Tap-In Question: What was most encouraging this weekend during a road series win in Atlanta? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: What was most encouraging this weekend during a road series win in Atlanta?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Earlier last week a veteran Oriole walked past me and joked, “You gonna write something positive today?”

Your humble barkeep responded, “Give me something positive to write.”

That response was met by a shrug and a nod.

It is what it is in Birdland, a miserable season with the storyline in three months morphing from potential hope to hoping for next year.

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I’m not here to make up happy happenings. You wouldn’t want that.

But I’ll say this: There were some positives in the past few days.

The obvious is that Chris Davis, exiled for eight games, contributed with the bat this weekend, homering to the opposite field on Friday and adding a huge double on Saturday in two wins against a good Atlanta Braves team.

Colby Rasmus has contributed some on both sides of the ball since his return.

Mark Trumbo is on one of his scalding-hot homer streaks.

Alex Cobb was the good Alex Cobb this weekend.

Mike Wright held things together for the Orioles in two separate games.

Caleb Joseph looks re-invigorated since he’s been back.

Danny Valencia’s trade value is rising – and you can’t tell me there isn’t a team that wouldn’t want him in a lineup against left-handers.

I’m sure I’ve missed some. And I understand it’s all too little, too late. But they did win a series on the road, they have scored some runs in the past week or so and have been in every game for the past two weeks. And a 3-3 road trip to Washington and Atlanta has to be considered a victory in a season like this.

I don’t feel like I’m stretching too much here, yet the reality is the Orioles are still 23-53, 30 games under .500 and going nowhere.

Point is, though, there were some good things that happened for the Orioles in the past few days. So, I’m willing to look at those – for a day, anyway.

Maybe something that happened this weekend will carry over as the trade deadline approaches.

Tap-In Question: What was the most encouraging thing about these last few days for the Orioles?

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 25, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Dan, are we serving Kool Aid this morning? Of all the things you mentioned, the ONLY one that could possibly affect the team’s future, is the performance of Alex Cobb.

    I sincerely doubt that Valencia, Joseph and Trumbo will be with the team next year, (although I love Trumbo). And for gods sake, you made me nose drain my morning coffee by even bringing Mike Wright’s name in this conversation. Now I’m sure that everyone is screaming “What about Crush?” at me about now, but let’s not sugar coat things as he still only went 2 for 12. I believe that equates to a scalding .166 average. Whoa Nelly, He must have seen the light!!

    I’ll stick with Cobb as the ONLY reasonable answer your question. So please fill me up with a mug of that Black and Orange Kool Aid … I need it.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hahaha. You got it. But I will beg to differ slightly. Both Valencia and Rasmus could have an effect on the Orioles future by playing well now.

  2. Orial

    June 25, 2018 at 8:48 am

    People are for joy about Trumbo but(I heard) that he’s still only hitting .203 for the month of June. That being said an early sampling of Davis was good but still holding my breath. Cobb,Bundy pitching impressed. The power compared to goving up only 1 hr,the utility of Peterson/Dickerson. What a weekend for Britton(which way is he going?) Two negative notes–Manny sinking sub .300 and Schoop sub .200. Overall impressive weekend. Actually series against Nats was decent(except Hess’ pitching).

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Yeah. They’ve held their own all week. It’s just a week. A 3-3 trip. But they haven’t been embarrassing in a week. That’s a step.

  3. JCO

    June 25, 2018 at 9:01 am

    I guess to me it’s hard to make a reasoned argument for encouraging off such a tiny sample size. But here goes:

    My “Kind of a Reach” list:

    – Caleb Joseph turned in an OPS 52 points BELOW his seasonal one. I suppose reinvigorated is nice, but I’d like to see some real production that you can measure. Although throwing out 2 of 3 basestealers is good, again, tiny sample size.

    – The celebration of the “return” of Crush Davis makes me think the bar for him has been set so low you need a backhoe to find it (I guess I’ll feel better when he gets more than one hit in a game, which last happened May 11).

    – Colby Rasmus…yeah, not too bad on his return. But given his history, who knows what happens next with that guy.

    Actual encouraging stuff:

    – Since May 12, Mike Wright has posted a 1.69 ERA. That said, a lot of baserunners during that time, so how much of a turnaround we’re seeing with him is debatable.

    – Trumbo’s hot power streak is coming at a good time, should up his trade value.

    – Cobb’s outing hopefully means the previous two starts were blips, because prior to that and after his terrible start, he was solid.

