Making the case for Jordan Westburg to stick and star for Orioles

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After his walkoff homer earlier in the week, Luke Jones and Nestor discussed the ever-crowded roster and talent tank of the Baltimore Orioles and where Jordan Westburg will eventually play and stay for a franchise with a wealth of young players itching for big league at bats.


year, games, orioles, shortstop, talking, players, baseball, jordan, outfield, hayes, bullpen, bench, play, westbrook, night, bats, mullins, good, starts, baltimore


Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn st am 5070 TAs and Baltimore and Baltimore positive hoping you’re setting your dial while you’re seeing that little WPA l logo there on the pitcher’s mound just will be number six or number five, we don’t need to be number one, but we know we’re number one in your hearts, the Maryland lottery bringing together the Maryland crab cake tour. Beginning next Tuesday, we’re going to be at Costas on the peninsula. The now trap Peninsula we talked a lot about the bridge and a lot about the future and probably some old times and probably my dad and a whole bunch of other stuff that is on Tuesday the ninth will be there in the morning up till two o’clock. Think lunchtime, two o’clock the Orioles take on the Red Sox were kind of there to eat crab cakes and after crab soup, maybe drink a beer or two with Mr. Costas and watch the Orioles play. That’s the night. The 12 will be a failure. I’m wearing my favorite t shirt established in 1887. But it was in 2024 that they moved into the new Lexington market. If you haven’t been to the new place. I went on opening day it opened on opening day. We’re not that far off the curb. You know it’s been two weeks. You come down and see us on the 12th on Friday, we will be live live live like Brent Musburger live from two until five. This guy will wake up at some point these late nights early morning. I wonder why they kick these games off at 630 Just because we’re all old and geriatric at this point. And some of us have press credentials and have to like be there after the game and go into the locker room and do all that stuff. But at least they’re not like kicking it around during rain delays that there are no more for our games. The game start at 630 So even when there’s like a quick walk off, you might still get home to Shrewsbury by 11 o’clock, maybe I don’t know You tell me.

Luke Jones  01:41

Yeah, no, that’s some summarize that pretty well, the 635 starts they’re a little weird. I mean, especially for those of us who remember when game started at 735 or 805. But right i mean way back when, but it is nice. Still had a two hour 35 minute game. I know a lot of fans don’t care about time of game in the way that reporters are constantly monitoring it. But a really exciting finish to Monday night’s game Jordan Westberg hits the walk off home run some definitely some some late inning drama. We saw the bullpen tested for the first time and yet your Cano and Craig Kimbrel. Results are mixed. Nothing to panic over I would say but certainly not seamless.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:26

But Jordan wants to know the basics every time and having to like you know, play play down Stan house in the eighth inning. I mean, what you know that that wasn’t good. The outcome was fine, right. I

Luke Jones  02:38

mean, that’s why I said it was bumpy. I mean, he pitched into trouble and pitched out of it. So I mean, look, that’s going to happen. I mean, you’re not going to have guys that are perfect. But I said throughout the offseason, and really from the moment that they acquired Corbin burns, and then two weeks later, we find out about Bradish and means and knowing that meant Tyler Wells was going into the rotation knowing that meant Corbin was going to go to the rotation at least to start the season. And knowing that DL haul was in Milwaukee as a result of the burns trade,

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:07

and it started but no less. Right. Right.

Luke Jones  03:09

Right but but the questions were going to be about the bullpen at least for me So Ken Oh gets out of it. Craig Kimbrel blows the Save although look at how that played out. It was a bloop single and I guess Kansas City has the next Gerard Dyson coming off the bench pinch running he steals two bases and scores on a sack flies. So again, nothing to be alarmed about with the bullpen but thank goodness for Jordan Weisberg, right I mean, it’s the to run homer on a no to pitch. First walk off, he’s hit in his baseball life. He said he had never hit a walk off home run. At any level. I assume that that little league as he reflected on it in the Orioles club. But it certainly a team like Kansas City where think they’re better than they’ve been. But still not a team that you view is great by any stretch of the imagination. You want to get off to the series, which rain is going to be the big story, as we talked about the other day, you know, lots of questions as far as whether they’ll get the rest of this series in and when will they but they get the opener, and certainly a big moment for Jordan Westberg in a game that felt very similar to what we saw last year, right, a close game. And we’ve talked about it a lot last year, a different hero every night. And it’s always good when a young guy does it because you know we’ve talked a lot about Jordan Westberg the last year year and a half, two years, even before he debuted So a guy gets that kind of a moment you always wonder Okay, well that Springboard him to be even better, be more consistent, have more confidence at the major league level and definitely you could tell it meant a lot to him in the Orioles clubhouse after the six four win.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:55

