Diner Question: Which new Oriole has made the greatest impression on you? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dubroff’s Diner

Diner Question: Which new Oriole has made the greatest impression on you?

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

After Thursday night’s 11-inning 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles have an 8-12 record.

Of the 25 players on the roster, eight are new to the organization since the end of last season: Hanser Alberto, Josh Lucas, Richie Martin, Rio Ruiz, Pedro Severino, Dwight Smith Jr., Dan Straily and Jesus Sucre.

Another, John Means, who won Thursday night’s game, pitched just one game for the Orioles last season.

Which player or players have made the greatest impression on you—positive or negative so far in 2019?

This week’s Diner question: Which new Oriole has stood out the most in 2019?

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. PC in OC

    April 19, 2019 at 7:43 am

    By far, Smith Jr, I also like Ruiz, Sucre ( When they start hitting, Watch out ) & John Means.

    • mugsneil

      April 19, 2019 at 8:08 am

      Definitely Smith but Means is also showing great progress.

  2. BGrich2B

    April 19, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Dwight Smith Jr has been the biggest surprise to me this season. I think our catching defense has been a significant upgrade. I have really appreciated the way this team is running hard down the line on routine ground balls like Richie Martin and Cedric Mullins did last night.


      April 19, 2019 at 9:13 am

      Scrubs always hustle. It was much more impressive when Adam Jones always ran hard to first..

      • OsfansinWV

        April 19, 2019 at 10:09 am

        Jones is gone and I miss him just as much as everyone else. It’s time for the new era of O’s baseball. You’re either in or out!! Quit trolling and go root for the Nats!

        • VICTORTEE

          April 20, 2019 at 9:20 am

          ELIAS IS GOD!!!!!!! Happy now?

          Was I right saying scrubs always hustle?

        • VICTORTEE

          April 20, 2019 at 9:36 am

          I’m curious. How long have you been an “Os fan”? I have been one since 1966.
          Sorry if you are such an Elias tushie kisser that you can’t bear to hear criticism of him and his bunch of scrubs.

  3. Ekim

    April 19, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Smith appears to be a bona-fide big leaguer. The rest are just “fill-ins. Means is definitely a surprise. I’ve followed him in the minors for so long he almost seems like a veteran.

    • Eldersburg Enigma

      April 19, 2019 at 8:22 am

      Smith to me looks like a fourth outfielder who has enjoyed some positive moments this month. Richie Martin has made the best impression on me thus far. Sure, he’s probably two years away from being a legitimate major league hitter, but he has the athleticism that projects better than nearly anyone else on the roster. I’m looking ahead four years and I see someone with a chance to still be here when hopefully this team turns a corner.

  4. bigdaddydk

    April 19, 2019 at 8:21 am

    First off, let me say that this team isn’t expected to win a lot. And I’m fine with that as part of a rebuild. But I’ve enjoyed watching them. They hustle. They make every at bat count. They play like they’re auditioning for the team, which in effect they are. This team is much more fun than last year’s “one more shot” team that was awful to watch. They just went through the motions so many times and looked like they were waiting for the trades to begin.

    That being said, Dwight Smith, Jr. Has been a really pleasant surprise. He looks like a guy who could be here once the next window opens. His defense is an upgrade, although upgrading last year’s outfield defense could have been done with a couple of 5-gallon buckets. Still, he shows potential and he appears genuinely happy to be here and compete for now and for the future.

    Others have impressed me too, like Means, Sucre and Severino. But Smith is the real standout so far.

  5. Le Merlu

    April 19, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Means and Smith Jr. by far. But if there’s a need to pick one, I’ll go with Means due to him being a pitcher.

  6. OsfansinWV

    April 19, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Hey Rich, thanks for all the great articles! Smith Jr and the catching duo has to be the biggest surprise but I’d like to throw in Alberto as well… it’s been 3 fun weeks of baseball thus far and I firmly believe this team will slightly overachieve what a lot of experts and analysts had predicted all spring! Sure I miss some of the guys we had here as much as other O’s fans but I’m really excited to see this team move forward. Let’s Go O’s!

  7. Fareastern89

    April 19, 2019 at 8:39 am

    John Means. I thought he was just another 4A guy coming into the season, but that changeup has made a huge difference. Let’s hope he can sustain his success when teams get a second and third look at him.

