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GM Mike Elias addresses Orioles’ rotation: ‘We feel pretty good about the front end’

GM Mike Elias addresses Orioles’ rotation: ‘We feel pretty good about the front end’

The Orioles' top-half of the rotation, for better or worse, looks set. 

John Means, Alex Cobb and Asher Wojciechowski appear primed to hold down the top three spots in the team’s starting rotation. After that, the waters muddy quickly. 

“Unfortunately, it is fluid right now,” general manager and executive vice president Mike Elias said. “We’re looking for pieces in the back end of the rotation. I think we have options here, but it’s something that we’re going to continue to evaluate and keep an eye on. It’s tough, there are playoff teams around the league right now that don’t have fourth and fifth starters. It’s just hard to find starting pitching, and we’re definitely in that boat.”

Means figures to be the team’s No. 1 starter this year after a strong rookie season for the 26-year-old. He posted a 3.60 ERA and a WHIP of 1.135 in 155 innings pitched. He struck out seven batters per nine innings and allowed eight hits per nine innings, too. 

The next two, Cobb and Wojciechowski, took different paths to the top of the rotation. 

Cobb joined the Orioles as a free agent in 2018 but struggled with injuries all season — he underwent hip surgery and missed the entire 2019 season. 

Wojciechowski spent the first half of the 2019 season with the Indians organization before he joined the Orioles in July. He posted a 4.92 ERA in 17 games, and 16 starts, with the Orioles over the summer. 

“But with Means, a healthy Cobb back, Wojo, there’s some guys that really have the inside track right now,” Elias continued. “So we feel pretty good about the front end.”

After that, Kohl Stewart, Wade LeBlanc, Keegan Akin and Tommy Milone figure to be the most likely to claim the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation.

LeBlanc and Milone are the two veterans of the group at 35 and 33 years old, respectively. Stewart and Akin are 25 and 24, respectively. 

Akin, the team’s 2016 second-round pick, is the only homegrown pitcher vying for a spot. Everyone else on the roster was brought in from another organization, though Stewart was once the most promising. 

The 4th overall pick of the Twins in 2013, Stewart made the major leagues in 2018 but has never pitched more than 10 games in an MLB season. 

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Orioles in statement: 'We are committed to advocate for the change our country needs'

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Orioles in statement: 'We are committed to advocate for the change our country needs'

The Orioles were one of many teams to release a statement about protests and the Black Lives Matter movement across the country late Tuesday, as nearly every professional sports team has in the last two days.

“Nearly six decades ago, at another low point in our country’s ongoing struggle to understand and rectify the racial injustice our fellow Americans have endured since the inception of our nation, the author James Baldwin warned, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced,’” the statement began. 

The Orioles statement came amidst a flurry of statements released by MLB teams in the late afternoon.

“Today, as our friends and neighbors experience the same mistreatment of generations ago in the form of engrained, unyielding and institutionally-discriminatory systems that deny justice and equality and provide in their place a steady supply of brutalizing misconduct, compounded in some cases by voices that fan the flames of violence and racism, it is imperative that we face the past and present,” the statement continued. 

The statement concluded with the phrase, “Black Lives Matter,” one of the only team-released statements to reference the specific movement. 

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2020 MLB Draft: Date, Time, TV Channel, Draft Order, How to Watch

2020 MLB Draft: Date, Time, TV Channel, Draft Order, How to Watch

The 2020 MLB Draft will take place on June 10 and 11. Yet, this draft will be like none other for both the league and the prospects. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be virtual just like others before it this year. However, the more impactful change is the length of the draft. Major League Baseball has decided to cut down the 2020 MLB Draft from 40 rounds to just five. In that move, hundreds of players will lose the opportunity to head to the pros in 2020.

In order to counteract the move, MLB has passed a measure that teams can sign an unlimited amount of players following the 2020 MLB Draft for up to $20,000. Even with that, this draft will not be like any before it in recent years.

Still, despite the lack of rounds, teams will have a chance to build for their future. That included the Baltimore Orioles, who once again own one of the top picks. A year after taking Adley Rutschman No. 1 overall, the Orioles will select second overall in 2020. With that pick, there will be plenty of players who can shape the franchise for years to come.

The first 37 picks of the 2020 MLB Draft (first round and Competitive Balance Round A) will take place on Wednesday, June 10, while the remainder of the 160 picks will take place on Thursday, June 11. The draft will be broadcasted on MLB Network and ESPN platforms. 

The Detroit Tigers will lead off the first round, which will only contain 29 picks after the Houston Astros forfeited their first round pick due to the sign-stealing scandal. 

Here's everything you need to know about the 2020 MLB Draft:

2020 MLB DRAFT: HOW TO WATCH

What: 2020 Major League Baseball Draft

When: Day 1: Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. ET, Day 2: Thursday, June 11, 5 p.m. ET

Where: The 2020 MLB Draft will be in a virtual environment due to the coronavirus pandemic

Broadcast: The 2020 MLB Draft can be viewed on MLB Network and ESPN on Day 1 and MLB Network and ESPN on Day 2.

2020 MLB DRAFT FIRST ROUND DRAFT ORDER

*Picks 30-37 are Competitive Balance Round A picks*

  1. Detroit Tigers
  2. Baltimore Orioles
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Seattle Mariners
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. San Diego Padres
  9. Colorado Rockies
  10. Los Angeles Angels
  11. Chicago White Sox
  12. Cincinnati Reds
  13. San Francisco Giants
  14. Texas Rangers
  15. Philadelphia Phillies
  16. Chicago Cubs
  17. Boston Red Sox
  18. Arizona Diamondbacks
  19. New York Mets
  20. Milwaukee Brewers
  21. St. Louis Cardinals
  22. Washington Nationals
  23. Cleveland Indians
  24. Tampa Bay Rays
  25. Atlanta Braves
  26. Oakland Athletics
  27. Minnesota Twins
  28. New York Yankees
  29. Los Angeles Dodgers
  30. Baltimore Orioles
  31. Pittsburgh Pirates
  32. Kansas City Royals
  33. Arizona Diamondbacks
  34. San Diego Padres
  35. Colorado Rockies
  36. Cleveland Indians
  37. Tampa Bay Rays

 

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