Well, let’s talk about that because he is an interesting guy and listen for it. To the listeners out there who are doing a 25th anniversary documentary. So if you just found me on YouTube, and you’re like, who’s the loudmouth guy with long hair, sometimes shave sometimes and it’s a little wacky hold up lottery tickets, amongst other things. We’ve been doing baseball long, long, long time. You and I have been doing it a decade and a half together. I’ve been doing it for four decades. Next to Ken Rosenthal and Tim Kurkjian back in the day where I was the guy up all night taking dictation from Ken Rosenthal doing game stories and there’s game stories and sidebars and notes and columns. I think like a newspaper guy, I think you and I, if we both had press credentials, and we’re there and we’re fully dedicated to it, there’d be a column every night and notes column there. You know, I think like that, because I was trained like that by Jack Evans. But there’s a point for you and I and what we do here at wn St. Baltimore positive where your writing you do your notes, we do our games, we hear Palmer and Ben McDonald, you’re there. I’m here. I’m still locked out. We’ll see. One of the things about not being locked out is if I came to 45 games, I sort of would miss McDonald and Palmer Colin the games. I think they do a really good job. And I think Kevin Brown does a really good job too. But all that being said, and I learned a lot I learned a lot watching the games I really do. I feel like I I might be more educated watching on TV than I would be there unless I had some combination thereof. But I watch a lot of baseball. My last name is Aparicio. But every single day. You and I get together and there’s it’s like the song every night. There’s a different star. That’s the magic of Oriole baseball. And then we talk about these players and their pathway. And it’s almost like chapters in a book. It’s like when I wrote Purple Rain too. It’s like let’s tell the story of Jameel McClain, let’s tell the story of Colette you. So let’s tell the story of Michael or let’s tell the story of Jordan Westberg a little bit because, you know, he’s a guy that in another time and age, he would have been one of their shining stars. I compare him to rich tower, right. Like when I see him I see rich tower. I feel it that way. I feel like he’s never going to be the biggest star on this team based on the crop they have here. But in another era, he would have been the guy Weaver was trying to get in and make a position player and you’d say here’s a ham and Egger maybe a JJ Hardy type of you know ceiling I don’t you tell me what the ceiling would be on him. But different positions moving them around? He’s not, you know, he doesn’t have a place yet. They’re trying to figure all this out third base, where it’s going to be what kind of player he’s going to be. I don’t think he’s going into the Hall of Fame. But damn, he just won a game, you know, and we’re talking about him today in a way that had he not maybe by the end of next week, we’ll be talking about him and saying, Alright, what do we got here? Because I don’t know what we got here. But I don’t think the ceilings where we think offensively it is for the other three big stars and rutschman Anderson and holidays not even here yet. But he’s the guy. He’ll be the dude. Yeah,

Luke Jones  07:59

I mean, you’re talking about really special talents there. And in the case of rutschman, and Holliday first overall picks. So I mean, Jordan Westberg was I think 30th overall is the end of the first round in 2020. Coming out of college, and he was a top 100 prospect last year going into 2023, which obviously he debuted in what late June I think it was so I think the thing you’d like about Jordan Westbrook is his versatility. I mean, he can play second base, he plays third base, he plays shortstop, you know, he’s primarily a shortstop which in the minor leagues, which is kind of the theme of how the Orioles and many teams for that matter draft.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:36

