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Orioles will need to muscle up in The Bronx


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With the bottom of the rotation coming in New York in the most important games of the season, Luke Jones tells Nestor that the Orioles will look to keep the offensive power coming against the first-place Yankees this week after battering Zack Wheeler on Sunday at Camden Yards.


orioles, point, weeks, talking, year, players, yankees, trade, henderson, pitching, baseball, hit, playing, mullins, bat, nestor, good, gunnar, santander, colton


Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01


Welcome home we are W n s t test Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively taking the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road this week courtesy of our friends at the Maryland lottery. I have the Gold Rush sevens doublers I’m saying that right I was saying Gold Rush double sevens, but it’s gold rush sevens. doubler from the Maryland lottery, we were Coco’s last week with these we were at Cooper’s Dan Fells Point when the planes were flying over and Bill Cole and I were talking about Baltimore being packed over the weekend with baseball and Fleet Week and Pride weekend and Phillies fans bringing their brother dough down here and losing two out of three which we kind of enjoyed as well. Also our friends at Liberty pure solutions keeping our water crystal clean, pure and safe. I had a chat with Doug workman last week we’ll be talking to him here in the not too distant future about the crabcake tour as well as our friends at Jiffy Lube multi care keeping our cars out on the road safely. There’s a Jiffy Lube right in your neighborhood makes you’re considering them. They certainly are local, all local franchisees and local folks here making things go and making it all work just like our friends at Royal farms, putting the Jamaican Blue Mountain in my cold roofing mug here today as Luke and I take a little respite we’ll sit back and watch Jim Palmer say Nestor a lot on the broadcast and Oriole baseball Orioles in Yankees first place on the line in the Bronx. Talk Bradish the Phillies are so Sunday. We’re so focused on what’s going on here at the bottom of the rotation and we have trade stories and Gerrit Cole coming back and all of that but you know the Yankees have to contend with some up in Waco Oriole bats right now too.

Luke Jones  01:47

I absolutely I continue to say this. We can we lose sight of just how scarce offense is around baseball this year. Because the Orioles lead Major League Baseball and run scored per game. I mean, their offense is so much better than some people know and I think most people are giving them credit. But you know you’ll still hear they need to be more consistent or this happens on this night or this happens on that night. Look some of that just baseball right you don’t win every game. But when you just look at the numbers and more specifically the power numbers. The slugging it is so much more impressive than some people are giving it credit for because it is just when you look at the league adjusted numbers when you look at how bad offense is around baseball and even with some teams that you would consider to be pretty decent ball clubs. It just makes it that much more impressive what the Orioles are doing. I mean, obviously Gunnar Henderson’s leading the way. Obviously Adley rutschman is leading the way. Jordan Westberg with another big home run on Sunday, Anthony Santander on this homestand the bat really awakening which was good to see because we were you know a lot of talk about Hayes and Mullins in their struggles. But it’s not a sort of Santander was off to a great start either. So he’s swinging the bat. You know, it’s not a perfect offense. We know that. But at the same time, it’s a really good offense. And when you have a lineup that on any given night, let’s say one through nine all the time, but consistently one through eight, let’s say that can do damage. You’ve got something there and especially now with in the wake of the Bradish news and really intrigued to see what Albert Suarez looks like in the Bronx and what Cade Povich looks like in the Bronx and how Corbin fails fairs in the finale. Knowing that urns and Rodriguez are not going to be part of this Yankees series. They just swing the bats and I saw a clip over the weekend and I said this talking about the Phillies. I’ll say it talking about the Yankees. Orioles fans need to get out of their mind that it’s the big bad Yankees or the big bad Phillies? No, those teams are big bad. But guess what? The Orioles are big bad too. And I heard a clip of the Yankees you know as a yes networks telecast. It was either over the weekend or maybe it was like last Thursday, whatever, whatever it was. They flat out said they were flat out saying they’re talking about the Yankees upcoming schedule and they were talking about the Orioles coming to the Bronx. And they flat out said the Orioles are a big problem. And I just want people to remember that too. I mean, this is a really, really good baseball team. And they proved that over this homestand. But now, as you pointed out, there’s no no letting up. No, no easing into the next phase of the schedule. It’s the Yankees and obviously they’ll go to Houston after that. But these are three big games but the Yankees are saying the same thing. The Yankees are saying holy cow. How are we going to deal with Gunnar Anderson? On the same way that Orioles right now we’re thinking how in the world are we going to get Aaron judge and Juan Soto out there saying well what about Gunnar Henderson and Adley rutschman And what this Westberg kid he wasn’t this good last year, and Colton Couser looks like He’s heating up again and Santander is swinging the bat. You know, hitting home runs over the weekend. So Ryan O’Hearn who I didn’t mention right now Castle is having a good really good year. I mean, it’s just there are very few rest spots, you know, okay, Mullins although I’ll point out Cedric Mullins is swinging the bat better over the last week you know, as at least calm the talk of him potentially being sent down, you know, at least for the time being, whether that was really going to be a thing or not, I mean, that’s how bad it was. But he’s, you know, he’s swinging I think he’s hitting five in a row and hitting like 350 overs last seven names or something like that. So it’s look better not Sandy fixed, but it’s looked better. And you know, okay, Matteo, or Ramona Reus Maybe that’s your spot in the lineup that maybe you get a little bit of a break if you’re the opposition, but we’ve seen Matteo do damage

