Orioles' Gutiérrez makes case for 2022; Mountcastle gets Hyde's vote; Call for questions - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Gutiérrez makes case for 2022; Mountcastle gets Hyde’s vote; Call for questions

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Beginning Monday, the Orioles will start making changes to their 40-man roster. Kelvin Gutiérrez hopes he’s convinced the decision-makers that he deserves to be on it for 2022.

Gutiérrez was considered simply another third baseman who could play in place of the injured Maikel Franco when he was acquired in early July from Kansas City. But after Franco’s season-long struggles continued — a .210 average with a .609 OPS and poor play at third — he was cut in late August.

At the time, Gutiérrez was one of several infield candidates, but with season-ending injuries to Ramón Urias, and Jorge Mateo, Gutiérrez has had no competition for playing time at third. Lately, he has been making the most of his opportunity.

Before Saturday, when he was hitless in three at-bats in the Orioles’ 10-1 loss to Toronto, Gutiérrez had hit safely in his previous nine games. Gutiérrez is hitting .225 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 45 games with the Orioles. He has stepped up his defense, too.

“Gutiérrez got an opportunity to play when we let Franco go,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s done a good job defensively and, as of late, has swung the bat much better. He’s become interesting, a guy that’s got a lot of tools. Showed you the power [last Saturday] night. He hit one the other way. Now he pulled one [Friday] night and played extremely solid defensively.”

The Orioles wanted to look at Rylan Bannon, but entering Saturday night’s game Bannon was hitting just .180 at Triple-A Norfolk. While Bannon remains on the 40-man roster, Gutiérrez could enter spring training as the favorite to start the season at third.

Besides Bannon, the Orioles have two recent high draft choices, one of whom could wind up at third — Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg. Both began the season at Low-A Delmarva and were promoted to both High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie.

It’s possible that one or both could play third for the Orioles by the end of the 2022 season, but Gutiérrez — like Urías and Mateo before they got hurt — have given the Orioles more to think about. If nothing else, it buys them time to develop their prospects.

Another intriguing figure is reliever Joey Krehbiel, who was claimed on waivers from Tampa Bay on September 21st and in 5 1/3 innings, has allowed one run on two hits.

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With Jorge López, Tanner Scott and Tyler Wells on the injured list, there are opportunities for pitchers like Krehbiel to prove themselves. Hyde wants to see more of Krehbiel and Brooks Kriske, who was claimed on waivers from the New York Yankees on September 16th. Kriske is 1-0 with a 12.27 ERA in four games.

“Krehbiel’s just got here,” Hyde said. “Kriske, we haven’t seen a ton of. I think at the end of the year, we’ll sit down. We have 40-man roster decisions to make. [General manager Mike Elias] and the front office group with go through that and evaluate every single guy. I think we’re just going to continue to evaluate and see what the 40-man looks like at the end of the year and going into the offseason.”

Campaigning for Mountcastle: There are a number of strong candidates for the American League Rookie of the Year. Ballots by voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America are due before postseason play begins on Tuesday.

The Orioles haven’t had a Rookie of the Year since reliever Gregg Olson in 1989. Hyde thinks Mountcastle deserves it.

“Could we start talking about him a little bit more as Rookie of the Year, please?” Hyde said. “It’s 33 homers and 90 RBIs on a team that hasn’t scored a ton of runs this year. It’s incredibly impressive.”

Hyde was asked why he thinks Mountcastle hasn’t been getting attention.

“I think he’s been lost because of our record,” Hyde said. “Maybe we’re not on national TV as much. I don’t know what the answer is. I do think he should be heavily considered for that award for what he’s done, and he has my vote.”

Call for questions: Next week, we’ll have our first monthly offseason mailbag. Place your questions in the comments box below or email them to: [email protected].

Thank you, readers: As a disappointing season for the Orioles ends, on behalf of our publisher, Steve Cockey, and our editor, Jack Gibbons, I’d like to thank our readers. While attendance at the ballpark has been down, the number of people reading our site is at an all-time high.

Clearly, there’s interest in and passion for the Orioles. This season, we found that you especially enjoyed our minor league coverage and stories about the draft. In 2022, we’ll continue to spotlight the up-and-comers. The reader mailbags have been especially well received, and those will continue each month throughout the offseason.

We’ll be providing the latest news on the Orioles throughout the offseason, and we hope you’ll be reading. Thank you for your loyalty to BaltimoreBaseball.com. We can’t guarantee a substantially better team, but we can promise substantial coverage, and as they say in baseball:

Have a good winter!

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    October 3, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Hyde should support Mountcastle & it’s warranted, blame War if he doesn’t get it & not baseball sense or IQ…go O’s…

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      October 3, 2021 at 8:08 am

      Like a selective homer, CalsPals is there…(to the State Farm tune)

    • CalsPals

      October 3, 2021 at 9:15 am

      At least I know you’re done posting now…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        October 3, 2021 at 9:25 am

        1. CPs… you have a point on the WAR…very misleading.

        2. From Brooks’PJs to Hummerboy ….I smell an identity crisis.

  2. bill-s

    October 3, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Loved your coverage all season. Especially great for me because I am no longer living in the local market. Thanks for your work.

  3. Orial

    October 3, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Unless they sign a quality FA for 3B(very highly unlikely) it’s Guttierrez’ position to lose. Bannon had the fan drumbeat,similar to Jahmai Jones,for a while but that’s fizzling out. Kriske had an outing Friday that kinda represented the pitching staff in a nutshell–dominated first 2 hitters then got blasted by the last 4. O’s staff has not only been inconsistent it’s been EXTREMELY inconsistent. Must say one thing–the O’s have been so dreadful the last few years that with a few promising talents on the roster(Guttierrez,Mateo) and a number one rated farm system this off-season may just actually be worth getting our hopes up over. We’ll see. It all starts tonight-12:01AM. Wonder if Aaron Boone had a good night’s sleep?

    • CalsPals

      October 3, 2021 at 9:17 am

      Only consistent part of their pitching was the inconsistency…lol…go O’s…

  4. Mike1966

    October 3, 2021 at 8:49 am

    Thanks Rich for the coverage. Enjoy the offseason. Looking forward to next season.

  5. Chicken1981

    October 3, 2021 at 9:08 am

    If Kevin is starting at 3rd next year get ready for 100 more losses.I’m happy he had 2 good weeks but he’s not a starting big league 3rd basemen. Typical O’s a guy stinks for 5 months but has 2 good week & let’s make him the starter.Your not beating good team with Kevin as your 3rd basemen

    • musicmanjr

      October 3, 2021 at 9:19 am

      Wow, Chicken1981! Starting Kelvin Guttierrez at 3rd is your rationalization for the O’s losing 100+ games in 2022??? Couldn’t possibly be our Major League worst pitching staff, could it?

      • Chicken1981

        October 3, 2021 at 11:45 am

        Dude I’m saying if he’s starting at 3rd that means they didn’t attempt to sign anybody good & we definitely not signing anybody good to pitch if your even thinking about Kevin coming back to start at 3rd. You can keep believing in Elias he hasn’t proved that he will fix the pitching until proving otherwise he’s just talking

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 3, 2021 at 9:22 am

    Rich … I’ve never known BB.com to completely shut down over the offseason. Are you saying that you are?

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 3, 2021 at 9:48 am

      Please read the second to last paragraph, Ken: “We’ll be providing the latest news on the Orioles throughout the offseason, and we hope you’ll be reading.”

      I was trying to thank readers while assuring them that we would continue through the winter. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clearer.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        October 3, 2021 at 10:33 am

        No Rich, my bad. You were more than clear enough.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 3, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Oh yeah …. my 2 cents …

    Kevin Gutierrez … not as a corner infielder. Take a look at him at 2nd base, maybe a utility guy.

    But until the O’s don’t have room for the likes of Kevin & Ramon, we’re not going to be competitive with the rest of our division.

    That all being said, and like every one of youm already know and have stated … our problem isn’t hitting the ball. Mikey said the other day he’s going to look outside the organization for some arms …let’s see if he can be man of his word for the 1st time since taking the helm. Let’s also see what kind of $$$ he’ll be permitted to commit.

  8. Mhmartz

    October 3, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Thank you! I read the site every day and I particularly enjoy the minor league updates.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 3, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Thank you, Mhmartz!

  9. Jersery O

    October 3, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Thank you Rich for all you write. Always look forward for your newsletter.

  10. Lankyrat

    October 3, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Thank you Rich for your excellent objective articles over a hard to watch season. I look forward to reading more during the off-season.

  11. MDNative58

    October 3, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Hallelujah! We get to pick first. Welcome Elijah Green!!!

  12. cedar

    October 3, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks to everyone for making Baltimore Baseball my number one stop for news and especially fantastic commentary.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 4, 2021 at 7:33 am

      Thank you, cedar.

  13. BirdNDuckFan

    October 3, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks Rich for a interesting year, I am a loooong time bird fan on the west coast and your coverage at times is all I get or should I say all I care about. I have confidence the O’s will pick up some new arms or used arms, to help out in the pen. And thanks to all the O’s fans, my heart will always be with the Go O’s!.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 4, 2021 at 7:34 am

      Thank you, BirdNDuckFan!

      • Phil770

        October 4, 2021 at 9:04 am

        Rich, great job keeping us O’s fans informed. Looking forward to your off season coverage as well. The CBA will have a huge impact on what the team can do. Hopefully, Elias will attempt to put a competitive team on the field, not just wishful thinking.

  14. Kjbsball

    October 3, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you for all the coverage throughout the season. I appreciate this app and all you do for my favorite team in all of sports. Go 0’s!

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 4, 2021 at 7:34 am

      Thank you, Kjbsball.

  15. Birdland South

    October 4, 2021 at 1:14 am

    Rich, thanks for another season of excellent coverage. I’m a longtime fan, but continue to learn, thanks to you and your always interesting commentators.
    See you soon down here in Sarasota for (a hopefully normal) Spring Training!

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 4, 2021 at 7:35 am

      Look forward to seeing you in Sarasota. Thank you for reading.

  16. BenSch

    October 4, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Yeah, if you don’t live in the land of pleasant living any more, it’s really great to commune with others who bleed orange and black. We don’t love the Os cuz they’re good, we love em cuz they’re family. And we always hold out high expectations for them. Can’t wait to see them kicking Yankee butt!

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