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The haze of Mullins and Hays becoming question marks for Orioles future

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Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the always changing Orioles bullpen depth and the ugly struggles of Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays in an outfield rotation that is youthful and earning performance now in a pennant race.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

bullpen, talking, mullins, orioles, ninth inning, inning, good, play, week, closer, team, colton, point, hit, star, year, craig kimbrel, runs, hayes, era

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Come home we are W n s t, Towson, Baltimore. Baltimore positive we’re positively into a short post holiday week here. We have home baseball all week long and where my favorite shirt because we’re going to be fadeless on Friday eat the delicious crabcakes the new spot and the new Lexington market. be doing the show from two to five there. Luke will be by early as well. I want to send a shout out to sue Gunn, who stopped by a couple of weeks ago when we had our switch of plans. Come down and see us on Friday. Come and see us anytime next week. We’re going to be floating around. Costas Coco’s, we’re going to be Cooper’s next Tuesday in Timonium Mays chapel celebrating Fleet Week, which is happening down in Fells Point Two weeks from now. So lots of things happening, including, oh, real baseball. Luke Jones joins us now. He was at the ballpark on Tuesday night for the Boston Red Sox. Weird week do the Monday afternoon on the holiday. I thought you were at the game Sunday and the game was in Chicago and I got my days and nights mixed up but they’re gonna lose some games and they’re gonna leave the bases loaded with nobody out strand everybody in the bullpen is gonna blow up in the eighth inning and give up a bunch of runs. It’s gonna happen. It just happened Tuesday in Baltimore.

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Luke Jones  01:14

It did and it was a strange game in the sense that early on neither Bayeux or Grayson Rodriguez looked like they had it and it looked like it was going to be a high scoring game. Whereas Bayeux after the first inning settles in, as you mentioned, Oreo squandered a massive opportunity in the sixth inning and we can get into that but Grayson Rodriguez after the first couple winnings where he got hit pretty hard. There was the the debtors run scoring single that was more of the tough luck variety, but got hit hard with the secondary stuff and started leaning much more heavily on the fastball as the outing continued. And he ended up setting career highs and strikeouts and whips. I mean, he really finished that out in a positive way to the point where the Orioles had a chance at four three. So they got to the sixth inning. And now they just didn’t score any runs, didn’t get anything going offensively or didn’t sustain anything offensively after that three run first inning. And then the bullpen I’m always conflicted. We talked about this years ago with Buck show altar where you’re down a runner to in the late innings. It’s still only late May you still have four months to go. How hard do you lean into your best bullpen guys in those spots. And I mean, they brought in yen you know, for example, but you know, certainly wasn’t good at the end. And Keegan Aikens in particular was not good at all in the ninth inning, but they didn’t score runs, and you score three runs, and then you don’t score again after the first inning. Unless you get sparkling pitching for nine, that’s usually going to be a losing formula. And that’s what we saw on Tuesday night. Still a chance to win a series now. But certainly after that first inning, very much disappointed in what they did offensively. But we’ve been talking about it the Red Sox I’ll be I’ll be it kind of hovering around 500 For most of the year, you know, they their pitching is exceeded expectations. And, you know, we saw a little bit of that, but got a score more than three runs, especially when those three runs come in the very first inning.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:18

We don’t talk a whole lot about the other team. But where are you on? bayeaux? You know, we see these young comparisons to Pedro Martinez been Pedro and Roger Clemens aren’t coming back. Neither Israel can point at this point. This is what they are effectively wild through most of it and, you know, a real ceiling guy in him, right? Like he’s a guy they expect to win OSI young there one day and be a pile diver.

Luke Jones  03:41

I mean, look, it’s got to era of just over four. So it’s not as though he’s been incredible. I mean, I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’ve watched all of his stars, but I’ve seen him pitch against the Orioles. I’ve seen him pitch a few other times. And he’s certainly someone that has ability. You know, he’s certainly someone that, you know, wherever he was ranked from a prospect standpoint, they do have high expectations, you know, is he going to win a sigh young, I mean, that’s a lot to put on any young pitcher. But he has ability. And we saw that, again, he settled in the way that he did after that first inning where Colton Couser drives in a run fantastic about at bat from Jordan Westberg in the first inning, or he’s down oh two and just had the approach of a 30 year old veteran there to just line the ball the other way and drive into runs. But they are really settled in there. I mean, he’s got good stuff. I think that’s evident and he struck out what seven guys walked a couple, you know, hit by pitches well, but I mean, he’s a good pitcher. And it hasn’t been amazing statistically, when you’re talking about I think he finishes finished the night with a 4.18 era for a season but you know, he’s shown the last couple years he has the ability to be a top end of the of the rotation kind of guy so you know, I mean, the Red Sox. They’re an interesting team in the sense of how much turnover they’ve had. I think you look at the bottom half of their lineup, it leaves something to be desired to state the obvious, they’ve been good enough to not be terrible in the way that I think a lot of people, myself included, thought that they’d be the pretty clear last place team in the Al east and Toronto has exceeded disappointment, far more than than the Red Sox in Tampa Bay for that matter as well. So, you know, I mean, it’s, he’s a good pitcher, you’re gonna run into that, but I mean, let’s face it, the Orioles left hand on base two for nine with runners in scoring position and they very much had had their chance to break through in the sixth inning and they just couldn’t do it. So now, that’s going to happen in the same way that the Orioles get good outings from their young good young pitchers and Kyle Bradish did what he did on Sunday, for example. But again, the Orioles had their chances they just didn’t get the job done. After the first inning.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:58

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bullpen we talked a lot about the bullpen and these games where they have a chance to win. And they certainly in the sixth inning double down the line looked like they were going to win the game right or felt like they had that Mojo about them on Tuesday night against sort of a week Red Sox team. And then you get into the bullpen and Keegan Aiken guys struggling in the bullpen. I don’t know where the line is for all of this as to which chips out of the era in which chips into the era, right, you know, in the last week or so. But they’re gonna keep tinkering. And we’re going to talk about it every day. And we’re certainly going to talk about on days when they lose, maybe more so than when, you know, they bring in whomever in the seventh Perez in the seventh, you know, in the eighth and Kimbrel on the ninth and they walk home and when five to two. Those won’t be days we talk about it. We’re going to talk about it when there’s a problem and say how do you fix the problem in the case of Keegan Akin, you know, I’ve been hearing you talk about him for years. It it certainly didn’t happen on Tuesday night. And I don’t know where when you’re trying to get stability in the bullpen how long you let guys fail, or where you move them to a lower leverage situation. There’s not a whole lot of low leverage when you’re in ballgames every night in the pennant race. Yeah, and

Luke Jones  07:09

I mean, look, Keegan Aiken had been pitching really well for a while and you kind of look at the last four or five outings not so much era is now ballooning toward that five level where he had been, you know, kind of in the threes. I mean, he’s not your highest leverage guy that you’re bringing in when it’s five to three, going into the ninth inning. I mean, again, like I said,

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:31

you trust Him is the question, right? Yeah. Well,

Luke Jones  07:34

and that’s the thing I mean, is do you trust them to pitch in the eighth or ninth inning? No, but that’s most of their bullpen guys. At this point. You know, I’ve said it for going back. Even before Felix Batista got hurt last year, I think the Orioles as their bullpen is presently constructed. I think they have a bunch of guys who I mostly trust to pitch and close games in the sixth than seventh inning. But I don’t have that same feeling when it’s three to two in the eighth or ninth inning. And that’s where I keep clamoring. And when I say I I’m not saying I’m talking about this in a unique fashion. Most fans feel this way, I think at this point, and in a lot of media as well, that, you know, stands the chance that if you really want to improve your chances for October that you’ve got to go out and get a high leverage arm or two, whether that’s going to be someone else’s established closer, whether that’s going to be someone else’s first half of 2023 and your Cano you know so that that search is ongoing. I think Mike Elias realizes that now he’s going to have to pull the trigger at some point in time. I hear some people say the Orioles need to do that now as opposed to late July. I mean, there’s still 3419 This bullpen while it’s not the best in baseball by any stretch of the imagination. I hear people use terms that it’s a dumpster fire and it’s a disaster. I think that’s a little little bit much

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Nestor J. Aparicio  09:02

they have the means financially and spiritually to make it among the best if they choose to. They have means in that position to buy bullpen help or to trade for bullpen help and get it if if they choose to this year they can open doesn’t have to be the worst.

Luke Jones  09:21

Well, their bullpen isn’t the worst. I mean, it’s not and I hear what you’re saying there but you also need to make sure you know what you’re buying yen your canola at this time last year looked like he was the next Mariano Rivera, right. And then we saw that it’s there’s been regression to the mean. He’s a solid middle to late reliever. Is he a guy that you feel extremely confident in the ninth inning? Well, I see his era is three but go look at the homeruns allowed go look at some of the peripheral stats. He hasn’t been as good this year. I mean, I think that three is that 3.00 era is masking some deficiencies that didn’t necessarily show up last year, mainly, it’s given up the long ball. And I don’t think he’s commanded the sinker as well. So and that’s one of your very best relievers right there that we’re talking about. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:16

well and Kimbra was the guy had to be the guy. And we’ve been discussing for two months how much money he makes and what he’s capable of doing. are, you know, you paid him a lot of money thinking you solve the problem, and he didn’t really solve the problem? No.

Luke Jones  10:30

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See, I don’t I don’t think anyone. I don’t think Mike Elias thought they solved that problem, I think, I think they knew that this bullpen was going to be kind of a living canvas, so to speak. And you were going to try to tinker you’re going to try to bring guys in, you know, that we talked about,

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:48

we spent $30 million on it, you’d like to think you saw something know

Luke Jones  10:54

that that I I would lose respect for Mike Elias as a baseball mind, if he thought that signing Craig Kimbrel solved not having Felix Batista. I mean, Craig Kimbrough at best projection, or anyone else, really, for that matter. It’s safer, maybe the kid in Oakland, and what he’s doing right now, was not going to be Felix Batista. So it was certainly a big part of it. You know, I don’t want to say it was, you know, an effort in vain. And look, three weeks ago when we were talking about Craig Kimbrel being a disaster, we were talking about how other guys were pitching Well, in the bullpen. Now it’s since then it’s kind of gone the other way, Craig Kimbrel has been really good as last seven times out, and some other guys in the bullpen haven’t been as good. So, I mean, this is an ongoing thing. Again, for people to say that the bullpen is an absolute disaster one statistically it doesn’t support that it’s that bad. Does it need to get better? Yeah, no question about it. I’ve been saying that since before spring training started. But at the same time, bullpen arms are tricky. It’s like the stock market and you don’t want to overpay just because you have prospects doesn’t mean you want to go out and just start giving them away for guys that you think are really answers for you. And then you get them and then you find out oh, that’s not quite what I thought it was. So I think part of this is

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:17

for the fans. Kimbrel is that guy for the fans? Maybe not for Elias? What? Not that guy not get that money. You know, you didn’t get that guy, you got a guy. But

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Luke Jones  12:30

Craig Kimbrel, for the most part has still been more good than bad this year. I mean, we’re we’re judging him on those two weeks, which were terrible. But dude,

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:37

I think they’re gonna win the World Series. He’s gonna be the guy holding the ball at the end. Right that? I don’t know about that. Okay, all

Luke Jones  12:44

right. Really? I mean, maybe the Philadelphia Phillies told you that they didn’t believe that last $30

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:50

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million. And you’re free to pitch them in October. And you know that going in? No, no, no.

Luke Jones  12:54

You’re you’re you’re making it, you’re making it an all or nothing proposition. I’m telling you that I’m not convinced that he’s going to be the undisputed closer, I’m telling you, they might go and get someone else’s closer then Craig Kimbrel might be your eighth inning guy, he’s he’s gonna have to pitch important innings. Don’t get

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:09

me when that happens. I’ll call that a move of brilliance. If a lie said we got him the whole time, though, when he was really probably going to be the eighth inning guy. And I wouldn’t argue that you and I talked about that march that, you know, the sort of a closer buddy’s not and you’re paying them like what it used to be. It’s nice to have him there. But he’s not to your point Batista, don’t we have a different level of expectation there. And we’re not expecting Batista to walk in either. But we’re expecting competence to walk in and guys can get three outs. Sure,

Luke Jones  13:37

sure. No question. But I mean, I’m just saying you can keep saying that he’s making $13 million. And yes, he’s making $13 million. But it was also a one year deal and go look at what the Astros pay Josh hater. That’s going out and getting a closer and look, Josh Hader got off to an awful start this year. And you wonder how that five year deal is going to play out. So it’s tricky. Again, I’m not saying this to make an excuse from Mike Elias, but you want to make sure that you’re not acquiring something that there’s regression to the mean. And then it’s, Oh, this guy’s not a whole lot better than what we already have. And like I said, you’re kind of Oh, it is kind of proving out to be an example of that. You know, this time last year, he was extraordinary. What he’s been since then, has been still more good than bad. Let’s be clear. I’m not saying no is terrible. But has he been that same lock down? Unbelievable. one two punch kind of guy that they had with him and Batista through May, June July of last year? No. And like I said, it’s peripherals. He’s given up more home runs this year. I don’t think the the sinker has been as good. And that’s your eighth inning guy right there that I’m talking about, let alone talking about Keegan akin or CNL Perez or Jacob. Jacob Webb you know, whoever goes go down the list of guys that they’ve leaned on so they absolutely have work to do with their bullpen. But at the same time, it’s not. It’s not just as simple as Oh, that guy for, you know, name your team, the Chicago White Sox or Anaheim, you know, whoever that guy has a 1.8 era, let’s go throw up this prospect and go get them. Okay, that might work. But we also know that there are guys who can have a really good era and at one point in the season, and then that’s not the same thing come September. So they’re trying to evaluate. They’re trying to see what they have internally. And they continue to monitor the market and you got to go out and but

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Nestor J. Aparicio  15:37

they don’t have a system and a solution yet, right. Like they don’t have a, you know, a set way that they want to do it in a perfect way. By July, you’d have something that felt like, all right, in this situation. This is seven, this is eight, this is nine. They don’t really have that yet. They want to have that they’re working toward that. And that’s what the web’s in the casinos and the Kimberleys are about right. I mean, maybe in his mind opening day, it’s web seven, you know, eight, you know, maybe maybe Perez seven left lefty right or whatever it is. And then Kimball nine, if we’re winning four to two in the seventh inning, if you’re that way.

Luke Jones  16:15

Yeah. I don’t love that. That way of managing your bullpen in general, because the seventh or eighth inning might be way more important than the ninth inning. Anyway, I honestly think and this kind of lends itself to what I was saying about Kimbrough. And when I say that, my my viewpoint would be that Kimbrel is not my automatic ninth inning guy. It’s not even because oh, well, I don’t think he’s good. Sometimes it’s what are the matchups? What’s the other team’s lineup? You know, where are the pockets of left handed hitters? Where Danny cool might make more sense? You know, I think when you don’t have that shutdown, closer, and we saw Brandon Hyde navigate his bullpen this way in September last year post Felix Batista going down. I think it allows you to match up a little bit more and what that worked out for the Orioles last September now. Do I want to go a full six months? Being forced to manage that way? No. But that’s where I kind of say, you know, if you can bring in a couple high leverage arms, whether it’s some other teams closer or not, or or just their eighth inning guy, or Andrew, think of Andrew Miller a decade ago, you know, he wasn’t a closer but at that point in time and the Orioles acquired him, he was probably their best reliever. And I say that with no disrespect. six outs in the seventh. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. So. So that’s where I’m a little more unconventional, you know, than just oh, this is my seventh inning guy. This is my eighth inning guy. This is my ninth inning guy. It’s easier to manage the bullpen that way. But I don’t necessarily always believe that. That’s how you optimize the effectiveness of your bullpen. So, you know, that’s part but that’s part of it. Point is, and I’ve made this point over and over and over, going back to spring training. You can’t just have 1/9 inning guy can’t just have 1/8 inning guy because you play too many games. For that to be you’re gonna win too much to do that. Exactly. So you, you know, you don’t want to be in these positions. And we talked about this. And this might have been, I don’t know for sure. Because, again, Craig Kimbrel has been so up and down the last five years. That’s just, that’s who he’s been. He’s gonna go through another stretch like he had. What late April and early May he’s going to have another stretch like that. I’m telling you that right now. Not you. I’m just saying in general, we’re, we’re gonna see that again. That’s the pitcher. He’s been seven decent

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:29

ones. And we don’t sit here praise Him every day when he goes out and does 123. And that’s my point.

Luke Jones  18:34

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You know, he got off to a great start. And then he had the two, two and a half weeks were oh my gosh, I mean, you had people who wanted to get rid of them, you know, and it’s $13 million salary at that point.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:45

But I still marvel all these years later that the baseball team has gotten good and the fans haven’t necessarily gotten smarter. So I see stuff on the internet every day. And I’m like, That’s everywhere.

Luke Jones  18:53

I mean, that’s, that’s I mean, it’s looked at that’s fandom fan is short for fanatic. And while the takes for to DFA him were crazy. The concern was legitimate. And demoting him out of the out of the closer’s role for a couple of weeks was legitimate, I had no problem with that. But point is, you need I would say, at a minimum, and I’ve used this number, and it’s a bit arbitrary, but it’s also just understanding how the game works now and the fact that, you know, even the great starts now, or six innings, maybe seven, you know, seven innings almost feels like that’s become the new complete game, you know, in some ways. And, you know, I know there are a few pitchers out there, here and there that you’ll still see an occasional complete game, but those are becoming so few and far between that I really feel for the eighth and ninth innings in a one run game. I think you need at a minimum for guys that you really feel strongly and confident in and that’s why as much as this new era, this Mike Elias era with Gunnar Henderson and Adley rutschman and all these great young positions players and that I’ve still had that nostalgia for where the bullpen was for the Orioles a decade ago, where you had Zach Britton, you had Darren O’Day. Andrew Miller was only here for a couple months. I understand that. But you had him. You had Brad Brock, you know, so I mean, right there you had, you know, even though Britton was the closer most nights, you had some other guys that you still felt pretty confident in closing some games when Zach Britton had pitched three out of the four previous games and wasn’t available that night. So you need that and to the Orioles have that kind of depth, that kind of confidence in their late ending high leverage, guys, at this point? I think the answer is pretty clearly no. So that doesn’t mean that Craig Kimbrel isn’t going to be pitching really important games, that doesn’t mean that you’re Cano isn’t going to straighten himself out and pitching really important games. And, you know, I don’t want to shortchange Danny coulomb, although he’s been a little shaky of late compared to what we’re used to seeing from him. But, you know, are Is there enough confidence in Jacob Webb? Is there enough confidence in CNL? Perez? No. I mean, there’s not certainly, and Keegan Aiken, again. He was pitching the ninth inning of the game where they were already trailing two runs. I mean, your wind probability in that spots already pretty low. So do you really want to burn? Are you bringing in Craig Kimbrel to pitch the ninth inning there? No, of course not. Is is kind of the example I’m using there. So you know, it’s ongoing. And again, has it been as big of a disaster as some fans? What would lead you to believe? Well, if it would have been, they wouldn’t be 3419 right now. I mean, I’ll say that much. So yes, it’s an area they need to improve. There’s no doubt about that. I’m not sitting here saying that. All is well with their bullpen. And there’s nothing to see here. That would be disingenuous, but you still have to make the right moves. And just because you had the prospects doesn’t mean you just go out and start throwing them away for some other teams, Jacob Webb or some other teams, you and your Cano, which you can always get to three era. But again, peel back the layers and look at the peripherals it hasn’t been as good. So you want to make sure you’re acquiring the right guys. And it’s not to say that it can’t happen next week, or in the next few days. But you want to make sure that you’re truly getting something that’s real and legitimate for the backend of your bullpen. Because it’s not going to be cheap. No, you’re not giving away remote areas and getting a locked down eighth inning guy you’re given up, you know, someone that’s a legitimate prospect to get that guy that you’re going to feel great about about pitching the eighth or occasionally the ninth inning. So we’ll see how it plays out. And as far as Tuesday night’s game goes, yeah, they the bullpen imploded late, but they were losing going into that they didn’t score any runs after the first inning. So, you know, not not you and me. But as a collective group of observers. Let’s not bury the lede that the Orioles were shut out after the first inning on Tuesday night. Carter

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:00

burns back to the hill to get a day down and then the Tampa rays in town will be at fadeless. On Friday, curse your friends at the Maryland lottery I’ll have Hackman scratch offs to give away Luke will be with us for two of the five. We will not be live we’re just going to kind of hang out and and I think we’re going to talk some football as well, on Friday and Hayes and Mullins again, sort of combined for doughnuts. We’ve been on that we talked about. We can’t stop talking about it because I think it’s a story of where the franchise is going with young players. And then there’s the Westberg case that every time we talk about him every night he’s doing something that makes him look like a gifted ballplayer like he’s a guy who’s going to be here 10 years. You might not go to the Hall of Famer, he but he’s a boy. He’s a major league ballplayer and coming into his own, and we’re seeing that with Couser. We’re seeing that with young blood. Forget rutschman and Henderson are going to the Hall of Fame and they’re all going to make a million. This is the next level of how they win is like you go back talk about those Yankee teams, you’ll talk about, you know, whoever the star, you don’t talk about Paul O’Neill, you don’t talk about Chuck novela you know that, but they were great players. And that’s going to kind of be where the oxygen is for when you had Ray Lewis who was hard to give oxygen to Suggs and Ed Reed. It’s a little bit of that feeling for me, especially with cows and Westberg as these guys emerge and become real big league ballplayers and guys who are all stars, like Mullins and Hayes look a little lost in their late 20s It’s kind of weird. Yeah,

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Luke Jones  24:27

I mean, you mentioned Jordan Westberg. You just you threw out some of the Yankee names. How about Bernie Williams, you know, not a Hall of Famer. But just such a rock solid, all star caliber player at times for

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:41

a decade would have been the best player on any other teams, the fifth best player in the Yankees, right?

Luke Jones  24:45

I mean, and I mean, Jordan Westberg. I watched him on a nightly basis. And first of all, like if I were just speaking more, just as a fan and not someone who’s covering it. Jordan Westberg might be my favorite player. Look

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:59

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11 There’s nothing wrong already having a lateral classical. Right,

Luke Jones  25:02

right, right. But I mean obviously got her Henderson’s an MVP candidate right now. But Jordan Westbrook is just so steady. Uh, he plays good defense of both third base and second base has consistently good bats. I mean, like I said that first inning, as much as there was nothing else to write home about offensively after that first inning, that two strike approach against Bayeux in the first inning to run single goes the other way hits the ball hard the other way on what wasn’t, you know, wasn’t a terrible two strike pitch. You know, bail got it up a little more than he wanted to. But it was still on the outside corner.

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:35

So maybe I was missing spots all night. I mean, wow.

Luke Jones  25:39

And that’s the thing when you have a live arm, I mean, Grayson Rodriguez, we’ve seen times where he misses his spots, but when you’re throwing 97 Or you’ve got crazy spin on it, you know, you can make it work. You know, that’s why those pitchers that are blessed with such arm. So, you know, Nolan Ryan, was a Hall of Famer, and at times didn’t know where the ball was going within the strike zone. But it didn’t matter because you couldn’t hit it. So but yeah, I mean, you look at this. I mean, Westberg has been an all star caliber player. I don’t know if he’s gonna make the all star team because generally, we know how that works. If you’re not voted in, there’s some politics involved. Generally, they’ll defer to some more veteran players when it comes to that, but he’s had an all star caliber season. You know, we’ve talked a lot about Couser, although at three strikeouts on Tuesday night, but drawers the walks past a swing and miss is streaky. But we’ve also seen him play a very good centerfield when he’s had some opportunities here. And I think that’s where the Mullins and hastening becomes that much more interesting. Here’s the problem. I think it’s Austin. Hays very clearly has become a bench player, you know, he’s not playing other than when they’re getting a run of some left handed starters. You’ll see him in there. But since he’s come back, it’s not as though Brandon Hyde has really put forth the effort to shoehorn him back into the starting lineup. He’s a match player. I think that the problem with Hayes and Mullins is they both had become fourth and fifth outfield types, seemingly overnight. I’m not saying you DFA them or anything like that. Jorge Mateo is a great example. This we spent 20 minutes talking about Jorge Mateo the other day, and I was at the top of the list of people ready to DFA him last August, and we see what happens here. So just because a player isn’t performing now, doesn’t mean that that won’t happen in the future, especially when you’re talking about guys that have track records. That said, when you have Colton Couser and when you have Kyle’s towers when you have Heston cursed at at the triple A level how how long of a lease do you get these guys to try to figure things out and in the case of Mullins, what’s helped him to this point anyway, was he’s still a great defender in centerfield. But when you’re starting to see Colton Couser can play a really reputable centerfield as well. Maybe not at the same level, but still looking like he can be an above average centerfielder at least not saying for the next 10 years, but at least for this year, least for the next couple years, then the math becomes a little trickier to justify Cedric Mullins, being in the lineup every night. So well then

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Nestor J. Aparicio  28:18

if he does perform, you’re gonna have to pay him anyway. Right? So if he performed he’s, he’s not going to be on the team next year in that way unless he’s an extra outfielder. And you talk about guys that are deal hobble that other teams might use in a pennant race. I don’t know. But these guys are playing well enough to feel like I’m going to deal for them and put them into my lineup where I expect to win 90 games, right like,

Luke Jones  28:41

well, and it’s always tricky, because, okay, will you sometimes see trades between two contenders? Yeah, I mean, that happens. But for the most part, it’s what a contender against the team that’s selling so if your teams

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:55

are selling last year’s all stars at a discount rate because they have phenom is at 22. I mean, this is an unusual, this is unusual, just not just for any franchise that this many guys coming and pushing out guys that are arbitration eligible all stars, you know, who are struggling but can’t even get on the field and an Asus case. They put him in an incredible situation and knock runs in. And he’s even got hours on the bench miked up saying he’s gonna He’s, you know, he’s a pinch hitter. Mm hmm. Different role.

Luke Jones  29:26

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Really? Yeah. I mean, and but but you just kind of said it. I mean, yes, it’s unique, I guess, in the sense that these guys were all star players. And in the case of Austin Hayes was an all star last year, but they’re not performing. I mean, Brandon Hyde would just be benching them if they were hitting. I would agree. The sentiment for Brandon Hyde has been generally and this is the case with most managers mind you. He’s going to defer to veteran players

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:52

on games for him. They’d

Luke Jones  29:53

be playing, you know, they’d be playing if Colton Couser and we’d be talking about Star Wars and cows not getting as much playing time if Hayes and Mullins were performing but they’re not so Hayes his hours

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:05

would be, you know, hitting the ball in Norfolk and he’d be the guy we’d be dealing with early Fisher right. Sure. So

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Luke Jones  30:11

yeah, but you know to go back to your point as far as the the unique position the Orioles are in I was I was speaking more in terms of even looking to deal those guys. You know, if you’re a seller, Austin Hayes’s, you know, he’s in arbitrate and one more year of arbitration, it’s making not great money, but it’s real money, you know, compared to someone that’s making harder money, the rookie minimum, and he’s, he’s been a bad hitter since the all star break last year, statistically. So there’s not much trade value there. I mean, there just isn’t, especially for a team that’s selling right. I mean, you know, if it was a unique contender, you know, contender first contender kind of a trade where, you know, a team is really lacking outfield depth. You know, could could Austin Hays be somewhat appealing? And you think now, okay, maybe a fresh start get some going. We’ll be our fourth outfielder. We’ll put tuna on with this guy and left field. Okay, I could You could sell me on that scenario. But he’s got to start hitting. He’s been better at the plates since returning from the IRL, but still not anywhere close to being good enough to justify him playing on a regular basis. And we’ve talked about this with Mullins. I mean, Mullins had the big hit on Monday, absolutely hammered two other balls that didn’t get the result but hit them really hard. It was over two on Tuesday night and you bring in a lefty, you’re you’re going to the bench to pinch hit for him at this point, because he’s been completely lost get this

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:38

organization a year ago, they go to Aaron Hicks, right, who Hayes and Mullins might be another team’s Aaron Hicks, I guess is you know, on a different team. They valued him last year because Couser didn’t come because the younger players were cursed. That wasn’t ready, sours. They like takes more than they likes hours this time last year, right? That a prospect. So that kind of player would be where hazing Mullins would be for this team or any other team would win a value level. Right? Very

Luke Jones  32:08

true. But Aaron Hicks was DFA last year. I mean, the Orioles didn’t trade anything for him. Right. I mean, they they signed him Because? Because let him go. Because yeah, Yankees let him go. So. So you know, that’s that’s what we’re talking about here. I mean, this goes back to why some people out there, even though a lot of fans and even media types thought they were crazy for suggesting this but this goes back to the sentiment that some fans and some media had to Hey, you’ve got these guys come in. These veteran players are getting closer to free agency and you’re probably not going to extend them based on the fact that you have Colton Couser and Heston cursed and Kyle’s towers. And you’re at some point hoping to pay Adley rutschman and Gunnar Henderson you know again, that’s another conversation for another segment but that’s why some people were saying you know Cedric Mullins value may never be higher than it is right now talking last offseason whatever. Same with Austin Hays this past offseason. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:06

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with that their pinky, though they it really, in the fact that they didn’t really believe in sours. They didn’t really leave it. They didn’t believe any of those guys were really ready at that moment, enough to not have an Aaron Hicks enough to not say well, we got Marlins and Hayes under control. They’re affordable. They’re all stars. We need to have them we’re not. But now, you know, it’s June and it’s like, do we need them? Are they going to have at bats? Do they have a place here? Do they have a role here? Are they going to be somebody else’s? Aaron Hicks? Because that’s probably what’s gonna happen your point they’re not tradable? Right? I mean, in that way, right.

Luke Jones  33:37

Well, and look, I I’m not at a spot where I’m anywhere close to DFA either of those guys. I mean, what’s interesting is they actually have minor league options. You know, if you if you really want to get nuts you know, I, I’m not saying we’re at that point yet. But I think we’re seeing it more and more. I mean, they’re becoming and Hayes has been a bench player since what the second week of April, basically. And Cedric Mullins, I think with Colton cows are shown he can play a good centerfield. I think you’re gonna see Cedric Mullins on the bench more and we have the last couple of weeks. I mean, not burying them but at the same time. And we haven’t even mentioned that Anthony Santander who has been better than those guys, but it’s not as though he’s been great this year. And he’s been dealing with a sore knee of late. So you know that that’s another conversation but point is Colton Couser to me is the closest thing they have to write his name in the lineup every single day outfielder at this point against righties or lefties and I get it he’ll probably hit at the bottom of the order against the lefty but he’s gonna play and in the meantime, and that’s why it was good to me to see Kyle sours in the lineup again on Tuesday. I want to see him. I’d love over the next two weeks. To see Kyle sours make 11 or 12 starts I mean, he doesn’t have to play every single day. But I’d like to see him in there most days, including against some lefties and see how it looks, you know, because it’s not as though he was a platoon player in the minor league. So let’s see what he can do. And again, you don’t know until you’re gonna play them and if you’re gonna continue to get at bats like you got from Austin Hays on Tuesday night, which let’s face it, that was ugly at bats, you know, that was not I get that it’s difficult to come off the bench as as a pinch hitter. But that’s your role at this point. Right? If you’re gonna play at all, I mean, remote arrest is doesn’t come off the bat off the bench very often to hit any more. Why? Because he’s not showing any ability to hit at this point in time. And there’s another guy who, probably the moment Jackson holiday, they deem him ready to return to the majors. I’m guessing Ramona Reyes is going to get shipped off. I mean, that’s kind of where it, how

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:47

it feels and what the minute they’ve deemed ready to get into majors. Mateo goes back into you only see him twice a week, right?

Luke Jones  35:52

Yeah. And aureus is, like I said, probably off the roster at that point in time. So you know, it’s changes changes are common, you know, and we’ve seen this. This was we saw it start a couple years ago with Trey Manzini, for example, being dealt, understanding these guys are getting closer to free agency Santander is in a contract to your Mullins and hazer a year away. So this time next year, or any of those guys gonna be on the roster. I mean, I think that’s a fair question. You know, so that’s up to

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Nestor J. Aparicio  36:21

hours and holiday and cows or two and whisper these guys that have come on and just said, my job, and that’s that and McClinton Hayes haven’t. And that’s baseball, right, literally. Yeah.

Luke Jones  36:32

So and look that that doesn’t mean things won’t change. As I said, I was ready to get rid of Jorge Mateo last August. And he’s kind of been low key one of their unsung heroes this year, especially with holiday, not working out in his first stint

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:48

behind second base.

Luke Jones  36:49

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So So you know, I mean, that again, that’s why I’m not giving up on Mullins and Hayes right now are entirely but no, no, they shouldn’t just be written to the lineup every day. I mean, neither one of them is playing at a level that justifies that. So play all of them. And I’m not burying them completely on the bench, either. Let’s be clear, but you know, I’m gonna see cows or I’m gonna see, we’re seeing cows or so that’s almost become a moot point even saying that because he’s, he’s become an everyday player for them. But I want to see sours, let me see sours six times a week, you know, at least five or six times a week. And let me see what he does. Let me see how it looks. Let me see how he how confident he looks. Let me see if he has more days like he had on Memorial Day. So we’ll see how it works out or he could go into a tailspin. And Cedric Mullins finally starts hitting, or Austin Hayes finally starts hitting, and then we’re having a different conversation a month from now, so long season, but when you have a good team and Brandon, I talked about this at length on Tuesday before the game, that it is challenging, and I think, you know, he said he made the comment, I have 13 guys that I’d like to play and we know there’s a little bit of hyperbole there and he’s not going to be little the guys at the back of the roster, but, you know, they have been in a position where young guys and veteran players are like, they’ve got a lot of options to play, but Melanson Hayes they’re not hitting so no, they shouldn’t be in the in the lineup on a daily basis at this point until they forced the issue in the way that Colton Couser did back in April and basically tell Brandon Hyde, you must play me every day because look at how I’m hitting. He’s Luke

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:26

Jones. He is Baltimore Luke you could find him out on the internet. You can find both of us that have faded Lee’s on Friday at Lexington market. We have a incredible Maryland crabcake tour schedule put together very ambitious the next month gonna be all over the place including a Cooper’s in in Timonium next Tuesday, Thursday morning. We’re going to be at State Fair next week before the Orioles take on the Blue Jays up in Toronto. I hope Getty leaves behind him play for that one while I’m having my my salmon lunch over state fair. We’re gonna be a Coco’s we’re going to be at Costas. We’re going to speak we’re going to be Pappas later in the month in Parkville. As well all of those dates up at Baltimore positive you can also find me out on social media. I am Mr. He is Luke we are wn S T A and 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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