Subscribe: Camden Chat
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
alex cobb  cobb  day  game  it’s  opening day  opening  orioles  o’s  rotation  season  spring training  spring  starter 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Camden Chat

Camden Chat - All Posts

Put a bird on it!

Updated: 2018-03-24T09:00:02-04:00


Saturday Bird Droppings: Where the roster battles are getting settled


Chance Sisco will be in the house and so will Pedro Araujo. The Orioles are taking shape! Today’s stuff: Cobb could be ready soon, the rotation doesn’t stack up, and more. Hello, friends. There are now just five days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. We are down to a number that can be counted entirely using the fingers on a typical human hand! The snow is melting and real baseball is approaching. This is exciting. Before that, though, there are still a couple more spring training games to get through. There are three, counting today’s and also counting a little exhibition in Norfolk on Monday. The O’s play the Twins tonight, just like they will do on Opening Day. The 6:05 contest tonight will not be televised but it will be on 105.7, so if you want to get a little Orioles in your life tonight, you can. There are still some roster battles to be settled in the last couple of days before camp breaks up. Cuts on Friday revealed that Chance Sisco has won the backup catching job. Also on Friday, the Orioles revealed the 2-4 spots in their rotation and told Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo that he has made the team. If you had asked me before spring training who was the least likely Rule 5 pick to make the team, I would have said Araujo. He has never pitched above High-A before! Yet he is, at least to begin the season, a member of the Orioles. Remember, I know even less than Jon Snow. The fifth starter decision hasn’t been made yet. It’s still not clear who will be on the bench in the infield, though it won’t be Engelb Vielma, who was also optioned on Friday. And it’s not really a sure thing what’s going to be the outfield solution, either, both in Mark Trumbo’s absence and even once he’s back. Maybe some of those remaining questions will be answered today. Around the blogO’sphere Araujo makes Orioles roster and other notes (School of Roch)The Orioles arranged for Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, and Mychal Givens to relay the news to Araujo that he had made the team. He thought he was in trouble when they summoned him. That’s adorable. Starter Alex Cobb’s Orioles debut could come as early as April 9 (Baltimore Sun)If Cobb is really ready by April 9, the Orioles basically only need a different fifth starter for one start. Back at SS, Machado takes center stage for the O’s ( obvious things are obvious for a reason. No matter the position, Orioles third baseman Tim Beckham aiming to be among the best (Baltimore Sun)Not meant as a knock against Tim Beckham at all, but I don’t like his chances quite as much as I like Manny Machado’s chances to be among the best. Thoughts on Chance Sisco making the Orioles (Baltimore Baseball)Dan Connolly doesn’t commit to a position about whether it’s a good idea for Sisco to make the team as a backup catcher. I’m not sold on the “learn on the bench” narrative. Bundy and Gausman no longer need to carry O’s rotation (Steve Melewski)Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence, your honor. How does the O’s rotation compare to other AL East teams? (Camden Depot)At the Depot, Matt Kremnitzer observes that the Orioles still have the worst projected rotation in the division, by far. Like all of us, he’s hoping for some outperforming of expectations. 2018 positional power rankings: Designated hitter (Fangraphs)You may be surprised to know that the Orioles project to have the 8th-best designated hitter situation in the American League. Birthdays and anniversaries There are only two Orioles with birthdays today, both of whom have passed away. They are: 1954 first baseman Dick Kryhoski, and 1955 pitcher Saul Rogovin. Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: mineralogist Georgius Agricola (1494), Mariner chronometer inventor John Harrison (1693), magician Harry Houdini (1874), baseball Hall of Famer George Sisler (1893), Hanna-Barbera co-founder Joseph Barbera (1911), “The King of Cool” Steve McQueen (1930), fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger (1951), and actress Jessica Chastain (1977). On this day in hi[...]

