Myriad O's Thoughts: Brach's and Britton's trade rollercoaster; Beckham at SS?; Trumbo to DL - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Myriad O’s Thoughts: Brach’s and Britton’s trade rollercoaster; Beckham at SS?; Trumbo to DL

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

We get so wrapped up in the non-waiver trade deadline, who may stay and who may go, that I think we forget that the names that are bandied about are actually people. With lives, with families.

Orioles relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton were two of the Orioles’ most coveted commodities. They were rumored to be leaving Baltimore for several weeks now.

And then they stayed. The 4 p.m. deadline passed and they were still here.

It couldn’t have been a much weirder feeling.

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“Yeah, 4:05, it was kind of like you are waiting for something to happen and it doesn’t, it’s not like you’re let down, because obviously I like being here,” Brach said. “It’s just kind of one of those things you were expecting something to happen and it didn’t. 4:05 it was kind of like, ‘OK two more months of baseball to go.’”

Brach has been traded before, back in November 2013, from the San Diego Padres to the Orioles. But that was different. He was struggling to make it in the majors then. Now, he’s a big part of this team. He and his wife have become part of the community. They are expecting their first child this offseason. That’s major stress for anyone.

And then, for the past two weeks, he’s had no idea where he’d be playing in August.

“No fun. Especially when nobody is like really telling you anything and you can see that other people are finding out information. It hasn’t been a very fun two weeks,” he said. “I like being here. I think we have a good team. It wasn’t fun, but I’m glad it is over, really glad it’s over. Just looking forward to the next two months.”

The worst part, he said, was not getting any information from anyone, while so many people are talking about his fate.

“I didn’t hear anything from anybody. I don’t think it’s right how they keep you in the dark, especially if your names are circulating for two weeks like that,” Brach said. “It’s not really in my control.”

Britton was in the same situation – his trade rumors were rampant by Monday.

“Just tried to treat it like a normal day. Understood there was stuff flying around, but I’ve been around long enough to know that stuff doesn’t always happen just because someone says it might,” he said. “So, I just took it in stride.”

But he admitted it can be an anxious time for all involved. And he was happy to finally get on the mound knowing he’ll be an Oriole for the rest of the 2017 season (neither he nor Brach will be able to pass through revocable waivers unclaimed).

“Just before the game started, just being in the clubhouse, the focus was just solely on helping the team win and not having to get texts from family members or my agent saying this or that is going on,” Britton said. “It was just kind of normal, how it should be, just focusing on this team win.”

Could Schoop, not Beckham, be the SS of the future?

With the Orioles acquisition of 27-year-old infielder Tim Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, the obvious assumption is that the club has an alternative to Ruben Tejada at shortstop now and a potential long-time replacement for the injured J.J. Hardy.

And that may end up being the case.

But let’s not dismiss the possibility that the Orioles’ shortstop for the next couple years could be … Jonathan Schoop.

Schoop has been solid in his time at short whenever Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to get Johnny Giavotella’s bat in the lineup. Defensively, Giavotella is basically limited to second base. Tejada has been primarily a shortstop in his career, however, so when he plays, Schoop remains at second, the starting spot he has held since 2014.

Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in 2008, has started twice as many games at shortstop than at second in his four-season, big league career. So, we’re all penciling him in at short for the Orioles. But several talent evaluators have told me that Beckham is clearly better at second than short. That’s what he played while he was in Baltimore earlier in July (the Rays’ acquisition of defensive whiz Adeiny Hechavarria pushed Beckham off short and, ultimately, out of the Rays’ plans).

So, it’ll be interesting to see if the Orioles leave Schoop at second or if they think it’s worth handing him shortstop while letting Beckham play what seems to be his best position.

If the Orioles quickly evaluate that Beckham is better at second, maybe Hardy’s replacement at shortstop in 2018 might end up being Hardy’s double-play partner for the past three-plus seasons.

Trumbo to the DL; no Kim to fill in

It figures that Mark Trumbo would get hurt shortly after the Orioles traded Hyun Soo Kim to the Philadelphia Phillies. That’s baseball luck.

Kim was buried on the depth chart, partially because rookie Trey Mancini had claimed an everyday spot and Trumbo, obviously, already had one locked up. So, Kim was dealt Friday night to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of the package for veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.

It made sense, because Kim wasn’t playing, and wasn’t hitting in his limited opportunities.

On Sunday, though, Trumbo was scratched from the starting lineup with what was initially thought to be a back injury. It’s actually a right, rib-cage strain, and on Monday night Trumbo was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday.

Trumbo is scheduled for a MRI Tuesday afternoon, and Showalter is hoping Trumbo will be back as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL.

“It felt like it was going to be four or five days before he could test it, and then feel comfortable about him doing it, so you’re talking about six or seven (days) there, then a couple days, so it’s 10,” Showalter said. “I’m hoping it’s eight more days, but those things are so unpredictable, it’s hard to tell.”

Craig Gentry has started both games with Trumbo shelved, and though he’s better defensively than Kim, you wonder if Gentry’s fine glovework can keep him in the lineup if he doesn’t hit. Last night, Gentry was 0-for-3 and didn’t get a ball out of the infield (including running into his own bunt), before delivering the game-winning RBI single.

So, at least Monday night, not having Trumbo or Kim worked out fine.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 1, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Ya know guys … maybe Danny Ducks really does know what he’s doing ‘eh? And for all you Ubaldo haters out there … bwahahaahahahaa!

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Boog may have sneaked a lil bourbon into his own coffee this morning. Who’s with me?

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 1, 2017 at 10:47 am

        I’m with you Dan! hic°

  2. Winger

    August 1, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Boog point taken. However even my ex wife would cook a good dinner every now and again. Didn’t change the fact that the next five or ten are going to suck.
    It’s sad as a life long O’s fan he makes it really hard to go watch. Heck, he makes it hard to watch on TV.
    Meanwhile I’m glad we didn’t sell. Go O’s(even Ubaldo)!!

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Boy, Is Boog’s enthusiasm contagious here?

  3. Wade Warren

    August 1, 2017 at 8:57 am

    maybe time had come to call up Pedro

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 10:11 am

      I’m sure he’ll be up in September. He might as well stay with the organization now. That’s a nice power bat to have on the bench. Until then, is imagine Buck sticks with the defensive upgrade in Gentry.

  4. pedro

    August 1, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I’m scratching my head over why Tampa would trade Beckham to a division rival who they are engaged in a playoff battle with. He’s a proven major league player. Couldn’t they have found a trading partner in another division or the NL? Puzzling, I think.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 10:12 am

      He’s not a proven major league player. He’s starting to hit like one — power anyway — but there are holes in his game. And he lost his SS spot when they trade for Adeiny Hechavarria

  5. Osfan73

    August 1, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Beckham and Schoop seem somewhat interchangable so we look good up the middle defensively. Plenty of time to figure out who plays best where.
    Like Ubaldo’s last 2 outings but wow!!, where was that like a month ago? Oh well, looks like he found something that works-fastball command?-hope this lasts.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Yeah. At this point you don’t even think about it. You just hope Ubaldo can ride the streak a little like he has done before.

  6. woody

    August 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

    When Beckham became surplus to requirements at Tampa (and i’m not sure why, there may be a club-house issue if you scratch the surface?) I thought he’d be a great fit for us but didn’t expect to be able to get him – it looks like a great trade.

    I’m really not sure about Jonathan at SS. He rates pretty poorly in many defensive metrics as a 2B – his reliable cannon arm makes up for a lot of it and because of that the O’s turn a lot of double plays. Although Schoop has played OK so far when required at SS I’m not sure SS is for him.

    If I was to spontaneously come up with a plan for our infield, i’d actually be going for Beckham at 3B, Machado SS, Schoop 2B.

    Other points:
    1) yup i’d sooner see Pedro getting a callup now than Gentry. He’s batting well in AAA right now, and if we are going to do something in September you need him coming off the bench and contributing.
    2) whilst I was calling for the o’s to sell, they haven’t. So lets get behind this team and pray together for a miracle! Let’s go O’s!

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

      As I wrote to Wade, I don’t see any way Pedro isn’t in Baltimore on Sept 1. For all the misfires here, having him as a free add in September looks like a great decision — assuming Os still have a chance.

  7. Bancells Moustache

    August 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Some trade deadline, huh? Not since the release of “King Arthur” have we heard such a colossal thud.

