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Luke Jones and Nestor examine Orioles strengths and Holliday weaknesses as late nights in Anaheim await

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

bullpen, pitching, year, play, week, point, hit, team, baseball, struggled, talking, ball, good, jackson, holiday, couple, corbin, orioles, baltimore, weekend

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn S T I am 5070, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively taking the show on the road this week. We are looking forward to that because the orals is going to keep us up late early in the week and then get back home this weekend against the the triple A team somewhere out there in Sacramento or wherever they’re playing. These days. We’re gonna have some fun this week talking some Oakland A’s. We’re also going to talk some horse racing and the horse racing industry. With my pal David Richardson and a whole cadre of folks but maybe not Kadri Ishmael, we’re going to be up at the green mount bowl. We’re going to have these Pac Man scratch offs to give away we’re going to watch the Orioles and the angels in the afternoon on Wednesday after we hang out for a couple hours and we’re gonna have our conversations at the green Mapple once he started putting my 25th anniversary documentary like on the scoreboard inside green mount bowl on there for that I’ll find out whether Luke is up 10 pin or duck pin in a moment on Friday. We’ll be at fade Lee’s from two until five live yes it rhymes. Luke will be there and the Oakland Athletics will be there. You know, I miss going down and having a press credential back in 1992 and 93 when the bash brothers would come in and Kent Seiko would come in here muscle up and Carney Lansford to be hanging on be a little different here this week. We got baseball on the brain because these guys are pretty good. Are they not Luke Jones? This is this is the one you’ve been waiting for my my documentary comes out on Thursday about all this and that and all this 15 years ago you walked into my life waiting waiting for this baseball team. Yeah,

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Luke Jones  01:31

I mean, it hasn’t been all bad. But certainly when you have a team that is as young as talented as promising off the field, in terms of what could come with new ownership. I mean, I’ve said it over and over. I’ll continue to say that. Great. It’s a great time to be an Orioles fan. There’s no question about it. And even the week the weekend over over the weekend in Kansas City where Friday night it starts out in less than promising fashion and Adley rutschman Grand Slam aside nothing to write home about on Friday night and you see Cole Reagan’s is going on Saturday and Seth Lugo is going on Sunday, winning a series looking daunting. And as I said to you before this series, as I said to you, even when the Royals came into town in Baltimore, Royals are much better than they were a year ago. I think that’s evident at this point. I’m not saying they’re going to make the playoffs but I think you see a team that has much more promise even if they still have some roster holes. So you

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:27

know what, on Friday night, I found myself out with Rob Fahey and Keith Brewer up a big falls and having a beer and people were so nice to me and my wife like I and they were all wearing Oriole gear or Raven gear and they came up they wanted to talk rock and roll. And I’m just getting off the yoga mat trying to get a beer in me watch. And I got into a conversation with someone he said what he said the Royals are good. Why do you think that is? And I’m like, the minute rutschman got here. Thanks turned around. They’ve got a special player. They’ve got an Ernie Banks, right. Like, and I think it builds from that. And it happens as we saw here really quickly. It I mean, they haven’t caught on a Kansas City Place look empty all weekend. I’m like, Y’all might have a decent team by like September, right? Yeah,

Luke Jones  03:08

I mean, I think they’re pretty decent right now. Now. Is that going to equate to a playoff spot and all of that we’ll have to see. Again, I think it’s important not to jump to too many conclusions in April, whether you’re selling on a good team or a bad team, quite frankly, but you mentioned a starter on Saturday. We didn’t want to see right. I mean, they have that we didn’t really have that last year. Oh. Oreos had that last year, Kyle paratus was great. Grayson Rodriguez, second half of the season was great, but until it starts happening, you don’t know. One thing Kansas City had done though was they added some veterans starting pitching and Seth Lugo being part of that, even though it didn’t turn out too well for him on Sunday. But for the Orioles. You know, it didn’t look great Friday night, whenever you lose the first game of series, obviously, it’s much more difficult to win a series. You know, that’s just simple math and probability. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:58

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then they got closed on Friday night, too, right? I mean, they’re not going to lose big and bad that much where you’re going to come in in the fifth inning and say, Well, you know, they they’re better than that. But most likely, it’s the other way around. Mostly it’s it’s they’re winning seven to nothing. Yeah,

Luke Jones  04:11

I mean, it’s but it’s baseball. I mean, that’s going to happen. So the fact that they jumped all over Cole Reagan’s the way they did on Saturday, early, and then doing what they did on Sunday where it came together the pitching which Dean Kramer and even Corbin burns on Saturday, you know, didn’t get through six innings. Corbin gave them exactly what they needed on Sunday after a couple long not so impressive nights from the bullpen. Cole urban gave them probably his best start as an Oreo, quite frankly, which I know the bar hasn’t been overly high. But the guy that we saw on Sunday is what Michael is envision when they acquired him from Oakland a couple off seasons ago. So I mean, they’ve continued to swing the bats. Well, that’s been evident they lead the league in homeruns. You know, it hasn’t necessarily profiled exactly as you thought it was. and still waiting for a couple guys to get going, you know, we’ll get to Jackson holiday in a moment. But even Adley rutschman Grand Slam aside, the batting average looks good. The on base percentage has been fine. He hasn’t hit for a lot of power yet. And you’re talking about one of your two best players going into the season. So what they’ve done top to bottom with their lineup has just been very, very impressive. And when you get even decent pitching, which Corbin gave them more than that, on Sunday, adds up to a great chance to win night in night out. And that’s why the Orioles are 14 and seven it’s why they were able to come away with a series win even with things not going so well in the opener and it’s it’s not terribly different than what we saw last year, they did the same thing last year where winning series win series don’t get swept when series win series don’t get swept. That formula adds up to really really good baseball over the course of six months. And it’s already starting to play out that way for the Orioles here over the first three and a half weeks of 2024. Well

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:02

you say when two out of three and you lose the first one, you should be winning the second one. And I’ll tell you the thing about the Royals, as we bid them adieu and you know, had Jeff McHenry on last month now it’s all over with I mean, it’s you know, April 22, and you’ve seen them. But in the case of them even Saturday, the fact that they didn’t quit they got back in the game. I had buried them saying you give us seven spot the Corbin burns. It should be Nighty night. The bullpen in a general sense and where it is and where it’s going. And look, we’ll get the Jackson holiday and I say give him another month. Let him go play ball, Leave the kid alone. Let him go get three hits in the middle of the night here this week at some point and and get out of this thing as we watch Couser as we see Henderson as we know what rutschman was two years ago when he been on the team two years ago. This wasn’t even a thing two years ago, right? I mean, that’s how crazy this has become and how quickly and to your point with the Royals but seeing the worlds come back saying yeah, young team got some Bad’s got some potential. You know, Salvador Prestel never going to retire that. I was thinking is Fisk still playing is what I was thinking or is Pudge still playing. But for me what the Royals in the comeback part of that is indicative of the bullpen. And on any given night. Corbin burns with a seven and nothing lead and we’re still playing ball two and a half hours later, like that, that that’s unacceptable. I mean, it just is I wouldn’t be able to turn the game off on a Saturday like that and just go do something else for a while. And I would say from the bullpen, we keep talking about the help and alias. You know, once every two weeks they have a roster transaction, some guys come up and then they get this incredible star from the kid you know, last week and then they get an incredible start from a guy that we had been generous and saying is a number five and wants to be a starting pitcher on Sunday but at least you see the ceiling of what the starting pitching convey because I don’t know it’s baseball next week. We’ll be complaining about the starting pitching. Right. But and maybe means in and and Brad Usher here by Preakness I don’t know. But let’s let’s talk about the pitching and talk about the bullpen because Saturday provided some histrionics we don’t really need to see around here. Yeah, well, I

Luke Jones  08:23

mean, it’s just it goes back to what I said before the season started if there’s an element of this baseball team that I don’t love, it’s the bullpen. I mean, it’s just the truth. And look, Craig Kimbrel has been as good as the Orioles could possibly imagine so far, and he’s been excellent what tie Billy Wagner for seven plays all time and saves on Saturday night even as Colton cows or accidentally threw the ball into the fountain which I thought was a hilarious story. But, you know, even younger Cano and Danny coulomb who are guys that are on the much higher side in terms of the trust factor, they’ve been a little shaky of late and that doesn’t mean I’m concerned about them specifically, it just speaks to not a whole lot that you feel locked down about in that bullpen right now and I can’t sit here and say I’m surprised by that and I can’t sit here and say that and then playing

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Nestor J. Aparicio  09:14

700 ball while we’re talking about this right sure sure.

Luke Jones  09:18

But but we still need to talk about it because we all know what the reasons

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:21

are nine to wet you know and Lamar threw two picks and got away with it. We talked about it so I mean, but that’s part of the baseball thing is things are so sunshine and roses because of the outcome that it’s up to you and me to peel back the onion and say let’s not lose three in a row in October again.

