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Outfielder Colton Cowser struggled in his first MLB assignment last year but has begun the 2024 with a torrid pace leaving manager Brandon Hyde with some tough decisions on playing time for Austin Hays. Our Luke Jones joins Nestor to evaluate this young roster and ways to continue to utilize the bench and the potential of big bats from blue chip prospects.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 5070, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We’re taking the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road next week. I have fresh ones. These are the fresh PacMan giveaways. We have winners actually had a guy came up to me if Bailey’s wanted me to cash his ticket from him like No, it doesn’t work that way. Just because I gave you the ticket. I don’t I you have to take it to a Lottery retailer someplace like ROFO or wise or Costas or someplace like that. But we will have these next week we will have them up at Greenmount station agreement bowl. I’m not exactly sure where we’re doing the show, but it’s one place or the other. They’re in the same parking lot. That’s up in Hampstead. It’s been a little while I got to go get me a crab cake up there. Greenmount station, maybe take some ribs home to my wife as well. That’s next Wednesday, the 24th on the 26th. On Friday, Luke and I will reconvene down at fade Lee’s he had his life changed on Friday at his first fade these crabcake down there in the new location. And I did as well gave him some shrimp salad for the road. I’ll give him a PacMan scratch off next Friday as well. We are stacked here with home games, row games. We’re going to be up late next week before we get this whole like home thing started again, oak we get to see Oakland each year. So there’s all sorts of things happening here. But but they’re short term. They’re, they’re good. And we’ve talked a lot about the farm system and the history and one ones and Colton cows are and all that. Luke, what what are you digging about the team right now? What do you like about this at the almost a 10% poll, and we’ll be there by the time we get to the middle of the week.


Luke Jones  01:33

I mean, it’s it’s really the team that for the most part would be I think, obviously, enough can’t be said about how well Colton Couser is playing right now. And whether he’s going to continue at this clip, which will I mean, we’re talking about someone who I think, finished the series against Milwaukee with a 971 slugging percentage. So clearly, he’s got to cool off a little bit. I mean, we’re talking about someone with Player of the Week production. That’s been great to see. But you know, there’s not, there’s nothing about the team that’s really shocked me. It’s maybe beyond that, just from the standpoint of Colton cows are struggling or are playing so well, while Austin Hayes has struggled to the degree that he has and just what that means for each of them moving forward. But, you know, I love the young talent on this team. I love the fact that they’ve already promoted Jackson Holliday is weird as the handling of that was and we’ve we’ve been over that. And I don’t think there’s any reason to continue to rehash that Mike Elias addressed it over the weekend and basically said it came as close as he was going to come to saying, Yeah, we kind of realized there’s nothing more for him to do a trip away. He’s got to come up here. And as I said before, one of the reasons why I wanted him on the opening day roster was he was going to struggle early on. And that doesn’t because he struggled over his first four or five games. It doesn’t mean Mike Elias was right or wrong in when he was brought up. It’s just how this works. Adly rushman, who was four years older struggled. When he was caught up. Gunnar Henderson struggled for two months last year. You know, after he was caught up the previous September, Colton Couser, we saw how he struggled last summer. And we see what he looks like right now looks like an MVP candidate the first three weeks of the season. So it’s just how it works. But just in general, the amount of young talent that they have the amount of young talent that’s at triple A waiting for an opportunity, and I’m sure at least a couple of those guys we’re going to see at some point here in the coming weeks and months. And you know, on the pitching side, there’s so little more question as we thought given the state of health with our current rotation, the bullpen I think, while I still long term want to see another high leverage arm that they can slot into the back of the bullpen. I think for the most part, it’s held up pretty well. You know, Keegan Aiken has been a pleasant surprise for them. And what he’s been able to do and a little more of a relevant role than I think people projected for him early on, we’ll see if that continues. But by and large, it’s it’s been the team for the most part that I thought it would be, you know, they, they certainly they’ve they’ve hit the ball really well at times, but they’ve also had some lols. And you’d like to see him do it for a full nine innings rather than having to rely on these comebacks. But we said that all last year for a 101 win team. On the pitching side. It had it been pretty good overall until these first couple games of the Milwaukee series that bloodied their nose, I think was a term that you use. So you know, I, I like this team. I think they’re gonna be really good. Are they going to be better than they were last year in terms of wins and losses? That’s a really high bar. But I fully expect them to be right there in the Al east and duking it out for division title, and we’ll see if the Yankees can can keep up the pace at which they’ve won which has been really impressive and See what the rest of the division looks like. Meanwhile, you have the Minnesota Twins coming in who were a good story last year, but they’re a team that took steps back with their roster. Now they lost any grip Sonny Gray, they lost Kenta, my ADA. They lost Emilio Paragon from the bullpen and they’d been a team that early on, has pitched pretty well. They’ve really struggled to hit the ball. And now Carlos Correia being on the shelf makes it even more difficult for them. I mean, they enter this series 27 in the majors and run scored per game. So this is an opportunity for the Orioles to fully expect to win a series and finish the homestand on a high note after not not a great series against Milwaukee, Let’s call a spade a spade Sunday aside. So this is an opportunity for the Orioles to get right a little bit here. Not that they have to get right in terms of that things are going poorly but you want to be able to finish at least with a 500 homestand. And you can do that by taking two out of three from the twins who like I said they’ve pitched well, but the offense has really been a struggle for them. And now they don’t have Carlos Correia even. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:10

