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Minor league signings can be major for Orioles

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Minor league signings can be major for Orioles

I’ve learned my lesson. No longer will I scoff at Orioles’ minor league signings.

On Wednesday, Baseball America reported that the team signed outfielder George Barber to a minor league deal. Barber’s entire professional resume consists of seven games for the Los Angeles’ Angels Rookie League team in Arizona in 2010.

Barber was released in March 2011. That’s all we know about him—for now.

Last winter, the Orioles signed minor league free agents by the truckload. They don’t announce these signings, but usually leak out later.

In late January, they did announce a large group of invitees to major league camp who were signed to minor league contracts, but some of those were recognizable names. Ronny Paulino, Steve Tolleson and Miguel Socolovich, all of who played for the team, were on that list.

Barber is presumably one of the many players who will report to minor league spring training, which is held about 15 minutes away from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.

Two of those minor league signees played for the Orioles. One made a huge impact on the team.

Miguel Gonzalez was signed to a minor league deal just after spring training began. Eyebrows were raised when he signed. There was no announcement made, but his 2011 minor league numbers (0-7, 5.40 ERA with three Red Sox minor league teams) were glanced at, Gonzalez was quickly forgotten.

He didn’t even join the handful of extra players that were sent over from minor league camp each day in case the Orioles needed a few extra players.

Gonzalez is now a mainstay of the staff.

The other minor league signing was reliever Stu Pomeranz, who finally made it to the big leagues after years of battling with alcohol. He was signed last January, and his minor league numbers were as unimpressive as Gonzalez’s

Pomeranz pitched in three games before suffering a season-ending oblique strain.

George Barber may have a great backstory like Gonzalez and Pomeranz do. He may turn out to be like most of the minor league signees, numberless and faceless.

I’m just not going to dismiss any of the minor league signings this winter.

 

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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.