10-20-14: The Baltimore Orioles won the American League East division this season and had the second best record in the American League heading into the postseason. The Orioles sat at home watching the Kansas City Royals defeat the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card Playoff Game and then watched that same Royals team sweep the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for their first trip to the American League Championship Series since 1985. Meanwhile Baltimore took care of business with the Detroit Tigers while sweeping away the pitching heavy Tigers setting up the ALCS with the Royals. Kansas City, this season’s Cinderella team, took the first two games of the ALCS placing Baltimore’s back against the wall heading into this week.
In Game Three of the ALCS Kansas City sent Jeremy Guthrie to the mound to face off with the Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. This game did not feature the big dominant starting pitchers or the sexy names that draw fans to the ballpark but this was one of the best pitched games in the entire ALCS. Steve Pearce got things going for the Orioles in the Top of the 2nd inning with a double and JJ Hardy got a double of his own off Guthrie to give the Orioles an early 1-0 lead. This would be the only run that Guthrie would allow in the contest as he went 5.0 IP and allowed just three hits and the one run before turning things over to the Kansas City bullpen. Chen was rolling into the 4th inning before the Royals Billy Butler hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1. Two innings later Alex Gordon had an RBI groundout to give the Royals a 2-1 lead for their bullpen and gave Chen an end to his night. Chen finished with 5.1 IP and allowed seven hits and two runs before handing the ball to Kevin Gausman. The three headed monster in the Royals bullpen of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland shut down the Orioles for the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings as Holland notched his third save of the series and the Royals took a commanding 3-0 lead in the best of seven series. Kansas City finds themselves just one win away from their first World Series berth since 1985.
In Game Four of the ALCS Baltimore sent Miguel Gonzalez, not Chris Tillman the team’s ace, to the mound to face off with the Royals Jason Vargas in a controversial decision made by O’s manager Buck Showalter. Gonzalez made Showalter look like a genius on the day as he lasted 5.2 innings allowing two runs, just one of them earned, while striking out four. Vargas was even better for Ned Yost and the Royals as he lasted 5.1 innings and only allowed one run, a solo home run, while striking out six Baltimore Orioles. Kansas City jumped out for both runs off Gonzalez in the bottom of the first inning as Eric Hosmer singled in a run while another was unearned giving the Royals a quick 2-0 lead in the game. Ryan Flaherty and the Orioles inched back in the Top of the 3rd with a solo shot off Vargas accounting for the only mistake Vargas made on the day. In the 6th inning the Royals went to the bullpen once again with their three headed monster in Herrera for 1.2 innings, Davis for 1.0 inning and Holland for the 9th inning. In the Top of the 9th Baltimore sent up the heart of their order in Nelson Cruz, Delmon Young, and JJ Hardy to face the Royals closer. Cruz started the inning by drawing a walk and being pinch run for by Alejandro De Aza. Young would immediately bounce into a rally killing double play to put the Royals just one out away from the World Series with all that was standing in their way was Hardy, the highest paid shortstop in all of Major League Baseball. Holland made quick work of Hardy and the Baltimore Orioles as the Royals swept the AL East champions 4-0 in the series. Holland saved all four games in the series as the Orioles had no answer for him, Herrera, or Davis. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named the 2014 ALCS MVP for the AL champion Kansas City Royals.
Baltimore now heads into the offseason with their window of winning with this team as it is currently constructed quickly closing. Nelson Cruz is a free agent to be and will be offered a qualifying offer while the team has already announced that the team option on right fielder Nick Markakis will not be picked up for the 2015 season. The core is there for Baltimore next season but there will be enough change to certainly disrupt things next year for Baltimore. It’s back to the drawing board for Buck Showalter and company in Baltimore as the team prepares for another long offseason.
10-14-14: The Baltimore Orioles are fresh off a three game sweep of the American League Central division champion Detroit Tigers and headed into the ALCS to face the Kansas City Royals. Baltimore won their three games against the Tigers in three totally different ways. In Game One the Orioles simply out-slugged the Tigers offense and Max Scherzer en route to a 12-3 victory. In the second game the timely hitting was on full display as Baltimore was trailing late in the game before Delmon Young hurt his old team with a bases clearing double to give the Orioles the 7-6 lead and victory to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. In Game Three the pitching took center stage as the fans were entertained by a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel that went the Orioles way 2-1. Baltimore had almost a full week off to prepare for the Wild Card winning and Cinderella team this season, the Kansas City Royals.
In Game One both teams were well rested and ready for the ALCS to begin as Baltimore started their ace Chris Tillman against the Royals ace James Shields. Both starting pitchers may have been a little rusty with all the extra rest and neither pitcher finished with a pretty pitching line. Tillman only lasted 4.1 innings and gave up five earned runs while Shields was also on a short leash lasting only 5.0 innings and allowing four runs. Kansas City had the lead in the ball game 5-4 when they took Shields out of the contest and handed the ball to their reliable and shutdown bullpen but rookie Brandon Finnegan allowed two hits and a run without recording an out to blow the lead for the Royals. The Royals manager Ned Yost handed the ball to Kelvin Herrera to get out of the inning and also to pitch the 7th inning while Baltimore countered with Kevin Gausman, Tommy Hunter, Andrew Miller, and Zach Britton. Wade Davis pitched the 8th inning and the 9th inning for the Royals while Darren O’Day took the ball to finish the 9th for the Orioles as the game headed into extra innings. In the top of the 10th Kansas City scored three runs off O’Day and Brian Matusz including a Mike Moustakas home run to give the Royals a three run lead heading into the bottom of the 10th. The Royals closer came in to pitch the bottom of the 10th and allowed a run to make things interesting at 8-6 Kansas City but shut the Orioles offense down for the save and a victory for the Royals. Kansas City leads the ALCS 1-0 as the Cinderella story continues.
In Game Two Kansas City sent rookie fire baller Yordano Ventura to the mound to face off with the Orioles starter Bud Norris as Baltimore looked to even the series. It looked as though the rust and days off affected these two starting pitchers as well as Norris only lasted 4.1 innings while allowing four earned runs while Ventura lasted 5.2 innings allowing four runs of his own. The Royals handed the ball to the bullpen once again and Brandon Finnegan, Kelvin Herrera, and Wade Davis shut down the Orioles offense while Brad Brach, Andrew Miller, and Darren O’Day shut down the Royals offense as the game headed into the 9th inning tied at 4-4. Kansas City decided they would win a game in nine innings this time around as Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain helped the Royals score two more runs in the ninth inning setting up Greg Holland for the bottom of the ninth for the second straight night. Holland allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout in a somewhat easy inning as the Royals won the game by the score of 6-4 to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the ALCS as the series shifts to Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
10-7-14: The Baltimore Orioles won the American League East division this season and had the second best record in the AL in 2014 which means the team hosted the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series. Baltimore will have home field advantage throughout the series which is important for Baltimore who played extremely well all season long in Oriole Park in Camden Yards. There was not a single Orioles ticket not sold for this game as the fans filed into Camden Yards and Comerica Park for what was scheduled to be a great series between two solid teams. Baltimore went into Game One of the ALDS by sending Chris Tillaman and that powerful offense to Camden Yards to take on the Tigers. The Tigers countered with AL Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer who had his share of troubles with the Orioles. Baltimore ultimately put up 12 runs in the game and won the game by the score of 12-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series. Tillman went 5.0 IP and struck out six while giving up two runs, two solo home runs. Scherzer went 7.1 IP and struck out six of his own while allowing five runs, two of them coming on home runs.
In Game Two the Orioles used some late inning magic to stage a comeback with a bases clearing double for former Detroit Tiger Delmon Young as Baltimore once again edged Detroit by the score of 7-6 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Wei-Yin Chen started the game for Baltimore and was quickly beat up by the Tigers offense only lasting 3.5 IP and allowing five earned runs. While Justin Verlander was not exactly sharp in this game he did enough to hand the ball to his bullpen and specifically Joba Chamberlain with a sizeable lead. Joba responded by allowing three earned runs in 0.1 IP while Joakim Soria allowed the run that would blow the save and the game for the Tigers.
In Game Three Baltimore sent Bud Norris to the mound looking for the sweep while Detroit sent David Price to the mound looking to force a Game 4 in this series. Price looked awfully sharp for the Tigers in this contest but was matched out for out by Norris in a game that went scoreless into the sixth inning. In that inning Price made his only mistake of the game leaving a ball over the plate that the majors leading home run hitter Nelson Cruz took out for a two run shot giving the Orioles a 2-0 lead. Norris would get a shutdown inning in the bottom of the sixth and recorded an out in the seventh before leaving with 6.1 IP allowing just two hits while striking out six. Baltimore handed the ball to Andrew Miller to finish the 7th inning and the 8th inning and Miller shut down the powerful Tigers offense not allowing a hit or a base runner as he handed the ball to the Orioles closer Zach Britton for the bottom of the 9th inning. Detroit made things interesting in the bottom of the 9th stringing together two hits while JD Martinez collected his 5th RBI of the series to bring Detroit within one run at 2-1 but that was as close as the Tigers would get. Britton recorded the final out to give the Orioles the 2-1 lead and a 3-0 series victory and sweep in the ALDS. Baltimore is heading to the ALCS to face the Kansas City Royals while Detroit is heading home for the winter after another letdown in October.
10-1-14: The Orioles ran away with the AL East title, as Buck Showalter's club turned out to be one the best teams in all of baseball. The O's added Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million deal in the offseason, which proved to be the one of the best signings of the entire offseason. Cruz hit 40 home runs to lead baseball. Baltimore's pitching staff has been effective. Since the All-Star break, O’s pitchers have the lowest ERA in baseball. Baltimore will play the Tigers in the ALDS.
9-30-14: The Baltimore Orioles started the week by signing Cuban defecting pitcher Lazaro Leyva worth a reported $725K. The team also designated relief pitcher Preston Guilmet for assignment so the team could add Alexi Casilli to the roster for the final week of the season. Baltimore made a run at the American League’s best record but fell just short to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim but the Orioles will still host at least an ALDS series against the AL Central division winning team. Baltimore will face the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the playoffs and will have home field advantage for the series. This is especially important for Baltimore as the Orioles went 50-31 this season in Oriole Park in Camden Yards. Chris Tillman is expected to be the Game One starter for that series against the Tigers Max Scherzer. The first game will be played on Thursday, October 2 as both teams get a good rest before the race for the World Series title. Baltimore finished the 2014 season with a 96-66 record and won the American League East division title handedly.