you mentioned some of the the the blue chip guys, let’s talk about some of the unsung guys, Matteo O’Hearn, some of the I mean, even Westberg, to your point, he’s in another organization Westberg would be a really good draft pick and a really nice player and a solid guy you want to add to your team and say This guy will be here next four to six years, and we think he’s a big league ballplayer and mighty 290 Mighty 260 But he’s going to be a big league ballplayer and he’s going to be a guy that we can count on good heavy player, gamer all of that stuff. That guy kinda guy you want to have around. We talked so much it but there’s so much oxygen. This week on Jackson holiday, he’s only got one hit, by the way. And, you know, we’ve done all of that for rutschman in the past and I know that Henderson ever really got that he sort of scuffled struggled a little bit. He’s so young, like holiday so young, a lot of these guys young. The guys that I was worried the most about would be regression, as you would say regression to the mean, that’s I steal that one from you. But some of the guys that aren’t blue chip, guys, some of the guys that like the mountcastle we’ve been trying to get rid of for a couple of years or even the fact that hey, is how long will they allow him to struggle? What will that look like in June or July because he’s got to get it back to not struggle, but he’s going to have better effects than Stop struggling and they have another guy. That’s when it’s really gets a little tricky. Dicky done it.

Luke Jones  07:40

Yeah, I mean, what’s funny, you just describe Jordan Westbrook. I think that’s how the Orioles view him. I think Jordan Westberg in another organization would be viewed similarly to how the Orioles look at Gunnar Henderson right now, not necessarily saying Oh, this guy was going to be MVP candidate. But he’d be the premier guy. He’d be the feature guy, whereas he’s just one, one of many in the mix. And that speaks to the depth that they have. But no, I think we talked about this. Throughout the offseason, we talked about this even at the end of last year, when we knew there were what 16 arbitration eligible players on the 40 man roster. We talked about this idea that there’s gonna be some roster turn now we ended up not really seeing too much of that, right. I mean, of all those guys that were arbitration eligible, what Ryan McKenna was DFA ended up being outright at the Norfolk, so he’s still in the organization even, but for the most part they held on everybody. And that was something that I thought was interesting. If you would ask me in December, if Jorge Mateo and Ramona Reus would both be in the organization, I would have said, no, they’re going to trade one of those guys. Not that they’re going to get anything great, but you’ll see that one of those guys packaged, maybe you’ll see one of them, tendered, you know, I think that’s where they are considering the number of fielders they have. And that’s not to say they’re both going to be on the roster all year. But they’ve really valued their organizational depth. I mean, that’s, I think that’s one of the one of the factors that went into the Jackson holiday decision at the time. They wanted to hold on to their veteran infielders. You know, why, why they felt compelled to have Tony camp on the 26th man roster for 10 days. I don’t know, but it’s what it is. But you know, you mentioned Austin Hays. And I think that’s the most relevant name right now, just because of how the season has started. Where, look, some, some fans out there need to chill. When we’re talking about Austin Hayes sending them down or DFA. Scott is an all star last year. And look, I was one of the first ones you know, just like anyone pointing out that he struggled in the second half last year. It’s one reason why I said don’t just leave Colton Couser on the bench to collect sprint splinters because he’s that kind of talent and Austin Hays isn’t necessarily a guy that has to play 155 games a year you know, he’s not Gunnar Henderson good. You know, so He’s the kind of guy. Same with Cedric Mullins where give them some days off here and there. They don’t have to be 155 game guys, they can be 125 or 130 game guys. And I think if you do that you get cows are in the mix, you continue to develop him, and everyone stays fresh. And theoretically, you’re hoping you can keep everyone healthy doing it that way. So and look, it could still play out that way. Colton Couser has been phenomenal. And he should play every day for the time being. But he’s one, one for 23 away from revisiting that. And Austin Hayes getting back into the lineup against at least left handed starters, at 440.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:39


