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O’s, MLB Navigating Rough COVID Waters Already

sun setting over camden yards
I’d avoided writing about the COVID19 pandemic here on Eutaw Street Report for months. The news has dominated all of our lives for nearly five months now, and it seemed somehow inappropriate to opine on it as it related to baseball. Others here at ESR have filled the void at various times, including Andrew Stetka and Aidan Griesser, and for that I’m thankful. Speaking of being thankful, I was just that – apprehensively, but completely – when MLB play resumed last weekend. The Birds putting a spanking on the Boston […]

Thursday Thoughts: Here We Go…I Guess?

sunset view of oriole park at camden yards
1. With the Orioles set to embark on what is sure to be the weirdest of their 65+ seasons in Baltimore, things are still extremely weird and uncomfortable in the world around them. It’s not even really a world around them, it’s the world they’re directly living in. It’s the same one we’re all living in, and it hasn’t seemed to get much better since mid-March, when sports as a whole were put on hold. But now baseball’s back, for better or potentially worse. I’m still not convinced it’s the […]

2020 Orioles Predictions

With the Orioles’ season opener under a week away, it’s time to unveil my 2020 predictions, which of course I was hoping to release around mid-March. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in my – and everyone’s – plans, and here we are. The MLB will have a 60-game season now, which should make for an extremely intriguing year, even for a Baltimore squad that appears unlikely to make any waves. However, given the shortened campaign, if the Birds get off to a hot start, you never know! I’ll […]

Paul’s Payoff Pitch Farewell

The Payoff Pitch logo.
Anthony Santander has finally joined the Orioles (it was revealed that he had tested positive for Covid19), but Dwight Smith Jr. is still nowhere to be found. Richie Martin suffered an injury requiring surgery and will be out for a few months. In the finale of The Payoff Pitch, Paul runs down those stories and more as we are now just over a week from our delayed MLB Opening Day. Plus, a personal note… Fanimal Radio · Paul’s Payoff Pitch Farewell Thanks for listening to The Payoff Pitch, and see […]

The Payoff Pitch: Show Me The Baseball!

The Payoff Pitch logo.
In this week’s episode of The Payoff Pitch, I go over the Orioles’ truncated 60-game schedule, wonder why a couple Orioles haven’t been seen on the field yet, and tear into the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network for their refusal to show us any O’s intrasquad or other summer camp action. Fanimal Radio · Show Me the Baseball! Thanks for listening!

The Payoff Pitch: Baseball is…Back?!

The Payoff Pitch logo.
Two weeks, two installments of The Payoff Pitch! It seems Major League Baseball and the Players Union got their heads out of their own posteriors long enough to reach an agreement on a 60 game season to be played in 66 days beginning July 23/24. And while excitement for the first live American team sports since March abounds, the future of the game of baseball, with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the horizon, is cloudier than ever. I delve into the details of the new season, while also looking […]

Baseball’s Back…But At What Cost?

game at camden yards with no one in stands
It’s been a hell of a few months for all of us, not just as Orioles fans or even as baseball fans, but as humanity. The world has been turned upside down by a global pandemic, and the baseball world is no exception to that. You’ll quickly notice that there is more to all of this than meets the eye. It’s not about the game or the Orioles. It’s not about their rebuild, their draft, or their draft position next year. Baseball just went through something horrific. It was a […]

The Payoff Pitch: 2020 MLB Draft Recap

The Payoff Pitch logo.
We’re back! Hopefully MLB will follow shortly…why don’t they already have a plan in place? Well, let’s spend a few minutes talking about why Rob Manfred is the worst thing to happen to Major League Baseball in my lifetime. Maybe we’ll have a shortened season and can talk about some real baseball soon…or maybe not, because Rob sucks. For now, let’s talk about the guys the Orioles drafted in the 2020 Amateur Draft. Fanimal Radio · 2020 MLB Draft Recap (And Rob Manfred Sucks) See the ESR recaps of the […]

O’s Look to Get Armed in Undrafted Signing Period

While the fact that the 2020 MLB Draft was a shortened version of normal certainly isn’t ideal for a rebuilding team such as the Orioles, it does afford them a unique opportunity in the undrafted free agent signing portion of the offseason. With a larger pool of players to snag, GM Mike Elias may be able to bring in prospects that might otherwise have been drafted by other clubs. Of course, these prospects will have to want to come to Baltimore and the Orioles will have to be able to […]

Orioles Draft HS RHP Carter Baumler in Round 5

Carter Baumler
After drafting four college bats with their first four picks in the truncated 2020 MLB Draft, the Orioles went high school with their final two. It was Florida (Stoneman Douglas HS) 3B Coby Mayo in Round 4, and Iowa RHP Carter Baumler in Round 5. Baumier was the only pitcher the Birds took this year. Previous Picks Round 1: Heston Kjerstad Comp Round A: Jordan Westburg Round 2: Hudson Haskin Round 3: Anthony Servideo Round 4: Coby Mayo Here’s MLB pipeline on the hurler: Baumler boosted his stock late in […]

