WASHINGTON, D.C. — There wasn’t an official announcement, but it seems as if the Orioles are trading in their favored hitting celebration for a much more explosive option.
At the beginning of the season, Orioles hitters who doubled would mimic pulling the cord and starting a walk-along lawnmower, something that eventually was relaxed to include singles.
But over the last few weeks, some of the team’s hitters have motioned as if they were putting a heavy load on their shoulders and cocked back toward the dugout.
“We call it the bazooka: boom,” infielder Hanser Alberto said. “It’s fun, to keep us fresh and together.”
It’s been slower to catch on than the lawnmower, but third baseman Rio Ruiz said they spread the same way.
“I’m not really too sure what it is, but if everybody’s on board, then we do it,” Ruiz said. “You see somebody go out to do it, then multiple people do it, then everybody climbs on board. I wouldn’t be surprised if something else comes through the end of the season.”
It hasn’t, however, gotten to Trey Mancini just yet.
“I haven’t caught wind of that — is it this thing?” he said, mimicking the bazooka move. “I was still doing the lawnmower a few times, whenever I remember to. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a bazooka or something, I don’t know. But if that’s what we’re doing, I’m on board. Fine by me.”
“Some guys started doing [the lawnmower], and everybody kept doing it,” Renato Núñez said. “Next week it could be another thing.
Fall League rosters
A strong contingent of Orioles prospects will represent the organization in this year’s edition of the Arizona Fall League, with a five-player group headlined by well-regarded young arms Dean Kremer and Alex Wells.
Right-hander David Lebron, who was an All-Star this year at High-A Frederick, rounds out the pitching group with one open spot for a pitcher remaining.
Infielders Rylan Bannon and Mason McCoy are two of the three position players who will suit up for the Surprise Sagueros in the six-team showcase league, which begins play on Sept. 18.
Kremer spent most of 2019 at Double-A Bowie after an oblique strain pushed back the beginning of his season, with a 2.98 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 84 2/3 innings. He’s struggled some in his three starts at Triple-A Norfolk, while Wells has been at Bowie the entire year, with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
Bannon, who like Kremer was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Manny Machado last summer, hit .255 with a .748 OPS at Bowie before a promotion to Norfolk. He’s batting .351 with a .957 OPS and 10 extra-base hits in 14 games.
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McCoy was an Eastern League All-Star who is batting .296 with a .740 OPS between Bowie and High-A Frederick this year.
Low-A Delmarva manager Kyle Moore will coach for the Sagueros, and Frederick trainer Marty Brinker will be one of two athletic trainers on staff.
The to-be-announced pitcher and outfielder will be added before, with a pair of high-profile outfielders in Austin Hays and Yusniel Diaz, both of whom have missed time due to injury, possibilities to be added.
Around the horn
Left-hander John Means (family medical emergency list) could start Friday or Saturday in Kansas City, Hyde said. ... Right-hander Shawn Armstrong (forearm strain) is progressing in his rehab and could be activated this weekend.