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Markakis proves he's the teams' most valuable

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Markakis proves he's the teams' most valuable

In three weeks, the Orioles will ask the media to choose the teams most valuable player. During most of the losing years, the choice was usually fairly obvious, a player with gaudy statistics on a bad team.Yes, this year its different.For most for the season, the choice was a simple one: Adam Jones. He was last years Most Valuable Oriole and looked to be the first back-to-back winner since Rafael Palmeiro in1995 and 1996. Jones would still be a solid choice. He has a .284 average, 26 home runs and 68 RBIs. He carried the club offensively during its torrid first quarter when it went 27-14. Jones was rewarded with a deserved long-term contract, and dont forget, hes played every game.Hes fallen off some offensively, and went through the longest home run drought of his career, though his average was steady.A vote for Jones couldnt be argued with.Nor could one for Jim Johnson. The major league leader in saves, Johnson has converted 41 of his 44 save opportunities, and hes nearing the team record. The Orioles won two of the three games Johnson blew.Johnsons 2.88 ERA is deceptively high. He allowed 11 of his 18 earned runs in just two appearances. Johnson has converted his last 11 chances and has a 12 23 inning scoreless streak.Another good pick.A vote for Wei-Yin Chen with a 12-8 record wouldnt be a wasted one, either. In his rookie season in a foreign culture, Chen is the only starter to remain in the mix throughout the season.In recent weeks, another candidate has emerged: Nick Markakis.Markakis missed six weeks when he needed surgery to remove the hamate bone from his right hand. The Orioles were 16-19 without him, and were shutout six times.With Markakis in the lineup, theyre 59-40 and have been shut out just twice. The real payoff from Markakis began on July 13 when manager Buck Showalter decided he would bat leadoff for the first time in his career.Markakis batting average has improved from .256 to .300 and his on-base percentage, crucial for a leadoff hitter, has moved up from .333 to .367.During spring training when manager Buck Showalter contemplated a leadoff hitter, Markakis name didnt come up. He used Nolan Reimold until he was hurt, tried Robert Andino, Endy Chavez, Xavier Avery and even Ryan Flaherty before Brian Roberts came back.When Roberts was lost, Showalter turned to Markakis. In those spring training soliloquies, Showalter would say that a computer program says you should put your best hitter in the leadoff spot. It took him four months, but he finally did it.Showalter sold Markakis on the idea, saying hed be able to make up some of his at-bats missed during his injury.Its worked brilliantly. The Orioles are 30-19 since Markakis moved to leadoff.This was the first time Markakis was on the disabled list. In his previous five seasons, he averaged 160 games. While it may seem counterintuitive for a Most Valuable Oriole candidate to play in fewer than 130 games, Markakis showed how valuable he was by his absence.Showalter, who will get lots of attention in the Manager of the Year voting, will surely deflect attention toward his players. He won the award in 1994 with New York and 10 years later with Texas.
His Markakis move saved the season and campaigning for Manny Machados promotion was huge, too. Machado, whod barely played third base, has adjusted easily while holding his own at bat.Showalter will have competition with Chicagos Robin Ventura and Oaklands Bob Melvin.With three weeks left, Markakis could slump and Jones could get hot, and Johnson could amass 50 saves. That might change my thinking.For now, Markakis is the Most Valuable Oriole.NOTES:-The Sports Legends Museum will be presenting a book signing on Saturday. Marty Appel, a longtime Yankees executive and author of Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss, will discuss his book at 12:30 p.m.Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe Ruths 96-year-old daughter, will be on hand at 2:30 p.m. for stories and autographs. A block party, celebrating the Yankees-Orioles series featuring an all you can eat and drink event will be held between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets, which include admission to the game are 65. Fans who already have game tickets can attend for 36.

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Orioles Roundup: O's look to rebound in series against Blue Jays

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Orioles Roundup: O's look to rebound in series against Blue Jays

Entering a weekend series against one of the best teams in baseball, the Orioles looked for their first series win since late April. Even though the team played some good baseball, the search will continue on as Baltimore could only salvage one game.

Looking to break the streak, a three-game stretch with Toronto offers them a chance to change the fortunes. 

Here's the latest Orioles and Blue Jays news:

Player Notes

ORIOLES:

The Orioles made a trade on Monday that netted them right-hander Thomas Eshelman from the Phillies. Sending back international signing bonus slots in return, Baltimore picks up a starter that has a 4.61 ERA in the minors this season. His journey with the Orioles will begin at Triple-A Norfolk.

As he continues to rehab from a knee injury, Mark Trumbo could return to the Major League in the near future. The slugger was in Baltimore Monday to have his knee looked at, and his rehab assignment comes to an end on June 16. So, a decision will be coming soon.

John Means will take the hill on Tuesday looking for his sixth win of the season. Sitting at 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA, Means 2019 has been a solid one. He's coming off six innings of one-run ball against the Rangers, though he did still suffer the loss.

BLUE JAYS:

Things may not be going great a the MLB level, but the Blue Jays are getting some good performances from their farm system. One of them came recently from Double-A starter Nate Pearson. With five scoreless innings on Sunday, the 22-year-old continued his stellar 2019 campaign. His K/BB catches your eye, as it sits at 63/8.

David Phelps rehab from Tommy John surgery continues to trend upwards, as he pitched a scoreless frame on both Tuesday and Wednesday in High-A ball.

Trent Thornton will go for Toronto on Tuesday. With a 1-4 record in 13 starts, he'll look to lower his 4.73 ERA. Thornton did pick up a win against the Yankees his last time out, but four earned runs in 5.0 innings led to his ERA actually increasing. 

Injuries

OF Dwight Smith Jr.: Concussion, 7-Day IL

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-Day IL

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up

Tuesday 6/11: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:05 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Wednesday 6/12: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Thursday 6/13: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Source: Rotoworld

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Over 70,000 people think Chris Davis should make the All-Star Game

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Over 70,000 people think Chris Davis should make the All-Star Game

When the first returns of the American League preliminary vote for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game came in Monday, there were a few surprises on the list of the top vote-getters in each position.

Amongst the most surprising, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis received 70,010 votes from fans, the tenth-most votes at his position.

After a rough start to the season, in which the first baseman extended his hitless streak to 54 at-bats, Davis is still struggling to find his groove at the plate, batting .161 with five home runs.  

Baltimore outfielder Trey Mancini was the only other Oriole on the list, receiving the 17th-most votes of any AL outfielder (100,457). 

Unlike Davis, Mancini is batting .299, the second-highest average in Baltimore behind Hanser Alberto (.311), with 13 homers and 31 RBIs so far.

Other surprises on the list include the Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who received the tenth-most votes of any American League second baseman (50,065). This season Kipnis has slashed .218/.272/.307, with only two home runs. 

Less surprising, the Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout received close to a million votes, the most of any American League ballplayer and the most of any outfielder in the first returns (951,002). 

Only three other players had more than 500,000 votes: Houston Astros outfielder George Springer (776,352), New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (737,107) and Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (630,159). 

All four of the top vote-getters have 17 or more home runs, including Sanchez' 19 blasts, which are tied for the second-most in the American League. 

Primary voting for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game ends at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.