In the past over 10 days to write. Hayes has had those kinds of tears. Charles has been on this week. Everyone does.

Luke Jones  10:46

I mean, everyone does. I mean, again, this is where we, we all have to remember it’s baseball. I mean, the stretch had Austin Hayes’s had to start the season. Yeah, it’s been ugly. And it’s magnified when you have a young player who is already at the point where he’s ready for playing time and ready to sink or swim in the majors. And he’s swimming, swimming. Well.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:06

You know what I mean? Like that?

Luke Jones  11:10

Yeah, yeah, I mean, sure. And look, it could play out that way. But like, it could play out that Colton cows are cools off and Austin Hays gets on a heater, and that’s 400 for the next four weeks. I mean, to your point. I mean, it’s baseball. But it is. They’re at such a fascinating point, just in general. And I don’t mean this talking haze and cows, I mean, just their entire roster and their farm system, where you have these veteran guys now, you know, three years ago, four years ago, it was Hanser Alberto types, right Renato Nunez who, yeah, those guys had their moments for albeit for really lousy teams.


Nestor J. Aparicio  11:45

Can I say Rio Ruiz? I just like saying Rio over weeks. It’s free. Oh, Ruiz was

Luke Jones  11:49

never good, though. But I liked. Yeah, sure. Sure, sure. But yeah, those guys, you knew that they were going to be long gone. By the time this team was starting to content, you know, hoping the content you knew they were just placeholders. Now you’re at a point where you have a team that won the Division last year one 101 games, you have these guys that have been were part of the losing have now been part of the turnaround when we’re talking about Santander Hayes, Mullins, mountcastle talking about those guys who’ve been around and we’re part of 100 plus loss teams. And this is where it’s difficult, I think, for fans, and I think it’s even difficult for Mike Elias, even though he, I think takes pride in being a guy that’s not sentimental. That’s not overly romantic about anything that happened last year, a couple years ago, or what’s going to happen and moving forward. He’s got to be calculated. No, he’s got to be objective about it as much as he can. But you’re at a point now. And we’re just using Hayes and Couser as the most painfully obvious slap you in the face example of this, where you have a veteran player who is a good player, you know, again, people need to pump the brakes on the hate for Austin Hayes. I mean, you’re talking about a guy who has been a very valuable player for them the last few years, however, he’s a year away from free agency. He is in arbitration and making more money now. And you have someone in Colton Couser, who is displaying, at least at the moment, the kind of ceiling that exceeds anything Austin Hayes has done. So you are in a position you are reaching an inflection point where you are going to start saying goodbye to some of these guys that have gotten you to this point. And some of this is just the natural churn of you have guys in your farm system who are younger, cheaper and going to be better. And some of this is just hey, you know, it’s time to move on. We can’t, you know, forget about talking about rutschman. Gunnar Henderson, like the premier prospects that they have the premier young players on the roster. You can’t extend everyone you know, you’re not going to extend everyone you shouldn’t extend everyone. So we are at a point now where you look at someone like Austin Hayes and say, Okay, what’s next? And again, is he going to be cemented to the bench moving forward? I think we need to just let it play out. Colton cows is playing every day. For the time being. I think that’s obvious. But Hayes can spell Mullins Hayes can spell Santander like yeah, you can still do that. And if cows are cool is often Yeah, they’ll spell him. So you know that. Most more often than not, these things tend to work themselves out. But in a big picture sense. I think this is where Michael is. And this is where fans need to prepare as well. And you know, we saw this a little bit in the Train Man scene. He was traded a couple years ago, right. Jorge Lopez was traded a couple years ago in the midst of the Orioles mathematically being right in the thick of the wildcard race. Layton 22 So we’ve seen some of it, but you’re still gonna have to make decisions like that. And that’s how you grow right in the same way that the Ravens have traded first round picks they’ve traded guys that are entering the final year of their contract guys that were useful productive players for them. But Eric d’acosta, at that point recognized, we’re not going to sign this guy long term. And I get it football as a salary cap. We we all know that. But the point is, sometimes you have to make a difficult decision. And it might even look that you might run the risk of taking a half step back temporarily, but you’re growing from a long term perspective. So obviously, the Couser Hayes example is very extreme right now where the veteran is struggling big time. And the rookie is looking like an MVP candidate, let alone a rookie of the year candidate. So you know, he’s going to cool off Austin Hays is going to heat up but in the big picture sense. This, this shows where change is coming. Right? If

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:51

you were to lay out Colton Couser and who he is and his pedigree, this isn’t a shock to Hayes, but it’s a shock that he’s hidden. You know, less than a buck and and this kids come up and been this good. Again, we talked about Jordan Westberg being a star elsewhere, counselors have a different he’s closer to the to the rutschman sort of holiday. If it was a wine, it would be a 98 point wine. You know what I mean? Like when it comes to a chance to be a special player. We’ve undersold? Couser because we’ve had this embarrassment of riches here, right?

Luke Jones  16:31


Well, I don’t even know if it’s so much undersold on because of the other guys, they have I think a lot of it has to do with how much he struggled last year, right. I mean, he was awful. He was awful last year, to the point where they sent him back down out. They didn’t want to do that. But he wasn’t hitting it all. And meanwhile, yeah, you still had Austin Hayes and Cedric Collinson. And then

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:53

three weeks from now, dude.

Luke Jones  16:54

I mean, sure. I mean, of course, it could be but the point is, to your point, let’s not act like this guy was a fringe prospect. I mean, he’s been a mainstay in the top 100 MLB prospect list the last few years. It’s the fifth overall pick in 2021. You know, right. So, okay, he’s not a phenom in the way that you look at Jackson Holliday being a 20 year old in the major leagues. But I mean, that’s, that’s why I kept saying, this idea that Colton Couser is just gonna be on the bench as the fourth outfielder in plays once a week to me was nuts. And I’m not saying that that was the Orioles plan, or Brandon Hyde’s plan. But that’s why I kept saying, You got to play this guy. Right. Apologies to Austin, Hays and Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander. But none of those guys are so great that How dare we suggest that they don’t play seven days a week, you know that that’s not how it was going to work. And even if Austin Hays right now was hitting 286, rather than o 86. And even if Colton Couser was hitting 241, rather than 441, I’d still be saying the same thing right now. Because you have to view it through the lens of not just 2024, but also 2024, three months from now, but also next year, and the year after that, and four years from now. So that’s part of the churn that’s at work here. And that’s where, again, there’s going to be there are going to be some difficult, and, frankly, some unpopular decisions that are going to be made here at a couple of different points. So because you’re not going to be able to keep everybody and it might be that you package a couple prospects along with one of these veteran outfitters for a pitcher or whatever else you might need at any point between now and the trade deadline. So, you know, that’s just, it’s where they are. And these, let’s be very clear, that dilemma that I just laid out, that’s a great problem to have. Having too many good players is a great problem to have. But it is a problem nonetheless, because you want to maximize your value and you want to be in a position where you don’t just have really valuable assets just sitting there on the bench. Now that said if Austin Hays just is their fourth outfielder now moving forward that’s a heck of an upgrade even from a year ago when Ryan McKenna was that guy for or Aaron Hicks was that guy for a bulk of last year so you know I think this we’re still at the point in the season where let things Breathe and Work Austin haze in when you can when it makes sense but at the same time, especially with rock coffee like you did on Sunday afternoon. He’s in the lineup every day and we’re even seeing you know when they’ve rested a couple guys over the weekend Colin cows was even hitting high in the lineup you know I think you’re hitting seventh is that those days are numbered if he’s gonna continue to hit like this I mean he’s gonna be hitting at least the top four or five in the lineup so you know I it’s exciting. It’s something to keep up a level head about because he’s going to call off he’s not gonna He’s not going to continue to slot hit 441 You know, he’s not going to have a 970 slugging percentage, but you’re seeing the talent, you’re seeing the power. And you know, we’ve talked about it. Yeah. Marcus was one of the early cops for him when he was drafted. But he’s more swing and miss but more power upside as well. I think the the other part of his game that I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far, it was one thing that he struggled with the bat last year, I think what was disappointing for the