  8. Orial

    April 19, 2019 at 8:45 am

    John Means stands out. Finally a pitcher who “gets it”. Love the defensive combo of Ruiz and Martin. Their defense is a big difference maker. Ruiz is even showing some pop. The two headed combo of Sucre/Severino. A name you don’t hear–Nunez. He seems to be coming into his own as a hitter. I wanted defense and I got defense.


      April 19, 2019 at 9:16 am

      Sucre and Severino may have good arms but I thought good defensive catchers were supposed to help the pitching staff. Have these two improved the pitchers? If yes, why are we on a pace to give up the most homers in history?

      • Bancells Moustache

        April 19, 2019 at 10:46 am

        You can stick Johnny Bench or Mickey Cochrane back there and Bundy is gonna give up 3 a game.

      • Orial

        April 19, 2019 at 1:21 pm

        Good question “Vic”. They set up their targets but the pitches never seem to hit the mark. I think that’s led to a little of the catchers’ over reactions. That I assume is being addressed.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 19, 2019 at 11:29 am

      They can catch but can’t help pitchers like Bundy and Hess. No one can. They just have Mediocre stuff and fastballs that aren’t fast and don’t move and are waiting to be blasted . On another note I like both these guys defense but aren’t catchers supposed to hit too?

  9. SpinMaster

    April 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Like most of the other comments here, I agree with Dwight Smith has stood out by far and has been a very pleasant surprise, but others have surprised me as well.

  10. Bhoffman1

    April 19, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Dwight Smith and Means are keepers and great finds. Means pitches so smart which all great pitchers do and which has been lacking here. I like Severino over Sucre

  11. Michele1

    April 19, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Smith. He seems to be the whole package. It’s been fun so far watching this team. This team has some talent and lots of heart.

  12. Hallbe62

    April 19, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Outside of some spotty pitching, I’m pleasantly surprised with the entire team.

  13. PA Bird Lover

    April 19, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Smith jr, yes but, Martin has showed his great range with several deep hole throws. John Means looks the name.

  14. ButchBird59

    April 19, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I agree with the consensus: Smith Jr.
    Honorable mention to Sucre. I love the way he gets in the face of the pitchers. He has future pitching coach written all over him.

    • Jbigle1

      April 19, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      I’m not sure how many former catchers become major league pitching coaches. I would think not many.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 19, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      Dave Duncan was a catcher who became an excellent pitching coach, jbigle.

  15. Bancells Moustache

    April 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

    This new guy they’ve got coming off the bench, #19, whose been tearing the cover off the ball recently. Where’d this kid come from?

    • Raymo

      April 19, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      Ha! Splendid comment BanMo (as usual)!

  16. chico salmon

    April 19, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Brandon Hyde has made a hugely positive impression. The way he handled the Hess no- hitter, the Davis situation, his positive approach. I didn’t know anything about him before he was hired. I understand he interviewed for several other managerial openings. I’m very happy the other clubs took a pass.

    • Raymo

      April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Hey Rich, this might be a good topic for a future article. How are the other guys doing who beat out Hyde? Interested in how they are perceived to be doing with their new clubs.

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you for the suggestion, Raymo.

  17. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    April 19, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Dwight Smith has impressed me since I saw him in Spring Training. He is athletic and has power to the opposite field. Richie Martin is a terrific fielder – making some incredible defensive plays. Hopefully, he can start hitting. Means has been a real surprise too. He is staying ahead of the hitters – making good pitches.

  18. HBZ

    April 19, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Jesus Secre

  19. [email protected] yard

    April 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I agree with a lot of the nominees already posted. My favorite is Rio Ruiz. Good glove and the bat will improve. He is a baseball player!

  20. CalsPals

    April 19, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Smith has impressed me the most, another Jr son of a major leaguer, not as known as Tatis & Vlad, I don’t see Martin translating to an everyday starter, down the road, unless we find major upgrades pitching wise, he brings little offense to the table…appreciate your positive spin on everything, been fun so far…

  21. Bumble bee

    April 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    I think the 2019 edition of our team has surprised me. From the head coach on down. Sure the team has many flaws but the excitement of the youth of this team makes every game something to watch and hope that in the near future we will be a team to recon with

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