Orioles announce more of starting rotation behind Dylan Bundy


Let the starting rotation debates begin! The Orioles announced on Friday the 2-4 starters to go behind Dylan Bundy. It may not be the order you would have picked. Not only do the Orioles finally have something resembling a starting rotation, we now also know in what order the starters will be pitching. Manager Buck Showalter announced before Friday’s spring training game who would be following Dylan Bundy in the rotation, in order: Andrew Cashner, Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman. That leaves out a fifth starter for now. Showalter also told reporters that he hasn’t committed to that fifth starter spot just yet and that the Orioles are watching the waiver wire. None of Mike Wright Jr., Nestor Cortes Jr., or Miguel Castro have looked like great answers in spring training, even for just a handful of starts. I don’t think the waiver wire will bring any better answers. The off day immediately after Opening Day provides an opportunity to have the #1 starter, in this case Bundy, start the fifth game of the season on regular rest. Showalter did not commit to that course of action just yet. The Orioles made a priority to steal some extra rest for Bundy last season and they may continue to do so even with him slotting in as the Opening Day starter. The Orioles shouldn’t need a very long-term solution for the fifth starter spot, barring an injury suffered by someone else, since it’s really a matter of waiting until Alex Cobb is stretched out enough to start. It doesn’t make much of a difference whether the first game a fifth starter is needed is the fifth or the sixth game. On MASN during yesterday’s game, Cobb said he hoped to be ready to go by mid-April, so it could be a matter of another fifth starter just covering two or three starts. You can count me a bit surprised that the brand new Oriole Cashner is getting dropped in ahead of Gausman. With Gausman being the Opening Day starter last year, I thought for sure he’d be the #1 starter again this year. Instead, he’s back at #3. Gausman’s relative disappointment in 2017 explains the move back. Hopefully it works out for everybody this way. Showalter also revealed a bit about the composition of the bullpen in his Friday pre-game remarks. There have been comments through spring training about the possibility of Darren O’Day and Mychal Givens getting closing opportunities along with Brad Brach while Zach Britton is on the shelf. Showalter confirmed as much. It’ll be interesting to see how he decides who to go with on what night. Hopefully this also works out for everybody. Other unsettled questions about the roster remain, including who will be the utility infielder, who will be the backup catcher, and how Mark Trumbo’s expected 1-2 week absence will be covered. Showalter didn’t say much about any of this today. There’s only six days until Opening Day, though, so the O’s will have to make up their minds soon. [...]

Camden Chat is looking for new writers



Are you looking to write about the Orioles this season? We’re looking for you! Read on for details. There are paid positions available.

Whether it turns out good or bad, a momentous Orioles season is a week away from beginning. If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance that you are going to have a lot to say about how things go for the Orioles as the year progresses.

Camden Chat is looking for new writers to join our group as the season gets underway. Why not share your Orioles thoughts with our audience? This is going to be a season to remember and this is your chance to be a part of chronicling why it is, or isn’t, working out.

What I am going to be looking for are people to contribute about three posts to the site per week. That’s going to break down as follows: Each week, one daily minor league recap, one opinion/analysis post, and one game recap. Additionally, you will contribute approximately one series preview per month. This is a mix of routine stuff for the site and the stuff that you will hopefully find fun to write.

These will be paid positions. Really! You will be getting real money for writing about the Orioles. For the above ~3 posts per week (less in the offseason) I can offer $100 per month.

Prior writing experience is not necessary to apply. I had no writing experience at all when I got my start on Camden Chat and on top of that, I know from past occasions of finding writers here that people with great things to say may have just never had a platform to say them before. If you think this might be you, I would be happy to hear from you.

If you are interested in giving this a shot, send an e-mail to camdenchat AT gmail DOT com that includes the following:

  • A bit about who you are and how you came to be an Orioles fan
  • Two ideas on your mind for a relevant article about the Orioles that someone could write right now
  • An article of 750-1000 words on one of your ideas from above that you think puts your best foot forward
  • If applicable, feel free to include a few clips of your writing - again, this is not required

Please don’t send me a resume. I’m not an HR department. I just run an Orioles blog and am looking for a few good, reliable writers. Maybe you’re one of them.