You know, when I think I want to compare it, Bobby Grich would have been a shortstop a Blanchard was here, he became a second baseman, you know what I mean? And that’s just and you think of him as a second baseman, but his rookie cards at shortstop, you know, and the same thing with repeated shortstop and third base and there were questions. I mean, for any of these guys who were Manny Machado any of these guys a rod Jeter, you know, in a rod when they played together, you can’t put play both play shortstop, right? Like, it’s an amazing gift. And you know what I mean? And I played a little ball and you played a little the ball coming off the bat and third base and shortstop and the reaction time and all of that stuff, these guys that are that versatile, that can play all the positions and play them. And a plus plus, at some, you know it, I tell you what, Henderson pick the ball mountcastle pick the ball, we’ll talk about the walk off home run in the game, but there was gloves, there was defense on this team. That will be the fifth thing we talk about a ranch because we’re gonna continue to talk about the bullpen and put a lot of focus on that this team plays defense and it’s because of this and Matteo and guys that are just that are gloved guys too.

Luke Jones  09:40

Yeah, no question about it. I mean, shaky defense in the first inning, but after that they defended very, very well. But going back to Westbrook I mean it really it’s a it’s a mindset that you have as an organization that you want to draft, shortstops catchers and center fielders because the mindset is there going to be the best athletes and most to them are not going to stay at shortstop or stay at centerfield. And in some cases, they won’t stay at catcher. In fact, Melendez for the Royals was at one point field, because they don’t have Salvador Perez, still ticking all these years later. But the point is when you do that is if they can play at shortstop, the mindset is they can play third base or they can play second base or they might be able to play outfield. If they can play centerfield chances are they can play left to right so you when you draft a left fielder, like the Orioles did with DJ Stewart way back when, if he can’t play left field, there’s basically one place he can go. And that’s D H. So I mean, really, it’s just and it’s not unique to the Orioles. It’s the teams that really understand and probably have the most success drafting players. You do want shortstops you do want guys up the middle. So in Westbrook’s case, he primarily played shortstop in the minor leagues, but learned how to play second learned how to play third. And I think, you know, you mentioned JJ Hardy or someone like that. I mean, I don’t know if Jordan Westbrook is ever going to win a Gold Glove. But for one thing, I think he’s going to be a guy that’s going to move around I think if you look at how the Orioles have mapped out where they stand with their current roster, and where guys are at triple way, Jackson Holliday is going to be here at some point in the not too distant future. I think we all agree on that. Gunnar Henderson’s not moving off of shortstop for the time being now. Well, Gunner be a shortstop five years from now that remains to be seen. But so you have second base and shortstop covered, at least for the next five years. The question is third base, and you have Kobe Mayo also at triple A. So for Jordan, someone like Jordan Westberg, I think he’s the kind of guy that probably will fit or in profile, maybe as a super utility guy, maybe in a way that the Orioles used Melvin Mora in the early 2000s, where he was playing third, played a little bit very briefly, some shortstop could play second base could play the corner outfield spots. So Jordan Westbrook has worked at the corner outfield spots at times, although we haven’t really seen that in the major leagues. So as is the case with any young player, you have to see how it’s going to translate. I mean, he’s someone that go look at his minor league numbers he hit for a lot of power. Last year, his rookie year with the Orioles did not hit hit for a whole lot of power. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to and we certainly saw the power going out the right center field on Monday nights. So you know, he’s the kind of player that I think could be a starter for them for the next five years. Maybe longer than that. Or he could be a guy that might be the maybe for easy comparison sake. Maybe he’s the one that settles into the Ramona Reyes role over the last three years. Where are we? Yes, we’ve seen him move all over the diamond right? All three infield actually all four infield spots he’s even made starts at first base. So I think Westberg maybe that’s his best spot if you’re assuming Jackson holiday works out if you’re assuming Kobe Mayo workstyle. So but but I think once holidays here, you’re probably gonna be seeing more of Westbrook at third base, which he can play there also. So he’s already started games in multiple spots. He even played shortstop for an inning on Easter Sunday, so I hit a walk off. Yeah, and hit a walk off on Monday. So it’s good to see I mean, it is it takes some time. As much as we have seen prospects come in here and Adley rutschman. struggled for what a month. And from that point on, he’s been one of the most valuable players in the American League. Gunnar Henderson struggled for about two months. And from that point, he’s been one of the best pairs players in the American League. Sometimes the developments a little more gradual. And it’s been that way a little bit for Westbrook, although he’s still been in the major leagues less than a year. Yeah, let’s keep that in mind. But these guys, when they get to the majors, their development is not finished. They’re not a finished product. That’s why I think it’s important to not lose sight of that and to not expect great results right away. I mean, I think I look at where Westberg is now and look at Colton Couser, who hasn’t started any of the first four games. It’s something that I’d like to see. And you know, I’ve said this going back to the offseason, I’d like to see him be viewed as a fourth starting outfielder and rotate him in, give Hayes and Mullins a couple more nights off here and there. I think that can help them in a big picture sense. But what it also does is it gives someone like kowsar more regular playing time to develop, you know, these guys have to finish developing in the majors and if they’re sitting on the bench. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:40