    Showalter and DD are going into their walk year and Peter Angelos is pushing 90. Anyone who thought they were selling for pitching prospects wasn’t paying close enough attention. After my initial reaction to the moves yesterday (which was basically “um…what?’) I actually like the Beckham move. High ceiling guy gotten for dirt cheap, could blossom with a change of scenery. He is former top prospect, and how soon we forget the athletic majesty that was Travis Snyder!

    The optimist in me, well sort’ve optimistic anyway, wants to believe this means in 2018 Angelos will throw open the safe and the Orioles will go all in for a ring to close out the Buckette era. It is an even numbered year, mind you. Maybe this was the plan all along?

    Buuuut, there is also part of me that sees another decade of mediocrity in an empty 25+ year old stadium, a more successful franchise in a more affluent part of the region gobbling up all of the revenue including a freshly renegotiated TV deal, and suddenly the for sale Baltimore Orioles are being mentioned in articles with the words Las Vegas, Charlotte or Nashville featured prominently in the headlines.

    Have a nice day!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 1, 2017 at 10:42 am

      1st off BanMo, “the optimist in you” … really? You ARE going for levity here right?

      2nd … bite your tongue with that last paragraph. However now that I think of it, I’ve always imagined retiring in Vegas….hmmmmmmm?

      3rd …. before being so quick to scoff the acquisitions of former top prospects … let us not forget the contributions, or rather contribution, of one Delmon Demarcus Young!

    • The Wedge

      August 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      OK, Richie – 1st off, I love the optimistic part of this post. We may not even need to break the bank; just get everyone healthy and a bit more consistency from the rotation. If KG continues acing his ace auditions, we’re golden.

      I just can’t let that last paragraph go by, though. I don’t care how “mediocre” this team becomes (if it does), or how many rings the Nationals win…I’ll say with great assuredness we don’t have to worry about the O’s leaving us. Peter Angelos is not Al Davis. (And FTM, John Angelos isn’t Mark Davis.)

      • Bancells Moustache

        August 1, 2017 at 5:56 pm

        Nor is he Count Dracula. The team won’t stay an Angelos family asset into perpetuity. They will go on the block at some point, and it’s questionable whether staying in Baltimore makes fiscal sense to whomever that next ownership group is. Not trying to be the sayer of doom here, but of all the franchises in baseball outside of Oakland, the Orioles are arguably on the shakiest foundation.

  8. Creatively_19

    August 1, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I’m still sorta half on this O’s train. We play a hell of a lot of games against the division in September. If we can make it that far without blowing up, we actually have a small (so you’re saying there’s a ) chance.

    My question is who gets the axe tonight to add Beckham?

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 1, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Should be Manny after that terrible ole’ error he made on that grounder hit right at him in Texas on Sunday. hic ° (sorry, must the bourbon in my coffee)

      • Creatively_19

        August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

        Where’s our bartender? Pour me one!

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          August 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

          Tap room’s not open. Meet me at Pickles.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 1, 2017 at 11:48 am

      You guys crack me up. And I assume they won’t be carrying two extra middle infielders with Beckham joining the fold.

    • Paul Folkemer

      August 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Gotta think Giavotella goes. He hasn’t seen much playing time since he’s been up here, and he doesn’t have much defensive versatility.

      • Creatively_19

        August 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        Have to agree. Hard to see O’s DFA’ing Gentry, but they’ve done it twice this season already, so why not? I’m sure Buck likes his speed off the bench though.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        Speaking of infielders … I see my boy Flaherty’s been tuning up in Bowie. What’s the inside skinny on him?

    • Dan Connolly

      August 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Flaherty will be re-evaluated Thursday in Balmer. Might go to Norfolk for a few days after that. Be back fairly soon if all goes well.

  9. garyintheloo

    August 1, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    This reminds me of the 2002 Orioles who at one point were 63 and 63. Harold Reynolds, then of ESPN, thought they were a good team but the Os proceeded to go 4 and 32 to end the season. I think some of you passed out celebrating that 22 and 10 start but on August 1 I will be happy to see them make a .500 season. I hate to jump on this bandwagon but either Duquette or someone above him needs to be fired this offseason to start their own bar with what they’ve been drinking.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

      I covered that team. I covered 33 of the final 36. My lord was it bad.

  10. Johnnydw

    August 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Hi

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