Orioles, and I think this probably played a part and also with him being sent down was he looked very uncomfortable defensively last year. Now he kind of and that was that was odd for him because he had played all three outfield spots and played a lot in centerfield in the minors. And he really struggled in that department last year when he was caught up in addition to his bat. So defensively, we saw how he played a couple balls in front of the green monster at Fenway last week. And he’s looked much more comfortable. And he’s looked like someone that I don’t think profiles long term as an everyday centerfielder. But he certainly looks like a guy who can play some centerfield for you as well, in addition to playing plus defense at one of the corner outfield spots. So that’s a really valuable player to have there. Because as it stands right now, whether we’re talking about Cedric Mullins, or whether we’re talking about Enrique Bradfield, a couple years down the line, you need to have a backup centerfielder. And if you can have someone like Colton Couser, who played a pretty solid, respectable standard field, when called upon in addition to the offense that he’s going to give you, that’s a really useful, really valuable player, whether whether he’s going to be an all star or not, that’s at least just a player that’s going to be above average, and really valuable to your roster. So it’s exciting. And again, sorted out and Brandon Hyde. Look, we know Brandon Hyde loves veterans, whether whether you’re the biggest Brandon Hyde supporter or whether you’re one of his detractors, you know, anyone who has watched him manage knows that he likes his veterans, so I don’t think he’s going to bury Austin Hays, he’s going to try to work them in when he can to try to get them going because that’s still better for the Orioles to have him hitting the knot, even if it means

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:10

hitting the Delmon young double that gets them into the ALCS is very, very likely in October, right. Like we’re still carrying him, right. That


Luke Jones  22:18

would be silly to bury him and whether it’s that or whether it’s him hitting and being productive to the point where are you trade him in July? You know, when he helps you get a starting pitcher or a relief pitcher? I mean, you know, it’s again, we have to chill. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and the same thing is gonna go for Jackson Holliday, who? Let’s face it, the first four games it’s, it’s it’s looked pretty ugly. It’s been a lot of swing and miss. It’s going to continue to play. He should continue to play. Let him go out there and play. Like it’s that simple. I can’t be any more dismissive about do I have concerns about him right now? No, I don’t. This is me. rutschman did this Gunnar Henderson did this. Colin Couser. Looks like Babe Ruth right now did this for four weeks last year. Let them play. And it doesn’t mean that Mike Elias was right or wrong and how he’s handled him because he could have waited until June and called him up and this still could have happened.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:11

You know, it was calling him up in Boston calling him up on the weather was decent calling upon us right handers calling him up, let him get to games in with his teammates on the road before he comes home and gets the standing ovation. And people come to see him and they get their ass beat. And like I I started the whole conversation on Monday morning with you by saying they got their nose bloodied a little bit over the weekend, not a bad idea. They had to go play for their lives on Sunday did not get swept at home by the Brewers when they had fans in and they have this kid up and you know, the spotlights on them and they’re expected to do well. And they still pull a rabbit out of their hat. And they’ve done they did that twice last week with the Westberg homerun and walk offs and all that stuff. They’ve had the whole rainbow the first three weeks, they’ve had good weather, they’ve had bad weather, they may call ups. They haven’t had any awful injuries. Like and I would say for all of that we’re talking about all of these names. And we’re playing the shell game with curse sad and this outfit worst hours and when’s mayo and you know, and are we waiting on Bradish and means we have all of these cavalry guys coming over the hill. They’re in decent shape because they’re healthy right now for I mean, let let cross your fingers on Bradish up at Aberdeen, right like it like keeping them healthy. creates these roster log jam problems. You ain’t dealing Colton cows are Austin A’s at the deadline if they’re not healthy.