this is where I was going to ask about Westberg and especially his shuttle that he was on last year, and now we’re Couser is and and the exact reason holidays not here. Where would they put up? I mean, let’s do there’s nine spots. That’s the bad right that’s where they are. And we can sit here and say cows are cows are stauer showers all of the Is it okay, well, you’ve got Mullens, Hasan and Santander they’re gonna play and they’re here and they’re being paid to be here and there is is not my BS because Westberg still might be cows are still might be, I mean like, and to your point when there might be is and they’re not getting a BS and are not playing and they’re coming in and they’re pinch it and then it’s weather’s awful and there’s gonna be rain delays and this and that and primary guys aren’t gonna get bats like I do. I do wonder with all of these tops, that’s why I said about Westbrook in another organization in Cincinnati, Seattle, wherever he’s there, third baseman second baseman, they bring them up. They’re like, Hey, you’re, you know, you’re as good as your top 100. You’re one of our two three best prospects. And we don’t have any guys go into the Hall of Fame. This team has three or four guys that people are talking about, like they’re going to the Hall of all star games at least right. And the Hall of making a lot of money and decisions Mr. Rubenstein is going to have to make with his money. At some point, it’s got Boris. Great, but and you want to win every night and he do a good job of doing that the last year so far. But there is attrition and through all of this and there’s forget that you’re reassessing the Mateos who also think I have a career here and I’m a player, which is why I saw like Adam Frazier, and I see Hicks these guys that were contributors, we see very see them on other teams, because they’re, you know, bats for you anymore, which we can’t get cows, we got top 100 prospect, top 50 prospects, we got top five prospects, we can’t get on to the diamond. They’re playing in Norfolk, Dan in the cold right now, because we think we’re that good. Like, pinch me, there’s a new owner. I mean, like, it’s crazy how good this is, and the conversations we’re gonna have about guys in our quad A can we find it bats for this guy, or give Curtis Goodwin a chance that this this is like these are whispers a major league player now whether he’s going to hit 290, or 240. And you know how long he’s going to put in another organization. My point would be, we wouldn’t be talking about at bats for Colton Couser he just wouldn’t be the left fielder or whatever and be playing and that would be

Luke Jones  17:08

that. Right? No question about it. And that’s, look, it’s a great problem to have. But it is something you have to figure out. And that’s why when I and I’m using Couser, as the example now, but Westberg was this guy last year when he gets called up. He wasn’t playing every day. And I think it’s tough because you’re in a position where like, for example, Adam Frazier had a really good first half did not have a good second half last year, go look at the numbers. He didn’t hit the ball.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:33

So the ball you leave him in there and you’re blocked because you got a real major war and they brought him in, and holy, holy hell, we might win this year. We’re pretty good. Like that was till May of last year. Sure. But there’s

