Answers to your Orioles questions -

Rich Dubroff

Answers to your Orioles questions

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles’ 60-game 2020 season starts on Friday in Boston against the Red Sox, and it’s time to answer some questions from readers.

Question: Should the focus be on competing this season since it’s conceivable any team could get hot for two months, or push the kids out there to help their growth regardless of immediate won/loss results? From @benstandig

Answer: I prefer the latter approach. While a less talented team’s chances are mathematically better in 60 games than in 162, realistically, the Orioles don’t have enough to contend.

In order to make the postseason, the Orioles would have to beat out at least two of the following teams — Yankees, Rays, Twins, Astros, Athletics, Angels and Red Sox, and I think that’s highly unlikely.

I’m eager to see Ryan Mountcastle get a full shot as well as Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer receive opportunities to start meaningful games.

Question: Why haven’t the Orioles added Bruce Zimmermann to their 60-man player pool after his strong spring? From: Bill Connor via email.

Answer: I was a little puzzled, too. Zimmermann was supposed to pitch on March 12, but that was the day that spring training was halted because of Covid-19

I asked Matt Blood, the Orioles’ director of player development, if the team had immediate plans to add Zimmermann in a video conference call on Sunday, and he said he expected him to be added, but perhaps not imminently.

As well as Akin and Kremer, I’m eager to see how Zimmermann handles major league pitching, and I would expect him to get a call to go to Bowie soon and eventually pitch for the Orioles sometime during the 60-game season.


Question: Rich, if extra innings start with a runner on second base, is the pitcher charged with an earned run allowed if that runner scores? Example: man on second, first batter bunts him to third, second batter hits fly ball to center, runner tags up and scores, third batter grounds out to short. From: Lou Spahn, Port Charlotte, Florida via email

Answer: The pitcher would not be charged with an earned run. For statistical purposes, the runner reaches on an error, but it’s not counted in individual or team errors.

Question: Who is the face of the franchise in 2020? From Rivka Meiselman via email

Answer: At this point, it doesn’t look like there is one. For years, Adam Jones was the unofficial face of the franchise. Last year, Trey Mancini’s outstanding performance and personality made him the Orioles’ go-to guy.

With Mancini out for the season after colon cancer surgery, there’s no obvious choice but that could always change with a breakout year.

Two players to watch are Austin Hays and Anthony Santander.

Question: How could pitchers 50-plus years ago throw 16 innings, 200 pitches without arm injury?  Means has arm fatigue already; pitchers are held to 100-plus pitches; so many guys have Tommy John surgery.  Is it only because pitchers today throw harder than they did years ago, or am I missing something?  Look how many complete games Palmer had (211). From: Bob Stier, Loganville, Pennsylvania via email

Answer: It’s absolutely true that many pitchers in the past threw more innings and complete games. It’s also true that many pitchers had their careers ended prematurely because of injuries.

Sandy Koufax’s career ended when he was 31 because of an arthritic elbow. Don Drysdale’s career ended with a torn rotator cuff at 32.

Today, Koufax could have continued after Tommy John surgery, and so could Drysdale.

In recent years, Mariano Rivera pitched effectively until he was 43, and Bartolo Colon pitched until he was 45 in 2018.

Question: Rich, we’ve seen a lot about how the dugouts are being expanded to allow for social distancing, but are there any special accommodations being made to the bullpens? I get that they have more space because of the practice mounds, but they’ll be more pitchers and maybe the extra catchers would be there as well.- Cedar from

Answer: Cedar, I’ve seen Oriole games in three parks in the last three nights, and in each of them, it seems the pitchers are keeping socially distant in the bullpen.

Major league bullpens are larger than you think, and even with 10 pitchers, two bullpen catchers and a coach, there’s enough room for all of them without violating the distance rules.

Question: How is Adam Jones doing in Japan? Is there a site where I can check on former O’s? What will happen with our minor league players? Hoping for 24 wins. Do you think we’ll get them? Do you foresee any trades? Johnathon Meekins via email

Answer: As of Tuesday night, Jones is batting .243 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 28 games with the Orix Buffaloes in the Japan Pacific Baseball League.

Those numbers are available on and

Hopefully, the minor leaguers who aren’t at the Bowie alternative site will get to play in an extended fall or instructional-type league, health permitting.

Twenty-four wins would be ambitious, but the Orioles again are in the talent accumulation mode, so they’re not obsessing on the win total.

The trade deadline is August 31, and trades will be difficult to make since just five weeks of the season will have been played, and many teams will still think they’re in the race.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. CalsPals

    July 22, 2020 at 8:08 am

    I know one of the crazy rules was no spitting, seriously in baseball, I watched Gary Sanchez spit a big lugi (sp) just before hitting a HR, at least another dozen players spit w/no one saying a thing, I’m a stickler for rules, what gives?…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 22, 2020 at 8:43 am

      The umpires don’t know spit from shinola.

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Awesome…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 9:16 am

      They can get their shoes polished at the airport, lol…go O’s…

  2. NormOs

    July 22, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I missed the Q and A thing, but I’d like to ask two questions.

    1. In reviewing the present pitching staff (gag) when will the O’s sign a REAL MLB pitcher?

    2. When does the “REBUILD” start?

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 22, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Norm, I asked for questions in several blogs. I’ll have one again next month, and perhaps you can submit your question, and since I can’t answer it over a , you’ll see an answer in print.

  3. TxBirdFan

    July 22, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Bleacher Report just published their top 100 MLB players for this year, in addition to several honorable mentions. There wasn’t a single Oriole listed. We probably didn’t have anyone even close. Thats just Shameful for a once proud organization. 15 wins this year might be a long shot.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 22, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      It is shameful Tex. I’m just hoping that Mr. Elias does turn it around, but this not giving a dang about the present really chaps my buns. I’m starting to think that MLB should do something like the NBA in terms of a lottery for the draft. Pretty soon, if not already, there will be half a dozen or more teams tanking. And why do they tank? Because they don’t trust their own system and draft process and may not really know what the heck they’re doing. It’s a cheat.

    • Bancells Moustache

      July 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Pretty sure they didn’t make the top 200 either.

    • Birdman

      July 22, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      Orioles fans are understandably frustrated about the team’s woeful performance over the past several years, but I don’t think the Elias bashers have much of an argument. Elias doesn’t set the team’s budget, and its pretty clear that ownership has him on a very short financial leash, so he doesn’t have the flexibility to make significant FA signings. And although some accuse Elias of “tanking,” who are the players that Elias is keeping buried in the minors that are actually ready and able to make an immediate impact in the majors? Maybe one player at most, Mountcastle, and he’s a maybe, otherwise who else?

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 22, 2020 at 9:38 pm

        2 Years ago it was Sisco. Last year Hays & Santander. Last year he traded our most accomplished starter for 2, 16 year old cabana boys. This year he failed to bring back our best hitter (Villar) to save a paltry $8 million. Where was Mountcastle last year? And you’re thinking about holding him out a few weeks THIS 60 game season? And who the hell has he signed to fill the gaps in the short term? Milone? Julio Iglesias at short? Puhleeeeeze.

        I don’t want to hear about the short purse strings either. Dumpster Dan knew all about that. So when Elias was first hired, both he and the Angelos boys assured us that Mike had full reign to run the ship as he best saw fit. This either means he’s 1) lying, or 2)full of spit, OR 3) and this is my guess…that he sold ownership on the let’s save our duckets and lose like the Washington Generals until the old man passes and you can sell the team, meanwhile I get to shortcut the system by drafting #1 or 2 each year. And eventually we can beat some trash cans from the clubhouse!

        I’m at a loss to understand how any baseball fan can see what the Orioles have been doing and NOT think it’s intentional.