Luke Jones  24:35

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, they’re not healthy in the rotation. But we knew that in mid February right. We knew that the season was going to start this way but yeah, I mean, it’s look at look at some of the pitcher injuries. We’ve seen around baseball since the season started, you know, Premier pitchers elite pitchers, you know, having Tommy John surgery or UCL surgery with what internal brace you know, that’s kind of the the new thing that you’re seeing that seems like it expedites the return a little bit. You know what Which Spencer Strider had that for the Braves. So, but that’s a big part of this. You know, we talked about this a lot. We’ve the focus has been so much on the Ravens for 20 years now. And we talked about the attrition in the NFL that’s become even more magnified with a 17 game schedule and will continue to be that way when they go to 18 years, or 18 games at some point, you know, in the not too distant future. But attrition is a big part of this and trying to stay healthy and trying to have depth and trying to have backups and guys a trip away that if you have an injury, if you have a need that someone can fill in, and maybe they’re not, they’re not going to be quite as good. But they can give you a really close replica of that production it. That’s how you win 100 games, you know that the Yankees right now look at the Yankees be unhealthy? Other than Gerrit Cole, which I know, I realized there’s a major caveat there. But they’re relatively healthy. And we’ve seen how well the Yankees have played early in the season. But the big question for them is are they going to stay healthy and they have these veteran players in their lineup that are they’re going to stay healthy for the long, long haul. They didn’t last year and we saw how much they struggled as the year went on. So but but that applies to everyone you have Earl Weaver love to have deep depth right now that that’s one of the parts aspects of the Oriental way. You know, they had guys, you know whether we’re talking about platoon scenarios, or someone waiting a trip away for sometimes two or three, four years. Yeah, they always

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:25


had Redman or Jim Dwyer or Terry Crowley on the edge of the bench. And that’s where the Mateos in the ureas is in the McCanns. To your point and even McKenna last year, even though her you know, like, the manager picks his favorites, too. I don’t I don’t think he has as much power as Elias and all of this. But to your point. They’re not just going to play with a bunch of 22 year olds. Yeah, well, I

Luke Jones  26:51

mean, they they can but it’s got to fit, right it has to fit. And that’s why I get and I was saying if Colton Couser is going to be up here he needs to play. You know, you don’t want to call someone up. And he sits on the bench. I mean, think about let’s just use Jackson holiday. And this is kind of an extreme silly example. But let’s say Adam Frazier was still on the roster. Why would you call Jackson holiday up? If you’re going to play Adam Frazier, as your left handed second baseman, it wouldn’t make any sense. So if Adam Frazier

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:20

sitting 391 In the first 15 games, you you can’t call up Jordan Westberg in the case of last year, right?

Luke Jones  27:28

Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s there’s different definitely that those aspects at work. But yeah, you need to have a roster that makes sense that fit, you know, you want to have guys on your bench that are versatile guys that know how to play and be productive, despite the fact that they’re not going to play seven days a week, you know, that’s part of it. Now. That doesn’t mean that young guys don’t morph into that. That doesn’t mean that veteran players are on scholarship forever. I mean, one guy we haven’t mentioned I know we got to hit as a pinch hitter on Sunday. But remoter is he’s off to a really slow start now he’s not playing as much now with holiday being up because Westberg becomes the everyday third baseman, but Ramona Reyes is a guy that probably, you know, so much time has been spent on Hayes and I get it because he’s a well known player and and I’ll be the first guy to go though Reus feels I can do that. Yeah, exactly. Him or Matteo. And Matteo has played better than him so far this year, but you know, those


