Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Sunday Notes: Let’s Speak About Underrated 2023 Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles have the perfect file within the American League, and youthful expertise is a giant motive why. Gunnar Henderson is the odds-on favourite to seize Rookie-of-the-12 months honors, whereas Adley Rutschman has already reached star standing in simply his second MLB season. The dynamic duo are the first-place staff’s co-leaders in WAR.

They aren’t the one gamers making an affect. The well-balanced Mike Elias-constructed membership has additionally obtained significant contributions from the likes of Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle, and Austin Hays. On the pitching aspect, a mixture of veterans and less-established arms have greater than held their very own, in some circumstances outperforming expectations. From the better-known to the lesser-known, a mess of gamers have performed vital roles within the 90-wins-and-counting success.

With that in thoughts, who has been the most-underrated participant on the 2023 Orioles? I requested that query to 4 individuals who see the squad on an on a regular basis foundation — two broadcasters and a pair of beat writers — previous to yesterday’s sport at Fenway Park.

Nathan Ruiz, who covers the staff for the Baltimore Solar, selected Danny Coulombe.

“So much was manufactured from the All-Star combo of Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista, however Coulombe has are available and sort of been that essential left-handed reliever all season,” mentioned Ruiz. “He’s been actually good with inherited runners, which is one thing they’ve usually struggled with. Cionel Pérez was actually good for them final yr, however they felt they wanted one other lefty so that they acquired him [from the Minnesota Twins] for money across the cusp of the season and he turned a strong piece for them immediately. He’s been reliable on the again finish of the bullpen.”

Melanie Newman went with Kyle Bradish.

“He’s received an ERA that’s sitting there with Gerrit Cole proper now,” the Orioles broadcaster opined. “All of us discuss Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista, and our again finish — what they’ve been ready to take action far — however Kyle has been constant. For no matter motive, after we’re on the highway in a giant spot, these are his greatest moments. That’s what you need out of a man, and also you overlook that he’s solely in his second yr. His breaking pitches are disgusting. I don’t assume he will get sufficient credit score.”

Danielle Allentuck opted for Ryan O’Hearn.

“He has sort of been the man who, at any time when they want the massive hit — he’s both coming off the bench or already within the lineup — has been offering it,” the Baltimore Banner reporter advised me. “He’s been that sort of spark for them. He’s turning his profession round right here. We’re speaking underrated, and I don’t assume lots of people find out about him. He’s not the massive identify. He wasn’t a giant celebrity, however he’s come right here and turned issues round for himself, and the staff.”

Geoff Arnold agreed with Allentuck.

“Essentially the most underrated Oriole for me could be Ryan O’Hearn,” the Baltimore broadcaster mentioned. “The Orioles received him from Kansas Metropolis, and our hitting coaches have carried out a extremely good job with him, tweaking a few issues in his swing. He’s a man that has at all times hit the ball onerous, however this yr he’s hitting it in the suitable spot; he’s hitting it within the air extra. I’ve additionally been impressed with how he’s performed first base defensively. He’s dealt with himself very well across the bag. I believe you truly should put him in there as a candidate for most beneficial Oriole this yr.”

O’Hearn is slashing .305/.388/.509 with 12 dwelling runs and 129 wRC+ in 293 plate appearances. Bradish is 11-6 with a 3.03 ERA over 26 begins. Coulombe is 5-1 with two saves and a 2.42 ERA over 53 reduction appearances.


My July 9 Sunday Notes column included the recounting of a play that occurred two weeks prior, one wherein O’Hearn reached second base on what would have been defensive indifference, solely to show round and start jogging again to first base. Realizing what had truly occurred — Adam Frazier swung and missed — he rapidly reversed course and was protected at second solely as a result of Cincinnati nearer Alexis Díaz, who’d been tossed the ball by the catcher, made an errant throw. Had the toss been on the right track, O’Hearn would have been out by a large margin, ending the sport.

I requested the veteran first baseman in regards to the play on Friday.

”I assumed Fraze fouled the ball off,” defined O’Hearn. “I rotated and requested the umpire ‘Hey, foul ball?’ and noticed him nod his head sure. He didn’t say something, nor did he have a look at me, however I assumed he meant the ball was foul, so I began jogging again.”

The official scorer charged Díaz with a throwing error and gave O’Hearn a caught-stealing. Had he awarded a stolen base, it could have been the primary of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound slugger’s six-year big-league profession.

O’Hearn has subsequently summoned his inside Rickey Henderson and now has 4 steals to his credit score. He additionally has a caught-stealing on a play the place he was protected.



Giancarlo Stanton is 8 for 13 towards Dallas Keuchel.

