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Expectations for the Final Two Months

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The Orioles are sitting with the worst record in the American League, and it’s not getting any better, as they’re 3-7 over their last 10. With a .345 winning percentage, the Orioles need to continue the momentum to match last season’s mark. What can we expect from the Orioles over the final two months?

As the trade deadline approached, it appeared the Orioles were in optimal position to sell. However, despite the talks of an overhaul, the Orioles roster was barely touched.

Talks of Tanner Scott, Paul Fry, and John Means leaving the team were all that, just talk. The trade deadline came and went and all remained on the roster, as did the ever-popular Trey Mancini.

One player that was sent packing was Freddy Galvis, who returns to the Phillies, who he played for from 2012-2017.  Galvis hit .248 with nine home runs and 26 RBI in his only season with the Orioles.

While the Orioles have little to play for in terms of standings, rosters will expand and prospects should see some time. They will be playing either for a spot on the Orioles roster next season or show enough promise to be trade bait during the offseason.

Some things to take note of during the home stretch…Will Matt Harvey be worth bringing back next season? Let’s face it, Harvey has been a major disappointment for much of the season, posting an ERA close to 8 in early July. He has shown some signs, allowing no runs for 18 1/3 consecutive innings with 11 strikeouts recently.  Perhaps Harvey can keep up his recent trend for the Orioles to bring him back into the mix next year.

What happens to Trey Mancini? After hitting 31 home runs in 2019, he missed last season and has 19 home runs so far this campaign. Fatigue and diminished statistics are commonplace late in the season, and considering Mancini hasn’t seen August or September baseball since 2019, that could be a problem. On the flip side, Mancini performed quite well late in 2018 and 2019.

Another player to keep an eye on is Ryan Mountcastle, who hit .333 in 45 games last season. His average is down to .259 with 18 home runs and 59 RBI. The power numbers are solid, but he has been widely inconsistent. Case in point: his .282 average and .822 OPS since April 26, but only .247 with four home runs over the last month. Take close look at how Mountcastle finishes the final two months of the season.

What has happened to John Means? He was among the league’s best over the first two months, pitching to an ERA of 2.28. However, he struggled over his last four starts before the injury and has a 5.09 ERA since returning. Is Means a solid, reliable pitcher, a mediocre pitcher, something in between? The Orioles need to find out in order to determine how to move forward with him.

Finally, keep an eye on any call-ups. Gone are the days when rosters could be increased to 40 players. Now, teams can only add a few players to a maximum of 28. The Orioles could possibly call up role players, but would be most advantageous to take a look at the likes of infielder Jahmai Jones, who is hitting .261 with nine home runs in 56 games for AAA Norfolk.  Other possibilities include Adley Rutschman, and Yusniel Diaz.

While the odds are certain that Orioles are heading nowhere in the standings, there are still things to watch as an Orioles’ fan as the season winds down the final two months.

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