9-25-14: The Orioles are an impressive 42-20 since the All-Star break, including 15-6 in September. They have been the class of the AL East and won their first division title since 1997. The Orioles are currently 3.5 games behind the Angels for the best record in the AL. They'll look to overtake them and secure home-field advantage with two more games against the Yankees and three more games against the Blue Jays on the road.
9-23-14: The Baltimore Orioles initially announced that the team was not going to promote top first base prospect Christian Walker this season even after first baseman Chris Davis was suspended for 25 games. As you remember Davis was playing a lot of third base this season and Steve Pearce has been playing first base since Orioles regular third baseman Manny Machado went down with another knee injury. In the end the Orioles went against this announcement and purchased the contract of Walker anyway for the final two weeks of the season. The team was reluctant to purchase Walker’s contract as he does not have to be protected on the 40 man roster from the Rule 5 Draft this winter but ultimately decided to call the 2013 fourth round draft pick up. No corresponding roster move was needed as David was on the suspension list. The Orioles also told soon to be free agent J.J. Hardy that they want to resign him but warned him that they may not be able to offer the most money. Buck Schowalter told Hardy personally that the team would offer the shortstop a fair contract this winter and expressed a definite interest in keeping him on the club past the 2014 season.
9-18-14: With 11 games remaining in the 2014 regular season, the Baltimore Orioles are already AL East champions. Not many people thought they would be in this position given the other teams in their division. They beat to Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night to official seal the division crown. This is the first time since 1997 that the O’s have been crowned division champions.
9-16-14: The Baltimore Orioles have enjoyed the production they have received from the catching duo of Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley this season. Hundley, who was acquired from the Padres in a midseason trade, and Joseph have accumulated a league average WAR for catchers which has lessened the loss of catcher Matt Weiters to Tommy John surgery. The Hundley deal worked out well for the Orioles but the team thinks an extension with DH Nelson Cruz may not work out as well. Cruz is 34 years old and is considered to be a defensive liability in the field with a previous steroid allegation and suspension attached to him to boot. Cruz is approaching a 40 home run season though and may end up receiving another qualifying offer after the season. Cruz signed a team friendly one year deal worth $8 million this season after declining the one year and $14.1 million offer last offseason from the Texas Rangers. This season the qualifying offer jumps to $15 million for one season and Cruz may not be willing to pass this up this time around. Baltimore ended the week by learning that Chris Davis has been suspended for 25 games after failing an amphetamine test for using Adderall. Davis will miss the rest of the regular season and the first eight games of the playoffs if Baltimore gets that far.
9-12-14: The O’s closed out last week by losing a series to the Rays after sweeping the Reds earlier in the week. They have taken two straight against Boston at Fenway this week. They are now 25-12 since the beginning of August, building their lead in the AL East from 1.5 games to 10 games during that span. They currently sit just four games behind the Angels for the best record in baseball. Nelson Cruz leads the majors and the AL with 39 home runs. His is 101 RBI trail Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera for the AL lead.
9-9-14: The Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Joe Saunders this week as a part of roster expansions after the lefty posted a 1.50 ERA in 12 relief innings in Triple-A this season. The way the Orioles bats have been lately it may not matter who the team throws out there on the mound as Chris Davis’ bat may have finally awaken while Nelson Cruz creeps closer and closer to a 40 home run season with every passing game. Baltimore continues to ride the bats and put more and more space between them and the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East division race. Baltimore also announced that there have been internal discussions regarding impending free agent Nick Markakis. The team has a $17.5 million option on the outfielder next season with a $2 million buyout and the team is considering the option of declining the option, paying the buyout, and offering Markakis a $15 million qualifying offer. Baltimore would not save much money going that route if Markakis accepts but they could get a first round draft pick as compensation and save $15 million if the soon to be 31 year old declined the option.
9-4-14: The Orioles are coming off of their best month of the season, as they were 19-9 with an MLB-
best plus-48 run differential in August. They scored 4.82 runs per game and posting a 3.08
ERA as a team. Their offense leads all of baseball with 176 home runs, including an MLB-high
36 from Nelson Cruz. Their bullpen has been a weapon since the addition of Andrew Miller.
Overall, Baltimore will be dangerous come October.
9-2-14: The Baltimore Orioles received some great news this week as Manny Machado’s knee surgery was deemed a success by doctors. Machado is still going to miss the remainder of the 2014 season but expects to be at full strength by Spring Training for the 2015 season after the positive prognosis this week by doctors. The Orioles will have Machado back in 2015 and may have designated hitter Nelson Cruz back as well as the team and Cruz have both expressed a mutual interest in signing an extension before his current contract expires. After the trouble Cruz had this offseason finding a deal you can see why the DH and outfielder would want to sign a deal before hitting free agency, especially after breaking out offensively in Baltimore. The Orioles finished the week and the month by adding Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar from the Boston Red Sox for Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus and also acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox for a pair of minor league pitchers.