Brady Anderson went 0 for 16 towards Mike Stanton.

Leroy Stanton went 11 for 22 towards Fritz Peterson.

Joel Youngblood went 10 for 15 towards Jim Kaat.

Jimmy Bloodworth went 2 for 12 towards Vic Lombardi.


The Twins have confronted each MLB staff this season aside from the Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, and New York Mets. Which ones has Rocco Baldelli been most impressed with? I requested that query to the Minnesota supervisor earlier this week.

“Properly, I’ll say this,” Baldelli replied. “The Atlanta Braves made an impression after we performed them. No supervisor likes to take a seat round and speak out loud about different golf equipment, however whenever you’re complimenting one other membership and don’t actually have any hesitation doing it, you possibly can let it fly. The Atlanta Braves set a tone within the sequence, the type we noticed them on the market taking part in… I imply, what they have been doing at that second in time, and actually all through the entire season, is fairly particular. There isn’t a denying what their lineup is doing every day. We received an opportunity to see it firsthand. I don’t assume what we noticed was a mirage.”

The Braves swept the three-game dwelling sequence towards the Twins in late June, leaving the yard eight occasions whereas outscoring Baldelli’s staff 13-3. Together with boasting baseball’s greatest file at 92-49, Atlanta has bashed 273 dwelling runs, by far essentially the most within the majors.

“You get three video games towards these groups — the groups you’re solely to catch as soon as in awhile — so it’s not going to provide you a full Encyclopedia Britannica of all the things they’ve to supply,” mentioned Baldelli. “However you do get a snapshot. There are various good golf equipment on the market, and we do not know who’s going to take dwelling a trophy this yr — it may very well be any variety of golf equipment — however of all those we’ve performed this yr, the one which has caught out is the Braves.”

Whereas Baldelli didn’t get pleasure from what he noticed on the sphere, he did benefit from the snapshot itself. Attending to see each staff on a yearly foundation is to his liking.

“You get a good suggestion of what’s on the market with the brand new schedule,” mentioned Baldelli. “I really feel like the brand new baseball schedule is extra of an actual baseball schedule. You don’t run into the identical groups over and over, and never see sure gamers for half a decade.”


A quiz:

Max Scherzer has been credited with 140 wins for the reason that begin of the 2014 season. Which pitcher has been tagged with essentially the most losses over that span?

The reply might be discovered beneath.



SABR introduced the 5 finalists for the 2023 Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors people who’ve made vital contributions selling the participation of ladies in baseball. Extra data might be discovered right here.

The Atlanta Braves formally retired Andruw Jones’s No.25 previous to final night time’s sport. A local of Curaça, Jones performed with the Braves from 1996-2007 in a 17-year profession that noticed seize 10 Gold Gloves and crush 434 dwelling runs whereas logging a 111 wRC+ and 67 WAR.

Jerry Turner, an outfielder who performed for 3 groups — primarily the San Diego Padres — from 1974-1983, died late final month at age 69 (per Baseball Participant Passings). He batted .257/.319/.387 with 45 dwelling runs in 1931 plate appearances.


The reply to the quiz is Patrick Corbin with 100 losses.


David Fry made information on Monday when he turned the primary true place participant to throw as many as 4 innings in a sport since José Oquendo did so for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986. Oquendo’s outing got here in a contest that took 19 innings to finish, whereas Fry’s effort got here in a nine-inning affair that noticed the Cleveland Guardians get thumped 20-6 by the Minnesota Twins. A utility participant who had taken the mound as soon as beforehand, Fry allowed seven runs in his 4 save-the-bullpen frames.

It wasn’t the longest place participant mound look in Cleveland franchise historical past. That distinction belongs to Milt Galatzer, a left-handed throwing outfielder who labored six innings in a 14-1 loss to the Washington Senators on August 26, 1936. Galatzer performed 15 skilled seasons, together with 5 within the large leagues, and took the mound simply that one time. He allowed three runs.


Cleveland’s 20-6 loss on Monday was adopted by one other defeat on Tuesday, leaving the Guardians seven video games behind their AL Central rivals with simply 23 left to play. At 66-73, the defending divisional champions have been, and nonetheless are, dealing with lengthy odds to return to the postseason. Chris Antonetti pinch-hit for supervisor Terry Francona in Wednesday’s pregame media session, and I requested the President of Baseball Operations if he may assess the membership’s season up to now. He demurred. Antonetti mentioned that the topic might be addressed as soon as the marketing campaign has been accomplished.

Longtime Cleveland beat author Paul Hoynes proceeded to ask Antonetti in regards to the staff’s lack of energy. Extra to the purpose, he requested how the issue may very well be corrected.