Luke Jones  17:45

also there’s also the roster churn and there’s the evolution of your roster. And because you just said it. I mean, they didn’t resign, Adam Frazier, because there was no reason to, because you have Jordan Westbrook at the very least in the major leagues, and you have Jackson Holliday is going to be right behind him. So but you know, the point I was making with Couser, which is kind of, you know, there was almost some serendipity with the fact that Westbrook gets the walk off. Adam Fraser is on the other side plan for the Royals. And Colton Couser is kind of where Westberg where it was last year that he’s kind of behind the veteran guy. I guess the point that I’m making with some of this and where it does pose a challenge. I’ll be it a great challenge, you know, a very positive situation to have. If you’re Brandon Hyde and Mike Elias is you do have to balance between the known commodities, but also recognizing that there might be someone better coming along and I guess my point is not to say with Colton Couser that he suddenly becomes a starter and Austin Hays or Cedric Mullins goes to the bench. But what I am saying is, is Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins so good that they play 150 plus times a year? Well, Hayes is worn down the last two second halves. Cedric Mullins is coming off of a really difficult injury plague season. So for me, my perspective, my train of thought is, why not work, cows are in a little bit more and have kind of humid as though you have for starting outfielders. And, you know he plays three times a week he plays four times a week. It’s okay for Austin Hays to be on the bench once or twice a week. It’s okay for Cedric Mullins to be on the bench one. Lowenstein and Ranchi. Sure, sure. And to be clear when I say that Colton Couser has to produce, but I don’t think we should. I don’t think it’s on the flip side, I don’t think it’s fair to evaluate him that he’s sitting on the bench and that he pinch hits in the eighth inning and we strike and he strikes out and say, well, that’s why he’s not playing, you know, you know what I’m saying? So, but that’s just that’s part of this. And, look, there was a time when Jorge Mateo was a short starting shortstop. He’s not anymore, right? Yeah. I mean, that’s evident. There was a time when Ramona Reus Yeah, there was no questions asked, he was gonna start for them because they didn’t have these young infielders in Baltimore. Just chat. That’s changed. He’s still playing. But if he doesn’t produce, he’s gonna be on the bench and they’re gonna call up one of these other young infielders from Norfolk. So, there’s competition. There really is. And I think that’s that, for me is where Brendan high does have the challenge in terms of guys that you trust veteran players that you trust, but they’re not all stars. So when you do have these young guys come up to me as an organization, you do have a responsibility to not just undisputed, no questions asked that the young guy plays every single day. At the same time, you don’t want that young guy coming up and sitting on the bench, you know, so that’s where it’s really hilarious.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:39

And it’s so unique to this organization and to our fan base, especially, and to you and I talking about it because like I said, and any other out in any of the other year, Colton Couser would be considered the guy that they look at this and next Austin Hays, right. Like they’d say, We’re gonna be

Luke Jones  20:54

the lone hope. Yeah, he’d be he’d be the you know, he’d be the savior. Right. I mean, that’s, that’s really where they would have been, I mean, look at look at how the Orioles approached it with Nick Marcus, his rookie year back in the He didn’t hit at all the first couple months, under, you know, under the circumstances where they find themselves find themselves now he would have been back in the minors. I mean, we saw this with counselor last summer, he got sent back down now, he really, really struggled. So I’m not going to sit here and say that I disagreed with the Orioles doing that. But again, it is finding that sweet spot between winning games on the field, but also wanting to recognize that you do have this really talented flush system with all these prospects that yeah, not all of them are going to make it and not all of them are going to play for you, as we saw with Joey Ortiz and DL Hall getting sent to Milwaukee in the burn steel. But at the same time, you also don’t want to be in a position where you’re so attached to veteran players, when there might be someone better coming along. So, you know, that’s just especially as they’re getting more expensive to write. Right. And look, I mean, that’s a great problem, you know, that roster turned that’s what Tampa Bay has done so well. And I’m not saying the Orioles want to model the res payroll. But it’s different than the ravens, you’re not going to pay them all. Exactly, exactly. And you shouldn’t, and you shouldn’t even if you have the money to do it. There are guys that you shouldn’t pay. I mean,