If you’re new to Camden Chat - which is totally OK - you might not know what the posts I’m going to expect look like. Here’s a representative example of each from last season:

If you have any questions about the process, what it’s like to write for Camden Chat, or anything else, please ask in the comments below, or e-mail me. If you’re not interested for yourself but you think you know someone who would be, please share this story with them. I will do my best to respond to acknowledge all submissions.

The deadline to submit something is 11:59pm on March 30.

How much better does Alex Cobb make the Orioles?


If the O’s are going to make a playoff push, they will need to lean on an improved starting rotation. It took all winter, but the Orioles finally have some semblance of a major league starting rotation. Ignore the years and money on the deal; signing Alex Cobb is a move for the present. With Manny Machado, Zach Britton and possibly Adam Jones headed for free agency after the season, the O’s needed to win now. Adding Cobb makes that a more realistic possibility. The struggles of Baltimore’s 2017 rotation are well-documented. They had the worst ERA (5.70) of any MLB unit while tossing the third-fewest innings (846.0), issuing the fourth-most walks (352), allowing the second-most home runs (159) and the third-highest batting average against (.280). It was a mess. Luckily, two of the worst performers from that rotation, Wade Miley (5.61 ERA, 4.66 xFIP, 0.8 WAR) and Ubaldo Jimenez (6.81 ERA, 4.52 xFIP, 0.1 WAR), are gone. Chris Tillman (7.84 ERA, 5.87 xFIP, -1.0 WAR) returns, but with a much shorter leash and the pressure of several in-house candidates ready to take his spot if the opportunity should arise. Common sense says that the O’s starters can’t help but be better this season, but that still doesn’t mean they will be “good”. Dan Duquette, Brady Anderson and the Orioles brain trust have gone out into the free agent market this winter and looked to improve on Miley, Jimenez and bad Tillman by replacing them with Andrew Cashner, Cobb and good Tillman. Going based off of projections found on FanGraphs, the current trio would seem to be a modest, yet noticeable, improvement on the outgoing group. Based on the WAR totals from earlier, Miley, Jimenez and Tillman were worth a total of -0.1 wins in 2017. This year, depending on which projection system you prefer, Cobb, Cashner and Tillman are expected to be worth between 2.4 and 4.0 wins combined. If everything else in baseball stays exactly the same (the O’s had a 75-87 record in 2017), that would have this club pushing for third place in the AL East with 77 to 79 wins. Yay? The pitching, on paper at least, should be better than last year, but the offense remains essentially unchanged. Accordingly, FanGraphs’ overall projection reflects just that with an expected record of 78-84, tied with the Rays for fourth in the division and well outside of the playoff picture. PECOTA projects just 70 wins for the O’s, but that does not include Alex Cobb in the equation. Trying to throw bias away for a moment, that feels low even without the latest addition to the team, but that’s not a surprise. This team has had an adversarial relationship with projections for years now. The most immediate benefit of adding Cobb is that it means Mike Wright will no longer be a regular member of the rotation. Cobb will begin the season in the minors in order to build innings and Wright could get a start or two in that time, but a full season, or even a full month, of Wright in the rotation would have been tough to swallow. Wright, now 28 years old, has been given a few chances already to prove himself as a starter in the big leagues. Across 105.1 innings, the right-hander has a 6.32 ERA, .283/.360/.522 slash line against and a .374 weight on-base average (wOBA) against. He profiles better as a middle relief arm, where he can feature his above-average fastball and only face opposing hitters one time. The hope inside the warehouse must be that bringing in more steady starting pitchers will have a domino effect on the rest of the team. More quality innings from the starters means more rest for the best arms in the bullpen, which could allow for more effective innings from the relievers when they are called upon. It’s not an idea without merit, but neither Cashner nor Cobb are exactly the “workhorse” types. Cashner has had shoulder issues in the past and only threw 166.2 innings last year, averaging just under six innings per outing. The 179.1 innings that Cobb tossed last season were[...]

Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have an Opening Day starter


Less than a week to go until Opening Day! Don’t worry, the snow will be gone by then. Today’s O’s stuff: A humble Opening Day starter, Wright hopes early results count, and more. Hello, friends. There are now six days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. That is a mere Jonathan Schoop days to go until real baseball is being played, or if you prefer, Melvin Mora days or Paul Blair days. Less than one week to go! Don’t mind that snow on the ground. As spring training dwindles, another game remains to be played this afternoon. The Orioles will be in action against the Rays at 1:05. Although this game is being played in Sarasota, it’s not going to be televised or on the radio anywhere. You can’t see it unless you’re there and you buy a ticket. You probably won’t miss much. The roster continues to be narrowed down as Opening Day approaches. The Orioles optioned both Jimmy Yacabonis and Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday. That leaves 37 players in camp, with three of those remaining - Zach Britton, Mark Trumbo, and Gabriel Ynoa - ticketed for the disabled list. Yacabonis may be used as a starter in Norfolk, which is weird. One role that’s been settled is that of Opening Day starter. It’s Dylan Bundy! He casually revealed in a mid-game MASN interview that he had been named the starter. It seems like the rest of the order of the rotation - or at least spots 2-4 - is also known but has not been announced yet. Maybe that will happen today! Or maybe it won’t. Around the blogO’sphere Dylan Bundy ‘humbled’ to get Opening Day start ( thought that Kevin Gausman would get another bite at this. I thought wrong! Updating Beckham, Scott optioned, and more (School of Roch)Swaggy T tweaked his groin a little bit while fielding a grounder yesterday and was removed from the game as a precaution. He didn’t appear to be in pain while joking around with teammates in the dugout, so let’s hope that means it’s not serious. Orioles’ Wright after rocky start: “I just hope what I did early in spring gets me on the team” (Baltimore Sun)I’ve realized that I’m usually mean when it comes to Mike Wright. So I present this one with no further comment than that. Roberts and Manfra elected to Orioles Hall of Fame (School of Roch)Brian Roberts deserved better Orioles teams than he got to play on. After 2017 injuries, Cody Sedlock comes back stronger, determined (Steve Melewski)Hopefully, the 2016 Orioles top pick can convince me to be as optimistic about him as he is about himself. Baseball booms, minor leaguers still exploited (Camden Depot)At the Depot, Jon Shepherd details just how much minor league players are getting screwed to play baseball, with an analysis of how little it would cost to correct this imbalance somewhat. Birthdays and anniversaries There are a pair of Orioles with birthdays today, both of whom have passed away. They are: 1975-80 first baseman Lee May, and 1963-67 outfielder Sam Bowens. Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Wars of the Roses figure Margaret of Anjou (1430), psychologist Erich Fromm (1900), director Akira Kurosawa (1910), fashion designer Kenneth Cole (1954), and actress Keri Russell (1976). On this day in history... In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his speech containing the famous line, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” at a church in Richmond. In 1801, Russian Tsar Paul I was killed in his bedchamber, first being struck by a sword, then strangled and trampled to death. One of the assassins immediately went to announce to Paul’s son, Alexander I, that he had become the tsar. Alexander did not punish any of the assassins. Among the policies that the nobles who assassinated Paul objected to were laws meant to improve treatment of serfs and rein in corruption in the treasury. In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition, which had reached its destination of the Pacific Ocean the previous Novemb[...]

Thursday afternoon Orioles spring training game thread: vs. Red Sox



This is the last time the Orioles will be on your TV until Opening Day. There’s snow on the ground. Enjoy some O’s if you can!

There’s only a week to go until real Orioles baseball, but there’s still a few exhibition games to get through first, including this afternoon against the Red Sox. This is the last Orioles spring game that will be televised, though three of the final four games, including this one, will be on the radio in Baltimore, so at least there’s that.

