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Orioles know they still need to add a starter


Orioles know they still need to add a starter

While the Orioles appear ready to finally move on from Chris Davis and onto Yoenis Cespedes, there’s another area that needs to be addressed in the five weeks before spring training begins.

Yes, it’s starting pitching.

Two of the Orioles incumbent starters, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman were at the minicamp, though they didn’t throw. Kevin Gausman, who was present last year and Ubaldo Jimenez weren’t.

They still need a fifth starter.

One of the candidates, Vance Worley, was invited, but he declined.

Unless Worley had some pressing personal business, he missed an opportunity to get some valuable time with pitching coach Dave Wallace.

If Worley can recapture what he had with Philadelphia in 2011 when he won 11 games as a fifth starter in a terrific rotation, he could be a great help.

Tyler Wilson will be given a chance at the job, but he made need more seasoning, and the Orioles bullpen may not have many openings—maybe as few as one if Dylan Bundy is healthy and Brian Matusz isn’t traded.

The Orioles have pursued other starters and continue to be interested in Yovani Gallardo, who is probably the best of the available bunch.

RELATED: Are the Orioles ready to move on from Chris Davis?

They don’t seem terribly eager to give up their first round draft pick for Gallardo and haven’t shown any interest in Ian Kennedy, who the Royals are talking with. Gallardo’s other suitors appear to be Houston, Kansas City and now Toronto, but if the Royals sign Kennedy, they’re probably done for this cycle.

There are still a number of starting pitchers available, but most of them are older and have injury issues. Two that the Orioles have had interest in are Doug Fister and Mat Latos.

Fister will be 32 next month, and struggled to a 5-7 record with the Nationals, but in 2014, he went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA.

Latos had an awful 2015, with a 4-10 record with a 4.95 ERA for three teams. He was 28-11 for Cincinnati in 2012-13 and at 28, is one of the younger pitchers on the market.

There are some other interesting names on the available starting pitcher list. Three are former Orioles: Jeremy Guthrie, Alfredo Simon and Randy Wolf.

Guthrie started Buck Showalter’s first game as Orioles manager, and it’s a pretty safe bet he’s not on the Orioles wish list now.

Simon was mostly a reliever in his time with the Orioles, and was waived in the spring of 2012. He’s won 28 games as a starter for the Reds and Tigers the last two years, and suddenly, he’s 34.

Wolf pitched briefly for the Orioles in 2012, and after Tommy John surgery, returned to the organization for a time in 2014. He’s a left-hander, but he’s now 39.

Other names of note still available are Bronson Arroyo, who the Orioles showed interest in a few years back, Aaron Harang, Josh Johnson, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum, Kyle Lohse and Justin Masterson.

Trivia buffs will remember that Lincecum won three World Series and two Cy Youngs after being selected with the 10th pick of the 2006 draft. He was taken immediately after the Orioles selected Billy Rowell and one pick before Arizona took Max Scherzer.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles, Brach agree on one-year, $1.25 million deal

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2019 MLB Draft: When is the first round? How to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

2019 MLB Draft: When is the first round? How to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

The Orioles and Royals battled back and forth most of 2018 for the title of the worst team in baseball, and ultimately, Baltimore pulled "ahead" to earn the top pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Any number one pick is important, but this one feels especially crucial, as Peter Angelos and his sons elected not to renew the contracts of GM Dan Duquette or manager Buck Showalter.

With a new regime in place, the player selected by the Orioles to kick off this year's draft will not only have the usual high expectations placed on their shoulders, but will also serve as the face of Mike Elias' rebuild of the organization.

Thankfully for the Orioles, this year's draft class, while not particularly deep with talent, appears to be historically strong at the top. Adley Rutschman, the projected top choice by many, will be a top 10 prospect in all of baseball the day he signs, according to some evaluators. The top three to four players as a group rival that of any in the last several classes.

Whoever they end up choosing to wear the black and orange going forward, the Orioles will be adding a talented, respected prospect to a farm system that desperately needs more future stars. It's especially exciting to the front office brass in Baltimore that each of the potential top picks in the class is not only talented, but also has a great head on his shoulders. Across the board among the top four guys, scouts rave about their work ethics and makeups.

It's been a tough season to watch in Baltimore, Miami, and Kansas City, but draft night will be an exciting moment in history for each of those franchises.

The Orioles will make the first selection in this year's draft at 7 p.m. on June 3.