8-27-14: The Orioles spent all of last week in Chicago After sweeping the White Sox to kick off their trip, they endured a sweep of their own at the hands of the Cubs. They still have plenty of room, with a seven game lead in the AL East standings. However, they will be without third baseman Manny Machado the rest of the season after he underwent surgery on a partially torn ligament in his right knee. The loss of Machado is a huge blow for an O’s team that is looking to make some serious noise come October.
8-26-14: The Baltimore Orioles are moving Ubaldo Jimenez to the bullpen according to manager Buck Showalter. This has to be disappointing to Orioles fans and the management after signing the right hander to a four year deal worth $50 million this winter. Another disappointment the Orioles were faced with this week was the news that third baseman Manny Machado would be lost for the rest of the 2014 season after spraining his knee and requiring another knee surgery. The struggling Chris Davis will slide into the third base position while Steve Pearce will get the bulk of the innings at first base. The Orioles defense took a huge hit with the loss of Machado and the offense will surely miss his bat as well. The Orioles ended the week losing another player by releasing Cord Phelps after designating the right handed starting pitcher for assignment. Phelps being DFA’d cleared a roster spot for starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.
8-20-14: The Orioles have the biggest division lead in all of baseball. They are currently 8.5 games up on the New York Yankees and nine games up on the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East standings. Losing star Manny Machado to a knee sprain hurts. However, the recent offensive surge of Jonathan Schoop could soften the blow of the Machado loss a bit. It's still all about starting pitching for the Orioles heading into the postseason.
8-19-14: The Baltimore Orioles received a scare with third baseman Manny Machado as he left a game this week against the New York Yankees with a twisted right knee. This was not the knee that kept him out of time last season and this season and required surgery in the offseason. X rays did not reveal any ligament damage so the Orioles dodged a huge bullet but will still be without their third baseman for the foreseeable future. Finally the Orioles received a minor victory in the courts this week regarding the dispute with the Washington Nationals over the MASN Network. A litigator announced that the Nationals could not demand increased rights and fees over the television network.
8-13-14: The Orioles have won six straight series. They beat the Angels and Mariners both at home and on the road before taking down the Blue Jays in Toronto and the Cardinals at home last week. Their game with the Yankees on Tuesday was suspended due to rain and will be made up on Sept. 12th. Baltimore currently holds a 6.5 game lead in the AL East over Toronto. Caleb Joseph became the first Orioles catcher and first Orioles rookie to homer in five straight games last week.
8-12-14: The Baltimore Orioles started the month by looking for some starting pitching depth and ultimately signed lefty Joe Saunders to a minor league deal to stash in Triple-A. Clay Rapada was released as the corresponding roster move for Saunders and will look to latch on with yet another team after bouncing around the league since his strong 2012 season with the New York Yankees. Speaking the Yankees they released long time Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts last week and Baltimore announced that they have no interest in a reunion with the switch hitter. Another player that could be a former Oriole is JJ Hardy who is set to be a free agent at the end of this season and has not had any discussions with the team regarding an extension.
8-6-14: Three solo home runs gave the Baltimore Orioles the major league lead in home runs, and helped them extend their lead atop the AL East. Chris Davis homered and Caleb Joseph and Jonathan Schoop also went deep back to back as the O’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-3 Tuesday. The Orioles moved five games ahead of second-place Toronto. The three homers moved Baltimore ahead of Jays for the big league lead. The Orioles have hit 136 homers this season, one more than the Blue Jays.
8-5-14: The Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals are in the middle of a dispute over the jointly owned Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. The jointly owned television channel has been heavily disputed by both teams and the battle will head to litigation. The Orioles are leading the American League East by a comfortable margin this season but surprisingly were quiet at this year’s trading deadline. The Orioles did acquire left handed reliever Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox for a minor league pitcher but made no significant additions to the team. The Orioles feel they have enough to win the division and will instead look to make marginal upgrades during the August waiver trading deadline.
7-30-14: The Baltimore Orioles have inquired about the Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester this week. While Baltimore is not likely to trade away Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey, or Eduardo Rodriguez they may be willing to part with one or more of their pitchers to acquire the rental. The Orioles were also in attendance for the latest Cuban defecting showcase as Rusney Castillo worked out for 28 teams across Major League Baseball. Baltimore liked what they saw so much this weekend in Miami that the team is arranging a private workout for the 27 year old outfielder. The Orioles continue to hold onto the top spot in the American League East division with a 58-46 record which is good for a three game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays and a four game lead over the New York Yankees.
7-28-14: Although some of Baltimore’s divisional foes have played very well since the All-Star break, the Orioles have kept a healthy lead in the American League East. With their two victories to begin their series against the Seattle Mariners, they have won four of their last five games. On Thursday, Wei-Yin Chen threw eight scoreless innings to win his fourth straight start.