Orioles Draft Florida HS 3B Coby Mayo in Round 4

The first High Schooler of the class! Still no pitcher. MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo (no relation) puts a player comp on Coby Mayo to the Braves’ Austin Riley. He’s got a tremendous throwing arm and promising bat. Previous Picks Round 1: Heston Kjerstad Comp Round A: Jordan Westburg Round 2: Hudson Haskin Round 3: Anthony Servideo Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about him: Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has produced some serious talent over the years, starting with Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and continuing with A’s […]

Orioles Draft Anthony Servideo SS Ole Miss

With the 74th overall pick, the Orioles picked Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo. That’s the fourth college bat in four picks for the O’s this draft. Previous picks: Round 1: Heston Kjerstad Comp Round A: Jordan Westburg Round 2: Hudson Haskin Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about Servideo: Servideo played sparingly as a Mississippi freshman in 2018, then spent most of 2019 shuttling between right field and center field for the Rebels before posting the worst batting line (.149/.228/.277) in the Cape Cod League. He looked like a […]

Orioles Draft Tulane OF Hudson Haskin

Hudson Haskin
Arms galore were available at Pick 39. Instead, the Orioles yet again zagged, nabbing college outfielder Hudson Haskin. Haskin has a wonky swing, but the tools are there to be a solid pro. Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about him: Avon (Conn.) Old Farms School produced an athletic center fielder in 2008 who went on to become a first-round pick after three years in college and an eventual star with the Astros — George Springer. A decade later, the Beavers spawned another toolsy center fielder who should go […]

Orioles Draft Mississippi State SS Jordan Westburg

Jordan Westburg throws from the infield.
After surprising many and taking Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad with the second pick, the Orioles had another pick on night one of the draft, #30 overall, the first of the competitive balance picks between rounds one and two (it was tonight because the Houston Astros were stripped of their first round pick). With this one, they went with Mississippi State shortstop Jordan Westburg. Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about him: Though neither was a heralded prospect or drafted out of high school in 2017, Mississippi State’s Westburg and […]

Orioles Draft Heston Kjerstad, RF Arkansas

The Orioles threw us a curveball with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, going with Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad. The guys on the ESPN broadcast were calling him the second-best power bat in the draft, after Spencer Torkelson, who went first overall to Detroit. His coach at Arkansas called him “the best left-handed hitter in the country.” He was number 10 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. Here’s what they wrote about him, pre-draft: “A 36th-round pick by the Mariners as a Texas high schooler in 2017, Kjerstad teamed […]

Orioles 2020 Draft Primer

Austin Martin of Vanderbilt swings.
MLB is about to embark on the shortest draft in baseball history. In a draft with only five rounds, there will be an increased emphasis on ‘hitting’ on picks to maximize value. While this is always the case, teams with struggling farm systems won’t have the opportunity to replenish the talent pipeline as extensively. The Orioles have a prospect system that is on the rise and is currently Top 15, if not Top 10. The hitch this year will be the undrafted free agents. Normally, with 40 rounds, very few […]

Should O’s Save Money Early for High School Prospects Later?

men sitting at draft tables in large open room decorated with sports stuff
While MLB seems to be the league having the most trouble getting off its feet amidst the pandemic, they do at least have a draft coming up that will kick off on June 10th. For a rebuilding team like the Orioles, this is a massive opportunity to inject young talent into the system, with the hopes that some of those players will become critical members of the eventual turnaround. Last year, GM Mike Elias secured the incredible catching prospect Adley Rutschman with the first overall selection. This year, he’ll look […]

COVID-19 Crisis and MLB: An Opportunity Amidst Tragedy?

sunset view of oriole park at camden yards
Disclaimer: Just as I did when writing about this topic on Russell Street Report, I need to state that sports are absolutely secondary/tertiary/etc. in the grand scheme of things, and that’s especially true at the moment. Please don’t berate me with cries of “THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT?!” I get it. This is a tough time for all of us. But these are sports blogs, so sports blogging I shall do. As the world waits for announcements on the plans that all sporting leagues have in place, the one that […]

Hanser Alberto Cannot Surprise Me in 2020

During this time last year, most people didn’t have infielder Hanser Alberto breaking camp with the Orioles. I include myself among that list. But keeping him turned out to be a great decision by the club. He rotated between second and third base while contributing both in the field and at the dish. He got the job done, but did it in an unusual way. In 139 games in 2019, Alberto slashed .305/.329/.422 with 12 home runs. The .305 batting average obviously looks marvelous, but I continue to be stunned […]

Framing up Orioles’ Options Behind the Dish

In 2019, the Orioles selected catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft. The switch-hitting backstop out of Oregon State quickly jumped to the top of the Orioles’ top prospects list and became a  top-10 prospect throughout all of baseball. The Orioles’ plan was made very clear – Rutschman will be looked upon as the future face of the franchise. Although he is seen as the star catcher of the future, the club still needs to pencil catchers in two major league roster spots for […]