Luke Jones  09:38

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I mean, but this is all how it works and it’s not even about October yet. I mean you got a long baseball season. pitchers are gonna get hurt you know what pitchers coming back from injury we don’t know what’s gonna happen with Kyle Bradish and John means right i mean the the results have kind of been up and down with the rehab starts which is fine for the moment, but but the

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:55

outcome of playing 700 ball is everything in a bag of doughnuts with three weeks ago from ownership and Cal Ripken and all this cool stuff that’s going on the team’s performing man. And there’s a lot of places around the sport where, you know, if they were to Game’s over 500 Right now, we’d be saying what’s wrong with the pitching? Right? I mean, we would have to say that right, right,

Luke Jones  10:14

right. And look, I’m not when I mentioned the bullpen, it’s not being doom and gloom. It’s just talking about an element of the team that does need to tighten up a little bit. And we’ve talked about this again, I’m not surprised. Mike

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:25

Elias has probably talked about this. Sure, sure. And keep

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Luke Jones  10:29

in mind, I mean, you mentioned, you know, Albert Suarez, who’s not a kid, he’s 34. Right now, not to you, right? Well, it’s still technically a kid to me, even as shows how old I’m getting, but it’s definitely you look at him, or Corvin, or Tyler wells, who’s on the aisle right now. But these are guys that from the moment that they acquired Corbin burns, you certainly weren’t envisioning being in your rotation. And then we find out the news about Bradish we find out the news about means on the first day of spring training. So these guys are in the rotation for now. Okay, Robert Suarez, he might become a seventh inning guy for them at some point in the not too distant future. You know, he’s gonna start against the angels. You know, he’s going to start for the time being, and he’s earned that he deserves that. Looking forward to seeing what he does and his second start looking forward to see seeing what he does after that, but the bullpen is certainly it’s a work in progress. And it was always going to be again, when you lose someone like Felix Batista, who had a historic season last year, as I’ve written at Baltimore positive.com, multiple times. The Orioles it was admirable what they did over the final month of the season last year without Felix Batista, but navigating without your star closer for a month or for five weeks. It’s a different animal than trying to do it for six months.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:48

What’s the reason they went, got Kimbrough right away?

Luke Jones  11:51

I mean, sure. kimberleigh, John Angelo Stallone, the team, you know, from a financial standpoint, nor but we also said, even if Craig Kimbrel is as great as he could reasonably be that whatever your projection models would say about him, he wasn’t going to be Felix Batista. So it was always gonna be a collective effort. It’s a collective effort last year, but long before Batista got hurt in late August, we were talking about bullpen help at that point. They got Fujian wasn’t enough, but

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:18

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the other thing is they played all those one run games last year, too, you know, so add that on top of having this all world all legendary throwing 103 miles an hour closer. They had a special set of circumstances like they won 101 games. I mean, they’ve been playing ball here for 75 years. They haven’t done that a handful of times, right?

Luke Jones  12:36

Yeah. So but you’re going to need a strong deep bullpen over the course of the season. And that’s not to say that what we’ve seen over the last 10 days is that it’s going to be some critical problem for them. That’s gonna be a downfall. But if you’re talking about something that can improve, it’s definitely the bullpen now and it’s okay saying that it’s fine. And again, they’re 14 and seven, even with a bullpen that has some question marks in it. But you know, who do you really trust at this point in time, Craig Kimball? Great. Yeah, and your canal. shaky. Couple outings here recently. Still trust them? Right. Danny Coulomb. Still trust him, even though he’s been a little shaky. But Dylan Tate, you know, I mean, coming back from missing all of last year, it’s still it’s been really choppy. And you know, Ramirez has been in the bullpen and okay, that hasn’t gone great. And Keegan Aiken, as well as the pitch the first two and a half weeks and I was singing his praises. He’s kind of reverted to kick in Aiken we’ve seen in the past. I can’t say I’m shocked by that. That’s typically how it works with guys that are up and down, you know, guys that are on the back end of your roster. So to Caesar relief pitcher for a reason, Luke? Yeah, I mean, it’s just that’s how it all failed starters. Yeah, yeah. It’s the truth. So you know, you go through the list. And, again, you feel great about Kimbrel. Hopefully, he continues to do what he’s done, because he’s been excellent. And, you know, even the velocity is ticked up a little bit here of late, which that had been, you know, at least a point of interest as it pertained to him over the course of spring training in the first couple of weeks of the season. But, but yeah, if there’s something about this team that you’re still pointing to, it’s pitching as it as it is for so many teams around baseball when you’re talking about the injuries when you talk about just the lack of depth in general. bullpens are really you know, bipolar up and down however you want to categorize it, bullpens are like that. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:32

the more reason that if my father came back from the dead to watch my 25th anniversary on Thursday, and he said hey how the Orioles doing? I’d say well we got a starter named burns Yeah. How’s he doing? Well poppies three and over the 276 Wow, good April. And hey, loser number two Oh, Grayson Rodriguez big kid right and reminds me a little bit of polymer a little bit of Messina. Three and Oh, with a 2630 Wow. Well, they must be playing good and I must be playing 600 ball. You know if you’re getting Get out of the front end of the staff that that’s exactly what you and I, if we were driving around if I ever took you to Yoders for the fried chicken, no offense, the world farms, great fried chicken, make sure you’re voting in the USA Today poll before think it’s May 3 May 4, they’re trying to win this USA Today thinks I got it. But if you and I were, I’ll pretend ROFO was in Sarasota. were pretending to get chicken and we were saying this is what wanting to would look like especially in the absence of Bradish, especially in the absence of means not really being ready to go. That’s what you need to do. I mean that because whatever the prescription is, there’s going to be somebody in the bullpen that gives you one like Keegan Aiken did. And there’s gonna be some Ramirez at the end of the bullpen that you’re always shuttling somebody from Norfolk, because that’s modern baseball.

Luke Jones  15:44

Yeah, well, I mean, they’re number one. And number two starters have been excellent. And they lead the league in homeruns. I mean, that’s kind of a that’s an oversimplification. But that’s really what this team has been able to hang its hat, and

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Nestor J. Aparicio  15:57

they even move the fence back pop.

Luke Jones  16:01

So, I mean, you know, the the lineup is, has been excellent for the most part. And again, we’ll, we’ll get into Jackson holiday. And but, you know, overall, I mean, when you when you see what Couser has done, when you see what Jordan Westberg has continued to do, I mean, those two guys alone, if you told me going into the season that they would be doing what they’re doing, which is even though they’re hitting seventh and eighth, a lot of days as they did on Sunday, they’re putting up production that is middle of the owner production for you. If you told me that alone, I’d say or it was probably getting off to a pretty decent start just because Colton Couser was really, really struggled last year. And now he’s looking like, I wouldn’t say a tentpole best two or three guys on the team that I necessarily think he’s going to expect to, or I expect him to continue to be that great. He’s not going to continue to put up these kinds of numbers. But boy, he’s looking like a guy that, you know, we haven’t even gotten to the point where we’re not even talking about Austin.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:01

Going back to Moneyball, and going back to the Greek god of walks, and guys who see the ball well, and the guys that my dad always loved, you know, as players were the guys who hit the ball, and guys who put the ball in play, and we talk so much about the swing and miss part of modern baseball. And they all kind of have that in their game to some degree, you know, you know, you don’t walk off the island, as my people would say back in the day as well. But they have a lot of guys who, who put the ball on the bat, bat on the ball, I should say. And I mean, Henderson say came so close to home run. And they all know their launch angles, and they talk about it with Kevin Brown, and they all no spin rates and they all like they speak a different language of if, if Mr. Rubinstein decides to let me in I have to learn the new language of the kids and how this goes but I know a ballplayer when I see one and oh my god, like these guys hit the ball and they’re selective at the plate and and then there’s holiday Do you want to do you want to talk is just the entree holiday or

Luke Jones  18:05

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I want to one last point on what you were just saying. What’s been interesting about this team is one of course, they lead the league in home runs. So so we start with that, but what’s been interesting, and this is where I’m, I think you’re gonna see things evolve as the year goes on. They actually have been, they haven’t walked a whole lot. And and a lot of that’s been because they’ve been so productive, swinging the bat and putting it in play and hitting for a lot of power. So I will be interested to see how that goes. That’s gonna go because, again, you look at the number of guys they have right now that are slugging, I think, I think they have seven guys in the order right now slugging for 81, or better as they concluded the roller L series. That’s not going to continue quite at that rate. So that’s where I do think you’ll see a few more walks takeover but even though they haven’t been drawing a ton of walks, you also look at them from a strikeout standpoint. It’s not as though they’ve struck out in an extraordinary number of times where that’s a major problem until we get to Jackson Holliday and no Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:06

I was gonna say like, you know, he’s got a two to one ratio.

Luke Jones  19:10

I mean, let’s, we need to. We need to parcel this out a little bit because, like he struggled to start. It’s not a big surprise. We’ve talked about this gutter Henderson struggled Adley rutschman. Struggled, coltan cows are really struggled to the degree that he got sent back to the miners last summer. So to sit here and say that I’m shocked that a 20 year old ish has struggled, would be disingenuous, right. I mean, part of the reason I wanted him on the opening day roster, part of the reason I wanted him in Baltimore sooner rather than later was because of what we’re seeing right now. If this is going to happen, where he’s going to struggle, whether it was going to be in April or June, I’d rather be in April, because he gets it out, get gets it out of the way and then when you’re playing second half duking it out with the Yankees or whoever for the division title or duking it out with whoever for the night Row one seat and homefield advantage in the American League. I want this to be behind him. So he

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:04

would have blended in a lot more if he were to come up on opening day for sure. Yeah, but

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Luke Jones  20:09

at the same time, for me, it’s not even about being one for 30. Okay, so if he were one for 30, but the strikeout rate wasn’t 50%. Let’s say it was 35% 30%, something along those lines, which is still really high, too high, right. But he was putting more balls in play, hitting more balls hard. I’d look at that and say, You know what, he’s struggling, but the signs are there to not completely panic. And I’m not saying that any complete panic is warranted right now. However, kid

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:42

ever go on one for 30 in his life anywhere at any I mean, that’s at any time. I don’t think so. Probably not probably

Luke Jones  20:49

not probably not one for 20. Yes, because that’s that is baseball, but one for 30. With a 50% strikeout rate, you know, that’s a little different. So let me be clear, when I’m saying this, this doesn’t mean that I think they should send them down tomorrow doesn’t mean that I think they should sit them on the bench. But I think we do have to look at this pragmatically speaking and say, he’s got to start making more contact much sooner rather than later if this is going to continue. Right now, this does not mean that I think Jackson Holliday is going to be a bust, or is it going to figure it out? I think he absolutely will. But for right now, I do think I keep sending them out there as long as and this is where you have to lean on brand and hide. This is where you need to lean on your coaching staff. And you want to see a guy that isn’t showing signs of his confidence. crumbling, right? Look, anyone who’s one for 30 Their confidence can be a little shaken even a veteran player when they’re one for 30. They’re

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:49

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not feeling great about themselves. I’ll tell you this, I’m about to go out selling you know, Baltimore positive after the film comes out. If I got one for 30. You wake up and do do baseball, talk with me in August, if I’m one for 30 and sales here, you know, like I never been one I literally in my life. I’ve been doing this 32 years, I’ve never been once you start putting it into my space and saying how would you feel about going one for 30? And whatever it is that you do? And you’re 20 years old, and the spotlights on you and you’re supposed to be going into the Hall of Fame? Yeah, I would say it’s been a couple, you know, he and he sort of went home this weekend to write like, like it was a it was a stink out there. Because he’s from that part of the world that people came and it’s just, yeah, this is not what we envisioned two weeks ago for sure. When I was singing, holiday celebrate, you know?

Luke Jones  22:40

Well, and that’s where and this is where I will say it on the flip side. I think people that are making the comparisons to how others have struggled. That’s, that’s well and good. This is extreme, though. I mean, this is extreme. And this is where I am starting to look at this and say I need to at least start seeing more contact. Right? The results. Again, if there were one for 30 with many more balls, put in play, fewer strikeouts, maybe a couple more walks with extend. Even then I’d be like, Look, we’re watching what’s happening here. He’s making contact, he’s hitting into some tough luck. That’s where I actually was a little heartening. And again, I’m there’s only so much sugarcoating you can do when you’re one for 30. But lined out in the fifth inning on Sunday hit the ball hard exit Velo was, you know, he hit the ball hard. He walked in the ninth inning. Now, you know, the three two pitch that he took right down the middle in between there, that wasn’t great. But we it’s not as though he’s first pitch swinging, swinging at a ton of pitches out of the strike zone looking completely, utterly helpless at the plate and every single at bat. That said, again, when you’re striking out and half of your plate appearances, I need to start seeing some growth in that department that specifically much sooner rather than later, he can’t continue to strike out in half of his plate appearances and for this to go on another month like that. And I don’t think it’s going to to be clear again, and I’ll and I said it, I wrote it up on a more positive.com I continue starting him as long as I think his confidence is holding up okay. As as well as it can when you’re one for 30. So, you know for me, see how the rest of this road trip plays out. See how it plays out against Oakland over the weekend. You do have

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:24

to win this eventually hits before we move off to him. Let’s get eventually it’s it’s going to be interesting to see how his teammates rally around him because they’re all because they’ve all been through it. Right? And they’ve all been through it together seeing each other Couser had to sit at the locker and pack his ish and go home eight months ago and say I’m not good enough to be here after Star Wars hadn’t happened had been back since. Right so it’s the there is a blood brothers thing that I looked at it by the way free promotion for Masson which is like doing a spin So on the 83 first special in maths and history, 20 years all you know, but about $4 billion is my math. Driving back from Syracuse over the weekend, you went through the hands of the Angelo’s family from our cable television bill from 2005 Till now and we’ve got a special on the 83 Orioles. And yeah, what’s special about those guys and I know and I, I’ve been lucky enough to hang out in some circles where they’ve been gathered. And man, you see the Brotherhood right away of those guys in that group because they all did it together. They all came through in the snap Palmer, but the rest of them kind of all came through it together. And that’s the kind of thing I see with this team. That’s different than in 96. And I saw Roberto Alomar with your son and autographs over the weekend always loved Robbie. But those guys were bought you know the 9697 Yeah me cow fine. Brady was traded from Boston he wasn’t an Oreo farm and but in Messina was it was a little more on ground Ben McDonald, a little more homegrown. But this is a different level of how the fans come on to this. How fans have gone to Aberdeen have gone to buoy have gone to Delmarva and seeing these players play. When one of them fails in this fashion. I would think there’s a real competition as Grayson Rodriguez and Corbin burns would say and burns is the important guy. But the rest of these guys are really going to rally around him when when he gets that walk off in August or whenever that is that I think there’ll be a different level for him because this has been this has been hideous really well. Yeah. I