7-24-14: Miguel Gonzalez took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning, Jonathan Schoop hit a home run and J.J. Hardy hit two RBI doubles as the Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Tuesday night. Zach Britton pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances. Britton has allowed eight runs and fanned 27 in 29 1/3 innings over 29 appearances since taking over as closer in mid-May. The O’s have a four game lead over New York and Toronto atop the AL East.
7-21-14: The Baltimore Orioles have traded first baseman Brett Wallace back to the Toronto Blue Jays this week for a marginal return that has yet to be reported. The Orioles have also had discussions with the Philadelphia Phillies this week regarding starting pitcher AJ Burnett. Burnett would add a serious veteran presence to the mound as the Orioles make a playoff push. Burnett has limited no trade protection and a very complicated player mutual option for the 2015 season that could pay him at least $7.5 million in 2015 if he decides to keep pitching. Burnett has AL East experience with the New York Yankees and his family lives in Maryland so this may be a perfect fit for both sides.
7-19-14: For the first time since 1997, the Orioles came out of the All-Star break with the American League East’s best record. Even though they allowed the Oakland Athletics to walk off with a 5-4 victory on Friday as Zach Britton gave up a three-run home run to Josh Donaldson, Baltimore still owns a four-game lead in the division.
7-17-14: Picked by many to win the AL pennant, the Rays have been among the biggest disappointments of the first half. They've been playing much better of late, and a series win over the Blue Jays last weekend has them riding a 13-5 streak into the All-Star break. David Price was expected to be the prize of the trade deadline back when Tampa was sitting on the worst record in baseball. The first couple weeks of the second half could play a major role in his future with the franchise.
7-17-14: With series wins over the Nationals and Yankees to close out the first half, the Orioles have now won seven of their last eight series played. That has given them a four-game lead in the AL East at the break. Kevin Gausman could be poised for a big second half after posting a 2.36 ERA in his last six starts. Chris Davis and Manny Machado both fell well short of expectations in the first half, but the offense held its own. If both Davis and Machado can get things going, the O’s could be the favorites in the AL East.
7-15-14: The Baltimore Orioles are said to be in the market for a starting pitcher and seem like the likeliest landing spot for Baltimore native and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher AJ Burnett. AJ has AL East experience with the New York Yankees and has first place experience with the Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. Ubaldo Jimenez has been placed on the 15 day DL with a sprained ankle so Burnett would be a welcomed addition if the Orioles would pay the salary and the prospect package to Philadelphia. The Orioles especially need some depth as Randy Wolf has opted out of his deal and has cleared out his locker in Triple-A to end the week. The Orioles sit at 51-42 at the All Star Break to sit at first place at the break for the first time since 1997. That team won the division that season in case you were wondering.
7-14-14: Recently, the Orioles have had some important extra-inning victories that have helped them extend their lead in the American League East. Although they have had some postponements, Baltimore’s clutch hitting has not been affected. Manny Machado, whose bat has been scorching over the past couple of weeks, scored the game-winning run on Friday.
7-10-14: The Orioles came into Tuesday night’s game in Washington having won seven of their last eight. However, rain postponed the game until Aug. 4. The crosstown rivals will continue the home-and-home series in Baltimore on Wednesday night. Bud Norris, who was activated from the disabled list, will start Wednesday. The O’s currently have a 2 ½ game lead over Toronto atop the AL East.
7-7-14: The Orioles are on the verge of their longest winning streak of 2014. However, the Boston weather is not making things easy on Buck Showalter’s squad. With their July 4 game being postponed, the Orioles take on the Red Sox in a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. Steve Pearce, who is on his way to several new single-season career-highs this year, led Baltimore to a four-game sweep of the Texas Rangers earlier in the week.
7-3-14: Nelson Cruz hit his 26th home run on his 34th birthday, as the Orioles breezed past the struggling Texas Rangers 8-3 Tuesday night. In five career games on his birthday, Cruz is 7 for 19 with two homers. This was Cruz’s third home run in his last seven games. He’s now only seven short of his career high of 33, set in 2009 with Texas. Steven Pearce and Caleb Joseph also went deep for the Orioles, who will at least get a split of the four-game series after winning the first two. The O’s are just one game back of Toronto for the AL East lead.
7-2-14: The Baltimore Orioles have a decision looming on outfielder Nolan Reimold. Reimold is hitting .326/.433/.522 at Double-A and has an opt-out clause built into his contract. If Reimold is not added to the active roster by Monday he will either be released or placed on waivers where he would likely be claimed after a strong season.
6-30-14: The Orioles will finally finish a full month above .500. By splitting their doubleheader with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, the birds clinched their first month above .500 in exactly one year. On Wednesday, Nelson Cruz’s game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning helped Baltimore get to extra innings and steal the win.
6-26-14: Miguel Gonzalez fell to 4-5 on the year as the Orioles were defeated by the White Sox 4-2 Tuesday night. Gonzalez gave up three runs and a career-high tying nine hits in five innings of work for Buck Showalter’s club. This was his second start since returning from a 17-day stint on the disabled list with a strained right oblique. For the second straight game he failed to get into the sixth inning. Manny Machado will have a hearing Wednesday on his appeal of a five-game suspension for throwing a bat on the field.