Nestor J. Aparicio  28:23

guys, Matteo has different assets, though. Like, I don’t You

Luke Jones  28:28

can’t steal first base, though. You know, I agree with you. And I’m not I’m not remember Ramona Reus also plays multiple infield positions, Matteo. Yeah. It’s playing second base a little more. It’s it’s playing centerfield a little more point is these are backup players. They’ve got to remain productive. Because you have guys in the minor leagues. You know, someone like a Conor Norby who, as an everyday player feels like he’s completely, utterly blocked at this point. That said, if Reus isn’t going to do the job, you know, when he’s called upon, or if Matteo doesn’t do the job when he’s called upon someone like Conor Norby could find himself in the majors at some point now probably is a bench guy. But you know, that that’s how it works. But the point is, and this goes back to what, you

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:13

know, as a bench guy, I know this to be a fact. Sure. Well, bench

Luke Jones  29:17


guys are still important, you know, I mean, they still are important because you’re going to have injuries or you’re gonna have something happen, someone gets ejected because they’re arguing balls and strikes, you know, whatever it might be, you’ve got to have guys who are ready to step in and do the job. And for right now, those are veteran players. That doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to be that way indefinitely. So you know, as it stands, I’ll say this, you know, and you would kind of ask me what I like about this team. I like this roster or let me specifically Of course, I like the roster. I like this everyday lineup now, the way it looks you know where you have Gunnar Henderson Adley rutschman. Santander, assuming he’s going to heat up at some point here in the not too distant future. Oh, her now Castle, Couser Mullen. I mean, you’re Cedric Mullins, the guy who a few years ago was a 3030 player, he’s batting seven for them. Now, Jordan Westbrook to your point if he was in other organizations around baseball, he’d be viewed as the guy. Whereas here he’s just one of their guys. And he’s batting eighth and now, Jackson Holliday, who? I get it, it’s taken his taking his lumps right now and getting adjusted, but the best prospect in baseball, and he’s hitting nine. That doesn’t mean he’s gonna hit nine forever, but it’s to top the bottom. The upside and potential of this lineup doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best in baseball, but it’s deep. And there are if everyone assuming everyone gets going and beyond like the extreme struggles, I mean, everyone’s gonna struggle from time to time but there are no weak spots in that lineup once all these guys get going and kind of perform the way you expect them to perform over the course of 162 You know, whereas you think back to the days of the bottom of the order having a Matteo every single day or the bottom of the order having you know someone like Ryan McKenna, or even Adam Fraser the second half last year did not do much offensively, you go through the second

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:17

baseman or catcher the hitter shortstop they can hit there’s this is going to be an all star lineup, right? Literally.

Luke Jones  31:24

Yeah, yeah. I mean, exactly. And long term. I mean, at some point in time, Kobe Mayo shows up Jordan Westbrook might become your super utility guy. I mean, imagine that. Yeah, think about that. You know, guys that right now we’re viewing through a lens of everyday player. And we’re talking about it already. Austin Hays is their fourth outfielder at the moment. And that doesn’t mean he’s going to continue to be but as things stand right now, Colton Couser is too good to take him out of the lineup left.

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:46

take long for you to call us to haze their fourth outfielder Wow, that’s right. He is right off your tongue. It’s true though. You’re right. You’re right. He


Luke Jones  31:53

is right now. Look, that’s right now, again, three weeks from now. Austin Hays can be the one hitting 400 and Colton Couser goes three for his next 30 You know and his scuffling. It’s baseball. But I like seeing the Orioles not hesitate to say hey, Colton Couser is better right now than Austin. Hey, so he should be playing every day and he’s hitting the end deserves to whereas Hayes it’s like, hey, Austin, we love you. And we’re not burying you. We’re not giving up on you at the same time. We can’t you see what this kid’s doing? Yeah, we can’t put him on the bench right now. And I think Austin Hayes as much as he privately is a little frustrated. He would recognize that also. It’s a look, he’s hit way better than me. He should play right now. But give me keep giving me chances. And they will. And I suspect he’ll start hitting and then it becomes much more interesting. And then it becomes much more of a good challenge for Brandon Hyde. And that’s why I said from from the beginning of the season, I wanted to see them view their outfielders in terms of having four starters. And you’ve got the D eight spot that you can use as well. Rotate these guys a little bit. Get these guys, you know, all these guys can sit at least once a week. You know, Anthony Santander doesn’t have to play every day Marlins doesn’t have to play every day shouldn’t play every day in terms of trying to keep them fresh and healthy. And same for Hayes. So I always felt like this was this approach was going to be manageable. And it’s been more extreme because cows has been so great. And Hayes has been so bad the first three weeks, but it’s three weeks baseball long, long, long season to go and plenty can change. But where it stands right now? Yeah. Colton gazzard is a starting outfielder and Austin Hays is a reserve until either player forces the issue to suggest otherwise.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:40

