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First Place O's Take Series Against Jays, Head To Kansas City With A Red Hot Manny Machado

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After the O’s hot 7-0 start, they hit their first minor speed bump of the season, if you even want to call it that. They lost two of three to Texas in a shortened series, but then came home to face the Blue Jays where they won two of three. So they now sit at 10-4, still in first place in the division. No one else in the A.L. East is even above .500. However, there is a small reason for concern. I wrote last week how the pitching has not been going deep into games, well that streak continued this week. Even in their wins, guys are only going five or six innings, not a recipe for success. But when you have an offense that can break open a game at any point, and a shut down bullpen like the O’s have, you can work with a pitcher going six.

But let’s stop focusing on the negatives, and take a look at the things going well for the Orioles so far.

Joey Rickard

Seriously, what can’t Joey Rickard do? Literally NO ONE thought he had a chance to make an impact like this, yet here he is, batting leadoff for the team that has the best record in the A.L. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t sure about Rickard coming out of Sarasota, but I’ll eat my words, the guy is raking right now.

He’s second on the team in hits (21), second in doubles (5), third in total bases (29), and third in average at .350. He’s bringing it on defense too, as he made a tough catch at the wall last night, and had a hell of a throw to nab the runner at home on Wednesday night.

He really did come out of no where to snatch this left field spot. Everyone had Hyun Soo Kim penciled in to start the season there, now it looks like Kim may never see the field again. Rickard is a perfect example of what happens when a guy takes advantage of someone else’s struggles and doesn’t look back. It looks like another diamond in the rough for Dan Duquette.

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Manny Machado

Manny is just in a zone right now. He’s had a hit in all 14 games this season, batting .407, slugging .780, has five homers, nine driven in, seven doubles, and is continuing his Gold Glove winning defense at third. Every ball he hits is a laser into the gap, and he has his sights set on an A.L. MVP award.

I went on 105.7 The Fan last week and talked about why they need to get Manny signed soon. He’s a free agent after 2018, and could very easily get $400 million. The O’s have to get him signed. If he heads into the 2017 season without a deal, he likely wont sign a deal, and head to free agency to see what is out there come 2018. I’m begging you, buy out his arbitration years now, give him $130 million RIGHT NOW, and figure the rest out later. You can’t let Manny get to free agency, you just can’t. I don’t even want to type what would happen to the city of Baltimore if he ever puts on another jersey. Get him signed, and get him signed soon.

Other Notes

  • O’s are 3-0 on the season when they don’t hit a home run, which is good that they can find ways to score runs without going yard.
  • Jonathan Schoop walked for the third time last night, he had nine all of last season.
  • Dylan Bundy recorded his first career strikeout. Good for him. He’s been waiting for this moment for a very long time, glad it finally came for him, and more importantly, glad it came in an Orioles uniform. Here’s to many, many more.
  • Jose Bautista pees while sitting down.
  • O’s gave up 9 runs in 3 games against Toronto, while David Price gave up 8 ER yesterday. Is that good?
  • It looks like Kevin Gausman could make his season debut Monday @ Tampa. Huge piece back for the Birds, who hopefully will have some stability once Gausman comes back.
  • Brian Matusz looks like he will be coming off the DL on Saturday in Kansas City. Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Mychael Givens, and T.J. McFarland all have options, so it looks like two of those guys will have to go down to make room. But which two?

Upcoming:

Friday 4/22 @ Kansas City- Yovani Gallardo (1-0 5.63 ERA) vs Chris Young (0-3 7.90 ERA)

Saturday 4/23 @ Kansas City- TBD (My guess is Vance Worley) vs Kris Medlen (1-0 2.38 ERA)

Sunday 4/24 @ Kansas City- Mike Wright (1-1 5.73 ERA) vs Yordano Ventura (1-0 2.81 ERA)

Monday 4/25 @ Tampa Bay TBD vs TBD

Tuesday 4/26 @ Tampa Bay TBD vs TBD

Wednesday 4/27 @ Tampa Bay TBD vs TBD