Brach has rocky outing in Orioles' loss but says trade talks aren't to blame - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Brach has rocky outing in Orioles’ loss but says trade talks aren’t to blame

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

TORONTO—For a while, the Orioles’ trade talk focused on Manny Machado. Since he became a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the speculation has shifted primarily to Zach Britton. In the background, though, there is talk about possible moves for Adam Jones and Brad Brach.

Jones was given the day off on Sunday while Britton stayed in the bullpen. But Brach had a rough eighth inning. Inheriting a 4-1 lead, Brach allowed a two-run home run to Orioles nemisis Randal Grichuk. After he left, Tanner Scott gave up a two-run shot to Yangervis Solarte.

Suddenly, what appeared to be a rare Orioles victory turned into their 72nd defeat of the season, 5-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brach was the subject of trade discussion a year ago. A report in The Los Angeles Times indicated the Dodgers, who acquired Machado and have expressed interest in Britton, could be interested in Brach, too.

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“When I am out there pitching, it’s the last thing I’m thinking about,” Brach said of the trade talks.

“Obviously, it’s hard to avoid it right now. But when you are on the mound, it’s all about going out there and executing pitches. Any of the trade stuff is the furthest thing from my mind. So, it is no excuse. There are no excuses out there. Just got to get the outs.”

Manager Buck Showalter has spent time talking with players who might be of interest to others. Brach is one of them, and it hasn’t helped his value that his ERA has rocketed to 4.97.

“Brad’s had his good times and some of the struggles,” Showalter said.

“Nobody cares more than him. Concern? It’s something I keep my eye on for every guy. I talked with Zach today, kind of updated how he’s feeling and what’s going on with him. These guys are getting text messages from national writers. They’re constantly getting updates from their agents. It’s a different world we live in.”

Brach, who has been unfailingly cooperative in his time with the Orioles, thinks about the reports when he’s not pitching.

“I mean, every once in a while,” Brach said. “But there really hasn’t been much said. Like I said, I need to pitch better if I want to possibly go pitch for someone else. If I want to stay here, I’m not pitching well enough right now. So it’s just one of those things. I have to grind through it and get better.”

Showalter wasn’t tempted to use Britton in the eighth inning when Brach was struggling. He used Scott, who could be a closer later this season, or next.

“We’re juggling a lot of balls here,” Showalter said. “You’re juggling trades. You’re juggling development. You’re juggling trying to win games.”

The Orioles have played 100 games, and are 28-72. Before the game, Showalter talked about the challenges he’s facing.

“There’s still nothing like a W to make everything seem better that day,” he said.

“In our situation, I’m never going to do something that stands in the way of our long-term commitment. That’s changed some. Some things that I and we will be doing that wouldn’t normally be done.”

One of those things is using Scott in crucial spots.

“He’s done it before,” Showalter said. “There are tight spots in the fifth inning, the sixth and the seventh. It was painful. Hopefully, he’ll learn from it.”

Andrew Cashner started after missing a turn with a neck injury and, since he hadn’t pitched in 11 days, was on a pitch count of 80, which he didn’t know.

Removed with two outs in the sixth, Cashner seemed poised to win his first game since May 21. Cashner hasn’t won in his last nine starts and, with the Orioles holding a three-run lead and Brach starting the eighth, it looked as if he had a strong chance for his third win this season.

Two years ago, Cashner was traded by San Diego to the Miami Marlins just ahead of the trade deadline. He knows what his teammates are facing.

“I think it’s definitely frustrating any time your name is in the rumors just because it’s out of your control,” Cashner said. “You have no control over where you’re going. Guys have families. You feel like you’re out of the loop on a lot of that stuff.

“I think it’s a big sigh of relief when you are traded.  You can just take a step back and take a deep breath and focus on baseball. It’s on the TV every day in the clubhouse, we hear it from y’all, we hear it from the internet. You just can’t get away from it.”

Showalter knows that on July 31, when the deadline comes, things will loosen up for those who go, and for those who stay. He’s not worried about Brach.

“He’s strong. He understands what’s going on,” Showalter said. “We had a good talk the other day. I’ve broached the subject with all the guys whose names are out there, so I don’t think anybody knows exactly what they’re feeling and what effect it has or doesn’t have. If somebody trades for Brad, they’re going to get a good pitcher.”

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. OsfansinWV

    July 22, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    If they’re in for a total rebuild Brach and Britton should be moved. Totally disappointing to see this team consistently FIND a way to lose a game. I guess it’s like the old saying “when it rains it pours”……………..

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:45 am

      I think that both will be moved, but it may take until August to move Brach.

  2. Mau

    July 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I think they have a genuine shot at losing 120 games. They might even go for the record. They do find ways to lose games. It’s uncanny.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Well, Mau I think 120 isn’t out of the question. All season long, I have thought they’d play well for a few weeks, but they can’t sustain it.

  3. Churchton

    July 23, 2018 at 6:36 am

    The only hope for the O’s this year is constant rainouts for the rest of the year. Omg 41.5 games out of first place. If this is a rebuild when are they getting rid of Davis. At least send him to the minors. Give a rookie a chance to strikeout. You also notice the O’s played better with funny face not in the line up. They actually hit the ball. Send davis with Tillman and don’t let Anderson select any talent or contracts. I mean look at what he pushed for davis and Tillman. Look at what we lost markakis Cruz and machado. Yes manny was open to contract extensions two years ago but they brushed him off. I guess they wanted to save that 160 million for the strikeout king

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Churchton, Davis can’t be sent to the minors because of his service time. I would find it amazing if they let her m go with four years left on his contract.

  4. Borg

    July 23, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Brach’s downward spiral is the reason I don’t think it is smart to worry too much about retaining relief pitchers. There are very few who seem able to sustain long runs of consistency. A position player, after four or five years, has usually established a track record that will accurately predict the next four or five years. Pitchers go up and down much more often. If any team would pony up some legit prospects for Britton, Brach, and even Givens, then I think the Orioles should see if those three could bring back five to seven prospects and push along this rebuild. Britton and Givens should both bring multiple players in return

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Borg, I think Britton will bring back some quality players. I’m not sure Givens is on the market, yet.

  5. 54orioles

    July 23, 2018 at 6:46 am

    Not to worry, Brad has pitched himself out of any trade possibility

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Lots of times a better team and change of scenery work well for a player, and that could be the same for Brach, 54.

    • 54orioles

      July 23, 2018 at 9:09 am

      You are right about that. I remember a guy name Robinson that was washed up in Cincinnati but was a super star in Bmore

  6. Ekim

    July 23, 2018 at 6:57 am

    As long as the conversation is about pitchers and rebuilding, why not throw in Bundy and Gausman… get some value for them while they still have it? But, the real “elephant in the room” when it comes to pitchers is McDowell. Since his arrival we’ve seen nothing but regression from our pitchers. He ran Atlanta into last place while he was there and he’s done the same here. It’s not a fun time to be an O’s fan but if they’re serious about rebuilding why not go the right way and start over?

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:52 am

      My guess is that if they’re considering a trade for Bundy or Gausman, it comes in the offseason, Ekim.

    • Ekim

      July 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Makes sense.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 23, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Brach was a nice 6th or 7th inning setup man, but that’s the extent of it. Putting him in when the game is on the line probably has never been wise, and it certainly isn’t now. So you’re not going to get much for him if anything at all. I expect him back next year.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:59 am

      Brach is likely to be moved, this month or next. A change of scenery and better team should improve his performance, BBR.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 23, 2018 at 8:59 am

      Sorry, BRR.

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