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:50

I keep thinking holiday will be here by August, right? Well, well,

Luke Jones  05:54

keep in mind holiday went on the Il. He’s dealing with a sore elbow right now. They don’t think it’s, you know, this isn’t like, oh, my gosh, is he getting Tommy John surgery or anything like that? No, but he’s infielders deal with that from time to time. And I think they also feel this point in the schedule, because holiday had really been heating up the last few weeks. I think Ken had kind of turned the corner on some of the adjustments they wanted him to make. Yeah, I think in the long run, meaning his potential to impact this team say August, September, October, this actually could serve as a blessing in disguise,


Nestor J. Aparicio  06:29

dude, no disrespect but you let you listen to my BS. We do this for hours on end weekly, right. And we take our positions and we stand up for whatever our position was. I would have always said to you that Jackson Holliday will be in the starting lineup in October, Cobb radish. I don’t know about you know, and I would have said that before. You know what I mean? Just I would have said that about means and these guys with these problems. And I’m also you know, on the Matteo you’re there’s not room for all these guys in the playoff roster, right. And now we have a real a real problem. A real problem is the Bradish thing and the real problem was the bullpen to begin with. And the real problems they are going to be dealing out of whatever this depth of scours Norby did to you know, down the line, I guess Povich isn’t one of those guys any you know, they had they need Him they would they wouldn’t be dealing out with a guy like that. But I look at it. You know, we’ve been down in Austin age, we’ve been down, you were down on, Mateo, famously, you point that out out, you know, all the time. Where are we on? Couser right now, I mean, he’s got the cows, things are cool, you know, he’s quotable. He’s but the beginning and where we are right now. And I think for all these guys making these adjustments, where we can name any of these players not name rutschman. And say they struggled at one point or that something about it look like there was a dip. I mean, God Mullins is going through it right now, Hayes is going through it as a 30 year old, right. So Santander, you know, this hasn’t been his best campaign. But mountcastle Looks great after the vertigo and all the problems. So these guys have physical issues. And then adjustment issues, and the game is is powerful in that way. So to see what rutschman does is like, I just have such a crush and Westberg is getting there for me. But all of these young guys come up. I mean, dude, young people have no idea I’ve been watching this since Don Baylor and Bobby Grich and rich Coggins and Al Bumbry and one of those guys you’ve never heard of, because rich Coggins would might have been the, at one point look like the flashiest of the whole bunch. Out of all of these arrows of bringing these young players in, we just think of all these guys is here’s a now’s when we talk about it in the collective. When we’re talking, slugging and what a threat, all of them are to hit a double hit a triple or hit a home run, which is what slugging is pretty much about. And the fact that they haven’t drawn walks, we did an hour nerdy on that two weeks ago, down to families. But these young guys when they come up, I mean, holiday has already gone to the Hall of Fame in my mind, and he hasn’t. He hasn’t been here yet. But once he gets here, I feel like they’re gonna figure it out. And I’m not Donald Couser I mean, I, I just I feel like need to see more than this in general. Where is he going to be in August and September? And sours hasn’t stunk when given the opportunity and courage to hit the ball, which is what he’s supposed to do. So all of these guys are stacked up and don’t get too attached like betray man Seanie because somebody’s feelings, somebody’s gonna get tapped and have that major league a little see that see the manager or Mike needs to see or come on in. You’ve been traded to the puppet for the booth. And all that’s going to happen emotionally, you’re in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, this is the most amazing group of young players. We’re all these guys have Hall a very good Hall of Austin. or a game or Hall of home oh my god for two weeks this guy can hit six home runs and knock in 18 You know over any two week period of time if they get hot all of these guys are capable of that and I don’t know that we’ve ever seen anything like that here.