    – Valencia, hell yeah he’ll be a coveted bat at deadline.

    I vote, however, for the continued excellence with the bat by Adam Jones. Since May 2, he’s put together the following slash: .339/.374/.503/.877. The curious thing about this, this has been largely ignored to the point where I’ve had a few arguments with people who deny this is happening. Strange.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Good post. Drink chip. I’m with ya on Jones. You see it happening daily but pay little attention because of the steadiness he exudes. But crunch the numbers and he’s been excellent. One other point — and I could make several since you covered a lot of bases — Trumbo will still be hard to deal because he still is owed millions next year. Not saying it’s impossible, but more complicated than a Valencia, Rasmus, etc.

      • JCO

        June 26, 2018 at 9:57 am

        Thanks. Agreed on Trumbo…he might be with us for a while.

  4. Creatively09

    June 25, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I was encouraged by my ability to stick with a crazy 15 inning game while listening on the radio. I didn’t think I still had that in me this season.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 9:56 am

      That deserves 2 drink chips.

  5. Chewy

    June 25, 2018 at 9:30 am

    The most encouraging thing over the weekend is that the bats are starting to come alive. If they can remain heated in the next month, there may be some more trade bait. I agree with you on Valencia. Flipping Trumbo is becoming more of a possibility too. He’s around a slash line of .275/.333/.500. He should be attractive in the trade market because the asking price shouldn’t be too high from the O’s due to the O’s benefiting from unloading his contract and making space for more multi-dimensional players. Rasmus and Joseph could be interesting trade bait for some mid-level prospects if they can get their offensive numbers up. And while Davis is virtually untradeable due to his contract alone, finding his offense consistently again could make things a little interesting in August with the factor of waiver claims. That’s obviously very hopeful thinking at the moment, but at least this weekend brought a glimpse of encouragement to that possibility.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 9:58 am

      I’m filing drink chips out like peanuts. Maybe Boog is right. Orange-and-Black beer goggles. Drink chip. I will say this, though: No shot anyone claims Davis on trade waivers for fear the Orioles don’t pull back. No shot.

  6. Dblack2508

    June 25, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I am encouraged by other players increasing their trade value. Davis will need the rest of the season being consistent for me to hopeful about him.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Fair enough on both ends.

  7. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    June 25, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Anytime you win a series against a 1st place team is encouraging for a struggling team like the Orioles. They had two well pitched games by the starters. Won a crazy game Friday night where could have easily gave up. Trumbo is hitting everything hard and the offense is scoring runs. Going to tonight’s game hoping for a win.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Maybe they’ll catch King Felix on the down spiral.

  8. Birdman

    June 25, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Most encouraging, solid outings from all four starters – Bundy, Cobb, Gausman, and Cashner – on the road against good teams.

    Honorable Mention – Mike Wright for a WHIP under 1.0 in two consecutive appearances. When did that last happen (ever?).

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Five scoreless in his last two outings as well.

  9. bickel57

    June 25, 2018 at 11:24 am

    The way they fought back in the game they won 10-7 in 15. They scored those runs in the top of the ninth only to give up a bunch to tie it. The way the season has been going they could have given up in the ninth and gone home with another loss. Even after Briitons implosion they could have quit. Another one Britton coming back the next night and having a great innning

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Fair points. Drink chip.

  10. ATCguy

    June 25, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Well, it was nice to see them play a few competitive games, but I guess I’m still a doom & gloom guy. The same fallacies are still present, simply glossed over by the return of the HR ball. Using the ATL series as an example, a total of 28 strikeouts in 33 innings… and in my opinion, still far too many swings early in the count. What’s the old saying? Even blind squirrels find nuts occasionally.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      True. When the homer disappears the offense has. Tho the 3-run double by Davis in a clutch moment was certainly welcomed.

  11. JerseyOsFan

    June 25, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Simple things like being able to say that the O’s are no longer the worst team in the MLB standings… and the good guys are only 2.5 back of the Pale Hose to put a team between the Birds and the Royals.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      A half game up in the race for worst.

  12. deqalt

    June 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I think it shows that Buck has not lost this team. They are playing hard and you can see the effort. I am sure pride is there too, but this team needs to sign Buck and start a new direction.

  13. boss61

    June 25, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Trade value. A lost season is a lost season. But Jones, Valencia, Trumbo, Rasmus, perhaps Britton, Joseph and even Wright upper their deadline trade values. I firmly believe that the silver lining in all of this will be the quality of prospects we land.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      It will be interesting to see what happens.

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