6-24-14: The Baltimore Orioles got the news they never wanted to get when they learned that catcher Matt Weiters would have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his ailing throwing elbow. Weiters had originally tried to rehab and rest the elbow while being a designated hitter but ultimately could not avoid going under the knife. Weiters will miss the rest of the 2014 season and is expected to be out of baseball for at least nine months. The Orioles ruined Tino Martinez Day at Yankee Stadium by clobbering their American League East rivals and even beat Masahiro Tanaka on Old Timers Day in the Bronx to take two of three from one of the teams they are chasing in the East.
6-18-14: The Orioles are thankful for instant replay at least for one night. Chris Davis hit a replay-delayed grand slam as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-5 on Tuesday night. Davis was awarded the grand slam off Rays starter Erik Bedard during a five-run third-inning after video review showed his drive struck the foul pole. Davis now has three career grand slams. Baltimore C Matt Wieters had season-ending right elbow ligament replacement surgery. The O’s are four games back of Toronto for the AL East lead.
6-17-14: The Baltimore Orioles got a bit of bad news regarding Matt Weiters and his throwing program while trying to avoid surgery and rehab the injury. Reports state that the rehab is not going well and it is looking more and more likely that Weiters will not be able to avoid surgery this season. The Orioles are also said to be interested in moving designated hitter Delmon Young in a deal as he has lost most of his playing time to first basemen Steve Pearce. Young is batting .286/.318/.369 this season and may provide some pop off an American League team’s bench this summer.
6-10-14: The Baltimore Orioles may have gotten the best bang for their buck this offseason, literally, with the signing of Nelson Cruz. Cruz is leading the major leagues through the first two months of the season with 20 home runs after declining a qualifying offer and signing a one year deal worth $8 million with Baltimore. Cruz has overtaken David Ortiz of the Red Sox in All Star Game voting for the designated hitter, a position Ortiz has held for quite some time now. The Orioles also purchased the contract of Johan Santana and immediately added him to the 15 day disabled list to keep him from exercising his opt out clause in his minor league contract. The Orioles were the only team that did not have a draft pick on the first day of the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft on Thursday but they did draft Bobby Bonilla’s son Brandon Bonilla late in the draft. The Orioles also lost Johan Santana for the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles tendon, at least it wasn’t a third shoulder capsule.
6-3-14: The Baltimore Orioles are said to be showing the most interest, albeit in a very early market, for Cubs starting pitcher and ERA leader Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs had one of their top talent evaluators at one of Hunter Harvey’s, a prospect in the Orioles system, starts in Class-A Ball. The Orioles lost one of their minor league arms with major league experience as reliever Luis Ayala has opted out of his minor league deal and will look for a major league deal elsewhere. The Orioles will look to restock the farm from either a Samardzija trade or the loss of Ayala through the draft but that is going to be increasingly difficult after giving up three draft picks in this year’s draft to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez, Nelson Cruz, and Bud Norris. The Orioles will not have a pick until the third round and will only have $2.2 million in cap room to sign players this season.
5-28-14: The Baltimore Orioles are still looking for a bat to help the club with the shoulder injury to catcher Matt Weiters that will keep him from catching for the rest of the season. Kendrys Morales makes less sense now than he did three weeks ago now that Weiters will have to be the Orioles designated hitter for the rest of the season. The Orioles filled the hole a bit with the acquisition of Nick Hundley from the San Diego Padres for relief pitcher Troy Patton. Last week we spoke of the Orioles being willing to trade Patton for a catcher to replace Weiters and it seems that Hundley will now be the starting catcher in Baltimore. The Orioles have to pay the rest of his $4 million in salary this season and own a $5 million club option on Hundley for the 2015 season.
5-21-14: The Baltimore Orioles took a step in the direction of nailing down their bullpen by signing recently designated for assignment closer Heath Bell to a minor league deal. Bell was a member of the Tampa Bay rays and will now spend time in Triple-A for the Orioles in an effort to try and revive his career. The Orioles have a shaky bullpen and are still trading first place with the New York Yankees in a battle at the top of the American League East division. Currently the Orioles have a 22-20 record and are one half game behind New York for first place in the division.
5-15-14: The Baltimore Orioles are
starting to distance themselves from the pack in the American league East after two weeks of May baseball. The Orioles spent some time in the cellar of the division so the team has definitely rallied behind Buck Schowalter and company and righted the ship. The O's are even doing it without Matt Weiters behind the plate who has been assigned to DH duties only after an elbow injury has prevented him from throwing the baseball. Baltimore has made relief pitcher Troy Patton available for a suitable backup catcher to replace Weiters on the roster. The Orioles do have some good injury news though as third basemen Manny Machado is ready to start hitting doubles all over the field once again very soon.
5-7-14: The Baltimore Orioles are struggling for consistency in the American League East division and are still looking at upgrading the team via free agency as evident by their recent discussions with free agent Kendrys Morales. Morales, much like fellow Scott Boras client Stephen Drew, is still looking for a job after turning down a qualifying offer this offseason and being linked to draft pick compensation if he signs before June 2014. All in all though the Orioles are right in the thick of things for a playoff spot and a division title after the first month of the season after a strong start to the year by free agent to be Matt Weiters and Nelson Cruz. The Orioles have gotten encouraging news from their farm system as well with Johan Santana who is working his way back from a second torn shoulder capsule in his throwing shoulder. Santana is hitting 88-89 MPH on the radar gun which is not that far off from his 89.6 MPH average he had in 2010 when he threw 199 innings and had a 2.98 ERA.