Luke Jones  10:14

I mean right now and I’ll get the calendar in a moment but I just want to point this out right now. They’re what would you you what you would consider their everyday lineup and obviously they mix and match a little bit and depending on it, whether it’s a right handed starter or a left handed starter, but they have a collective seven out of nine guys, and I’m talking about League adjusted here again, I get it Colton cows hitting 234 I get it Anthony Santander is hitting 231. But league adjusted when you take into account power and all those different things, the run scoring around baseball being down, adjusting for ballpark I mean, we have all these nerdy stats right to kind of standardize everything as much as you can, knowing that every parks different leagues are different. US run scoring from year to year is different all that they have seven out of nine guys in their lineup on a nightly basis that are considered above average offensive players. Ranging from MVP Gunnar Henderson MVP candidate all the way down to someone like Colton khalasar, who I continue to be way higher on than a lot of people. Go look at Statcast numbers. Go see what he did on Sunday. This kid draws walks, I get it. He’s not as consistent as Adley rutschman, for example, but he’s still an above average offensive player in the American League. I mean, the numbers bear that out. I understand that the batting average isn’t great. But he’s drawn walks, hits for big time power. I know he has swing and miss. By the way, that’s most people in Major League Baseball today that have swing and miss. I mean, that’s just part of it. But he’s a perfect example of someone who can win them a baseball game, whether it’s, you know, earlier in the homestand when eating, it wasn’t a pinch hitting situation, but he came off the bench as a defensive replacement that hits a homerun hits a homerun on Sunday, you know off Zack Wheeler. I mean, if Colton counselors, one of your bigger concerns, you know, you’re living well, because he’s not really a concern. Do I know if Colton counselor is going to be an all star level player at his very best. I don’t know that yet. But what I am seeing tells me he’s going to be an above average player with his ability to hit for power, draw walks play really good outfield defense, he can run a little bit. I mean, that’s that is a valuable player there. Whether he ends up being a guy that hits for a great batting average or not, that’s going to be an above average player right there. And they just know

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:41

these guys are high ceiling guys, right, like so here’s the question, but they’re also they’re all guys, but I don’t know that any of them have hit their ceiling yet.

Luke Jones  12:51


Understood. And I agree with that. Although Gunnar Henderson with Gunnar Henderson is one of the best players in baseball now. I mean, he just is and maybe he hasn’t hit his the ceiling of the ceiling. But I mean, when you’re one of the best players in baseball at this point, you’re getting close, right? I don’t know if he can get much better than he already is. And that’s that’s an amazing thing to say about a 22 year old kid. It is right? I’m Nestor, you know me, I’m not like sometimes I do,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:15

you will be better at 26 than you are 22. Even though you’ve seen her charts project him as Ted Williams, I mean, like, I think you’ll know, I can’t make that projection. But I can make the projection that when I see. I see that in Westberg man, because I see them the adjustment part. And I see that in Richmond, too. I see the adjustment part of these are really young guys. They’re just really scratching the surface, that whatever they get money wise, for their 28th 29 30/31 years of their careers, they’re going to be just fantastic F and baseball players, you know, because they just have that. And I am back to that mass and thing that I talked about in the other segment of Father’s Day, this little Leadership Council of young people I see there and the way that these guys interact. And this is really shameful for Greg Bader and I’ll go on my own tirade, and what’s going on with me not having a credential to know these guys, they really are fun to look at on the outside to evaluate his people as to what they can be, what what they’re going to be as, as grown men, not as 23 year old guys running around doing this game and doing this stuff, they’re gonna make a lot of money, you’re gonna be able to make a lot of impact. Hopefully, they’re gonna make it here. Hopefully it’s with full fans. And there’s, I don’t know, 35,000 oriental fans and 10,000 Phillies fans five years from now when that happens, and there’s been a chance or two for a parade or two here. But that really is we’re dreaming big. Now as we go to New York, we’re not dreaming. We’re small market and we can’t afford this or we don’t want that. Maybe on burns. I’ll hear all that. But this is the core of the core of guys that are going To be here, and their specialness, and I’m wondering whether Couser is part of the pile diving and career status towers, or whether you’re going to have to give to get another Corbin burns or whatever you’re going to do, and how they really internally feel about all of these cats what they feel like the ceiling is whether they feel like this is the ceiling for Andersen because you can’t possibly other than if you’re Barry Bonds, do more than this as a 22 year old, how do you then sustain this sort of productivity over a lifetime and I had a fell on to the plug another segment that I fell on earlier this month, talking about the career of Hank Aaron, and that sort of longevity, that sort of consistency. But when you’re 22 I always bring up Robin Yang, I don’t know why because he was sort of the Phenom of my youth to always look at his career and he moved positions. But he was just always a guy that was just a great player guy was gonna hit 300 A guy, you could put them anywhere, and he’s a ballplayer and Henderson rutschman This team has so many of them. We’ve only had one or two here in our lifetime to Cal Ripken was one of them. Eddie Murray was one of them. We haven’t had many Yeah, we really have. And I wouldn’t put Palmer I put Alamar in there, but he wasn’t ours. You know, like when I think of the special special things I’ve seen, what you saw over the weekend with this full crowd, young people seeing this and going back in time, 510 years now to look back and say, What are these guys? I mean, I’m ready to bet on any of these guys long term, any of them? And I’ve never, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s It’s uncanny. It really is.

Luke Jones  16:43

I think what’s interesting here is because you kept using the word ceiling. And look, I don’t disagree with that. I think what’s really, really impressive for me, is the floor with these guys. I think what you’re getting in terms of, you know, in Couser is a great example this right now. I mean, we saw him look like Babe Ruth for two weeks in April, right. I mean, we saw that. And we’ve seen that in the past Jim Traver famously had one of those for the Orioles 35 years ago. I mean, so you see some of that, you’ll see guys go nuts for a couple of weeks. But it’s also okay, what are you contributing when you’re not at your very best and that’s where I look at these guys, from an athleticism standpoint, from a defensive standpoint, from a speed standpoint, and the things they can do there. And that’s where I say, Colton Couser even when he’s not swinging the bat at his best at the plate. I look at how he’s played in the outfield whether it’s left or even centerfield. I think he’s looked good in centerfield when he has been in there for Cedric Mullins. I look at his ability to steal some bases. You know, I look at his ability to draw walks. I think all these players what’s so exciting is yes, the ceiling is the obvious, especially when you’re talking about someone like Gunnar Henderson or Adley rutschman. But just the consistency that you get from some of these young guys, or not even consistent is the right word, but just the skill set that they bring. It’s a high floor, right? I mean, and let’s be clear, let’s be honest about this. Look around baseball. We’ve we’ve used some of these examples, because the Orioles have played some of these teams. I mean, look at someone like Corbin Carroll for the Diamondbacks, who was the rookie of the year last year, he was Gunnar Henderson in the National League last year. And look at the start he got off to and what he’s been this year compared to what Gunnar Henderson has done, which is go from rookie of the year to MVP,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:29

but I’m waiting for one of these guys to fail. Like curse that’s only fail because they haven’t given the chance where cheese would still be like beaten bushes somewhere. If Bradish his arm didn’t fall off and ownership didn’t change hands. And and they don’t for burns. I mean, like literally right? So all of these young guys that get stopped and sours not getting real at bats every day. And then that cost case and that costs Mullins, which then affects Couser. And then there’s O’Hearn. Dude, I named all of these players at the bottom of the roster. None of them are an indictment. There’s only so many positions here. And they need pitching. And I just said, I don’t know whom of these guys say one piece of this puzzle or two is going to be missing come September, due to trade injury, whatever it is, but it’s just such an incredible arsenal. Even Norby look like he can come up and do it.


Luke Jones  19:28

Yeah, yeah. And I think part of the challenge here and look, this is a good problem to have, as opposed to 10 years ago when the Orioles tried to make trades, and they had like two assets in their entire system. You know, maybe a few other guys that some teams were mildly interested in. But part of this is also you gotta be careful. You don’t want to trade from your major league roster, right? I mean, that’s not really how you want to do it. You know, you could make some arguments here and there. But again, how much trade value does Austin Hays have right now? You know how much trade value Cedric Mullins have right now. So you’re in a position where it’s, you know, you don’t want to trade something that is important to you now, or, as we’ve talked about with the tricky outfield situation, knowing that sometimes there isn’t a walk here, knowing that Mullins and Hayes are a year away from being free agents, you know, do you want to trade your other outfielders knowing then that in a year, you might that might become a need for you. So you know, you’re always balancing, maximizing the present, but also wanting to make sure you’re healthy in the long run, like it would be irresponsible for Mike Elias to just push all the chips in the middle and completely dump your whole farm system for this one year. At the same time, you do have a need, you do want to augment what you could have Corbin Burks, next year. And that’s a good point too. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:45

well. You’re not gonna have next year Cobb radish or and probably not John me, like I you know. Well, John. We’ve been talking about we’re now down to who are you going to have next year? Well, you better hope it’s Povich stepping up you better hope that Kramer said, like because well, you trician is starting to happen. And then you look at it and say, What is your window? Your real window your window is when you can win. And that’s right now this is there ain’t no tomorrow. There’s just right now.

Luke Jones  21:14

Well, I disagree. There is a tomorrow that this isn’t just this year, this isn’t like the Orioles in 2016, where you could very clearly see that you had all these veteran players were gonna become free agents and the system was bare. So Mike Elias, I’m telling you how Mike Elias is thinking you might scoff at what I just said. But they’re not going to completely abandon the future.

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:37


I mean, they’re just not well, they’re not gonna have to man. You know, they don’t their needs are not so great. But to my point stauer Is Couser cursed at Oh, you know, Mullins haze? You know, like, at some point, they can’t play them all this year. To your point, some of them are an expiration date or an arbitration date waiting to happen, or bad glove, which doesn’t seem to get you far here. Yeah, you know, like, they don’t like that. To your point, there’s five tools have all of them available? You know, if you don’t, you know, and if you don’t run, well, you better run smart. You know what I’m saying? Right? And I

Luke Jones  22:20

mean, look, I mean, they do have other players in their system that we can talk, you know, that we could talk about, I mean, they have guys at the lower levels are starting to make some hay. I mean, a guy that you and I haven’t mentioned more than a couple times over the last year, sin, Samuel beside you, who is that buoy right now, it’s 19. Kid is an unbelievable hitting catcher. And there had been a lot of talk the last year or two in terms of whether he would move off of catching. And it seems like there’s pushback on that, that he’s not, you know, that he, they think he can stick to that position. Now, me bringing that up doesn’t mean that I’m saying they’re going to trade him or that you’re going to trade Adley rutschman in a year and a half or anything like that. Point is you have other assets in the system. So it’s not as though it’s all just the known commodities at triple A. Yeah, the Orioles have guys at various levels. It is top heavy as far as at the highest levels right now. But that’s just because we’ve been talking about those specific individuals for they’re all in right now, too. Yeah, yeah. So yeah. So it’s tough. I mean, and to Brent, go back to the outfield. I mean, that’s why I said, you know, yes, you have this surplus of outfielders. But you also know that a couple, three of those outfielders are coming to the end of the line. And you know, do you want to trade Anthony Santander this year? No. You want to have him on your team this year? Do you want to extend them? No, probably not. I’m guessing. Certainly not for Hayes or Mullins. If I’m just being honest, looking at it from an evaluation. It’s like

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:50

anything else. They put Gasman in the gold and the bullpen back when they didn’t have room for him knowing they were going to need him tomorrow. They’re going to do that with these outfielders and to say, Dude, you just get a lot more time at Norfolk go back and curse that go back and play right. And be ready. Right. But

Luke Jones  24:06

that’s, but that’s,


Nestor J. Aparicio  24:08

but that said, to

Luke Jones  24:10

your point, talking about some of these outfielders and you mentioned you mentioned the glove and Heston curse that comes up look, I do want to say this, I don’t think Heston Karstadt is as bad defensively as maybe URI or others have perceived him to be but that’s not his greatest strength. You know, is he the guy that you move? Because you say well, Colton Couser is looking like an is whether he’s gonna be an all star or not. that’s up for debate. But he looks like a guy that you’re gonna pencil in as a starting outfielder for you for the next five years. I feel pretty close and saying that about Colton Couser at this point all the way valuates the strike zone to Europe, but I liked how the Yeah, that that portends well

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:50

for his future. Yeah.

Luke Jones  24:54


Right. Right. So and, you know, it’s funny, you mentioned the attrition, and I know you were talking about the pitching side I just more so in terms of the injuries but we’ve seen this roster evolve in the sense of two years ago, who were their best players. Adley rutschman Gunnar Henderson was on the verge of being called up two years ago at this point, we kind of knew that there was a chance he could get caught up by August or September. And I think you looked at the outfielders, right? Santander Hayes Marlins, right? I mean, you thought those were the best players on the team. That’s changed already. Right? I mean, we’re now talking about Hayes and Mullins as you know, some of their worst everyday players, let’s say, Santander is obviously his power spiked here recently, but who are their best players now? Okay, Richmond and Henderson are, you know, the two best, but Jordan Westberg has rapidly become one of their three or four best players. I mean, the numbers bear are bearing that out. Colton Couser, we’ve talked about, again, still up and down. I don’t want to put him in that category in cement just yet. But it’s trending up. And it’s been some of these veteran guys that you say, you know, they’re, they’re not viewed in the same way that they were two or three years ago. And by the way, that is kind of by design, all these prospects, you wanted to come to the major leagues and succeed and other than someone like ISP hours, who as much it’s been as much about lack of opportunity as anything else, and really determining who he is, is a major league player. It has worked out really well. I mean, that’s why it was kind of jarring to see Jackson Holliday struggle as much as he did other than realizing the 30,000 foot viewpoint of he’s 20 years old, he hadn’t spent that much time and trip away, and they wanted to see how he did and he wasn’t quite ready yet. That doesn’t mean he’s going to fail. I mean, Colton Couser, a year ago at this time was two weeks away from being called up to the major leagues. That was a disaster. He was he’s talked about it, he wasn’t ready. And some of that is just, you’ve got to find out and Jordan Weisberg wasn’t the same player last year that he’s been this year far from it. He he was solid, he was okay to solid last year. He’s become one of their best players and about a year. So, you know, it really is a testament. I don’t think we’ve mentioned Ryan O’Hearn in this conversation. Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:10

And we have and I was gonna say their days was a castaway. Yeah. So it’s just also really high ceiling guy. Really, right. He was the guy everybody in baseball would have drafted in the second round, they had a big had, they had a chance. But he had failed.

Luke Jones  27:23

And he had failed to the point where the Orioles got him from for cash from the Royals. So again, there’s another example of their player development and their technology and everything they do, helping someone. So I think Ryan O’Hearn is a great example of where I think the Orioles are still going to be very healthy, long term, even if they trade some prospects here and there. Because even though they’re not going to be picking in the top five anymore, because they’re, they’re so good now, compared to losing 110 games, and you’re picking first or second, or fifth, or whatever it is. But they’re going to continue to develop players. And that’s where I guess I’m almost making an argument against myself, when I said to you that they, they can’t trade away all these prospects, because they are going to need these guys in the next year or two. But they’re also going to continue to develop guys. And, you know, we haven’t talked about it a whole lot other than just that they’ve made more of an effort. By the way, slowly, but surely, we mentioned besides to slowly, but surely, they’re starting to have some prospects, some international prospects start to make some hay at at the lower to mid levels of the system that’s starting to become a thing. And we said it five years ago that that was going to take some time, when you’re talking about signing 16 and 17 year old Dominican players, they’re not gonna be in the majors in two years, you know, that’s going to be a long term development plan. Slowly, but surely, you’re starting to see some of those guys start to pop in, and you’re gonna see those guys showing up on Prospect lists in the next couple years. So they’re very healthy on that front. But I guess the greater point I’m making here is and this is why I said yes. Get what you need to get to maximize your chances for this year, as much as you can. But this is also a long term play. And I think when you look at the the landscape of Major League Baseball this year, Nestor who won the World Series last year, Texas Ranger Texas, the Texas Rangers, what’s the record right now? Yeah, yeah, the Arizona Diamondbacks were won the NL pennant. What’s their record right now? Point is that. I don’t say this, to diminish what could happen that the trade deadline but we talked and we talked about this last year, though, so much of this when you’re talking about the format that we see in October, so much of this is really still a proposition of getting there. And then how are you playing baseball at that point in time? The Arizona Diamondbacks were mediocre last year. And I think This year is kind of bearing that out. They were mediocre. But they got hot at the right time. They got hot the last three weeks of September. They made it in his wildcard and they rode that wave all the way if the

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:09

World Series were in July last year, Tampa Bay would have won. Maybe,


Luke Jones  30:12

maybe, right? I mean, so Right. I mean, it’s you don’t know. So I guess, part of what I’m saying there is Yes, I am all for going out and getting another starting pitcher. Yes, I’ve been banging the table since February about wanting to see them add another high leverage bullpen arm. And I’ll continue to say that, because what I just you know, adding a starting pitcher and adding at least one darn good reliever to the mix. And probably I’d like to add two relievers. But one of those guys be someone that I feel as good about as I do. Craig Kimbrel. And canola guys could close, you know, a guy that could close games out for you if need be. But part of the point here is, some of this is still just you get to October, and you’re rolling the dice. I mean, you really are. So if you’re viewing it through that lens with Mike Elias and dipoto, the Seattle General Manager last year, famously talked about roster building, and it ruffled some feathers, and people didn’t like hear it, hearing it, but he was talking about wind probability in terms of, we want to be at this percentage in terms of our likelihood of making the playoffs every year. And that doesn’t mean and that basically means we’re not going to quote go all in at any point in time, we’ll make moves. But we basically want to be in a position where we feel we’re, it’s kind of like the Eric d’acosta ravens model of wanting to contend every year, you know, are the Ravens really ever truly all in, in how they build the roster? Not really, it’s generally their, their attempt is to contend every year. And the idea is, even if you’re not the number one seed or the number two seed, hey, get in as the top wildcard and you still might have a chance, depending on who else is healthy. Who’s playing well, at the time, all of that. So we always view this. And when I say we I don’t mean you and me. I mean, in a general sense, we always view it through the lens of who the best team is. Well, the Orioles were the best team in the American League last year, the best record, right? They want 101 games. They didn’t make the World Series. They didn’t even make the ALCS. Did that mean that they were a fatally flawed ballclub? I don’t really think so. I think it just meant that the Rangers played better than them. And were hotter at that point in time. And yeah, the Orioles didn’t have a whole lot of experience. They couldn’t really help that you can’t by experience. I mean, I guess you can bring in a couple of experienced players. But Gunnar Henderson had to go through that for himself and Adley rutschman had to experience that himself and Westberg and go down the list of everyone who played last October. So part of this is they’re more experienced now. And part of this is also just kind of hope you’re healthy and hot at the right time. And the health parts not looking great right now. And yeah, I think they can go out and get a couple pictures. But boy, you’re still crossing your fingers the rest of the way. I mean, heaven forbid something happens to burns or if Grayson Rodriguez’s shoulder starts barking a little bit like it did earlier in the season, which you know, wasn’t a major thing, but cost him a couple of weeks. You know, you’re still at the mercy of health and playing at the right playing well at the right time.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:20

Kramer comes back and picks it up. Sure. I

Luke Jones  33:23

mean, at least to give you consistent innings, right. I mean, he doesn’t have to pitch like a number one or a number two starter but post up and give you six innings. More often than not every time you pitch. really

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:34


counting on him now in Yeah.

Luke Jones  33:39

And Corbyn becomes that much more important. Kate Povich is so much more interesting now than he was two weeks ago. So Suarez, sure, sure. And that’s the thing. And I’ll continue to remind your opportunities these guys have waited their whole lives for it is and they’ve, they’ve pitched well, and look, I’m not saying that pitching well against the White Sox or against the angels or whatever. Also ran team you want to throw out there as the same as pitching well against the Yankees. But statistically the numbers don’t lie. These guys have done a good job, even the bullpen and I’ve been as I’ve been as upfront as anyone as far as my preference to see them add bullpen those guys have done a good job more often than not they really have and that doesn’t mean that I trust all of them. It pitching in a one run game in the eighth inning. It’s by the way, it’s amazing. We got through the three different segments. And I’ll bring up Brian Baker’s name for the first time and what he did in the eighth inning on Saturday, which was high leverage as it gets against a really good lineup, and he pitched really well for them. Does that mean I trust Brian Baker moving forward? No, but it means you need a major cast of characters to navigate 162 And you

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:47

have to have amnesia about something maybe they did in the past. Yeah.

Luke Jones  34:51

Jorge Mateo. We talked about it the whole the first three months of the season, how well he’s played for them after what happened last year. So I don’t say that to be flippin, I don’t say that to mean that they shouldn’t make trades or do everything they can to get better. But this team, if they’re truly going to make a run, and we’re going to be talking about this team playing in late October, who knows, maybe a rematch with the Phillies, the last week of October in the World Series, it’s still going to be way more about the guys that are already on this roster than what they potentially acquire at the trade deadline. That’s just the truth. And that’s where I would say, be happy about that. Because this is a really, really good baseball team, even as its presently constructed, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Every look the Yankees are gonna be looking to add some probably some offense because as much as they’ve swung the bats well, they’re more top heavy than the Orioles are even in terms of their lineup. I mean, they have to MVP candidates and some other guys swinging the bat well, but take take notice of their line, the bottom third of their lineup this week, and I’d say it’s not as good as the Orioles bottom third, oh, at least say that much. So that doesn’t mean that that that they’re fatally flawed, it just means they’re probably going to be looking at a bat or two. You know, everyone’s gonna be looking for pitching. I mean, that’s just because you can’t have enough. I mean, Garrett Cole’s coming back. Is Garrett Cole gonna be right. Or Gerrit Cole gonna be what Kyle Bradish was, which was looked really promising for six weeks. And then, you know, it fell apart. You know, health wise for Bradish, unfortunately. So, you know, you never know your one or two, every team in baseball is one or two pitching injuries away from a strength suddenly becoming a major concern. So the Orioles are no different in that way. But to bring it back full circle, because we started talking about the offense. Some really good lineup. I mean, it really is. And that’s with the possibility of adding Jackson Holliday to the mix. We haven’t mentioned Kobe mayo, who is back on a rehab assignment and looks like he’s going to be rejoining Norfolk before he got hurt. Nestor, there was conversation about how do we get Kobe Mayo to Baltimore and get him in the lineup because you want to talk about a bat that they really think plays Kobe Mayo’s got plus Major League bat written all over him. So we could see him in the mix. At some point, I don’t know where exactly, it might be as a DH against left handed pitching. And that’s it. But there’s more, there are more reinforcements on the way or, as you pointed out, some of those names we’ve mentioned, might be included in a trade for a starting pitcher that might just not only help you this year, but might be the guy that helps you the next couple years. And maybe that’s the guy that replaces Kyle Bradish for the first two thirds of next year, hoping that maybe Bradish. If he does have Tommy, John, maybe you can come back by next August and September. So you know, their point is they have a lot of options. I’ll use a poker term term for you. They have a lot of outs when you have a lot outs. That means there are a lot of cards in the deck still, that can help you and that can help you win. And I think the Orioles are absolutely in that position right now with what they have already on the major league roster and the assets they have in their system. And the wildcard which is David Rubenstein in this ownership group. Can is there going to be a trade presented to them that maybe last year would have been a nonstarter with John Angelo’s


Nestor J. Aparicio  38:14

doing if I know nothing about these cats in the beginning is they so want to be heroes? Oh my god. That’s the reason they bought in. I mean, they want to be heroes. They want to be worshipped.

Luke Jones  38:29

I’ll throw a name out there for you right now. And look, this is still very preliminary. But you know, Eflin for the raise right now, they signed him what last offseason to a three year $40 million deal. I think that was what it was off the top of my head. So he signed for obviously this year and the next year f1 could probably the race, I’m sure if they completely fall out of it. And it feels like that that’s where it’s trending for them. They’re just not playing very well. Could you make a move where that’s much more of a take on salary move and maybe not giving up quite as many assets. They don’t even have a fan base to aggravate down, right. They could do whatever they want. Sure. So my point is that might be a move that a year ago may not have been something that Mike Elias would have the flexibility to do that maybe that and I’m just that’s one example. I’m not saying that that would be my target. I’m just saying that’s the kind of guy that maybe with this new ownership group, they say, All right, well, we’re not going to acquire someone that has a that’s owed $150 million still on their current contract. But if it’s a guy that’s owed 30 Over the next two years, or the next year and a half, whatever it is, we can talk about that, especially if that means we don’t have to trade away Kobe mayo or someone of that ilk. And maybe it’s a couple lesser guys in our system. So point is they have so many resources available to them to just there’s a lot on the table right now. And in the meantime, no matter how much this has been a bumpy road pitching health wise. They keep pointing games. So what are we to say here for Mike Elias doesn’t need to press the panic button, you know that he needs to do some work. And he knows that over the next six weeks, but they’re still in a really really good spot even as they’re presently constructed, despite the angst over some of the health concerns with the pitching, so

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:18

I’m sure the Yankees people can paint this as ships passing in the night if they win three here, Garrett Cole comes back, because it’s all gonna happen real quick. But Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, five o’clock Thursday, we’re wrapping things up. We’re gonna be overcast, it’s doing the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery we’ll have the Gold Rush sevens doublers to give away our friends at Liberty pure solutions keeping our water clean and Crystal pure and tasty and delicious and nice and clean in the shower as well. Also our friends at Jiffy Lube multi care keeping our car nice and clean. We’re gonna be at cost us on Thursday before the Oreo game and I think Luke might be stopping over as well then we’re gonna be at Pappas and where my pappy shirt we’re gonna be world famous and Parkville the original location next Tuesday. I got great guests coming out more great guests. I’m trying to book in with a great time to Coco’s last week as well as a Cooper’s and Ron Furman like talking rock and roll. I had Mark Brian from hooting the blowfish on Thomas Dolby joined us two weeks ago at State Fair for breakfast. So just been really really good stuff. We’ll be getting a lot of that out this week. Obviously Oreos in the Yankees up in the Bronx and full coverage and Jim Palmer saying the word Nestor a lot, which I love. I just love to hear it. Good to hear. And I’ll be down to Costa so having some big crab imperials and some oysters. Rockefeller is going to be on my thing, putting together a Maryland oyster tour as well in September. So I’m looking forward to that. And yeah, it’s a great summer man. Oreos playing great baseball each and every day. Lots of lots of interests. We got some Raven stuff and some Derrick Henry stuff up at the audio vault at Baltimore positive and Jessica valus. from Hartford designs will be my guest that cost us on Thursday, we have an all new website with all new fonts that aren’t going to stick some well, some won’t. And the old newspaper pricking me as you learned in the 25th anniversary documentary as well as on father’s day when I shared a picture of my dad. He’s on a couch reading a news post. You know, one day dad I’m gonna work there. So you can go check all that stuff out. And Luke is welcoming additions to his world as well this week, so be kind to him during Yankees Orioles games, he might not be as well rested as he needs to be. Still think he should have gone to New York, got some Korean shaved ice and walked around a city with my wife’s leg weren’t broken. I I’d be up there with you dude, but we’ll let you know what we’ll see the New York for October when the leaves are changing won’t be as nice weather wise, but we’ll still have a good time. I am Nestor he’s Luke. Follow him at Baltimore Luke anywhere the good internet is traveled follow us and set your dial at am 1570 We are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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