John Means was good again, but the Baltimore Orioles lost last night. That and more in our Friday morning roundup.
Happy Friday, Birdland! Despite a solid night on the mound for John Means and production from the top of the order last night, the Baltimore Orioles fell to the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards, dropping to 46-94 on the year and remaining one win shy of tying last year’s win total of 47.
Yesterday afternoon, we discussed four things to watch for in this Texas series and started with the man himself, Hanser Alberto. With Texas scheduled to start three left-handed pitchers, Alberto will have plenty of opportunities to close the gap in this year’s race for the American League batting title, a race Alberto currently sits fourth in. After last night’s 1-5 performance, Alberto owns a .321 average, dropping him to fourth now that Tim Anderson and his .332 average qualify for the lead.
What about the rest of our storylines to watch for? Trey Mancini didn’t hit home run, extending his homer-less streak to 73 at-bats, but he did pick up three hits, including his 31st double. We also saw good Miguel Castro again. His 1.1 scoreless innings (one walk, two strikeouts), puts him at 10.2 innings of three-hit ball (one earned run) since August 15th. The bullpen has been the one group yet to show improvements this season, but they may be turning a corner to end the season. Better late than never.
Two small roster moves announced.
Other than last night’s game, no major news came from the Orioles clubhouse, but a few small things involving roster movement were announced. First, we have seen the last of the September call-ups, except for RHP Tayler Scott‘s addition once he clears his 10-day requirement of staying on a minor league roster after being optioned.
Scott has been lights out in Triple-A with the Norfolk Tides, giving up one run on 11 hits and striking out 21 in 16 innings of work. Unfortunately, he’s been a disaster at the major league level with the Orioles. In his six appearances (6.2 IP) with the Birds, Scott owns a 21.60 ERA, 3.15 WHIP, and .457 average against. Those aren’t typos, folks.
I thought we may see RHP Luis Ortiz back in the bigs, but it looks like his injury is going to keep him on the shelf. To my knowledge, no news of what type of injury Ortiz suffered as been released. He hasn’t pitched since July 4th, except for a rehab appearance in Gulf Coast League on August 15th. He worked one inning and struck out all three batters he faced on nine pitches.
The Orioles also announced that RHP Tom Eshelman and utility man Jace Peterson have accepted an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk after being optioned last week. I spent way too much time asking myself why when I saw this news yesterday, but that’s the life of a Baltimore Orioles fan at the moment.
Peterson couldn’t find a job after being released by the Orioles in mid-June (he had an opt-out) and re-signed a minor league deal to come back just days later. In 29 games with the Orioles, Peterson hit .220 with six extra-base hits and a .599 OPS. The Orioles seem to like Peterson, even if no one else does. Looking at the list of upcoming minor league free agents, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come back next season on another minor league deal to play around the field at Harbor Park and serve as an emergency depth piece.
I can see the same happening for Eshelman, at least coming back for spring training to compete. In his last start of the season, Eshelman struck out eight, didn’t walk a single hitter, and allowed two runs on five hits across seven innings in a winning effort vs a Charlotte Knights team looking to clinch an International League playoff spot. That never happened, thanks to Norfolk Tides 10th-inning walk-off victory over Charlotte on the final day of the minor league regular season.
Dylan Bundy is coming off a solid month of August where he gave up three home runs across 35 innings. He takes the mound tonight as he looks to go 2-0 vs the Rangers this season and the Orioles try again to match last year’s 47 win mark.