The Orioles' 9-2 loss Friday night at the Kansas City Royals, who now at 43-91 are 3 1/2 games better than the 40-95 Orioles in the race to not have the league’s worst record, was largely the kind of baseball that got the visitors into the sad situation they find themselves.
The 2017 Royals dealt with the same problems in the final year of their competitive window as this year's Orioles have. "It's almost like the last year of high school," Kansas City pitcher Jason Hammel said.
When it comes to pitchers attacking hitters, there are few secrets. Hitters have seen the Orioles' arms several times by now, and the emphasis on advance scouting leaves no stone unturned. The Orioles will go into their final week aware that the division rivals they're facing — the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees — will try to know them better than they do.
Orioles starter Mike Wright made the most of the opportunity presented to him, earning his first win in nearly three weeks in the Orioles' 4-1 comeback victory over Kansas City. Wright allowed a sole unearned run over seven innings of work, tying his longest start of the season, while holding Kansas City to five hits — four of them singles.
Right-hander Tyler Wilson's spot start on Saturday night was by no means an audition — he was placed in the position because it was the best way for the Orioles to protect their bullpen — but Wilson made a strong case to remain in his team's struggling rotation in his first starting opportunity of the season.
Hijacked in years past by rehabbing major league stars, free-agent rumors and veterans on tryouts, this year's edition of the Orioles' January minicamp seems to be more focused on its core purpose: getting a look at the stock of young, up-and-coming arms in the organization.
According to an industry source, roughly $150 million was earmarked for Davis only. And, with his rejection of that seven-year offer last week, the Orioles are highly unlikely to entertain any deals with a $100-million value or more for the remainder of the offseason. That seemingly takes the Orioles out of consideration for outfielders Justin Upton, Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes, all of whom were predicted by Mlbtraderumors.com to receive at least $100 million deals at the outset of free
The Orioles have been uncharacteristically active early in the offseason, trading for slugger Mark Trumbo, retaining catcher Matt Wieters on a one-year qualifying offer and nearing a deal with relief pitcher Darren O'Day.
Up until Saturday, free agents were only able to negotiate with their 2015 clubs, but this morning the market is officially opened up to all teams. Free agents are now free to negotiate and sign with any team.
The Royals might give some teams cover for staying on budget, but the Orioles don't need to take a lesson from anybody about that. If they want to take something from the Royals, how about a few of their key players?
Neither Orioles third baseman Manny Machado nor manager Buck Showalter believe participating in Monday's Home Run Derby will negatively impact Machado's season, or the swing that has produced a career-high 19 home runs.
A day after Orioles manager Buck Showalter finished second in the Sporting News' American League Manager of the Year voting, none of the team's players were selected for the publication's AL All-Star team.
The Orioles' "We Won't Stop" season finally came to a screeching halt Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium when the won't-be-beat Kansas City Royals won another nailbiter, 2-1, in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.