        • Birdman

          July 22, 2020 at 10:54 pm

          So Boog your theory is that the Angelos brothers were standing by with an open checkbook, but Elias somehow convinced them not to spend the money. That’s a pretty wild conspiracy theory. And your claim that Dan Duquette operated under the same payroll constraints as Elias doesn’t add up. DD signed two (failed) pitchers (Ubaldo and Cobb) to contracts of over $50 million each. Do you seriously believe that current ownership would allow Elias to sign a $50 million free agent?

          And again, I pose the question who are all those players that Elias, as part of his supposed tanking plan, is keeping buried in the minors, even though they are actually ready and able to make an immediate impact in the majors?

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            July 22, 2020 at 11:53 pm

            You’re putting a lot of words in my mouth that I didn’t say. And I hope you’re not assuming either.

            Yes Dan spent $$ on a few guys, but they didn’t call him Dumpster Dan for no reason. And please, the Crush signing was not his. That was a Peter Angelos knee jerk reaction to fan backlash for the failure to sign Nelson Cruz the prior year.

            All I’m saying is that they (the Angelos boys) are more than happy to accommodate a plan of being overly frugal while they wait the old man’s time out. It’ll be a lot easier to sell a team with a small payroll. And yeah, I think that plan was mapped out before and during Mike Elias signing. I don’t see anything wild out that sort of conspiracy.

            Back to the current tank job … who the heck has Elias added to make the team better? Anybody? Name just one….just one stinkin’ quality player. He’s simply NOT trying to win. His plan isn’t hard to understand at all. Sort of like addition by subtraction over the long haul…not hard to understand at all….it’s just hard to stomach.

            So are you really telling me that there’s no tanking going on? Really?

  4. CalsPals

    July 22, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Hey, careful, can’t question anything, Mikey Hyde has a plan, or so we’ve been told…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 22, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Bringing the rain again?

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Downpour…go O’s…

    • TxBirdFan

      July 22, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Hard to tell is there is a complete plan other than tanking and getting a low draft pick. And as they say – failing to plan is planning to fail!

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      TBF, agree, hard to tell if there is a legitimate plan, unfortunately you could play most of our last two drafts w/ selected others from the minors & probably beat these guys, that’s what pisses me off, ex: their last two “ scrimmages” they played an infielder in the outfield…WTF…go O’s…

      • Phil770

        July 23, 2020 at 9:43 am

        Guys, there’s a plan. You don’t like the plan. The spending is going to international, technology, analytics, minor league development and coaching. BRR would rather have DD in charge of a rebuild, and blame the owner for every bad decision, no matter who made it. Signing Davis doomed this franchise, after CD got suspended for not getting permission to use his meds. PA, Buck, DD and Brady made the environment untenable to winning. Starting over, ground up is a painful way to go.

  5. OriolesNumber1Fan

    July 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Just proves my point and goes to show the cupboard is and was bare. Duquette cleaned house after the run was over and when it was obvious to everyone and too little too late. So Elias is now left to pick up the pieces and restock using the draft and international market signings which is all he has left to use an he’s currently doing so. The better free agents certainly won’t come to Baltimore and play for a losing team. They offered Yasiel Puig a free agent contract but he signed with Atlanta Braves who has a way better team and a chance to win it all. So, like all small market teams have to do eventually when teams get older and start to decline, get hurt and/or leave for free agency – start over. Duquette could have traded some of the better players during their recent prime years during the recent run to restock so it wouldn’t be so bad now but he didn’t so here we are! Not pretty, but unlike the antagonist on this site that sings the same crying song over and over and over and over and…. I look to better days!!!

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      FYI, Puig didn’t pass his physical w/Atlanta…he’s still available, hopefully they play their youngens, he’s not worth the gamble…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 22, 2020 at 9:41 pm

        He’s tattling on you to the principle.

        • OriolesNumber1Fan

          July 23, 2020 at 8:43 am

          Lie some more to WorldlyView with your hollow apologies telling him you would quit this nonsense. Everyone knows who’s lying now.