Luke Jones  26:38

mean, and again, I think one for 30 Yes, one for 30 and 16 strikeouts in his first 32 plate appearances. Yeah, I mean, that’s extreme, but everyone who’s played baseball at a high level has struggled at some point in time, whether it was going to be in single way, whether it’s gonna be in double A, whether it’s gonna be triple A, whether it’s gonna be as a rookie, whether it’s gonna be in your second year, you know, we’ve seen guys that have been rookie sensations and have the sophomore slump, you know, the proverbial sophomore slump. So it happens at some point in time for everyone. You know, and I think it does help that you have a team that’s close to you. It does help that you have homegrown guys. I mean, even look at some of the leaders on this team. Go back and look at Cedric Mullins back in 2019. Cedric Mullins struggled so badly, he wasn’t only sent down, he was sent down and wound up in double A because he struggled to triple A

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Nestor J. Aparicio  27:26

even Rifki talks about that all the time. Right. Yeah. So

Luke Jones  27:29

I mean, it’s it’s part of it. I don’t think I don’t think it necessarily makes Jackson Holliday feel great in the moment. But, look, let’s be clear, I still think he’s going to be fine. I still think he’s going to be everything they expect him to be. But as it stands right now, it is difficult. And I think we are at least getting to, you know, not the next game or two. But we do need to start seeing some growth in terms of him, his timing getting better, you know, he can’t keep striking out on half of his plate appearances. You know, I know Ben McDonald mentioned on the mass and telecast over the weekend, he does have a high leg kick, you know, so that doesn’t mean he’s going to abandon that permanently. But do you need to? Does he need to adjust that for a time? Right? And that’s where you have to hitting coaches, you know, see, see what they have to say. Or they might just say, keep playing, keep plugging along, because it’s worked at every level. It’s going to work here eventually. And I know Mike Elias did an interview over the weekend serious MLB MLB Network radio, you know what talked about it, some of this is just part of the transition. And he even pointed out, you know, not just talking about triple A pitching and left handers that triple A but you think about all the injuries that we’re seeing around baseball pitching wise. He, his hypothesis is you’re seeing a lesser, you know, a lower amount of Major League caliber pitching talent at triple A right now, as a result of that. So you’re basically alluded to the fact that look, we okay, we could send Jackson Holliday back down, he’s shown he can hit triple A pitching. So what are you really going to get out of that? And that’s why I said unless you feel like his confidence is really starting to be shaken and I don’t think I don’t think we’re there yet. I certainly don’t think we’re there yet. I but I do. I think the Orioles to a man and I think Jackson Holliday will tell you, it’s got to start making contact more consistently, it’s got to start putting the ball in play more consistently. If he does, that. More hits will start to fall, whether it’s a screaming line drive, that’s 102 miles per hour, or whether it’s a couple, you know, a couple, you know, just Dunkin one in the left center a couple of times couple broken bat singles a swinging but, you know, if he gets a couple of those, I think he’ll start to exhale and start to relax and start hitting and performing much better at 545

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:48

starts to sound better one to 30. Right. Exactly.

Luke Jones  29:52

8

Right. And that’s where but I and Brandon Hite talks about this a lot and I’ve heard other coaches say it but I’m going to mention break And then high because he’s the current manager, you have to go up to the plate, not trying to get it all back at once you have to go up to the plate not trying to get a hit, you go up to the plate trying to have a good at bat. And that means taking pits, pitches that are outside the zone or strikes that you can’t do a whole lot with. And to his credit, I think for anyone who go beyond the numbers, and you’re watching Jackson holiday play to parents to play to parents, he has had plenty of good plate appearances. I also would say I think he’s been pitched pretty well, overall, I think you know that over the first 10 days of his major league career, go back and look at some of the borderline pitches that he took that ended up being strikes or just ended up being really good pitches, I think he’s probably hit into a little bit of tough luck. I’m not saying that excuses, his overall production right now. But I think if you looked at it played a parent’s to play to parents, you’ve seen some of that. Point is he can’t let that snowball, you can’t get six hits in one play to parents to try to get your batting average back up to the Mendoza line. I mean, that’s just, it’s not going to work that way for right now. So he just has to go up there. One, play two parents at a time, have a good at bat, put the ball in play, try to hit the ball hard and go from there. And if he does that, it will start looking better. So again, I am not at a point where I’m saying to bench him or anything like that. But it’s got to cut down on the strikeouts got to start putting the ball in play. Once he starts putting the ball in play more consistently, you’re gonna start to see more hits fall, confidence levels gonna rise, and then I think he’s going to be fine. So you know, I again, I’m not there yet, whatsoever with sand, send them down. But at the same time when we’re making these comparisons to, you know, other Oreos on the current roster or Cal Ripken or Willie Mays. It’s been extreme right, he’s struggling more than some of those scenarios. Again, for me, it’s not one for 30 as much as it’s struck out 16 times and 32 plate appearances over, you know, his first like three, four series of his major league career, I mean, that that’s Canada, that has to get better, that has to get better sooner than later. If that gets better sooner than later, the rest of the results will start to come. And I think it’s going to happen for him. And I’m more than willing to stick with him for the time being, as long as he’s continuing to show me that his confidence isn’t crumbling and look. So 20 year old kid comes from a good family, seventh time All Star father in the major leagues, you know, the pedigree should tell you that he should be able to hold up better than your typical 20 year old.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:37

Make up his Bulldog to get to the majors at 20. Right, like, right. I mean, that’s not, you know what I mean, literally. But

Luke Jones  32:44

that said, there is still a potential breaking point that you at least need to be aware of here. And this is where we say we go back to Colton Couser and say, you know, what, if Jackson holiday has to get sent down, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to come back later this year. That doesn’t mean he won’t come back next year and be an MVP caliber player. I mean, Colton Couser has been their best player through the first three and a half weeks of the season. So again, it shows you this is really difficult to do at this level and it doesn’t always work. You know, it’s not always going swimmingly as soon as you get caught up. So let’s just see it play out a little bit more again, want to see him start putting the ball in play more consistently. That’s the start. If you can start doing that. I think the rest of it will start to come more quickly.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:25

By the way, I started doing the countdown to the 25th anniversary. No one listens. everyone hears it’s coming out on Thursday night at five. Oh, wait, enjoy it. Make fun of me yell at me throw emails my way. But please just watch it and laugh and and hear the story of how I found you and how you found me and how we all found each other because it’s really the story of putting all that together. But I was doing a daily countdown and I had some pictures of people. And I never really had a picture with Mark Ballanger right. So like number seven, I saw seven. And I started to think about him and sort of think about all the numbers like Kiko Garcia ward three and Bill Rifkind, more three and Melvin Mora were six and have a cool picture of Melvin Mora. And so I was trying to come up with all this stuff. And I thought about like, would there be a place for a mark below Andrew? I’m like, Oh, you hide him in a lineup on a team like this that hits the ball, like the 79 team or whatever. And then I thought about him playing for Tommy Lasorda, which was even stranger because him and Dempsey the whole deal. But I looked at this team and I looked down as to where they are just two weeks into the season three weeks into the season, they’re gonna have eight guys that hit 20 home runs on this team, right? I mean, they might have six that hit 30. But they’re gonna have eight that hit 20 If nobody gets hurt, I mean, and that’s with holiday, not hitting, hitting like blancher literally, right? It’s I began this was saying they really hit the ball, but where you’re going to see it is if they stay healthy, and they win 90 or 100, mega games, whatever it will be. And they get pitching back and they get means back and Bradish his arm doesn’t fall off and they make a trade or two and whatever happens between here and the end of the year, the stats on the back of the ball bubblegum card at the end of the year, as a team, it’s going to look gaudy as hell. And I’m not thinking the cows is going to hit 380 or the Westberg is going to hit 330 I mean just in a general sense the body of work because rutschman hadn’t really hit the ball yet. You know, Hayes is like taking a nap. You know, there’s like all of these guys that will say well, Kaos has trended and you mentioned Westboro but all the rest of these guys are having sort of run of the mill rudimentary All Star caliber years to guys the top of the rotation, what they’re gonna start the All Star Game closer has three wins and an era of one and we’re waiting for him to blow up one night not be any good, but I mean, as far as how we would have scripted this three weeks ago, it other than holiday slump, which we spent 10 minutes talking about. This has been a pretty glorious start to the season. And you mentioned sophomore slumps and I was gonna kick a cheap shot at Craig Worthington in here somewhere in SAM still waiting for the second year. This team has come back from 101 wins with a Manager of the Year with all of the young guns and gunners and all of that and trying to make room for the counselors in the holidays and new bodies and a new number one ace that they’ve imported. Who’s pitching for a contract? Yeah, man, this is this is about as good as it gets. It can be much better than it is.

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Luke Jones  36:20

Yeah, I mean, look, the 14th and seventh even with some concerns about the bullpen and again, when I when I bring up the bullpen, it’s relative, right. It’s relative, we got to have something to talk about. I mean, don’t want to just sit here for 30 minutes and just yes,

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:32

there’s 1921 on Saturday night, we’d have no pitch about right.

Luke Jones  36:35

I mean, they’re playing clean, excellent baseball overall, there’s no question about that. But yeah, I mean, they’ve hit the ball. They’ve hit the ball. And let’s be clear, let me clarify when you said Adley rutschman Adley rutschman Ben 298 He just hasn’t hit for power yet.

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:50

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Right? I’m saying he hasn’t won three games in a row and had a walk off and have one of those seven for 15 with three bottles. I mean, and he’s gonna do that. He’s gonna do that if you just do that. He’s not gonna go on for 13 strikeouts 15 times.

Luke Jones  37:04

I mean, you just go down, go down the order right now to slugging percentage. Gunnar Anderson 558 Adley. rutschman 393. That’s why I said Adley rutschman hasn’t hit for power yet, even with the grand slam on Friday night. Oh, her and we haven’t we barely even mentioned Ryan O’Hearn, who, last year came out of nowhere as this cast off from Kansas City and ended up settling into the middle of their order order. He’s doing the same thing for them this year. You know, he he’s looked. Yeah, he’s hitting for power and has been really good for them again, Santander really swinging the bat. Well, after kind of up a slow start to the season in that department. Now Castle swung the bat Well, and, you know, even drawn some walks and continue continuing what he did in that department. In the second half last year, Cedric Mullins has done it with the glob and the bat here over the last two weeks Couser West bird. Again, waiting for holiday. By the way, that’s the point to be patient with Jackson holiday. When you have so many other guys hitting hitting in the lineup right now as long blancher that was my confidence wise. Right, exactly. And, you know, we saw make a couple nice plays defensively, you know, I think his defense he settled in and that department now after what a couple of the pop ups at Fenway where it looked a little shaky. So, you know, they’re for everything you could point to for this team that might, you could say, Okay, well, that could be better, or that guy could be better the bowl. And they’re 14 and seven. They’ve played really, really well. And by the way, we haven’t even mentioned it, we will because they’ll be playing them here in Baltimore in the not too distant future. They’ve they’ve been there right with the Yankees who got off to a really good start, although they’ve come back to earth a little bit here recently. But yeah, they at least, it’s not easy. Go look at the Al ease compared to the Al West, for example. And you could see how stout the competition is. Oh, not a big surprise

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:53

at Orioles? 20 not. That’s next week. We had a big series in April.

Luke Jones  38:59

Look at that look as big as it can be in April. Right. Exactly. I mean, it’s no sell

8

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:04

it. Alright, let me sell it. I’m, I’m working for the Rubenstein family. Get down, get your seats early, you know, it’s gonna it’s gonna be a tough ticket. Let me do all that. Let me let me do all that.

Luke Jones  39:13

But but the point was, I mean, you’ve got an al least gasolines you’ve got an Al east with every team with a winning record as at the conclusion of the weekend. So it’s not easy, but the Orioles are doing the job and they’re playing 667 ball. As we’re approaching the final week of April. What more can you ask? I mean, it’s things are, as I continue to say we’ll continue to say it’s a good time to be an Orioles fan, that’s for sure.

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:38

He’s looked Jones he’s Baltimore Luke, I am Nestor. We together are wn St. Baltimore positive. We’re going to be taking the Maryland crab cakes. We’re out of the road twice this week. We’re going to be in Hampstead Carroll County at Green Mountain bowl in remount. Station crabcake I promise you it’s 4pm We’ll have to Pac Man scratch offs in the Maryland lottery our friends at Liberty pure solutions as well as Jiffy Lube multi care sending gets out on the road again on Friday. We’ll be live at faithless forum to until five. Luke will be joining us before the Oakland Athletics come to town. And that’s a weird media weekend because like we have the draft going on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We have baseball Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We have one credential reporter for two teams. So we’ll be here locked down, but the movie release is on Thursday night and Luke is prominently featured in the from the 2009 portion till now, but if you’ve ever been a part of anything I’ve ever done at any point in my life from knowing me as a kid, as Eckman would say, right on up through Hey, I found your Baltimore positive and this weird thing you did with Sheila Dixon last week or Shannon Sinead, whatever it is, I hope you find this here this week and you find the film, no one listens everyone hears it is a retrospective telling our story after 25 years at wn St. and 40 years of doing media around here and now almost 33 years of doing this I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. My little Pac Man promotion. We never stop talking Baltimore positive, more baseball ahead

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