“The issue isn’t energy,” Antonetti replied. “The issue is that we have to rating extra runs. Final yr, with out hitting for sufficient energy, we did a ok job scoring runs; we have been extra in the midst of the pack. This yr we haven’t scored sufficient runs. And there are alternative ways to try this. It’s not at all times energy. I do assume you possibly can simply throw a blanket on issues and say, ‘That is what’s taking place.’ We strive to take a look at it extra on a person stage. There are alternative ways extra guys can contribute and assist us rating runs.”

The Guardians went into that afternoon’s sport with 106 dwelling runs as a staff, the fewest in both league. Their 566 runs scored have been the third fewest.



Yoshinobu Yamamoto threw his second profession no-hitter this week and is now 14-5 with a 1.26 ERA on the yr. The 25-year-old Orix Buffaloes right-hander is 47-15 with a 1.46 ERA towards NPB competitors for the reason that begin of the 2021 season.

Roki Sasaki was on the mound final night time for the primary time in seven weeks following an indirect harm. The 21-year-old Chiba Lotte Marines righty reportedly topped out at 100 mph whereas permitting one run and fanning two over three innings.

Katsuki Azuma is 13-2 with a 2.11 ERA for NPB’s Yokohama DeNa BayStars. The 27-year-old left-hander has wins in every of his final 10 choices.

Shoki Murakami is 10-5 with a 1.76 ERA for NPB’s Hanshin Tigers. The 25-year-old right-hander has 131 strikeouts and 82 hits allowed in 133 innings.

Tanner Tully is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 30-and—third innings with the NC Dinos. The 28-year-old left-hander signed with the KBO membership after being launched by the New York Yankees in early August. Tulley made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Guardians final yr and appeared in three video games.


Which of Zac Gallen, Justin Steele, Spencer Strider, and Zack Wheeler is most deserving of this yr’s Cy Younger award? I requested that query in a Twitter ballot earlier this week and, considerably surprisingly, the pitcher with MLB’s highest WAR completed lifeless final.

The outcomes have been: Strider 46.3%, Steele 31.9%, Gallen 13.4%, Wheeler 8.3%.

Strider is 16-5 with a 3.83 ERA, a 2.89 FIP, a 13.89 Okay/9, and 4.7 WAR.
Steele is 16-3 with a 2.55 ERA, a 2.98 FIP, a 9.06 Okay/9, and 4.3 WAR.
Gallen is 14-7 with a 3.48 ERA, a 3.32 FIP, a 9.37 Okay/9, and 4.3 WAR.
Wheeler is 11-6 with a 3.49 ERA, a 2.93 FIP, a ten.16 Okay/9. and 5.7 WAR.

This yr’s voting guarantees to be fascinating. How the 4 carry out of their last begins — and so they aren’t essentially the one Cy contenders — will doubtless go a good distance in figuring out the winner.


Zack Greinke has 66.0 WAR, and his bona fides embrace 2,962 strikeouts, six Gold Gloves, six All-Star berths, and a Cy Younger award. There’s a good likelihood that he’ll at some point be elected to the Corridor of Fame. If it occurs, will he have had the worst-ever season for a pitcher enshrined in Cooperstown? Together with his 2023 marketing campaign winding down, the Kansas Metropolis Royals right-hander is 1-14 with a 5.34 ERA and 84 ERA+ over 123 innings.

In accordance with esteemed colleague Jay Jaffe, it is dependent upon the parameters. If you happen to’re simply happening successful share, Greinke’s present .067 could be the worst when going with a 10-decision minimal. Robin Roberts went 1-10 (.091) in 1961.

If you happen to go by ERA, Grienke’s season is nowhere near the worst. Jay identified that there are 47 seasons by Corridor of Famers with an 84 ERA+or worse in 120 innings or extra,



Chandler Simpson has 94 stolen bases in 109 makes an attempt, essentially the most within the minors for every class. The 22-year-old outfielder within the Tampa Bay Rays group is slashing .294.372/.346 with a 107 wRC+ between Low-A Charleston and Excessive-A Bowling Inexperienced. He has but to go deep.

Hogan Windish has a Northwest League-best 22 dwelling runs. The 24-year-old infielder within the Seattle Mariners system is slashing .270/.371/.509 with a 136 wRC+ for the Excessive-A Everett AquaSox.

Tyler Black is slashing .267/.404/.486 with a 135 wRC+ between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville. The 23-year-old infielder within the Milwaukee Brewers system has 21 doubles, 10 triples, 16 dwelling runs, and 53 stolen bases.

