Orioles

Quick Links

Orioles are not letting postponement get in the way of their pitchers' development

Orioles are not letting postponement get in the way of their pitchers' development

The Orioles were supposed to be in the midst of their opening series of the 2020 season against the Yankees this weekend.

But due to the league’s shutdown because of coronavirus, Camden Yards remained empty on what would have been Opening Day. 

Now, the Orioles are stuck with decisions on how to keep their players — notably their pitchers — in form for whenever the season comes back. The problem is, however, that no one knows when baseball will return.

“I think we’ll hopefully have a better idea as we go along,” manager Brandon Hyde said a little over a week ago on a conference call, “But as of right now, it’s a real individualized plan for everybody that our medical team as well as our trainers, strength coaches, pitching coaches, have all gotten together with on conference calls and how we were going to really talk and put these plans in place for our pitchers.”

John Means, who was likely the starter for the season opener against the Yankees, has already kept up with live batting practices.

For a young team like the Orioles, development is paramount. That’s not the easiest thing to work through when there’s not a set end date for baseball’s return.

“But the first thing was to get our pitchers in a healthy place, a safe place, and now we’re talking about what kind of throwing program that they’re going to be on here for a while with an unclear date of when that’s going to end,” Hyde continued.

While the starting rotation, likely, would’ve been a bit older at the outset of the season with Asher Wojciechowski (31), Alex Cobb (32) and Wade LeBlanc (35) all figured to see significant innings, the youth movement of the pitching staff was likely to come later in the season. 

Now, there’s a whole lot of uncertainty surrounding a unit that was the league’s worst just a season ago.

“I think it is impactful in that there’s a lot of development to be had by a lot of players, obviously,” Hyde said. “This can cripple the development a little bit in that you want guys to get innings, you want guys to get at-bats, you want the guys to go through full seasons. That’s really important, especially early on in understanding what it takes to live through a full season and to compete for a full season, so that’s going to be cut short. But it’s something that everybody is dealing with.”

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE ORIOLES NEWS:

Quick Links

Cal Ripken Jr. reflects on his consecutive games streak 38-years later

Cal Ripken Jr. reflects on his consecutive games streak 38-years later

On this date back in 1982,  Baltimore Orioles' "Iron Man," Cal Ripken Jr., began his consecutive-games streak which lasted 16 years and 2,632 games.

It's widely considered the most unbreakable record in Major League Baseball and across all sports.

"The Iron Horse," (go figure) Lou Gehrig was the previous consecutive-games record holder at 2,130. Light work for Ripken. 

"I didn't set out to break this record," Ripken Jr. said on Twitter Saturday afternoon. "I was always someone who wanted to go out and play every day."

Ripken Jr. went on to tell a fascinating story regarding game one of the streak, which came against the Philadelphia Phillies -- One that involved 14-year veteran, and now Phillies bullpen coach, Jim Gott.

"As it turns out, May 30th, 1982 was Jim Gott's first major league victory," Ripken Jr, explained. "He pitched really well against us and was always a tough pitcher on me personally. He got his first win that year so they presented him a ball from that game."

"When I broke the record, he came and presented me that ball," Ripken Jr. continued. "I thought it was the nicest gestures that he wanted me to have it as 'the first game of the streak' ball, as oppose to his first major league win."

38 years later, Ripken's incredible feat is even more impressive than when he first achieved it. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE ORIOLES NEWS:

Quick Links

Could signing Bartolo Colon make sense for the Orioles if baseball returns? 

Could signing Bartolo Colon make sense for the Orioles if baseball returns? 

It appears “Big Sexy” is ready to make his big return to Major League Baseball, according to ESPN.

Colon is hopeful that with expanded rosters and the possibility of a season with less than 100 games, the starting pitcher will be able to find himself on an MLB roster if the season is able to start back up.

The 47-year-old has a number in mind, too: 46.

He wants to pass Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most number of innings pitched by a Domincan pitcher. In order to accomplish that, he said he’ll sign “with the first team who wants me.” Marichal threw 3,507 innings in his career. Colon needs a team to help him reach that number.

Could the Orioles be that team?

The Orioles have shown they’ve got no reservations about adding veteran talent to the back-end of the starting rotation, as they added Wade LeBlanc and Tommy Milone just a few weeks before Spring Training began in February. With starting pitching an issue, they could dip into the veteran pool to eat some innings

And if they’re looking for a boost, Colon could add some innings. If nothing else, it could be fun. 

Colon has pitched in the majors for 21 seasons since 1997 for 11 different teams. He’s accumulated a 247-188 record with a career 4.12 ERA in 575 games. He’s pitched 3,461 ⅔ innings in his career and posted a WHIP of 1.312. 

He last pitched in the majors for the Rangers in 2018, where he went 7-12 with a 5.78 ERA. He threw 146 ⅓ innings in 28 games, 24 of which were starts. 

The Orioles aren’t expected to be remotely competitive in 2020, even if a season takes place. The addition of Colon, as long as it doesn’t interfere with innings pitched for some of the younger players in the organization, could be a fun storyline to monitor as Colon looks to set the record for innings pitched by a Dominican player.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE ORIOLES NEWS: