Is Jack Flaherty the answer for Orioles pitching deficiencies?

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Now that the MLB trading deadline is over, Luke Jones and Nestor discuss and assess the Orioles acquisition of a starting pitching the St. Louis Cardinals once viewed as an ace and what it means to the Baltimore rotation – and bullpen – for the pennant stretch run.


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Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

W N st Towson Baltimore. The Baltimore positive VA. Welcome to our 25th That’s your 26th Year 25th anniversary coming up on Thursday. Luke Jones is going to join us here and talk about all things trade, not trade. Ze flowers He’s been running around at a camp where the humidity has been down on the weather’s been nice open. remains that way on Thursday. We have a big big weekend here. Thursday we’re going to be at cost is from 11 until for celebrating our 25th anniversary. I’ll be giving away basically everything so anything that literally I have leftover that are T shirts that are believing Joe signs that are raised through 52 signs and free the bird signs and Baltimore loves Cal and wacko for Flacco and golf Trumpy and all sorts I have signs. I have books, I have shirts, I have hats. I have swag. Come get it. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery also real lottery scratch offs 2100 bucks two weeks ago weathernation also sponsor were 2866 90 nation, they will be with us and on hand for our 25th anniversary as well let Raskin and Raskin global will be a costus on Thursday, 11 to four and then on Friday back again with maybe some remaining pieces of that but it’s a little harder a drug city because we’re going to be upstairs above the fountain in the tasting room. I’m wearing my fountain t shirt today. And that’s not for Mike fountain was one of my best friends back in high school. That is the fountain where you can get a big boy milkshake on Friday. Luke Jones, I would invite you but you’re gonna be ravens practice and the Mets are in town and Jack Flaherty will have made a start, we believe on Thursday against the Blue Jays. By the time we get to that, how are you? You’re telling off you, you had you a hell of a day on Tuesday between say flowers left and Odell Beckham right and the whole Mike Elias watch. You were underwhelmed by this as was I but you know, I mean, when I’m negative about the Orioles just me being negative about the Orioles. But this this was not a bold move by the organization. This was just a move.

Luke Jones  02:08

It was a move. I think it’s a move that can still bear some fruit for them. But is it the big move that you and I talked about the possibility of occurring certainly didn’t fall anywhere in the realm of Shohei Otani who didn’t get dealt by it by the angels and the angels ended up being buyers. And that’s part of this whole thing that we talked about for several weeks, some teams that we talked about, in terms of potentially selling either stood Pat, or they ended up buying themselves and that’s part of that just the reality of three wildcards in each league. But in the case of Jack Flaherty and as I said to you all long my gut was you were going to see you are much more likely to see a move like this, rather than seeing the Orioles swing for the fences. I mean, Jack Flaherty someone who just got a 4.43 era over just under 110 innings this season. You know it kind of at first blush when you see that, hey, it’s a younger Kyle Gibson insert into the starting rotation. But

Nestor Aparicio  03:10

he said number three number four starters I believe a call him in any era.

Luke Jones  03:14

Yeah, I mean, I think well, what’s what’s fascinating about Jack Flaherty is you look at what he did early on for the Cardinals go back and look at his 2019 season, he finished fourth and Cy Young Award voting. I mean, that’s how great he was. in 2019. He had a 275 era just under 200 innings. I mean, he was he was phenomenal that year. He looked like he was going to be a star he was he was going to be the next great Cardinals pitcher.

Nestor Aparicio  03:41

So I’ve seen that from Chris Tillman here and we’ve seen that from Miguel Gonzalez here, and we’ve never that good now that good.

Luke Jones  03:49

Right. I mean, like I said, this, this was a guy that tweet that in 2019. He was 23 years old. And he had a 275 era he had a war of roughly six, six wins above replacement. I mean, this was a guy that looked like he was going to be a future all star a perennial all star, a future anchor of that rotation force. Harold Reynolds called him Bob Gibson. Yeah, yeah. So so but what’s happened since then he had some injuries, certainly that he did not pitch well during the the COVID season, which, you know, we saw some weird performances, you know, some great players, some not so great players have seasons that were uncharacteristic. And 21 and 22. He was hurt. You know, he didn’t throw more than 78 and a third innings in either of those two seasons. So he has been healthy this year. I think when you dig into his profile a little bit more, you know, striking out close to a batter an inning, but the walks are higher than you’d like to see. He’s given up a ton of base hits, but at the same time, we have Statcast now and you can look at his batted ball profile, and he hasn’t given up as a ton of hard contact or at least as much as what the numbers would make you think so. You’re betting on a couple of things here. First of all this Sorento. The Orioles did not give up a whole lot. The players that have the three players that they gave up to me the most interesting was actual Walter. No relation to Bach for anyone who was wondering, but 19 years old, an interesting arm probably conjure some memories of when the Orioles acquired blood Norris and threw in a young left handed pitcher named Josh Hader, who went on to become an all star closer so you hope that that doesn’t happen? At least for the Orioles sake but drew rom projected to be no more than a bullpen piece for the Orioles. Cesaro preeto. Where was he going to play you know another infielder so they did not give up any big pieces of consequence. And I think if you look at Jack clarities profile, is there some upside there that can be untapped with a change of scenery? These are not your typical St. Louis Cardinals. They’re in last place. The Cardinals have been really bad this year. And defensively they’ve been bad. And I think that’s probably hurt Flaherty’s overall numbers. It’s coming off of a really good July at five best month of the season. So

Nestor Aparicio  06:08

well, they’re bringing a healthy guy in here that can make eight to 10 starts the rest of the way. And as everybody on the panel, a Major League Baseball network, which I sat and glued to and I’ve known Tom Verducci for 35 years, I thought Dan O’Dowd was outstanding. I mean, I just it was good coverage. And I mean, Harold Reynolds, little known fact, Luke have never said this before. I don’t know that I said this before this view that people see on my Facebook and the condo that I lived in. I lived on the 23rd floor harbor court for 19 years. I lived in Harold Reynolds condo. Harold lived when Harold lived in Baltimore, he lived in my condo. And I knew Harold in 1994. I know he got sort of thrown out of media and back in. I thought their coverage was fantastic in a lot of ways. But I thought the insights into everything else that was going on, whether it was Verlander, whether it was Rodriguez saying I don’t want to pitch in LA, all of these angles that went into it and the possibilities of all of it. But the notion that they didn’t give up much, and that they didn’t get much. But more than that, what they’re going to get is if they make it to this by and they get a couple of days off, they get a guy that can that’s going to pitch for them in October, a guy’s got to take the ball, one of those three games they need. And he’s a legitimate guy that’s done it before to go along with Gibson, I guess. And to go along with, I guess it’s Bradish. If it’s tomorrow, I mean, you hope it’s Grayson Rodriguez, he opens for man and you hope all of that you hope Tyler wells gets organized. But in this guy, he’s a guy that’s doing it right now has done it in the past. I’m not against the deal. I just I really wonder and while we’re opening the whole can of things and I know CeCe rhymes with lease, and John Angelos doesn’t want to hear that. But the CCE thing to me was the bigger banana to me, not even like Verlander, who didn’t want to be here. Right, Rodriguez? I guess I don’t know who those 10 teams were. I mean, it’s 1/3 of the league, you pick the Dodgers? I mean, a lot of people say they wouldn’t wanna pitch in Baltimore, especially when the fence was where it was right. But maybe it’s more attractive now in that way on the free agent market. But this is where I asked if you’re not gonna win this year. And I don’t know. I mean, do you think do you think they’re gonna win the World Series?

Luke Jones  08:29

I mean, if you’re asking me the Orioles against the field, no, fair enough. So I would say that about any team,

Nestor Aparicio  08:36

by the one who’s going to be there ace next year, you’ll say Rodriguez, you’ll say means you’ll say, Brad is you’ll say whatever. And I would say to you, and this was a harder thing when the fence was where it was, but it’s still in the American League as they still don’t really have any money that they want. They don’t have any money. Yeah, John’s a billionaire with no money fraud. So I don’t want to hear that. But I do want to know if the long term plan is the long term plan, where are the other because I’ll hear holiday, I’ll hear that Couser is going to be great. I’ll hear that Westberg is gonna settle in, I don’t know where all these guys are gonna play. Because there’s just gonna move to third and holiday is going to be the shortstop on opening day next year or like that, or about the all star game in their mind. Otherwise, then why don’t they just throw holiday in the deal and get C’s? So I don’t want to say that they should give holiday up for CS. I’m not making that case. I’m making the case of, well, who’s going to be the ace and you’re not going to pay to buy it historically ever? Because you wouldn’t be the team signing Scherzer Verlander away from the Mets in the offseason. They’ve never been that. They’ll never be that the fence was a big part of that. I think in regard to one of the reasons Messina left other than it was effed up was it’s a tough place to pitch and every Denny Nagle and every guy that signed in Colorado found that out too, and it hurts your feelings. I don’t think you get your feelings hurt anymore in Baltimore. I just don’t think John’s gonna pay 100 million dollar for a pitcher on the free agent market. And I think when Rodriguez hits, I’m a free agent. Are these the guys they’re going to pursue in the offseason? Because this is a day when you get to bring in a pitcher under under contract, right? And we went through this with football too. We’re like under contract and you pick where you play versus you don’t pick where you play where the NBA has become all of that in the offseason. Is anybody going to pick the play here? And are they going to overpay, which is what the basis of doing it to get more pitch? Because if they’re not going to win this year, they’re gonna have all the shortstops in third base, and everybody’s going to the Hall of Fame. Somebody’s gonna pitch.

Luke Jones  10:35

Yeah, I don’t disagree with a lot of what you just said at the same time. Kyle Bradish has a better era than Dylan sees, right? This year. Now. Dylan CeCe has more of a track record. Dylan CeCe is a really good pitcher. Don’t get me wrong, he would be their ace. I’m not suggesting otherwise.

Nestor Aparicio  10:53

However, getting Bradish away, I’m trying to add to it. Sure, but at the same time, make him not our number one because he ain’t number one.

Luke Jones  11:02

Under well, okay, that’s fine. Although, guys pitching really? Well, I think you’re selling him a little short how you just said, I guess Bradish Brad has been their best pitcher and, you know, kind of by a wide margin, including Oh, Tuesday, so yeah, yeah, I mean, the shook off given up the early home runs, and it’s kind of a bulldog, as that outing went on. But I hear what you’re saying. And one thing we have to keep in mind, though, all of these assets have value to them, you know, they even assign monetary value to prospects in terms of projecting what kind of player they’re going to be, how many years of club control they have. So this all goes into the accounting here in terms of

Nestor Aparicio  11:40

a scientist, I would agree with you, they are all but everything old days where it was bucking the old man and Chris Davis going in and getting money that’s over. I agree with that.

Luke Jones  11:50

Right. Right. And look that doesn’t, at some point in time, and I wrote this at Baltimore, Look, I’m not doing cartwheels over the jack Flaherty deal. At the same time. I think it helps them, whether it’s what he does directly, or what it allows them to do with other pieces that they can shuffle, for example, I’ve said it and I kind of felt reinforced, but with the Flaherty edition, if they get Tyler wells right over the next couple of weeks with the plan of what they’re doing with him in buoy and trying to get his mechanics adjusted. And I mean, he was their second best pitcher over the first half of the season. Arguably at times, he was their best starting pitcher over the first half of the season. But he wasn’t right. But now with clarity in the mix. Wells comes back in, I don’t know, three weeks, let’s say Is he in the bullpen? Oh is someone else struggling and they move that individual to the bullpen and you Strengthen yourselves in that area. But it gives you another option, it gives you a higher floor with your rotation. At the very least for the next two months, Jack clarity is going

Nestor Aparicio  12:53

to give you 60 or 70 innings that that wells isn’t giving you right now that you’re unsure about where those innings are coming from. I think that that more than anything, they gave a couple of minor leaguers away in in a pitcher to get innings to get real major league innings, which I think Jack Flaherty is gonna give them now I don’t know whether that’s gonna win them the World Series in October or not. I hope that Bulldog I don’t know if he’s that guy. And I don’t know if Bradish becomes that guy. And the innings wall for so many of these young guys is a concern for all for almost all the pitchers they have. I mean, they wouldn’t say they’re concerned about Gibson or whatever, but he’s old enough his arm hasn’t fallen off yet. He’ll be okay. But they’re concerned about all of that, because they don’t really know what they haven’t yet here can No, I mean, they really don’t.

Luke Jones  13:40

Yeah, sure. I mean, no one thought you and your kiddo was going to be an all star Felix Batista, look at what his workload is and how he’s, I think 14 innings away from his season total innings last year, and there’s two months to go. That’s why for me, I’m much more concerned or disappointed that they didn’t add another high leverage bullpen arm and the move to me and I was even talking to someone out at ravens who doesn’t cover the Orioles but is a baseball big time baseball person. To me the move was David Robertson, and he got dealt several days before the deadline. Someone who’s been there someone who’s close game, someone who’s pitched in the playoffs. I would have really liked to have seen a bullpen addition, in addition to what they did with Jack Flaherty was flirty. My ideal target necessarily No. He’s what I figured they were going to do much more likely than going and get CeCe who it really you know, Mike Elias didn’t come out and say this because you’re not going to talk about another team’s players. And you’re not going to delve into specifics but it really felt like the White Sox were just we want to accent holiday we want to accent holiday we want to accent holiday and the Orioles weren’t willing to do that. So we’ll see how that plays out. And look Dylan CeCe is a really good pitcher is he Justin Verlander and his prime You know, I’m not ready to go anywhere close to there. So

Nestor Aparicio  15:06

what was he going to take 35 times next year and give you starts, save your money against all of that. You can play Henderson at shortstop and say, but listen, I’m not looking to give away prospects. But I’m also looking to say, you’re not hitting somebody else’s ace with three years of control, who’s gonna give you 35 starts, you better think about giving up a starting shortstop that might be in the Hall of pretty good at 20. I mean, that might be what it costs to do that. Otherwise, next year, you’re gonna play opening day, and you’re gonna have to call Bradish is a real ace, hope the Grayson Rodriguez is a realist. And if they are, you’re gonna win the World Series. But for you, I mean, you know, that’s, that’s great. But they’re not that right now. Right now they’re not?

Luke Jones  15:46

Well, right now, they also have the best record in the American League somehow. So, you know, I hear what you’re saying. And I will say

Nestor Aparicio  15:54

whether he’s ready to make it rain in October, because you know, what, it always rains in October for every franchise, right? Same thing with Lamar as we get it? Well, I mean, who are they going to play in January, it’s going to rain in January, they’re going to fumble the ball, they’re going to turn the things are gonna go wrong. And when that happens, are they going to have enough pitching and that that’s an who’s going to be healthy. I’m convinced they’re gonna hit the ball, they scored 13 runs Thursday night. I mean, there’s Santander is turning on the ball Henderson’s turning on the ball. At some point, I think cows are Westberg some these guys will wake up and fall in mountcastle. You know, we were all given him away, he was gonna be the throwing on the sea steel, right? Like, we were just gonna give all these guys away. They have some hitters, but I am concerned long term on a big day, when they have a chance to get an ace that you’re, you’re either gonna grow it and if you believe that you have it. And you can make that case to me. I mean, I listen to Mike Elias over a beer telling me that Rodriguez is going to be fine. And Hall is going to be fine. And look at Bradish and look at what we’ve done there. And and John will spend some money. We’ll go buy a pitcher in the offseason no matter what. Okay, I mean, I just haven’t seen that other Nivaldo Jimenez, I haven’t seen them. Be good at that part of it. And that’s the management part and the money part that they had one day there were there were guys dangling. And I’m not talking about like, Eduardo, for this run. If he didn’t want to be here or Verlander, I’m talking about something they could have done, that they just could have done. And they didn’t do it. And that’s fine. And I hope Jackson holiday goes to the Hall of Fame. I really do.

Luke Jones  17:30

Yeah. And that’s not to say that they won’t go acquire someone else’s ace in the offseason. I mean, at some point in time, I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. And look, it’s not even for me about oh, you must have a number one a starting pitcher. I mean, Kansas City got to a World Series at the expense of the Orioles. And who was their ace that year? I mean, top of your head, you can’t even think who it was. You remember their bullpen being unbelievable. So there are different ways of doing this. But yeah, they’re absolutely going to have to continue to look at starting pitching. Because they don’t have as much of that in their system. They have some arms in their system, but certainly they skew way more on the position player side. But Dylan CeCe was one example of someone that they could try. They tried to take a swing at, you know how, how serious it got how close it got, you know, Mike Elias said that they quote, took some very big swings. So over the course of the last couple of days, leading up to the 6pm deadline on Tuesday, but comes down to whether we’re talking about an ace, whether we’re talking about some other piece they’re going to need at some point in time, whether we’re talking about extending someone like Gunnar Henderson, who by the way, Tuesday night, it’s looking more and more like he’s starting to figure out left handed pitching, which the rest of the league is in trouble if Gunnar Henderson really starts to know to learn how to hit lefties as he’s slowly but surely showing some improvement in that regard. But at some point in time, they are going to have to make a bold move. And when I say a bold move, they’re going to have to make some bold moves. And they’re going to spend money to some spending money, whether it’s spending money, whether it’s making a big trade where you give up a couple guys that you know are going to be major leaguers, and you know might be really good major leaguers, but you’re in a position where you can pull the trigger to get a piece that you really need for the here and now. We know that they want to maintain the long term health of their farm system. And they did that in the process of getting Fujinami. Who let’s not forget about him, they acquired him recently. We’ll see how he looks for the bullpen. I think there have been some encouraging signs but there’s still questions. And in the case of Jack Flaherty, he certainly raises the floor of where they are with their rotation right now. Is there some some upside there that they hope to untap here? He’s got plenty to play for IT guy who isn’t going to be a free agent. He has pitched in some big games he has pitched in the postseason in the past, including pitching some good games in the postseason in the past. But it can he get back to are being a little more consistent. And I’m not saying he’s gonna get back to being the guy who was in 2019 and look like a future star pitcher. But can he help them? Sure. So, but at the same time, this followed the pattern that we’ve seen to this point in the mike Elias era, which is not really making the bold move, not making the big move, focusing on improving on the margins, and that’s what we saw. Hey, I thought so much Nestor, as I was seeing all the deals come down on Tuesday as I was continuing checking my checking the phone in my pocket and you know, every time a notification would go off during ravens practice and I’m looking to see if it’s the Orioles and seen Verlander go to the Astros seen some of the other moves, but I kept thinking back to last trade deadline. The Orioles trade trade Manzini, which was anticipated that was expected all along, but it’s still hurt, especially knowing that the team was at that point. They were right around 500. But only a few games out of the last wildcard spot. Remember that had picked him up the other day just to see scuffling with the Cubs. Right. Well, like he was just DFA by the Cubs, actually. So yeah, so that shows right there. Orioles got a pretty good return for him now. And we’ll see about Seth Johnson. He had Tommy John surgery, but once he’s healthy, and they knew that when they got him, that’s why he was available to them. That, you know, he could be a guy that fits into their rotation, say two years from now. But they don’t man Seanie They dealt Jorge Lopez, we remember that Mike Elias flew to Texas to talk to the club, because guys were noticeably upset. And you could understand that because they had had this fantastic July that had put them in a position where they were irrelevant. They were in the playoff race, whether they were a likely contender or not for for the last wildcard. But I remember at that point in time thinking and Michaelis even said it’s lift off from here, right. So a lot of people thought we were going to see an offseason where the Orioles were going to spend some money and go out and get a couple pieces. Turn the payroll into $150 million overnight, but spend some money. Well what did we see instead, they got Kyle Gibson to replace Jordan Lyles upgrade, but not a dramatic upgrade on paper. Even though Jordan Lyles has been really bad this year. They got Adam Frazier, upgrade overruled Neto door, even if some people like me, kind of looked at that and said, Well, you have Jordan Westberg and you have Joey Ortiz, and you have these other infielders. Why did you get Adam Fraser? Fraser hasn’t been great all around, but he has hit homeruns for them he has come through in a lot of big spots. And then you add to James McCann has an upgrade over Robinson, Torino since your backup catcher, that to me hasn’t worked out quite as well, certainly hasn’t worked out offensively. But it is what it is. The point is, they made moves on the margins once again, and this trade deadline, while maybe a little more upside than some of those moves I made that they that they pulled off in the past still kind of reeks of that Low risk, low reward or moderate reward kind of category, which is fine for the time being. But at some point in time, they are going to have to be bold, they are going to have to make a big move. Is it going to be this off Cummings offseason? Is it going to be next year’s trade deadline? Is it going to be talking about extending Gunnar Henderson or extending Adley rutschman or, or those types of moves where you want to make sure you keep some of your Youngstars? At some point in time, they are going to have to do that. And until they do that, that question is going to linger. But I will also say because you You even said some of the things that they’ve never done as an organization. But they’ve also never had a farm system like this, you know, they’ve never drafted and developed as effectively as it appears that they have here over the last few years. When you look at the sheer number of homegrown players that are on this roster right now, which they had some in 2014. It has had some in the past but you know, not this kind of a crop of young players. So that’s where if we’re going to give the players on the field, if we’re going to get brand and hide the benefit of the doubt in terms of they’ve gotten to this point. They’re 25 games above 500. After the blowout win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night, then that’s where I will continue to give Mike Elias not a not a total pass because I just asked some questions and maybe more so for ownership than Michael is even. But I will say he himself this current era of the Orioles. They’re entering entering uncharted territory now because the rebuilds over there, 90 plus percent

Nestor Aparicio  24:38

across all the fans expect them to go get Verlander on trade day. I mean, like we’ve moved, we went from zero to 100 very, very quickly here on expectations of the fan base. And they expect Jack Flaherty to pitch and win big ballgames in October in route to a parade that that is not a pipe dream that is and that’s good. wouldn’t be the expectation over the next four or five years. Which is why, when I’m thinking of trade day, I’m not even thinking about what can they do in 14 or 16 to win here now, because bucks going to be gone to do get is going to be gone, the old man is going to be dead. Like all of that. I’m not thinking like that at all. I was thinking more like, Hey, how can they steal an acier? You know, and and really fortify and move the organization forward, I guess they feel like dealing Jackson holiday, or cows or or Westberg or Malka, whoever that package. I mean, at some point, you say, look, you’re not getting holiday, but I’ll give you this that that net, take five other guys. And if that’s not good enough to get their ace, because he’s under team control, I understand where the White Sox are coming. Right? Well, we had that around here when when it was come come time to deal a couple of our guys that were decent back in the day.

Luke Jones  25:53

Yes, that? Well. And I’ll also say this much. I mean, if the Orioles were willing to talk, or if the White Sox were willing to talk about Dylan C’s, I guarantee you the Orioles weren’t the only team that made a call. Now the Orioles may have had the most attractive collection of prospects. But that also means the White Sox know that and they’re going to ask for the moon. And the one thing I will say about this is they didn’t trade on anyone else either. Some Keller from the pirates and other the Dodgers

Nestor Aparicio  26:20

weren’t given up their holiday right. Dodgers would love to actually Exactly, yeah.

Luke Jones  26:25

Right. So that’s so that’s where you do look at this and say, okay, it may just be that the sum of the pitchers who didn’t move and Eduardo Rodriguez is a little bit of a different case, obviously, because apparently the Dodgers had to deal in place for him. And he didn’t want to go the West Coast, he had no trade clause, which is also part of this as we think back to Adam Jones five years ago. But you do look at some of the pieces that didn’t move. And that’s where again, you’re reminded of prospects are valued. And young players who are still under club control who might be in the major leagues, but in the case of C syrup, Keller or some of these other young ones, you know, they have two more years of club control. They’re asking for a heck of a lot. So

Nestor Aparicio  27:07

the chance to go to Philly, right. He did. He did finally forgot about that. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, so much issues happened in 3125 years and having the station 33 Like I just I forgot about that. Who was the Canadian kid that was such a prick that they dealt the pitcher. He was decent. Oh, Eric Bedard. Bedard had left. Yeah, that’s the name I couldn’t come up with. Oh, sure. Sure. So I forgot his name because he was such a prick.

Luke Jones  27:32

But hey, he got him. Adam Jones. So

Nestor Aparicio  27:35

Right. Right. Thank

Luke Jones  27:36

you. Yeah. So So you look at I mean, you look at all these different moves. And again, I’ll come back to where my real disappointment lies that I think is completely valid is not getting another bullpen arm. I think Fujinami could actually really help them. I think he might end up being their second best reliever of Cano continues to go in the wrong direction. But I would have really liked to have seen another experienced high leverage reliever, like a David Robertson. And look, I’m not saying David Robertson is amazing at this stage of his career. You know, he’s at the end like Verlander is at the end. But that’s the piece to me that I feel like if there’s something that we’re going to look back on the Orioles, whether they will and they don’t win the division, and then they have to settle for one of the wildcards and then they’re playing in the three game wildcard round. And who knows what, what the heck can happen in a three game series. I mean, yeah, that’s, you know, we’ve talked about weighing the pros and cons of having to buy versus having to play in that total coin flip. But I for me, it’ll, we’ll probably look back and say, Sure, got another bullpen arm more so than then bemoaning the potential of getting Justin Verlander, who, by the way, it’s interesting, and I don’t want to go too far off track here. But when you’re looking at trade targets, you see that you see the stats, but then you start to look closer. Yeah, someone like Jack clarity at first blush of like, not big and I’m still talking me wrong. I’m still not doing cartwheels over that move. But I see enough with some of the peripheral stats to say, You know what, he might be good for them for three months. And you know, he’s got a lot to play for. He’s still young change of scenery, leaving the Cardinals whose defense was bad this year. He’s pitched well on the road hadn’t pitched well at home this

Nestor Aparicio  29:23

maybe he’s RJ Carey yet? Maybe? Yeah, we’re our I mean, at least for three months, right? I

Luke Jones  29:28

mean, he’s ready to win. If he doesn’t pitch well then. You know, Drew, ROM and SES are preeto. They’re not making or breaking your future by any stretch. I don’t think those guys had a place to play other than as a role player. But in the case of Verlander, look, he still has good numbers. He’s still good. He’s still Justin Verlander in terms of his mind and his heart and desire and as experienced but you start to dig into some of his numbers. strikeouts are down walks are up, grinding a heck of a lot more than he did even last year when he was when he was headed. sub two era and the Cy Young. So it wasn’t just, you know, oh, let’s get Justin Verlander. And don’t get me wrong. If the Orioles have gotten Justin Verlander, I would have been just as excited as anyone. But when you look at what you would have had to have given up which the Astros still had to give up, you know, they’re the best prospect in their system. And yes, the Mets are covering a lot of the money. You know, what the Mets would have tried to do with the Orioles is, oh, well, we’ll pay you most overlanders salary, but we want prospects A, B and C and? Okay. Yeah, you have a conversation about that, but Verlander didn’t want to be. Right. There’s that and he’s 40. And, you know, he could fall off a cliff here very quickly. And there’s the vesting option for not just next, you know, next year, he’s under contract, but there’s a vesting option the year after it for the year after that. So my point is not that I wouldn’t do it. And I don’t want anyone listening right now saying, Oh, look, prefer Jack Flaherty over Justin Verlander, head to head. It’s more complicated than that. And in the case of Verlander, digging into his numbers a little more, I had a little more of a reservation than even when you and I talked about it a couple of days ago. So we’ll see how it plays out. And look, he’s going back to Houston, where he’s familiar. And I mean,

Nestor Aparicio  31:14

the warriors have to go beat him in October. That that’s for me.

Luke Jones  31:18

Sure, sure. And that could be a big part of it. But at the same time, Justin Verlander is not putting up the same Justin Verlander numbers of even last year. So we’ll see how it plays out. But

Nestor Aparicio  31:28

well, we’ll see how it plays out when it’s Flaherty versus Verlander in game one, right?

Luke Jones  31:32

If it is, I mean, that we know it doesn’t always work out that way, in terms of who’s pitching when,

Nestor Aparicio  31:37

you know what I’m saying? I mean, you’re sitting, you’re believing the Orioles are gonna play baseball in October, how they’re gonna play when they get there. And that, you know, nobody knows that right? But I think we’re all of the mindset that you want them to be as strong as possible there and there’s not going to be any Coast if you you want the buy so that’s part of the game here is that there’s no easy path to the buy. You have to put the foot down you have to play every day all through September they have to West Coast trips, they have all this stuff going on and and they had just innings limits and they there’s a ceiling to their pitching right now and you know you hope comes back you hope Rodriguez gets on track you hope radish keeps this up. You Hope Wells comes back you have clarity fits in and apparently he’s a very good guy to and that would work. Well. Seems like Gibson is a good guy. They seem like a good group. I mean, I’m bullish on their potential Sure. But I’m also like, they now have to go beat Verlander. So that’s one of the things if you don’t get the guy I mean see spread whatever it doesn’t you know, you have to worry about him but the competition gets there. I want to get the football Lucas here. We’re doing our 25th anniversary on Thursday and Friday. We’re going to be a cost this all day Thursday. 11 for giving everything away if you don’t have a copy Purple Rain one you want me to come you don’t have signs come you want to get a free Maryland lottery scratch off ticket, try to win $100 or 100,000 or $10,000 Excuse me, a stop by you want a great crabcakes not by our friends from Rascon global have sent me the special mallet with the beer opener, Mr. Costa appreciate that as well and our friends at window nation 8669 donation bringing us together. Then on Friday we’re going to be a drug city from 11 before celebrating 25 years with lots of friends was gonna be some storytelling. There’s gonna be some bitching about the Orioles and complaining about the ravens and some wonderment about how awesome Dundalk is for all those that I’m importing into Dundalk on Thursday and Friday at places like the fountain that drunk city where I had my shirt look you spent the day I don’t Is there anything else what baseball you want to get to because I want to do this a flowers thing. I want to do a little ravens here. We got a long weekend. We got the Mets coming to town all this stuff. Have have we done enough on the trade deadline? My

Luke Jones  33:45

my final quick thought we talked a lot about Houston. We talked about Texas, they’re duking it out in the west. You know there’s gonna be a division winner and one of them’s going to be a wildcard the Orioles Well Jack clarity and Fujinami it’s not moving the needle dramatically but Tampa Bay okay, they got Somali. Is he better than then clarity fine. Toronto, they added a couple pieces including Hicks who gave up gave up a couple runs against the Orioles on Tuesday night. The Red Sox and the Yankees did not do a whole lot. So in terms of the division which is still critical in terms of the the first round bye because you know the central is going to be playing whoever wins the central is going to be playing in that wildcard round. I think the Orioles did okay in that context in terms of the rest of the division also of the five als teams from what I understand at least one source and I don’t want to cite this as the gospel Oreos of the five al East teams I do believe have the easiest schedule the rest of the way so little food for thought there in that context, not just comparing them solely that to what the Astros and the Rangers did, which certainly was more robust.

Nestor Aparicio  34:49

Well and the other thing is the all fold though that you do in September when you’re beating each other up, that’s gone now you know there’s there’s no hey if man if they go three and nine at the wrong time. It’s September they can have this whole thing up. They still would need the other side to be winning their tail off in other places. And to your point, the competition’s not. You know, the Yankees and the Red Sox have days past where you’re going to see them 12 times in September the way maybe you used to look. Football, you’ve spent more of your time on football and baseball. Even though we sat here talking baseball, they allow you to come to practice. They do not allow me out there. You’re the only eyes out there. The flowers thing I look. In the modern era, I’ve done 27 training camps until they haven’t allowed me to go the last few years. I am I don’t believe any of this. Any of the bobby Rainey any of the third string quarterbacks great and preseason games. I haven’t bought into that since I saw Michael Vick get his leg broken 20 years ago, right? Like I don’t. This is all a mystery to me. And then I go to the social media thing and it really feels to me like all 32 of these teams have their chats deals in there. Michelle Andras is, and it’s just one giant infomercial of ROAs stacker in its, you know, it’s awful. And on these practice days, they just want to have a day when obj makes that catch that Austin Hays made in the real game the other night, or they just want to have that kid get knocked over and have their cameras there for Odell Beckham to do what any human would do is pick a four year old boy I’m sorry, all right, and make him stop crying. And that’s Oh ma Whoa, PJ loves ball, who was sweet kid hold his hand and all that, like I that was, it was nice. We don’t need that’s what this is. That’s that’s, that’s what it is. But then behind that there is the all ze flowers burned it up on July 31. I am expecting them to be in love with all their players this time of year. I’m expecting you to have a more discerning eye on who’s in and who’s out who’s winning the competition left guard. It’s so early on. But the the flowers for ze flowers. I want to bring it to you because everybody’s glowing about suit to the point where this kid’s getting the raised expectation more than any of the wide receivers that we’ve had a lot of wide receivers that are first round wide receivers here that the expectation on him starting in my mind even early August like they’re talking about this guy’s though he something is he going to get the ball 910 11 times a game maybe I don’t know, maybe he is their toy, as Todd Monken said, Yeah,

Luke Jones  37:36

and I think I don’t even know if the hype is greater than it was for Bateman or for Prashad Perriman or go all the way back to Mark Clayton or Travis Taylor talking about their first round history at wide receiver but it’s what you just said because there is so much social media attention and look. Everything you just said I my comment want to chime in would have been all 32 teams think they’re winning the Super Bowl this year. I mean, that’s what you’re selling this time of year in the same way in February and March and Sarasota. The Orioles are selling hope you know I mean that’s that’s how this works. And social media is such a colossal arm to do that now. But in the case of a flowers, there is a lot of excitement. And again, is it more than some of those other wide receivers of the past? I’ll give you a quick anecdote I remember in 2015 On the eve of training camp, but shortly before Rashad Perriman hurt his knee the next day. I remember talking to a very high ranking member of the organization and I asked them at the time because keep in mind this was six months after Torrey Smith had signed with the San Francisco 40 Niners and my question was, do you think Prashad Perriman can be as good as Torrey Smith was as a rookie knowing that regardless of the fact that Tory was a second round pick, he was really productive for them. his rookie year almost got them to a Super Bowl if not for Billy Cundiff. But that individual whose opinion I respect a great deal Nestor certainly knows football. That individual told me he thought Prashad Perriman was better than Torrey Smith already. Well. Now, if Prasad Paramon never hurts his knee, who knows? But that right there is a sign of what you just said. Everyone loves their players this time of year. So understanding that have I been impressed by say flowers I am now he’s you know when you see them at first glance, you say oh it’s another Marquis brown he’s only five nine you know, he’s well well under 185 pounds or, or whatever he’s listed as and, you know, all of you know the speed you know shiftiness all those different things, but he plays with a different kind of toughness to him that you did not see with Marquis brown that does excite me.

Nestor Aparicio  39:51

Steve Smith, Steve Smith.

Luke Jones  39:55

Look, I mean, that comparison

Nestor Aparicio  39:59

I’m gonna do that every receiving. And it’s a what if he kept that for 95 yards looks the part. You know, I will. I’ll believe it when I see it in the game. That’s where I am.

Luke Jones  40:14

Yeah, sure. And that’s Aaron. Look, I’m, I’m still have that mind, believe me I in years and I learned my lessons as a young reporter to not make too much of what happens in OTAs and not make too much about what happens in mini camp, certainly not make what happened. What happens too much out of it in late July and early August, especially with the pads only came on Monday. But he has looked good and he does move extremely well. And he has a toughness to him that he plays bigger than his size. So I’m very much looking forward to him. I know talking to various people in the organization, and even some players unprovoked, not even asked about ze flowers. They brought him up Morgan Moses on report day was just asked about the speed of the offense and the tempo and Todd Monken. And just in a general question, the first thing he brought up was a flowers which to me that said something when Odell Beckham and Nelson Aguilar were also added in in the offseason so so there’s some excitement there, but there will be some growing pains as well. We’ll see how it plays out. I’m not earmarking this kid to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie, by by any stretch of the imagination. But I do think that they have designs of him being a very important part of what they do from day one. So whether that means he’s going to become their bonafide number one wide receiver over the next two or three years, who knows again, there have been plenty of big time prospects and draft picks who don’t pan out and other guys who don’t look as good early on, and then they do show out and become a legitimate piece for us. So the excitement is there. Since I’ve mentioned them in passing Odell Beckham, the movement, he looks healthy, I’ll say that his movement, his route, running very fluid. He made a leaping catch in the endzone on Tuesday. That was good to see. Although he did drop a deep one on what was Lamar is best deep ball today. So a missed opportunity there. It’s practice that’s a larger one has Lamar look, you know, I mean, what’s been interesting to me, is the passing game over the first four days of practice where they did not have the pads on so it very much resembled OTAs and mini camp, where inherently the offense should have an advantage because the threat of contact isn’t there, right? The passing game has actually looked better, since they put the pads on. So to me, that’s just I chalk that up as you’re making progress learning a brand new offense. I mean, you’re putting in a brand new system, this is markedly different than what they did with Greg Roman. And that doesn’t mean that it’s all paths happy and abandon the run or anything like that. But in terms of tempo, getting up to the line of scrimmage, putting more on Lamar Jackson’s plate pre snap in terms of adjustments and making changes at the line of scrimmage and the protection and all that. So there’s a lot to it. So it’s been a work in progress. But I expected that Todd Monken even said, Yeah, we’re not going to be as good now as, as we’ll be come September 10, or October 14, or certainly December and you hope January. So that’s been but But one last thing on deck that I was mentioning. He’s moving well, the routes, although you see all the signs of the guy that he was at his best. My question, which I think is still to be determined is how well will he run? Not just week one, but how will his legs hold up over the course of the season, help his route running and his hands that will allow him to win and still be a productive part of this offense. But how well he runs and how well he can continue to run as we get into the season. That’s where I think there’s a little more unknown. That’s where that to me right? There’s the difference of can he be an 1100 yard receiver or is he going to be an 850 yard receiver? So you know that that’s to be determined? And that’s I think even John Harbaugh and and Eric caster are asking that question privately. So, but so far, so good. You know, he’s certainly the veteran player, Bateman. I mean, he’s still he’s still dealing with the foot a little bit. He hasn’t he’s not practicing yet. You know, that early indication I got going into camp was start to look for him about two weeks into camp. You know, they’re they’re slow playing it right now. Apparently, the Liz Frank issue is fine, but he’s just got some lingering soreness in the foot. You know, he had the he had the screw removed from his foot, you know, the surgical screws that were in there for the list Frank surgery but still dealing with a little bit of discomfort. So I don’t think they’re overly concerned yet. But at the same time, it’s not nothing either or he’d be out there. So, you know, you want to get him right. So you’ll sacrifice him being on the field. In late July and early August, if it means he’s out there and ready to go come mid August, you know, kind of what we talked about with the whole Dobbins saga, you know, in the big picture sense. So, you know, I think overall, like I said, the offense, still a lot of work to do. There’s no question about that. The defense has definitely gotten the better of the offense overall, early in camp. That’s not a typical anyway, but it’s certainly not unexpected when you’re talking about brand new offensive coordinator, new offense, new toys to that offense, you know, to use Todd Monken is word describing a flowers. But I think there’s still plenty of excitement, plenty of optimism, because, well, short of any catastrophic injuries. Every team is excited and optimistic at this time of year and, you know, that just goes with the territory. So, no, no, no sweeping generalizations or bold predictions based off of what we’ve seen its camps been about what I expected it to be through the first week or so. Luke Jones do a double

Nestor Aparicio  45:58

duty you can find him at Baltimore, Luke anywhere the internet is served. He’ll be in Owings Mills in the afternoons at Camden Yards over the weekends while I remain locked out and celebrating 25 years of being locked in here at wn St. We’re going to be at Costas on Thursday, giving away scratch offs and the Maryland lottery had $100 Winner Coco’s two weeks ago. Come on out, get a free scratch off get a crab cake. If I were you I would get the cream spinach I would so get the the stuffed mushrooms with the Imperial crab and that we’re probably going to knock a dozen Jumbos down. I have my letter Raskin, Raskin. Global crab mallet with the special beer opener in the side, our friends window nation also put it on 866 90 nation. I want to give a special thank you to all of our sponsors. Dennis is coming out during the show this week. And we have several sponsors being involved in that I’ve invited the BRICS, they’re not down for Planet Fitness and our dear friends at Royal farms as well i past 10 Royal farms getting over their wise markets. Of course, always having wise conversations about are all of our sponsors that have allowed us to continue to do this and Luke to continue to do this against all odds 25 years into this so we’ll be spiking the ball for the next six months here the next 25 weeks, we are going to present the 25 stories of glory here at wn st we’re going to count them down for the next 25 weeks 25 through number one. It’s going to begin a little later on in the month there’s going to be oysters involved is going to be a crab cake tour involved. And it all starts at cost us on Thursday from 11 to four and then drug city. I got my fountain shirt on here. That’s not a mike fountain shirt. What is that? I’m gonna have to ask Georgia. Chuck over at the fountain is it that’s not a pill man. That’s the drug city guy that looks like supermario there. It looks like he’s making a milkshake. Let’s maybe this is a blender in his hand. I’m not sure either way, they will make you a big boy milkshake over the fact that you come upstairs to the tasting room on Friday between 11 and four and if I’ve not mentioned it enough, if anybody is looking for any of the old signs and I have a stack of a bunch of them probably 30 or 40 Different signs Terps signs or we’ll sign clobber Cleveland signs free the bird signs, defense signs, Ray fit 252 signs from New Orleans over all the years a lot of paper cuts look good given these out. There’ll be no paper cuts it cost This copies the Purple Rain one Purple Rain two shirts, hats leftover get nasty shirts free the birth shirts come one come all to cost this on Thursday. He is Luke he’s covering sports. I’m Nestor. I don’t work I see crabcakes we’re wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore. Positive 25 years, the logos about the change

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