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:12

because there’s another pen and another Tyler Linda. And at this point in pain anybody here out of this group, right, right from the on the baseball team, like nobody’s gotten paid yet. And you know, picking who’s going to play tonight in the order is hard enough for Brandon Hyde. But picking who gets the first 250 million amongst this pack is going to be because, by the way, free plug for what we do here at NSD I’m literally back on the baseball train where I’m calling Alan McCallum and Barry bloom and Mari brand and all my baseball mafia guys, to bring them on to see what they think and how they’re feeling about all of this and what they’re seeing from afar. And it’s amazing how Jeff Montgomery says you got to sign rutschman Like he’s a pitcher. Right? And, and, and a really good one and I’m gonna have a catcher man, you know, like, that’s your leader. Right? So like, he’s, he’s positioning rutschman And you would say Henderson probably at this at this moment, but we haven’t seen holiday play. And by August you might be like, no, no, no, he’s got to get the first you know, and and on based on their arrival and their seniority. And like, you look at Hayes as being the grandfather in the room, right? He might be the first guy off the ledge. Certainly Santander has never gotten a bag here. He you know, they got good value out of him. They’re never gonna give him a lot of money. You know, so they’re guys that you just know we’re going to go because we’ve been watching baseball long enough. And we saw the always mentioned training and seen it because the city, the fan base, because of cancer and shows relationship and like and they love him. And same thing with BJ surhoff, your, you know, there have been emotional departures here. But they’re complete departures here one way or another. And they might happen before they dive on the pile.

Luke Jones  23:56

Well, that’s why I mean, I go back to the end of last last season, when we started looking ahead to the to the offseason. One of the first things that people were talking about you and I talked about it as well, they had 16 guys that were eligible for arbitration. And at that point, there was a thought of, wow, not all these guys are going to be back. I mean, just from a roster flexibility standpoint. Yes. From a financial standpoint, where you start talking about bench players and how much they’re making, compared to handing that role to a young guy who’s making less and probably has more upside and his younger. They brought everyone back. I mean, in fact, what I think Ryan McKenna was the only one that didn’t make, you know, and he was out of options was DFA and now he’s back into the system. I’ll be it you know, outright into triple A Norfolk. But the point at that at that point in time, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t have guessed that Matteo and Maria’s would be back in 2024. I would have thought there was a decent chance one of the outfielders would have been packaged in a trade to maybe get a bullpen arm or a starting pitcher or whatever something else you needed on the right roster just because of now, the fact that they have cows are on the roster. They have Heston curse dad, who’s, by all intents and purposes ready at triple A scours, we’ve talked about a lot. So, you know, you kind of thought that there might be an opportunity or two, for Elias to make a deal, you know, to trade, you know, trade, either some of your established guy, veteran guys that, you know, you’re not going to resign or to trade one of those prospects. So it didn’t happen. And look, organizational depth is a good thing. You know, and I mentioned I use the outfield as an example because it kind of feels like we’re either at or on are just about at the inflection point with just these veteran guys. They they’ve had that you love and they’ve been around and they were here when they were terrible, but also understanding they’ve got really good young outfielders in their system and the pitching that already play. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So so that’s where I’ve said and man seen, he’s such a great example. And it kind of it transcends right because that went beyond baseball, but at the same time, and I say this with no disrespect, because I love Trey Manzini to this day. Look at how his career has gone since the Orioles traded them. If they had given him a three or four year deal, like some, I don’t think too many fans thought this way, but at least a sizable portion did. Right now we’d be looking at that deal and saying, that’s not going well. I mean, Trey struggled struggling to stay in the majors. I mean, that’s where he is, at this point. He’s struggling for a job. I mean, that’s kind of where he’s been the last couple years. And if you’re Mike Elias, that’s where you can’t be sentimental with Manzini or Hayes or Mullins. You know, Santander I think is actually think is a more, I’m more inclined to at least explore an extension with him. And he’s not getting $150 million. Let’s be clear. Anybody?

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:53

What, any questions? Where’s the market? Where’s the market? Right, exactly.

Luke Jones  26:57

But what he gives them, which is middle the order power, he’s improved from a walk standpoint, you know, he still plays an okay, right field, but I think he probably profiles more as first base DH, occasional right field, you know, I kind of think that’s where he’s going to be as he was getting almost to 30. But he’s been really good for them the last couple years. And I think that’s where you’re a little more torn. You know, Mullins, the injuries concern me. I mean, look, he was phenomenal a couple years ago, but, you know, it’s, you know, it was a struggle for him to stay on the field last year, Hayes was an all star last year, but second half second straight year, he fell off a little bit. This isn’t me saying to bench those guys. This isn’t me saying to jettison them today. But when you’re thinking in terms of where the organization is now, where you’re going the rest of this year, and certainly where you’re going over the next few years? No, I look at the incumbents in the outfield, and yeah, I don’t, I don’t see resigning any of them long term other than if you get something that really makes sense financially, that’s a really good value signings. So because I think you just have these young guys that are ready to play. And it’s tough, right? Because you know, that you even made the point. You have these known commodities, who have been good, and at times, they’ve been really good, but they’re not perfect players, either. So, how do you mix in cows? Or how do you mix in Heston curse dad? How do you kind of see what you have with them at the major league level? To see if you say, Okay, that’s a guy. It’s not time to experiment you’re expected to win.

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:32

Well, I understand that. But you’re also you’re always trying to get better, though, too. You don’t want to be stacked. This guy’s got to play every night, which is why Aaron halos around your last year soaking up some of those at bats when cows are wasn’t good enough, right? Well,

Luke Jones  28:46

but this isn’t Pass Fail. There are some guys and gunner Henderson’s the best guy every night, right? Gunner Henderson is gonna play 162 games, if it makes sense for him to play 162 games, and they’ll probably in this day and age, we’ll probably get five or six games off something like that, right? Assuming he doesn’t have an injury or anything like that. But I don’t look at Cedric Mullins or Austin Hays and say that those are guys that are going to be 155 game players. I don’t I don’t think their production dictates that I that’s where I say, there are some guys that I think are most productive when they’re playing 130 or 135 games. And that’s, to me, that’s where you can work in cows are more, that’s where you can find out about guys more so. So I disagree with you a little bit and saying, Well, the best guy plays every night. I mean, that’s kind of that’s that’s too simplistic to look at it that way. In the same way that 312

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:36

degrees in July and you’re playing your fifth game in four days. Yeah, I got it. Right. Right.

Luke Jones  29:43

Right. So So I again for me, you do have to balance those things because that’s otherwise you would never your roster would never change. Right? You would say okay, these are my best guys and I’m going to continue to play them but then what about this guy that has tore up triple A? I don’t know if he’s gonna develop If he’s only playing once a

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:01

week, you’re making me laugh because like Buck didn’t have these problems, you know, Rod no doubt, because he had no bench he had no nothing. It was just sort of these guys go play. Yeah.

Luke Jones  30:11

Let me be clear when I’m talking, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m a broken record just about cows. That’s that’s kind of the example I’m using right here. And that’s, that’s the good challenge that the Orioles have right now. Because, yeah, you have these established veterans. But you do get to a point where Gunnar Henderson wasn’t the starting shortstop at this time a year ago, Jorge Mateo was and there are way better team having gutter Henderson as their starting shortstop and Matteo being a role player now.

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:38

I mean, they just swing this couch or canid a walk on off unless he’s on the field. Westberg just did a walk off because he’s getting it back to study your race and Matteo like you know, he’s he’s now put himself into the position where that versatility that these other guys also have that, you know, and he’s cheaper and more upside like all of that and top 100 And that, but there is a realization and you’re in that clubhouse everyday. That’s tough thing all the way around when, you know, starters become non starters. And when Molins comes in and says I’m not paying I’m not playing and I you know what, you know, like, but and also managing expectations when you talk so much about with Elias mismanaging fans expectations, oh, Jackson holiday, I hope in his own locker room, whatever song they’re singing to Hayes and Mullins is an Couser, and sours, and mayo and like all those guys, whatever song they’re singing, they come up and sing that song. And that’s part of Rubenstein and ownership and just like managing it well, because guys get their feelings hurt a lot of money involved here with every bad and you don’t walk off the island and like all of that stuff. You know, Frazier knows he can’t win a championship in Kansas City. But at this point in his career, he had to go take a job there, right, like so, you know, there is a point for all of this where Hayes and Molins have waited and waited and waited to pile dive. And here to you know, guys on the radio saying maybe you won’t be around for that maybe one of them won’t be around for that. And that’s kind of a different concept for the fans who go out there every night, Eddie Lauer wouldn’t like that.

Luke Jones  32:09

Right, right. And again, just and I’m doing the math in my head, right now you have three outfield spots, right. And this is simplistic because you have the DH and not every guy can play centerfield so and so you can’t move everyone around perfectly, but you have three outfield spots, let’s just go 160 games just to make the app the math a little bit easier. It’s 480 starts in the outfield? Well, you can have three guys try to handle that, knowing you’re gonna have injuries knowing guys are gonna wear down. And we’ve seen that at times with some of these guys. Or you can think about it in terms of having a fourth guy in that equation. And I’m not saying it would be a perfect force four way split. But that could be 120 or 130 starts for Hayes or Mullins, whatever it might be. The point is, does that keep them fresher? Does that keep them more productive over the course of the full season? And look, everyone’s listening right now in St. Louis, you’re out of your mind. You’re talking about four games into the season. I’m saying this before the season. And I’m just saying that’s what I, if it were me, that’s what I would envision. But that’s also assuming guys have to produce Colton Couser if you’re going to play him three or four times a week, which I’m absolutely advocating for. He does have to produce. But at the on the flip side, if he’s not going to start games, and his only role was pinch hitting in the bottom of the eighth inning like he did Monday night and he strikes out. I don’t think we should judge him on that so harshly to the point where he stays on the bench then.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:36

So how to get more than 16 bats a week, right? Especially Yeah, especially

Luke Jones  33:39

when Hayes and melons are kind of off to a slow start and look when someone is red hot. Someone’s white hot at the plate. Of course, I’m not going to sit them down then. But the point is you just you there’s a little more of a rotation that I would like to see. And look, that doesn’t mean they will do that come even the third week of April now with Colton Couser gets a starts on Tuesday or Wednesday or starts in Pittsburgh a couple times this weekend and, and hits two home runs and drives in Florida. He’s probably going to be out there more so. So yeah, he’s got to produce. I mean, there’s no doubt about that. But to your point, and to bring it full circle with the Westberg heroics on Monday night. Boy, it’s fun when you have so many different options. It’s fun to contemplate what you’re going to do from a roster standpoint, because it’s not just about okay, who am I going to pay? It’s also I have these assets, and I have too many. So what can I do then with these assets to go out and get another bullpen arm which I absolutely want to see them do or if they need another starting pitcher to package maybe a veteran along with some hot prospects to get that and then you clear the deck a little bit in the process. I mean, there are a lot of possibilities here. And that’s what is so exciting about this baseball team and where they are, where they are right now and where they’re going in the foreseeable future. And oh yeah, you You have a new ownership group in place that I’m hoping is willing to spend more money and to make more long term commitments for the right players.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:08

Luke Jones covers the Orioles, the Ravens local sports at Baltimore, Luke were together out at Baltimore positive we will be together next Friday the 12th. At fade Lee’s from 2003. I’ll be there two to five lives all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery probably have some Pac Man giveaways by then on the knife. Next Tuesday, we’ll be at Costas. We will not be live. But we’ll be doing Baltimore positive during the morning hours leading up till 2pm. When the Orioles take on the Red Sox, then we’re going to cut all broadcasting off and open up the taps in the spigots and probably have some delicious Oysters Rockefeller, or some pit beef, something magical as we discussed the Key Bridge and the loss of the Key Bridge that will be on the knife. I’m gonna be doing some politics around here, beginning this week with the elections coming up, reach a lot of folks on opening day so a lot of politicians and politician wannabes and blah, blah, blah. So we’re getting all that going as well. As a lot of sports and a lot of baseball Barry bloom came on this week. Alan McCallum, our longtime baseball insider, we discuss the end of the Angelo’s era. If you’ve missed Janet Marie Smith or you didn’t hear Tom libero, please go back, check all that stuff out. Luke and I are after this each and every day on baseball. So whether Westberg gets a walk off or whether it rains or doesn’t. Jeff Montgomery is here this week talking some Royals baseball and talking about changes in ownership. He’s been through three of them now in Kansas City, as a player and as a broadcaster had had some and also owns the sports radio station. So we share that in common in Kansas City. And we’ve known each other for 30 years was a great, great conversation. So putting all this cool stuff together. Lots of great guests coming in here this week. My friend Greg Abel is going to come on and talk about free the birds and the legacy of that and all sorts of stuff. So stick with us. We are WNS da 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking. Baltimore positive

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