Well we don’t disseminate or delineate between starters and reserves everyone’s gonna get a PacMan scratch off they come join me up agreement station or email bowl next Wednesday, the 24th put together the time and the itinerary there. We’re gonna talk horse racing and the changes in Annapolis last week in advance of the Kentucky Derby and we got the Preakness coming up now in a month. Preakness used to be like a BFT around here. I’d like to see that change. Again. Baseball is a BFT around here we have 35,000 gathered on Sunday, the Twinkies in town with the lightful weather ahead the next couple of days make your way plenty of room down at the ballpark for you. I have refrained the last couple of days med down there. My Media pass is still somewhere out there and we’re gonna find out new ownership is here. Cal Ripken is in front of a Cal Ripken showing up a team’s winning. I’m watching when it’s not on Apple TV. And we will be at fadeless next Friday with the same Pac Man scratch offs Luke’s gonna join us we’ll be live from two until five and families each and every Friday during the season. Sheila Dixon Shannon Sneed run for public office they join me as well as Damian, Alicia, Luke and I talk some football, ravens football we got the draft next week as well. And something I’ve been working on the last six weeks with Greg Landry over Towson trap transfers and Blue Rock productions which is a 25th anniversary documentary, it’s called No one listens. everyone hears, Luke is featured in it, everybody’s in it. If you’ve been in my life at any point, you’re probably in it or there’s a picture of you in it. And some road trip drinking a beer with me or sitting in a stadium somewhere, or at some event, but very, very proud of it. Proud of all of our work here over the last 40 years, and we’re going to spotlight it highlighted, it’s going to be released at 5:08pm. On April 25, which is draft night. I figured, look, they’re gonna have a lot of time between picks, right? Tell people this I mean, this is my pimping for the documentary is you’re gonna have time between picks next weekend, when you’re not watching baseball and the Orioles are on the west coast before this whole thing happens.

Luke Jones  35:45

Yeah, and Thursday night they pick 30th. As I’ve said to you in some of our previous segments, they could end up trading out of the first round. So you might wait around all night for the ravens to pick without them actually picking a player so why not watch and

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:59


the Orioles still don’t play on Thursday. By the way the West Coast ends Wednesday afternoon they’re in LA they come back and then you and I are together on the 26th and they take on the Oakland and that’s a weird one because you got the draft going on. Any Orioles taken on the Oakland A’s. You can’t be in both places though. Right Is that correct? I’ll

Luke Jones  36:19

I’m going to do Orioles pregame and obviously be with you at vainly fade Lee’s and then I’ll head to Owings Mills. I mean that’s right. Yeah. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:27

maybe this is wn St. Nestor could sit in that actually doing there

Luke Jones  36:31

you go that’s possible. Sure.

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:34

Maybe what we’ll see that’s that’s a 26 we’re worried about that. I’m not here to talk about the future. I’m here to talk about the 25th 25th 508 We’re gonna be releasing the 25th anniversary. It’s all brought to you by our friends at curio wellness foreign daughter. I have my curio shirt on with my big O the O is over here for curio and the O for Baltimore is over here. See you next Friday down at Bally’s come down and get some Maryland lottery tickets also our friends at Liberty pure solutions as well as Jiffy Lube, multi care. great week ahead baseball ahead draft and great weather happening around here. I am Nestor he is Luke we are wn st am 15 70,000 Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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