Termarr Johnson has 84 hits and 100 walks. The 19-year-old infielder within the Pittsburgh Pirates group is slashing .243/.421/.442 with 18 dwelling runs and a 142 wRC+ between Low-A Bradenton and Excessive-A Greensboro.

Drew Thorpe has 182 strikeouts, essentially the most within the minors. The 22-year-old right-hander within the New York Yankees system is 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA and a 3.05 FIP in 139-and-a-third innings between Excessive-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset.

Zach Agnos has 26 saves, essentially the most within the minors. The 23-year-old right-hander within the Colorado Rockies system has a 2.10 ERA, a 3.51 FIP, and 66 strikeouts in 51-and-a-third innings for Low-A Fresno.


Freddie Freeman is placing up large numbers this season — what else is new? — and so they embrace an MLB-best doubles complete. One yr after topping the senior circuit with 47, and with three weeks left within the present marketing campaign, the Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman has banged out 53 two-baggers. That could be a franchise file, the long-forgotten Johnny Frederick having hit 52 in his 1929 rookie season.

“It’s wonderful,” LA supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned of Freeman’s manufacturing on the finish of August. “And it’s not straightforward. You don’t simply pencil it in to the again of the baseball card. It takes a number of work. His preparation. His mindset. He’s relentless. I do know the [single-season] file is 67 [by Earl Webb in 1931]. He’s placing collectively certainly one of his greatest seasons ever.”

Freeman, who boasts a .335/.413/.573 slash line and a 165 wRC+ on the season, has 468 profession doubles. Not one of the 90 gamers in entrance of him on the all-time listing has fewer plate appearances.



As cable TV dies, followers battle to comply with their favourite groups. Invoice Shaikin addressed the difficulty at The Los Angeles Occasions.

Sports activities Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein believes that Bruce Bochy’s levelheaded demeanor is simply what the slumping Rangers want.

The Athletic’s Stephen J. Nesbitt and Cody Stavenhagen teamed as much as write about the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who went a woeful 43-119. (Subscription required).

Additionally at The Athletic, Jayson Stark defined how Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Robert Stephenson threw an immaculate inning wherein he walked a batter and stranded two runners.



Notable in yesterday’s 13-12 Orioles win over the Crimson Sox at Fenway Park is that it was the primary time since June 3, 1930 {that a} staff had received a nine-inning sport whereas permitting 23 or extra hits (per @SLangsOnSports). The nearly-a-century-ago contest was an 11-10 St. Louis Cardinals win over the Philadelphia Phillies wherein two Cardinals hurlers mixed to permit 23 hits. The successful pitcher, Syl Johnson, surrendered 20 of them over eight-and-a-third innings.

Josiah Grey has allowed 19 dwelling runs and issued 75 walks. George Kirby has allowed 19 dwelling runs and issued 16 walks.

Cleveland’s Addie Joss walked 30 batters in 325 innings in 1908. Cleveland’s Bob Feller walked 208 batters in 277-and-two-third innings in 1938.

Jordan Lawlar slashed .423/.506/.761 towards lefties within the minors this yr. The 21-year-old Arizona Diamondbacks infielder received his first big-league call-up on Wednesday. (Per D-Backs beat author Jesse Friedman.)

Eugenio Suárez had 49 dwelling runs and 189 strikeouts in 2019.
Ted Kluszewski had 49 dwelling runs and 35 strikeouts in 1954.

The Chicago White Sox swept a Sunday doubleheader from the Detroit Tigers on at this time’s date in 1967, successful by scores of 6-0 and 4-0. Joe Horlen, who completed the season 19-7 with a league-best 2.06 ERA, threw a no-hitter within the opener. Cisco Carlos recorded the primary of his 11 profession wins within the nightcap.

On at this time’s date in 1988, Ruben Sierra hit a walk-off double within the seventeenth inning to provide the Texas Rangers a 3-2 win over the California Angels. The Rangers had earlier been all the way down to their final out when Jim Sundberg knotted the sport at 2-2 with a ninth inning dwelling run.

Gamers born on at this time’s date embrace Mike Saipe, whose big-league profession totaled two pitching appearances comprising 10 innings with the Colorado Rockies in 1998. The correct-hander surrendered 5 dwelling runs, together with two to David Segui and one every to Corridor of Famers Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr, and Edgar Martinez.

Additionally born on at this time’s date was Randy Wiles, a southpaw whose profession file consists of each a win and a loss regardless of his having thrown simply two-and-two-thirds innings over 5 appearances with the Chicago White Sox in 1977. Wiles received a win when Lamar Johnson hit a walk-off dwelling run towards the Mariners, and a loss when he surrendered a walk-off gopher to the Yankees’ Chris Chambliss.



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