Brandon Hyde

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The Past 13 Games Have Illustrated Just How Far O's Have to Go

Vinny & Haynie
August 19, 2019 - 1:08 pm

By Tim Barbalace

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The Orioles were playing some pretty good baseball following the All-Star break.  From July 17th to August 4th, the Birds were 10-7 and scored six runs or more in 10 of those games.  Unfortunately, the team ran into a murderer's row following that stretch of games.

Baltimore faced the Yankees who have the highest winning percentage in the American League, the Astros who have the second highest winning percentage in the AL, the Yankees again and then the Red Sox who are in competition for a wildcard spot.  The Orioles went on to really struggle during that stretch finishing with a 1-12 record and were outscored 118-53 in those games.

The Yankees hit 16 home runs in their three game series against the Birds.  Gleyber Torres made history during the team's second series as he became the first player in MLB history to have five multi-homer games against the O's.  New York also made history against Baltimore as they hit 61 home runs as as a team against the O's--- the highest mark against a single team in a season in MLB history.

The Astros put up several crooked numbers on their way to piling on 23 runs during the second game of their series against the Orioles.  The Red Sox erased a 6-0 deficit and went on to score 13 unanswered runs in yesterdays game.  These past 13 games have illustrated what was pretty obvious from the start of the season; the O's are still far away from competing with the upper echelon of the American League.

This season, however, was never about wins and losses.  This year is all about laying the foundation of the rebuild, building up a depleted farm system and finding out who could be here for the long haul.  2019 has been a very ugly season for the Orioles, but it should give you a glimmer of hope for the future.

Mike Elias has followed through on everything he said he would accomplish.  The O's were extremely active on July 2nd, which marked the start of the new signing period for international free agents.  Baltimore had long ignored the international market, but under Mike Elias the team signed 27 players from five different countries on the first day.

Baseball America pegged the Orioles at number 22 in their farm system rankings for this past off-season.  In their mid-season rankings, the O's jumped all the way up to number 8, which ties the highest ranking Baseball America has placed the organization since the publication existed back in the 80's.  The talent in the farm system is growing, which bodes well for the future of the franchise.

Adley Rutschman is starting to heat up from the plate as he has hits in nine straight games, including four multi-hit games in that stretch.  Grayson Rodriguez, the team's first round pick in 2018, is 9-3 with a 2.59 ERA and has 117 strikeouts in 83 and a third innings pitched for Delmarva.  Ryan Mountcastle is batting .312 with 22 homers and 73 RBI at Norfolk.  

2019 2nd round pick Gunnar Henderson is ranked 7th in the organization's top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline despite being just 18 years old.  Bowie pitchers Dean Kremer, Michael Baumann and Zac Lowther have all impressed as the Baysox are in the midst of a playoff push.  DL Hall was having a great year at Frederick prior to being shut down for the rest of the season due to a left lat strain.

Longtime highly touted prospect Hunter Harvey made his Major League debut on Saturday against the Red Sox.  Harvey was used out of the bullpen, a role that he is expected to continue and was able to really hump it up there as he touched 100 mph on the gun.  He threw a scoreless inning and had two strikeouts.

Expect to see more call-ups as the season begins to wind down.  Players who are currently on the 25-man roster will undoubtedly still want to make their mark to show they can be here for the long haul.  Baltimore did have some pleasant surprises in John Means, Renato Nunez and Hanser Alberto this season.

The majority of this year's roster will not be around by the time the Orioles are in playoff competition.  That may not occur for a few more years, but for the first time in a while the organization laid out a plan for the fans and has followed through on everything they said.  That's what gives me hope that the talent disparity between the O's and the top dogs in the AL will narrow in due time.