This late in spring training, especially with a home game, we are getting to the point where lineups are going to look very Opening Day-ish, at least as far as who is in them, if not in the batting order. Chris Davis is leading off on this particular day, which is probably a “get him the extra at-bat” measure since he missed time due to his forearm problem.

The game also represents a final audition for Mike Wright Jr. to be the guy who makes a couple of starts while newly-signed Alex Cobb is building up his innings in the minors. I would guess he’s probably the favorite to do that. He might even stick around as a long reliever after that. There may not be a lot still to settle for this roster, but there are a lot of choices for most of the parts that are unsettled.

Here’s how they line up today, at least until the later innings when the mass substitutions start:

  1. Chris Davis - 1B
  2. Manny Machado - 3B
  3. Jonathan Schoop - 2B
  4. Adam Jones - CF
  5. Trey Mancini - LF
  6. Colby Rasmus - RF
  7. Tim Beckham - 3B
  8. Chance Sisco - C
  9. Anthony Santander - DH

Scheduled to pitch behind Wright this afternoon are Mychal Givens, Pedro Araujo, and Joely Rodriguez.

Thursday Bird Droppings: Where it’s one week to Opening Day


One week to go until real Orioles baseball, and they may finally have a real starting rotation! Today’s O’s stuff: A whole lot of Alex Cobb, Ryan Flaherty is set free, and more. Hello, friends. There are now seven days remaining until Orioles Opening Day! It’s just one week until there’s real Orioles baseball happening. This number is semi-retired by the franchise, as it belonged to Cal Ripken Sr. for a long time and has not been worn by a player since he passed away in 1999. The spring training schedule rolls on today. The Orioles take on the Red Sox this afternoon. This is a home game for the O’s and will actually be on MASN and 105.7 - plus Boston TV and radio, if for some reason you are seized with the urge to inflict that upon yourself. Counting today’s contest, just four spring training games remain before the Orioles head north. The signing of Alex Cobb has answered one of the big questions about who would make the Orioles roster, and the ripple effects of that signing are answering others. The Orioles designated one of their three Rule 5 picks, Jose Mesa Jr., for assignment to make room for Cobb. They also optioned Hunter Harvey to Double-A, with Cobb’s signing apparently ending the consideration of having Harvey break camp with the team. There are a number of remaining unresolved roster battles with just days to go until spring training is over, though. Ryan Flaherty opted out of his Phillies deal on Wednesday, meaning a reunion is still possible there. There’s also the question of who exactly will fit in the outfield, in the bullpen, and in the catching tandem. Around the blogO’sphere Orioles’ deal with Cobb official, so when will he be ready? (Baltimore Sun)It’s an important question when a guy signs so late. The Sun’s Eduardo Encina thinks Cobb will need three or four starts to get ready. Fortunately, he’s able to be optioned to the minor leagues to get that action. It’s time for Orioles fans to meet Oscar, Alex Cobb’s adorable adopted stray dog (Cut4)Sometimes the headline just speaks for itself. O’s get Alex Cobb and the fans may get a contender (Steve Melewski)In a development as shocking as the sun rising in the east, Steve Melewski is feeling pretty good about the Orioles rotation after the signing of Cobb. Jones on Cobb: “We’ve long searched for someone of his caliber” (School of Roch)Adam Jones seems happy whenever the Orioles sign anyone. As this includes the Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo contracts, he is not batting 1.000. Beckham on Cobb: “It’s a good day for the Orioles” (School of Roch)Tim Beckham was teammates with Cobb for a while in Tampa Bay. He sounds excited to be reunited! Landing Alex Cobb fills the Orioles’ biggest void, but don’t call it a bargain signing (Baltimore Baseball)For the special occasion of the Orioles actually signing someone who might be good, Dan Connolly breaks out multiple-sentence paragraphs. Best- and worst-case scenarios for all potential contributors to Orioles’ 2018 rotation (Baltimore Sun)I couldn’t have come up with these worst-case scenarios any better myself. I hope we don’t see too many of them. Hearing from Cobb, Showalter, Duquette (School of Roch)Cobb makes the Orioles sound a lot like the movie character whose persistence is romantic in the context of the movie but in the real world would be creepy and possibly illegal. 2018 Positional Power Rankings: Shortstop (Fangraphs)Everybody thinks Manny Machado is going to be good. I know, really going out on a limb, right? Birthdays and anniversaries On this day in 1981, Earl Weaver was suspended for three games after removing his team from the field and forfeiting a game during spring training. Weaver was protesting not receiving an updated batting order after the other team, the Royals, made a bunch of substitutions. That sure sounds like Earl. There are two former Orioles with birthdays [...]

