-hitting. Overall, according to The Crawfish Boxes article titled “Flipping the Switch”, the amount of MLB plate appearances taken by […]

Prospects I’m Excited About

Adley Rutschman swings in the batter's box
As the minor league season nears, there are many exciting players I’m looking forward to finally seeing once again. As a crazed O’s minor league observer, I’m eager to get my fix but more than that, I want Orioles fans to see some players who have little or no pro experience. To share some anticipation and maybe initiate some thoughts from other minors-starved Bird fans I thought I’d share some of my own here. I feel strongly that a case can be made for each and every player in the […]

Is Cedric Mullins Here to Stay?

Cedric Mullins in spring training
The Orioles started the season 3-0, but since then, they have only won one out of their last six.  Right now, as is always the case when a team is slumping, the offense and pitching look terrible.  However, there has been one consistent bright spot through the first nine games of the season and that is Cedric Mullins.  Mullins’ slash line is .459/.512/.676/.1188.  He has a 0.8 WAR, which is good for 5th amongst all MLB position players.  He has played good defense to go along with that great hitting.  […]

Baltimore Won’t Get the All-Star Game: Here’s Why

sun setting on brick building and camden yards
When Major League Baseball announced last week it was moving July’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta (more accurately Cobb County, Georgia), I could hear the sound of Orioles fans everywhere licking their lips in anticipation. It was kind of gross. Folks were excited about the prospect of the Midsummer Classic making its long-awaited return to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the first time since 1993. I just kind of shrugged, because I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was a bright-eyed four-year-old kid that hot summer night in […]

O’pening Day Starting Lineup for O’s Fans

Fans streaming in the Eutaw Street gate on Opening Day.
For the first time in more than two calendar years, Baltimore is about to celebrate a (somewhat) NORMAL Orioles Home Opener. If you ask 10 different people the best way to go about properly recognizing this festivity, you will probably get 10 different responses. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes the “best” Opening Day itinerary, and rightfully so. Some may base their plans on past experiences and a desire to recapture former partying glory. Others rely on superstition, recalling their exact location, outfit, and the food and drink […]

Introducing: Mac Sceroler

Mac Sceroler
Those who watched the Orioles-Yankees game last night know that pitching wasn’t exactly there for the Birds, what with the team giving up a grand slam and walking in runs en route to a 7-0 loss. However, there was one pitcher (who happened to be making his Major League debut) who held the fort down quite nicely when nobody else could. That man’s name is Mac Sceroler. Mac came in and got the O’s out of a bases loaded, one-out jam, which he entered with Aaron Judge at the plate. […]