4-28-14: The Baltimore Orioles are running out of time with their young group of core players and the opportunity to win may be closing. Players such as JJ Hardy and Matt Weiters for example are free agents after this season and the Orioles show no signs of signing them to long term extensions after a month of the 2014 season. The Orioles have instead been turning their attention to free agents such as Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew lately, both Scott Boras clients and both still linked to draft pick compensation. While nothing has materialized from the discussions it looks likely that the Orioles are feeling the "win now" pressure and are willing to open the wallet just a little to compete in the American League East division this season and beyond. Vote for your favorite Baltimore Orioles and send them to the MLB All Star Game as voting has opened up this week to the fans.
4-21-14: The Baltimore Orioles are pleased with the progress of their young superstar third baseman Manny Machado. Machado played in an extended spring game over the weekend and had no complaints. Meanwhile in the big leagues the Baltimore Orioles are in last place of the American League East division. The American League East is extremely competitive and the Baltimore Orioles with their current record would be in third place in many other divisions around baseball. The Orioles will be in Boston for the annual Veterans Day game at Fenway Park. It was announced that J.J.Hardy will not be in the lineup due to hamstring soreness.
4-14-14: The Baltimore Orioles sit at 5-7 through their first 11 games, good for fourth place in the competitive AL East. The Orioles lost their first game versus the New York Yankees to start the week, but were able to rebound to earn a 2-1 series win behind a big 14-5 win, as well as a close 5-4 win. Baltimore didn’t find nearly as much success in their second series of the week, as they dropped two of three games to the Toronto Blue Jays.
4-7-14: The Baltimore Orioles earned a hard fought 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on opening day, but since then have struggled mightily through the first week of the 2014 MLB season. The Red Sox rebounded to steal the next two contests of a three game series, while the Orioles one just one game against the Detroit Tigers and gave up 17 total runs in the other two meetings. Newly acquired big hitter Nelson Cruz has been the lone bright spot for the Orioles, who are having a tough time on offense despite his two home runs.
4-1-14: A year after leading the major leagues in home runs, the Baltimore Orioles added to the pile in a thrilling 2-1 victory over the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox on opening day. Newly added Nelson Cruz didn’t waste much time getting into the action on offense as he hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning to help the Orioles earn the win in his debut with the team. The win wouldn’t have been possibly without a stellar defensive effort, however, as starting pitcher Zach Britton earned the win for Baltimore with two scoreless innings and Tommy Hunter got three outs to earn the save in the ninth.
3-27-14: The Baltimore Orioles acquired former New York Yankee and Cleveland Indians third basemen David Adams on a minor league deal after claiming him off waivers to start the final week of spring training before Opening Day 2014. The Orioles also thought they had a relief option in Luis Vizcaino after a strong 2013 in the Mexican League but the 39 year old was released today from minor league camp, thus ending his comeback attempt. Baltimore is hoping for a bounce back season from Johan Santana as he continues his rehab from a second shoulder surgery and hopes to be back and ready by mid-season 2014. In the final act for Baltimore before the 2014 season begins they traded Alex Gonzalez to the infield deficient Detroit Tigers for Steve Lombardozzi, a 37 year old veteran on a minor league deal for a 25 year old prospect, a big score and a big win for the Orioles organization.
3-20-14: The Baltimore Orioles made some late pushes in the offseason signing the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and missed out on Ervin Santana to the Atlanta Braves but are still poised to compete again in the American League East. The Orioles big time bat in the middle of the lineup Chris Davis is nearing free agency and talks of an extension to be on the backburner at this time between Davis and the club. Baltimore continues to have one of the best records in the Grapefruit League and even saw the debut of Suk-Min Yoon recently in a split squad game with the New York Yankees. In case you were wondering manager Buck Schowalter has named Chris Tillman as the Opening Day starter for Baltimore this season.
3-14-14: Suk min Yoon, the South Korean right hander, will make his debut for the Orioles this Saturday vs the New York Yankees. Yoon, 27, signed a $5.75 million deal over three seasons. Baltimore Orioles tickets for the game currently average $52.80 on the secondary market. The cheapest seat available is $36 and prices are down 35% this week.
3-13-14: The Baltimore Orioles have had an up and down offseason and an even more up and down spring training camp. At first the Orioles seemed content with standing pat and even traded away one of the American League's leaders in saves in Jim Johnson in hopes of acquiring fellow closer Grant Balfour only to lose out to him to a bad physical. The Orioles are now showing off their newest toy Ubaldo Jimenez in spring camp and now have one of the best records in all of the Grapefruit League this year. Opening Day tickets are usually so hard to come by and now that Jimenez is likely to start the season for the O's these tickets will be harder to come by. This could be an exciting season for the O's and their fans, and it better be because a lot of Baltimore's talent is young but heading towards free agency.