With eight days to Opening Day, the Orioles finally have a starting rotation


Alex Cobb is a great addition to the middle of the rotation, but what else must go right for the Baltimore Orioles to contend in 2018? It’s been a long winter. Thankfully, in eight days games that count will start and the first pitch will come from a Baltimore Oriole on the mound at Camden Yards to a batter for the Minnesota Twins. Eight also happens to be Cal Ripken Jr.’s number, which should bring back good memories for Orioles fans. Plenty of roster shuffling and planning will dominate the next few days in Sarasota before the trip north. The club needs to get down to 25 players and Mark Trumbo’s injury, as well as the signing of Alex Cobb, provides added possibilities and options. In that spirit and looking ahead some, let’s analyze a handful broader themes that will play a big part in the success, or failure, of the 2018 Birds. It is not surprising that the difference between post-season contention – wouldn’t that be nice (and it would continue the trend of 2012, 2014, 2016…2018?) – and a fire sale of expiring contracts (Machado, Jones, Brach, Britton) – that would be a horrible outcome to the season – will come down to pitching, more pitching, offense, defense and leadership. It’s not a complicated game. Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman The time is now for these two. Dylan Bundy – a first rounder in 2011 – and Kevin Gausman – a first rounder in 2012 – both picked fourth overall, need to step up and become legitimate top of the rotation starters. Perhaps there is no bigger factor to success for the Orioles than the development of these two pitchers. Each has shown flashes of dominance at different times, but neither has consistently delivered wins, quality starts and really got it done 30 plus times over a complete season. Slightly better than average, which is what they’ve been in recent years, isn’t good enough anymore. Competing in the American League East, making the post-season and advancing to the ALCS and World Series, requires at least two excellent, top-tier starting pitchers. For the O’s, those pitchers need to be Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. Hopefully this is the year where they can take that step forward. Bottom of the rotation Alongside the development of Bundy and Gausman, whoever ends up filling out the bottom part of the rotation – and regardless of who is on the Opening Day roster, over time it will likely include Miguel Castro, Chris Tillman, Mike Wright as well as others – must pitch at a mediocre level, at worst. There is no way the 2018 team can win if the results are similar to last year where Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley and Tillman combined for an ERA of 6.75 over 76 games started and 87 total appearances. That group of season long performances was abysmal. Channeling Chicago Cubs manager Joe Madden, the back of the rotation for the Orioles this year needs to not suck. They don’t need to be the next Cy Young, but ERA’s below 5.00 would be nice and a step in the right direction. If Bundy and Gausman are very good to great, and the latter part of the rotation is mediocre, the Orioles will be in the mix for the AL East or a Wild Card. Speaking of pitching, the middle just got better too Related to the above thoughts on the front and back of the rotation, the middle of the O’s staff has improved significantly in recent weeks. The Orioles need quality starters to compliment a very good back end of the bullpen and offense and despite the doubters, they’ve made significant progress. Furthering this point, yesterday’s signing of Alex Cobb was a great move. He’s going to look great in orange and black anchoring the middle of the rotation along with Andrew Cashner. Cobb is 30 years old and did miss all of 2015 and part of 2016 with Tommy John surgery, which is the kind of thing that makes O’s management extra uneasy. However, he showed in 2017 the[...]