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 23, 2020 at 8:40 am

        The deal fell apart over Covid-19. Per the Athletic: Atlanta never reached a formal agreement with Puig, but were advancing toward adding him to their roster until he tested positive for Covid-19. The news of the deal falling apart was first reported by The Athletic. According to Yahoo, Puig told the club he had been exposed to someone who had tested positive, so instead of flying to Atlanta, he took a test in Miami where he learned the diagnosis.

    • CalsPals

      July 23, 2020 at 7:58 am

      I sit in the principal’s office every day, not a big deal…lmao…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      July 23, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Wow, correcting his own (already corrected) comments on Puig, not sure what he’s trying to say…the more things change, the more they stay the same…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 23, 2020 at 10:31 am


      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        July 23, 2020 at 11:06 am

        I was just passing on the information I heard or read on the timeline I heard it. MASN stated the Orioles interest in Puig so I passed this on for other posters on this site. ESPN stated that Puig signed with Atlanta so I posted earlier the the same. Ken Rosenthal of MLB stated along with yourself that Atlanta changed their minds after Covid-19 scare with Puig so I posted such news. Now Fansided has now stated: Just days after he was released by the rival New York Mets, first baseman and designated hitter option Matt Adams has been picked up by the Atlanta Braves. He will replace the power bat of Puig and their interest.

  6. OriolesNumber1Fan

    July 22, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Hey WorldlyView – the antagonist is back at it again, so here’s hoping you saw this.

  7. IrishAl81

    July 23, 2020 at 10:32 am

    This Oriole team could add Mike Trout and still lose 40 games. This isn’t the time to make a splash in the free agent market and not doing so doesnt in itself equate to tanking. This is the perfect year to get experience for our younger prospects. i expect that to happen, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 23, 2020 at 11:46 am

      You make perfect sense. But this guy is now into his 3rd year, and he hasn’t made any additions worth noting.

      And I love the “will be in the eating” line … Besides clever, it’s spot on. Let’s bring up the youngsters, but why wait? Service time? BS…we’ll be lucky if they are good enough to worry about losing a year early.

      You make a good point Irish..

      • Phil770

        July 23, 2020 at 7:07 pm

        BRR, Elias was hired November 16, 2018. We have had three plus years of misery, but 2017 and 2018 were on the previous watch. Agree that Elias hasn’t added anyone at the MLB level of note, but why would anyone come to Baltimore, unless it is a last resort? I would have preferred to retain Villar too, but only as a 2B. O’s wanted Hanser at 2B. Maybe Rich could offer some insight on Villar as it strikes me maybe he preferred Miami to Balto. I don’t think he would have accepted $8M to stay here – being so productive, he could have asked for $10M+ and would have gotten it. Stay safe. Enjoy your retirement.

        • Rich Dubroff

          July 23, 2020 at 8:41 pm

          Phil, the Orioles didn’t want to pay Villar, who was going to be a free agent, that kind of money, so they sent him to the Marlins to save money. They weren’t going to sign him to an extension, and it looks like Jose Iglesias is a better shortstop, though perhaps not as good a hitter.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          July 23, 2020 at 10:45 pm

          You sir are correct. I was wrong thinking this was the 3rd time Elias brought out of spring training. Come to think of it, Dan Duquette must be a better tanker than Elias….just a joke.

          I stand corrected … and please, save the positioning on draft picks, I’m think Elias may have what it takes. Hopefully than Yale education will help this guy structure a winning organization for years to come.

          But tanking sucks….I will always believe that letting Villar go, is simply a slap in the face to competing. And I don’t buy Hanser being the reasoning…

          Again …. my bad … and thanks for setting me straight.

    • CalsPals

      July 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      Nice Irish, many of us have been saying this for a while, bring up the youngens & see if they can play, the fans deserve the O’s trying to do better…go O’s…

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