3-5-14: Johan Santana and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed on a minor-league contract which will give the veteran injury prone left B a chance to make a big league roster this spring. Unfortunately the scouting report on Santanas repaired shoulder is that he topped out at 81 mph late this February. Also for the Orioles young third baseman Manny Machado is scheduled to have an exam on his knee on March 18 at which time he may receive permission to resume Full Contact baseball activities.
3-3-14: Orioles 5 most expensive remaining Spring Training games: 1.) 3/15 vs New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium, 2.) 3/17 vs Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field, 3.) 3/26 vs Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park, 4.) 3/24 vs Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium, 5.) 3/8 vs Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium
2-28-14: The top 5 most expensive Baltimore Orioles tickets for the 2014 season are currently: March 31 vs the Boston Red Sox, August 13 vs the New York Yankees, July 13 vs the New York Yankees, September 14 vs the New York Yankees, and September 20 vs the Boston Red Sox. April 16th vs the Tampa Bay Rays is the cheapest.
2-27-14: O's 3rd Baseman Manny Machado will have his injured left knee reevaluated on March 18th. Machado has been rehabbing his knee after reconstructive surgery in October 2013. Orioles' recent signee Nelson Cruz is set to make his debut for the team during their Spring Training game vs Toronto on Saturday.
2-26-14: When 19 year old prospect Josh Hart didn't know who hall of famer Frank Robinson was; Buck Showalter put him to work. He demanded a one page report, due the next day. For those who need a refresher; Robinson was a 14 time all star and the first black manager in major league history.
2-25-14: The Orioles announced the signing of veteran outfielder Nelson Cruz earlier today. The terms of the deal are 1 year and $8 million. Cruz is expected to become the team's designated hitter. Cruz served a 50 game suspension during the 2013 season while with the Rangers for violating the MLB drug policy.
1-24-14: Since winning a Wild Card berth in 2012 the Baltimore Orioles have not been able to make a return trip to the postseason while plateauing from a talent standpoint and this offseason has been no different as Baltimore has been steadfast in making moves, only signing middle reliever Ryan Webb. The Orioles were able to avoid arbitration with slugger Chris Davis who signed a one year $10 million deal.
1-7-14: The Baltimore Orioles patiently await the recovery of third baseman manny Machado who destroyed his knee during the end of last season. Machado is expected back for opening day and I said that he's encouraged at the progress of his rehab. The Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of negotiating a contract extension for the shortstop JJ Hardy.
12-9-13: The Baltimore orioles will bring back the strong nucleus of young talent that they have improving for the past three seasons. The entire organization will hope that young third baseman many Machado will recover from his devastating knee injury that ended his season early last year. Also homegrown catching talent Matt Wieters is also in the final year of his contract. Contending in the AL east division with the Red Sox and Yankees is always tough but manager Buck Showalter has instilled confidence in his young team that they can compete with anyone.
8-20-13: The Baltimore Orioles will face the Tampa Bay rays this week and seek to make up ground toward the wild card race. The Orioles have the best slugging percentage as a team in baseball. MVP candidate Chris Davis is having an outstanding year batting.305 with 45 home runs and 115 RBIs. The Orioles are also getting consistent offense of production from 21-year-old third baseman Manny Machado. Machado is batting .296 with 11 homeruns and 50 RBIs. The week didn't start too well for the O's, who dropped their series opener to the Rays 4-3.
8/6/13 - The Baltimore Orioles are 5.5 games out of first place in division and only .5 games out of the ale wildcard race. The Orioles are 4-6 in the last 10 games. The next series will be against the San Diego Padres.
7/31/13 - The Orioles have acquired right-handed starting pitcher Bud Norris from the Astros in exchange for outfield prospect L.J. Hoes, minor-league lefty Josh Hader and the O’s competitive-balance pick.
7/24/13 - The Orioles have acquired relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers in exchange for IF Nick Delmonico. In 25 appearances for the Brewers, K-Rod has an ERA of 1.09 and a WHIP of 1.05, and is 10 for 10 in save opportunities.
7/18/13 - The Baltimore Orioles are in third place. First baseman Chris Davis has gotten off to an amazing start batting .315 With 37 home runs and 93 RBIs. Davis has put up a good full regular season's worth of offensive stats and it is only the All-Star break. At age 27 Davis is having a career year. Another bright spot on the Orioles is young third baseman Manny Machado. Manny has made sparkling plays at third base and has a hit well batting .310. The Orioles are 53 – 44 only 4.5 games out of first place. The orioles will play the Texas Rangers in Texas for a three game set.
7/7/13 - Four Baltimore Orioles, three of which are starting, have been selected as 2013 American League All Stars. Those players include first baseman Chris Davis, who leads the league with 33 home runs, shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones, and 3 baseman Manny Machado.
6/12/13 - The Baltimore orioles have continued to take on the personality of their manager Buck Showalter. This feisty young group sits in third place behind the Red Sox and Yankees at 36 and 28. For the Orioles this week contains a three-game series with the Angels Followed by a four game wraparound series with the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles made the playoffs last year and lost to the Yankees, It will be interesting to see if they can follow up and make the playoffs again.