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Orioles fans wish they still had Cruz

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Orioles fans wish they still had Cruz

The most common complaint among Orioles fans is that they shouldn’t have let Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis and Andrew Miller sign elsewhere.

It wouldn’t have been feasible to sign all of them. Even without them, they had a $120 million payroll on Opening Day.

But, what if they had signed just one of them?

The Orioles had their biggest concerns about Markakis’ health. He signed a four-year, $44 million contract with Atlanta.

Markakis has played in 52 of the Braves’ 53 games and failed to reach base in only eight of them. He’s had seven hits in his last three games, and is hitting .307, but doesn’t have a home run. His on-base percentage is a robust .392.

Miller got four years and $36 million from the Yankees, and in 24 games, is 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA and 17 saves. He’s struck out 40 and walked 10 in 25 innings.

His only real blemish was a two-run, 10th inning home run by Ryan Zimmerman at Nationals Park on May 19.

Cruz, who led the majors with 40 home runs a year ago, has 18 in 53 games for Seattle. He signed a four-year, $57 million deal there.

A year ago when the Orioles were floundering, Cruz lifted them, and fans can’t be blamed for imagining him doing the same with the Orioles now.

Of the three, the Orioles came the closest to re-signing Cruz, but they wouldn’t consider four years.

Travis Snider, the biggest offseason acquisition has just one home run with 10 RBIs, and just one since Apr. 23. His only home run came on Apr. 12, and his unforgivable gaffe on the bases Tuesday night caused Buck Showalter to call it “unacceptable.”

Steve Pearce, who had an unforgettable 2014, was counted on for a bigger role in 2015. He’s hitting just .183.

After last Friday’s game, the Orioles had improved to a game under .500 and looked as if they were ready to roll. Instead, they’ve fallen apart.

Fans can be forgiven for wishing the Orioles had re-signed Cruz. A year or two from now, they may think it was a wise move. Right now, they’re just sorry he’s gone.

[RELATED Can the Orioles break out against Keuchel?

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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