2019 MLB Draft How to Watch:

What: 2019 MLB Draft Day One: Rounds 1-2
Date: Monday, June 3, 2019
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: MLB Network studios, Secaucus, NJ
TV Channel: MLB Network
Live Stream: MLB.com

How many rounds are there in the 2019 MLB Draft?

There are 40 rounds in the 2019 MLB Draft. Rounds 1-2 will air on MLB Network at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 3. Rounds 3-10 will stream on MLB.com, beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Rounds 11-40 will also stream on MLB.com, beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

2019 MLB Draft prospects to know: 

Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State

Rutschman is the complete package both at the plate and behind it, and is considered by many evaluators to be the best incoming MLB prospect in several seasons. It's possible the Orioles look elsewhere with their first selection, but it would qualify as a major surprise if they don't take the future star catcher.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, High School (Texas)

The top prep player in the class, Witt projects to be a future five-tool shortstop, making him an incredibly valuable commodity. The son of a former pitcher, Witt has the defensive skillset to stick at shortstop, plus power at the plate, and a terrific makeup.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California

Vaughn is having the best collegiate offensive career since Kris Bryant, which is a ton of praise. The first baseman lives up to that praise at the plate, winning the Golden Spikes Award as a sophomore in 2018 and taking his bat to another level this season. The defensive profile is the only thing keeping him from going higher.

CJ Abrams, SS, High School (Georgia)

Abrams is supremely athletic, blessed with elite speed and a quick bat. His natural talent should keep him at shortstop, with Gold Glove-caliber play in center field the likely defensive floor. If he can tap into his power while mainting great contact skills, his upside rivals anyone's in the class, Rutschman and Witt included.

Recent No. 1 picks in the MLB Draft:

2018: SP Casey Mize (Detroit Tigers)
2017: SS Royce Lewis (Minnesota Twins)
2016: OF Mickey Moniak (Philadelphia Phillies)
2015: SS Dansby Swanson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
2014: SP Brady Aiken (Houston Astros)
2013: SP Mark Appel (Houston Astros)
2012: SS Carlos Correa (Houston Astros)
2011: SP Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates)
2010: C/OF Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
2009: SP Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals)

What is the 2019 MLB Draft order?

1. Orioles
2. Royals 
3. White Sox 
4. Marlins 
5. Tigers 
6. Padres 
7. Reds 
8. Rangers
9. Braves (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder Carter Stewart)
10. Giants
11. Blue Jays
12. Mets 
13. Twins 
14. Phillies 
15. Angels 
16. D-backs
17. Nationals 
18. Pirates 
19. Cardinals
20. Mariners 
21. Braves
22. Rays
23. Rockies
24. Indians
25. Dodgers 
26. Diamondbacks (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder Matt McLain)
27. Cubs
28. Brewers
29. Athletics
30. Yankees
31. Dodgers (compensation for unsigned 2018 first-rounder J.T. Ginn)
32. Astros
33. Red Sox

How was the 2019 MLB Draft order was determined?

The Baltimore Orioles hoped to compete in the 2018 season, but down seasons from multiple core players and injuries combined to take them out of contention early enough to sell off most of their assets at the 2018 Trade Deadline. After the firesale, it was all but certain they would lose 100+ games, but few expected a 47-115 final record, the worst in baseball.

The Royals were also historically bad, finishing with a 58-104 record to earn the second pick in the draft. In the same division, the White Sox went 62-100 to earn the draft's third selection. Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago were the only three teams to lose at least 100 games, as the Marlins had baseball's fourth-worst record at 63-98.

The Tigers round out the top five in this year's draft after a 64-98 season, giving the AL Central three of the five worst records in all of baseball.

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Orioles Roundup: Hess continues to struggle, Yankees make history

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Orioles Roundup: Hess continues to struggle, Yankees make history

The Orioles got obliterated by the Yankees Tuesday night, losing the matchup 11-4.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:


David Hess struggles against Yankees. The righty allowed eight hits – including a trio of home runs – while also walking four batters.

Stevie WIlkerson scored a three-run home run Tuesday in the Orioles' loss to the Yankees.


Gary Sanchez joined his teammate Gleyber Torres in terrorizing Orioles pitchers this season, scoring his eighth home run of the year against the O’s alone.  

Domingo German allowed three runs -- two earned -- over five frames versus the Orioles on Tuesday to pick up his ninth win of the season.


SP Alex Cobb: Back, 10-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 10-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Wednesday 5/22: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium  
Tuesday 5/21: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium 
Wednesday 5/22: Orioles @ Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium