The Orioles and Elias trading from the top is a different feeling

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As the MLB trading deadline looms and the Orioles continue to soar, Luke Jones and Nestor enjoy the rarified air of the Orioles first place perch with a stocked farm system and potential pitchers in focus as Mike Elias has an important week ahead.


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Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

W n s t test in Baltimore. Baltimore positive we are positively a little bit on the road here this week and I’ll be getting back in the Oriole has been on the road as well. Look, Joe joins us now in advance of our 25th anniversary been working hard on that as well. We’ll be a Costas next Thursday and then drug city next Friday, celebrating 25 years, Luke is celebrating a real July, tenant race. First place. I don’t know. I’m just gonna give the floor to you. Because we haven’t had a whole lot of segments like this, Luke.


Luke Jones  00:33

Yeah, I mean, we’ve talked about the book show Walter era, there were three really fun years with that. Couple other years that were okay. But for then, I mean, you’re talking about the 25th anniversary. I mean, you go back to 1987 is the last time where you were looking at the Orioles being in this kind of position, with so much baseball still to play. And that’s important to remember. And that’s even a cautionary tale, after this weekend where the Orioles go down to the trop and they take three out of four from the rays who looked like the class of the American League for the first three, two and a half, three months of the season. Well, four and 14 in July. So it shows you how things can turn and it shows you and remind you just how much baseball there is to play. But after this weekend where the Orioles go down there. And dare I say even Orioles fans taking over the place. If you saw some of the video on social media and Twitter and whatnot, just a lot of fun and a lot of good baseball play by the Orioles and so many things to be encouraged by it. Yep, yeah. Some other things what that you take pause and maybe there’s some concern about but I mean, what what more is there to say when you have the best record in the American League as we get ready to now talk about ramping up training camp and the Ravens and all that it’s this is very rare territory in which the Orioles have found themselves. And it’s wild. It’s not lost on me that it was two years ago around this time when the Orioles were getting ready to start a losing streak that rivaled what happened to him in 1988. I was just two years ago, when that happened where they lost basically the entire month of August. And now to see them where they’re in first place. They they leave St Petersburg with the two game lead and see what you want about the steam. It’s not perfect. No team is mind you. But they just continue to play really good baseball and they get the job done. And it’s not always in dominant fashion. As I pointed out to us so many different times. But at the end of the night, you see Felix Batista hugging Adley, rutschman, more often than not, and that’s a sign that something good happened that night. And, boy, we saw it over the course of this weekend and taken three out of four.

Nestor Aparicio  02:45

Well, the bottom line on losing it, you know, you don’t when you’re going this? Well, if I were to tell you that the Orioles will go four and 14 at some point in August or September, you’d say, well, that doesn’t feel real likely. And that’s why we believe in pitching right? We believe in better pitching will allow that to not happen that your worst spells are probably one six and eight over our last 14. And we were you know, we’re only 500 or two under 500. Because we’ve talked so much about the magic number not really being an elimination magic number, but more like do they need to get to 92 wins. 94 wins. 96 wins, how many games over 500? Are they for the year and this Tampa meltdown is you know, it’s a lesson to be learned because I think most of us believe that was a really really good team. We saw that back in April and early May when they were at four Tigers kind of and then they fell apart. I mean, when you’re going well you find it hard to believe that you can lose you know eight out of 10 or whatever because that good teams don’t do that and over the course even of a season let’s AMPA thing that’s an unusual meltdown for a team of that quality really is and the Orioles are hoping to avoid that.

Luke Jones  04:01

Yeah, although I’ll still say this Nestor I mean, their season not over they’re still gonna make the playoffs. You go four and 14 Yeah, that stinks for two and a half weeks, but it’s two and a half weeks. And then when you were

Nestor Aparicio  04:11


29 games over 500 To begin with you got plenty room to backup

Luke Jones  04:14

right and that and that’s also part of the lesson here that look, we were not me because I was at the beach at the time but so many people were ready to just completely panic when the Oreos last six or seven, you’re going to go through some tough stretches now four and 14 It’s a little on the extreme side for a team that had the best record in baseball for a large chunk of the first half. But it also when you have gotten off to that kind of start and the Orioles find themselves in this position now you do have a little bit of margin for error. If you do have another rough patch you don’t want to have that clearly and you know Tampa Bay right now there’s you know that even though there’s not a big fan base of race fans down in that area, there’s there’s all kinds of sentiments of what the heck is going on. So they stopped hitting that they’ve had some they’ve had injuries you know, but Some of their arms that they were counting on have physically, physically haven’t been right or what have you, but it’s a long season and yet the ebb and flow of it lends itself to having some rough patches, the Orioles minimize theirs. And since then they’ve taken off again, and Tampa Bay is there, they’re going in the wrong direction. So we’ll see how it plays out ultimately, but so much to be encouraged by over the course of the weekend. I mean, be remiss if I didn’t mention the bond that Gunnar Henderson hit on Sunday, which went 446 feet. They said I I think it was longer than that. Brandon Hyde said that after the game. I think you saw some really encouraging work out of the bullpen from Mike Bauman on Sunday. Just a couple footnotes ganja canola on Sunday, I think that’s the best he’s looked in a while that was good to see. You know, we’ve talked about him being not as dominant as he was earlier in the year, which was he was never going to continue that. But the stuff look better. And Batista on Sunday, one of the best splits I’ve seen him have all year now he was throwing that devastating splitter that it’s silly to say this because his overall numbers have been so great. But Ben McDonald even said it during the telecast. I don’t think his splitters been as consistent maybe this year as it was last year, but boy, it was really good on Sunday. So you see, elements like that, especially we’ve talked so much about the bullpen, and we’ll continue to talk about it. Because, you know, the early returns on Fujinami have been not great. But you know, also talking about someone who’s new to the team, new to this experience being in a pennant race. So you know, we’ll see how that plays out. And certainly there’s still time until the trade deadline. But you know, we can keep talking about this or that that isn’t perfect about this team or something you’d like to be better. But at some point in time, you just look up at the standings and say, what more can you really ask for than what they’ve done through this point where we’re talking about this type of team in the final week of July? And I mean, it’s, yeah, that I’d love to see them add another bullpen piece if they can. You and I spent a whole segment talking about Shohei Otani and whether that’s a pipe dream, whether there’s any merit to the possibility of that or not, but we can keep talking about the things that they’re not. But what they are, is a team that finished the weekend 23 games over 500. And they have the best record in the American League. So I’ll remind everyone to enjoy that enjoy the ride. Don’t just keep dwelling on Okay, well, this or that. Or, you know, Tyler wells didn’t look good on Sunday, which he did. But they continue to get the job done, and it’s their stars. But it’s also guys that you wouldn’t have expected, like Orion Oh, burn, for example, who hits a home run off a lefty on Sunday? No last switch. Just another sign of the Orioles are living right these days. I think that much is stating the obvious. Well look with

Nestor Aparicio  08:00

the trading deadline coming up and and thoughts about needs and where Grayson Rodriguez is. And look, we can talk about this rotation all day long, where every second, third, fourth time through the rotation, somebody’s going to falter and have what Wells had. I mean, we can talk about all of those guys Bradish, any of them struggling at various points, and what they do to bootstrap up. But the pitching is what we talked about for three months in regard to fortification. And in regard to the trading deadline. And you know, the more I’ve listened to Ben McDonald talk about it. I’ve watched MLB Network, I’ve done some reading, just the way new baseball is we’re all five teams in the American League East really believe that they can make the playoffs and I would think in the case of the Red Sox and the Yankees, they probably believe they will they believe they will have a run, something will happen. And if they’re have that belief, and they have the wherewithal this week to add or subtract, I don’t think they’re gonna be dealing from the bottom of the deck those teams. So there’s so many teams still involved in it. You wonder where do you shop? Who, who, who are the sellers at this point, when so many teams are of the belief they can make it?

Luke Jones  09:09

Yeah. And that’s what’s so tricky about this. And I feel, you know, we’re now a couple years into having three wildcards right, you know, it’s not a brand new thing, but it’s still fairly new. And for me just personally looking at it, and not that I’m a national baseball reporter that you know, like a buster oni or Ken Rosenthal, but I think that’s where it’s so tough to really kind of get a good feel for what teams are doing. I mean, we talked about the angels a lot and we’re just going to use Otani for as an example for the moment. But, you know, the angels despite all the injuries they’ve had, I think, one six of their last 10 You know, they haven’t been god awful of late, meaning the last week and a half. We know how Moreno and that ownership group has proceeded in recent years. We know that Shohei Otani has a transcendent talent, if you still have some semblance of a chance, are you just going to sell? Or are you going to go for that third wildcard spot, which mathematically, it’s not incredibly likely for a team like that, but they’re still in it. You know, it’s not as though they’re 10 games out of the final wildcard spot. So you know, you have so many teams like that. You mentioned that the Red Sox and the Yankees, you would think and both teams played well over the weekend. So I think that certainly would lend itself to this idea. But you would think teams like that. The hubris is just going to be too much to say, we’re not going to be sellers. Now, we might not go train our best prospect, but we’ll try to go fortify our rotation or the Yankees case, their lineup, you know, I mean, it’s it’s not a secret that they’ve really struggled to hit the ball with Aaron, Judge, you know, having missed an extended period of time. So, you know, I think that’s what makes this so fascinating. And, you know, through through all that, you still have the backdrop, as you and I talked about a lot when we did really dive into the the Otani debate, just how much teams value their prospects, whether you’re talking about a low payroll kind of team, or whether you’re talking about these teams that are at the top and spending up to the luxury tax threshold, and exceeding it, and all that. So it leads to what could be a really interesting trade deadline in that regard. But that’s kind of the case every year. But you look at it, and the AI leaves being a perfect example of it. I mean, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about the Blue Jays go look at what their records been over the last six weeks or so. I mean, the quietly, they’ve been one of the best teams in baseball over the last six weeks or so. And, you know, you look at them, they’re, you know, 10 over 500. But, you know, I think that’s still a team from a talent standpoint, that is still very, very dangerous. So what do they do? How do they proceed? You know, do they catch Tampa Bay or the Orioles here over the next several weeks. So, I mean, it’s just, you know, the Al East is one example. And then you get into some of these divisions, like the central, for example, where Cleveland still only a few games out, but they’re 49 and 50. You know, so you have those types of divisions as well, where there’s a lot of mediocrity, but there’s at least one playoff spot up for grabs there. So, you know, I think, Well, I


Nestor Aparicio  12:19

think there’s a point where Mike Elias would say to you right now, you know, okay, the Indians are going to make the playoffs or whomever instead, if we’re going to lose that team, because we didn’t deal for an $18 million pitcher and deal three prospects and loose towers and giveaway mountcastle And, you know, all of that, to rent a pitcher for one start in October, we’re already good enough. We’re in first place. Right? You know, so there is a little part of that, where I don’t want to say there’s stick with what we’ve got, but there’s also why am I going to do five prospects to rent anybody other than Otani for you know, a month and a half, you know, and, and then who you’re competing against, and you’d say, Oh, well, great. We got a third starter or fourth starter, we didn’t get anything. We got another Kyle Gibson. Okay, fine. We kept him away from the Yankees or the Red Sox or the Blue Jays. Okay, fine. We don’t even compete with them. It’s not like you’re going to see that pitcher three times in September. The way you would have back in the old days, were like, Hey, we’re gonna get Otani. He’s going to pitch he’s going to pitch twice against the Red Sox twice against the Yankees twice against the rays in September, and that’s going to matter to us even getting to the playoffs. I think there’s a little bit more. The math is in the Ravens ravens Orioles favorite at this point this week to saying they’re going to make the playoffs and then it’s a crapshoot as to what happens in October. I mean, are you dealing because you’re desperate to think we can’t make the playoffs? Are you dealing to get bullpen help and not Andrew Miller bullpen help? Not top top of the line? You know $12 million reliever I’m talking about just getting another Fuji right? I mean, a couple of these guys. Sure that’s okay. But I mean, I had somebody come up to me chased me around in Dewey Beach the other night. I look at as much as people as much as chess, steal things. I don’t do sports. Everywhere I go. People come up to me to talk about baseball talking about the Ravens talk about things. And this guy was is holiday coming up and playing in September. And I’m thinking what these baseball fans have they had nothing on their mind. And all of this time that like they’re thinking about Jackson holiday coming up in September. And we’re two days out on the trading deadline and the pitching help. So fans and where their minds are. It’s got to be different than where Elias is. And his mind has to be different than even where he thought it would be because I don’t think he thought he’d be at first place with a two game lead right now. Right? I mean, the notion that who we were going to deal for in April or May or June gets different when you’re in first place and you say we’re going to give up what to get what and we’re going PT with whom? And in the end, what difference is that player really going to make in October? Not between now and October because I, unless you’re I don’t want to say it’s arrogant to think you’re gonna make the playoffs as we’ve just pointed out, you know, the rays are slipping and falling and they can’t get up right now. But from the steady and slow pace of what they’ve done here, I don’t need them, I don’t need you to send me a wn SD tax an hour before the trading deadline and tell me that they gave half the franchise away for Otani, or that they gave three legitimate prospects away for a guy in the bullpen who may pitch 18 innings the rest of the way or something right?

Luke Jones  15:44

Yeah, but it’s funny, you mentioned it because you talked about starting pitchers, and it’s like, Okay, how many times will they have an opportunity? And obviously Otani is the the outlier here, right? Because he’s gonna hit and pitch. So let’s just let’s put him aside. We’ve already talked about him a lot. I’m still not convinced he’s even being dealt. I’m certainly not convinced the Orioles are going to be in that market, specifically, meaning keeping up those kinds of prospects. But, you know, I think about this in terms of, you know, you mentioned starter versus reliever. And let’s, let’s assume, for right now, they advanced, you know, they make the playoffs. And let’s say they get past a wildcard round, which is best for three, or, you know, at this point, they’d have a buy, right? You know, I mean, that’s where they are, they have the best record in the American League. So let’s talk in terms of just a division and

Nestor Aparicio  16:32

by the way, that’s worth fighting for the buys short, no

Luke Jones  16:35


question about it. No question about it. Although you can also say it a sport like baseball, is it does it behoove you to sit around for a week? Yeah, that’s what’s kind of crazy about this. And when

Nestor Aparicio  16:44

you’re sitting down there in October watching them have batting practice six days in a row, yeah,

Luke Jones  16:49

I mean, you can set the rotation but if you go cold, then hey, it can be over quick. But the point is, and this is where I keep and we talked about this long before we even dove into Otani talk. You know, I look at it in terms of if you can get a bullpen arm and look, there’s a wide there’s a wide range there, you know, from someone like Fujinami to someone that would be more of the Andrew Miller, kind of aquas Andrew

Nestor Aparicio  17:17

Miller was different because he was left handed. And that’s that’s a whole other thing, right? Well, but but right but


Luke Jones  17:22

at the same time, but he got lefties and righties out. I mean, he wasn’t, he wasn’t a lefty situational guy. He was he was lefty, but he got everyone but he was 30 against lefties. He was dirty against everybody go back and look at that point. But the point, I guess the point I’m trying to make here and look, again, there are different names that would be out there. I mean, the Padres right now with Josh Hader, for example, you know, a rental, but he’s a dominant arm, you know, what are you going to have to give up to get someone like him? Could it be a case where you got him and Blake Snell, you know, that’s been tossed about, as far as just, you know, a lot of the trade discourse that’s out there in general. But you get a reliever like that in a five game series. And let’s say you run into a team that’s playing well, and it’s a five day it goes five games, a reliever could could impact four of those games, you know, depending on how the how the off days, or if there’s a rain out or something like that could impact all five of those games. Now, even the best starting pitcher, to have those games. So I’m not saying it’s the same impact, but as in terms of what they can do. That’s where I’ve said over and over, I’d be more interested. And again, this is assuming you’re not giving up the farm, you know, like you’re not giving up your elite of your elite prospects. But I’d be much more inclined. And I felt this way for a while to see if you can add to the bullpen and you look at it like this way. Okay. We don’t add a dominant starter, but we might have been able to shorten the game to the sixth inning now, as opposed to the the eighth, you know, if we can go out and get another stud arm and, you know, if Mike Balamand does things like he did on Sunday or Fujinami, you know, improves his control a little bit, he’s got a good arm, we’ve seen that. So those are the kinds of ways that you kind of think about it in terms of if you’re looking at it analytically, is the value of getting some more relief help to shortening the game that way, rather than trying to go get a stud pitcher and understanding how much that’s going to cost. And if it’s a rental, then you’re talking about only having them for a very limited period of time. You know, that’s where I’ve thought, you know, a team like the Orioles who, let’s face it, everything they’ve done the last couple of years in terms of player acquisition. It’s been about improving on the margins, right, you know, Kyle Gibson and upgraded over, you know, over last year, you know, as far as just another high floor starting pitcher, you know, Adam Fraser You know, an upgrade overruled Neto door but not a superstar. So you know, it’s been those types of moves for them. So that’s where I look at this and say, you know, Ohtani going out and trying to get Ohtani or going out and trying to get Dylan SES or someone like that would feel out of character for how Elias has proceeded now. You said it, it’s completely right. They certainly weren’t anticipating being 23 games over 500, a week before the trade deadline. So maybe you do need to readjust and try to land a bigger fish. But at the same time, you say, Well, what we’ve been doing is working.

Nestor Aparicio  20:32

Well, that was my point. My point is you need a bigger fish when your fish have been fine.

Luke Jones  20:35

Right, exactly. So So you look at it through the context of all right. Could we add another starter in terms of depth where you say, okay, it’d be nice to pencil in this guy, you know, we still don’t quite know about Grayson Rodriguez, although I really liked what he did over the weekend. You know, Tyler Wells has been shaky, like his commands. So you’re wondering, you know, is there a physical issue? Is it just a rough patch for him? So yeah, you could go out and get a starter that moves into the back end of your rotation, and that stabilizes you for the rest of the regular season. But that’s probably not moving the needle whatsoever in October, because you’re not going to have a five man rotation in the playoffs. So that’s where you look at it in terms of, okay, ace or number two starter, whatever it is, or can you more easily add some more bullpen help to what you have, fortify that a little bit, take a little bit of pressure off someone like lately and your condo, which, you know, bend MacDonald was talking over the weekend, a lot about his arm sloppy and lower and wondering if maybe there’s a little bit of fatigue, although like I said, he looked much better on Sunday. So that was good to see. But you know, if you can do it that way, I think there’s an argument to be made, especially for what the cost of that might be compared to going and trying to get a top of the line starter, you know, that you might get a better value in terms of what you’re acquiring, then how much you have to give up for getting that top, that frontline starting pitcher. So it’s gonna be fascinating. And I would say, and I know buster only tweeted this out. You know, I think it was early Sunday morning. That, you know, the general sentiment about the oral skills to this point and talking in terms of talking about the trade deadline has been, they, they’re fitting the profile of a measured buyer, which is probably what you should expect now, that could turn into a bigger acquisition, or maybe it is another, you know, we’ll see kind of reliever that they add to the mix. So, but I think, again, this goes back to what you’ve said, and you said it, you know, even before we got into our Otani debate a few days ago that, you know, at some point in time, you kind of look around and say, yeah, the Orioles, you know, they’re not perfect at this or you’d like them to be better at this, but Well, whatever. They are sure as heck is working really well, because they’re the American League, right? Yeah, exactly. So

Nestor Aparicio  22:54


there’s no arguing that in August, right? I mean, like you could sit, you could say, well, do we need to add anything when we’ve already been the best? And we’re getting better? And we have to do we need to do I know one thing, they don’t need to do nothing desperate. They’re not working from any other place other than inspiration. Because what they have they can win the World Series with I mean, they can’t. And

Luke Jones  23:22

I think the word I agree with you. Not desperate. But I will say and again, this goes back to what deals are out there and what teams are truly selling and what are they asking for? I do want to see urgency, though. If the right deal is there that makes sense that can improve your club, whether it’s a starter, whether whether it’s a bullpen or, heck, I wouldn’t be opposed to the event if the right bat was out there that they felt fit their lineup really well, I wouldn’t be opposed to that. It’s not as though their lineups perfect. So the point is, you can cast a pretty wide net here and see if the right deal is there that, you know, in some team really fancy is one of your prospects that privately, maybe you don’t think you’re not quite as high on where you say, you know, what this guy is valued, everyone else is higher than how we project him to be over the next couple of years. I’ll move that guy if I can go get this reliever or this starter to kind of strengthen my rotation a little bit. And, you know, one thing I do want to say and I mentioned starting pitching, that is not a knock on their current starting pitchers at all. One thing you do have to keep in mind, Gibson being the exception, because he’s a veteran, right? He’s in his mid 30s. But the rest of these guys take a look at what their career highs are in terms of single season innings. And that’s not to say that they’re gonna shut guys down or anything like that. But just keep that in mind as well that, you know, is there someone out there from a starting rotation standpoint, and it might not even be someone that would factor into their playoff plans a ton. But if it’s someone that can kind of give them a higher floor for the rotation, and maybe you can back off, you skip a guy here or there something like that, just to keep guys healthy in terms of their innings, keep them strong in terms of their innings. And look, there’s player tracking movement and all these all those other things you look at beyond just an arbitrary number of innings. Let’s be clear about that. But that is something to keep in mind when you’re talking about where Grayson Rodriguez innings are going to be where Tyler Wells’s innings are going to be where Kyle Bradish is, workload is going to be at the end of the year. And that’s not to say they’re going to fall apart or anything like that. But I do think that’s something to keep in the back of your mind, and certainly is something Mike Elias and sigma Adele and the Orioles front office is considering in terms of you know, it might not even be an ace pitcher and starting pitcher. In that case, it might be, you know, can we add another Kyle Gibson type, as you suggested, that might not even be a guy that starts a playoff game, but might help us manage our young pitchers a little bit better over the final two months where hey, we still want to win games. But we also want to keep guys healthy in the same way that it’s gonna be fascinating to see. You know, Batista and Cano probably not going to be available for the start of the Phillies series because they pitch for the last five days. So you still have to keep in mind as much as you want to go for a win every night and certainly Brandon Hyde manage this series down at the trop much more like a playoff series in the way that he pushed some of his bullpen arms. But at the same time, you you still have to keep your eye on the big picture here. There’s still two plus months of regular season baseball to go. And yeah, the Orioles are, they’re in the driver’s seat to be in the playoffs and to maybe get a first round by as we’ve talked about. But you still want to keep guys healthy, you still have to be cognizant of workload and all those different things because you want those guys pitching for you in October, you know, I mean, Kyle Bradish, okay, he’s not a household name. But go look at how that kid that kid has pitched over the last calendar year. He’s been he’s been a high quality starting pitcher in the American League since late July of last year. And you want to be able to continue that through October and you hope through late October, maybe early November, if you want to dream that big at this point. So that’s something to keep in mind in terms of other considerations here over the final week as we get to the trade deadline

Nestor Aparicio  27:20

means Givens other organization guys arms they have is there. Are there any things in there for any of those anywhere? Over the next? Yeah,

Luke Jones  27:29

I mean, for me, it’s so tight. And I know Michael Gibbons is throwing down in Sarasota, but I don’t know if you can count on that. I mean, Dylan Tate was shut down entirely again. I mean, I don’t know if we’re gonna see him pitch this year. Means Yeah, I. And that’s gonna be the fascinating not that you necessarily look at him and say, oh, we’ll just slide them back into the top of the rotation. But I was just talking about trying to keep some manage some of these younger guys, their workloads, you know, John means is going to be fresh from an arm standpoint. Right? You know, he has a pitch since April of 2022. Could he be someone that you slot into? I don’t know, make make a couple starts in September. Maybe he becomes a bullpen arm for you. I remember that’s how he got his that’s how he put himself on the map. He was coming out of the Orioles bullpen at the beginning of 2019. I


Nestor Aparicio  28:20

was asked to be that guy instead of you know, expect him to go out and throw 95 pitches, I don’t think Right, right.

Luke Jones  28:25

I mean, well, I mean, he could and that’s not to say that he wouldn’t get up to that by the end of the year. But, you know, he’s gonna have to go through his spring training, so to speak, and you know, he’ll start a minor league rehab assignment in August and, you know, he’ll go through that and then he’ll be available, hypothetically, for the Orioles in early September, let’s say, but yeah, you’re gonna have to manage and you’re gonna have to see how it fits. You know, I mean, it might be that now he’s pitching okay, but maybe is better in some shorter stints out of the bullpen. I don’t think he’s going to become a you know, a guy that’s going to be used back to back nights, you know, but he might be a guy that you know, if you’re starting pitcher struggling in the fourth inning that John means comes in throws three innings, you know, it could be that kind of scenario. So you know, I mean, but in terms of some of the other names you mentioned, I mean DL Hall who knows at this point I mean, he’s you know, he’s been on a condition strength and conditioning program because of that back injury he had last offseason so it can he be in the mix for them. Could be you know, if he’s right physically come September so, but these are maybes right? These aren’t slam dunks these aren’t sure thing. So, again, I’d be surprised and I said this. I said this when they acquired Fujinami. I’d be surprised if you don’t see them. Really trying to land another bullpen arm and will it have the impact of an Andrew Miller in 2014 Time will tell but I think they should at least be seriously looking at a high impact bullpen arm that they He kind of put, if you’re looking at the pecking order next to Cano at the very least if you can add another guy that you really feel as a dude that you can put in into seventh or eighth inning, that makes Mike Bauman better. You know that that makes Danny coulomb better. That makes Brian Baker better. You know if you can get him straightened out, you know, we’ve seen him pitch really well at times this year. But he struggled, consistency has been a major issue for him. But all those guys that I just mentioned that, frankly, they’ve had to give some high leverage situations to because quinoa and Batista cannot pitch every single night. Although this series it kind of felt that way.

Nestor Aparicio  30:35

But I put Fuji in the game on Saturday almost blew the game, right?

Luke Jones  30:38


I mean, I’m glad I’m glad you mentioned that. Because you know I mentioned this in passing, that if there was one moment over the course of the weekend that was curious to me. It was that especially because ball Bauman who was great on Sunday, I mean, Bowman was the player of the game for them on Sunday. I mean, he saved the game for them that he gave them that kind of length when Wells was not sharp. But I thought I would have gone to him on Saturday. But I think what was interesting about this, and I even talked to, interestingly enough, it was just the gentleman to my church on Sunday morning, we talked about this. And he said, You know what? That really felt like Brandon Hyde in the organization saying, We got to find out about this kid, we got to see if he can handle this, we got to see if he can sink or swim. And it did not start well. I will say he was very close to getting out of it. If Jorge Mateo makes a play that I frankly, I think he needed to make in that spot. So you’re hoping that there could be some long term benefit to him being in that situation. And you were trying to evaluate again, you’re evaluating to see if you need to go out and get another another bullpen arm which I’m of the thought that they should so but but that was the one moment over the course of the weekend, that kind of felt like, okay, you know, not that was a development kind of example, but an example where, let’s see what he can do here back to back nights, you know, we we pitched him on Friday. We were trailing in that game. So that wasn’t the same deal. But can he can he do this and it started out really shaky. But he did settle in a little bit. And like I said, if Matteo makes the play, he at least they get out of it. So you know, I thought that was interesting. Again, lots for Fujinami to prove, you know, and even if he had pitched well, in that spot, it doesn’t mean that it’s a slam dunk in the positive direction either. But I thought that was an interesting to me, that was kind of an interesting checkpoint over the course of the weekend, that they put him in that spot, because again, I would have gone with Mike Bauman and that spot, but then Mike Bauman wouldn’t have been available, I guess, to throw two and two thirds on Sunday, the way that he did, which

Nestor Aparicio  32:42

was unusual keynote coming in, in the seventh to write I mean, Keynote came in early, I thought I was going to pitch the eighth he didn’t. Yeah, then all hell broke loose. And you know, that’s what you’re trying to avoid over the next two months. And there’s no worse place to do it than at the trop against the apple, right. They are the primary team in front of you, oh, you know, wins, two wins and losses, two losses, the whole deal, that they put him in that leverage in that spot that quickly. And I know he pitched earlier. He’s not first off the plane. He had been here a couple days. But that was curious. It was curious. And it also spoke to me that would validate all 40 minutes in this conversation, which is they probably need more bullpen help, right? I mean, that’s where we’re sitting, you’re talking about, you know, this is where you’re going. And you’re throwing darts. And it works or doesn’t work or bad defense got in the way, which is unusual. But they had a lot of that going on for one day at least, kicking the ball around a little bit wild pitches. I mean, just crazy stuff. But they need help in the bullpen, I guess. And this is going to be a week where that’s what job number one other than beating the Phillies job number two is going to be what’s in the market evaluating that. And it’s very, very complex as it is every year. We’re just not in it late last let me read it like this was Andrew Miller, right? I mean, it’s a long time. But decade ago that we last time we were really in it, where we had to give to get and we have so we can give. But then the question is what do we get? And, you know, I trust allies implicitly in this case. And again, I go back to if they don’t do anything, I’m not going to be the one complaining and saying they’ve lost the pennant by not making a trade.

Luke Jones  34:22

Yeah, and this is where and I said this to you when we were talking about Otani. This is where you look at it analytically speaking. And yes, there are examples where a trade deadline deal has been a major difference maker, but for everyone where you look at that, you’ll find plenty, and I mean, plenty and I’m talking even All Star caliber players that are dealt, you’ll find plenty that you look at it and see how it plays out and say wow, that didn’t really work out the way they thought it did. Or even if that player is really good, they still lose it in the divisional round or they still lose in the LCS because I mean it really I mean, it’s it’s baseball. Yeah, I don’t need to tell you this. I mean, the best team does not always win the World Series. You know, quite often that does not happen. You know, we talk about this a lot with football, you know, it’s the same thing, the one sport and, you know, I’ll put hockey aside because that’s a, that’s not my wheelhouse in terms of knowledge. But the one sport, you know, the one major team sport in this country that the best team typically does when is basketball because seven game series where you’re talking about the sport like that, almost always the best team wins, you know, and this year was a strange, you know, exception with the Miami Heat. But, you know, making it to the finals, but football, how many times we see wildcards I mean, look no further than the Baltimore Ravens, being a wild card and winning the Super Bowl in 2000. And now, I mean, it’s baseball, same thing. We just we talked about this at the conclusion of the Dodgers series. I mean, the Dodgers have been from a regular seasons standpoint, best team in baseball for going on close to a decade, now you’ll go look at some of their regular season success, won World Series title, and it was the weird COVID years. So it speaks to the best team doesn’t always win. So that doesn’t mean you don’t make a deal. Mind you, I want to be very clear about that. But you have to you consider all these factors as far as what you’re going to give up. You know what consequence that could be in terms of next year, two years, three years, four years from now, because it still matters, you know, you don’t want to go all in for one year and compromise what you can do in the future. But at the same time, you also don’t know for sure if you’re going to be in this position next year, two years from now, three years from now. So you’re trying to balance all those factors and see, is there a deal for us that we can give up? We’re gonna have to give up something right here. We’re not going to just be able to trade Jorge Mateo, for example. But give up something to go get something that we think can really improve our chances. And like I said, that’s where, you know, if I’m looking at it more on the margins, looking at it in a less conventional way, it’s where I keep looking at bullpen help where okay, you’re not gonna get that starter that can go seven innings in a playoff game, which very few stars even aces hardly ever goes seven innings in a playoff game in this day and age. I mean, it’s just the way it is. For me. Can you shorten the the game on the back end of the bullpen? Can you make it a sixth inning game you know can you make get a game of On some nights five and a third and you turn the ball over to some bullpen arm that they acquire over the next week and then Cano after that and then Batista after that? I mean, you know that that’s the other way of looking at it. You know, look at the Orioles of 2014 I mean, that was a team that got to the ALCS dominating starting rotation. You know, Chris Chris Tillman was good. You know, Miguel Gonzalez was good way in Chad was good. These were great. bonafide, number one, number two starting pitchers for some of the best rotations around the league. They had a rotation that was good enough, and then they had a really good bullpen that became great when they added Andrew Miller to the mix. So I think for me, that’s still if you’re going to ask me how I think this is going to go if they’re going to make a move. I think it’s going to be something along those lines and that doesn’t mean we’ll get Josh Hader necessarily, but I think they’re going to try to see if they can land an impact bullpen arm that can just shorten the game even more. Especially when you start talking about getting to the big fellas at the back.

Nestor Aparicio  38:20

Well you mentioned you know, the wildcard ravens anybody wants copies of Purple Rain one purple rain to free the bird shirts get nasty shirts, old school stuff we’re giving it all the way to their 25th anniversary next Thursday, August 3 We’ll see a cost this will be a cost us from 11 to four maybe a little later and then on a Friday we’ll be drugged city down in Dundalk Johnny Oh is gonna be with I have so many guests I’m gonna give give the whole roll call to the the guests a little later on. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at window nation 866 90 nation you buy two you get two free two years 0% financing. We’re taking the Maryland crab cake tour on the road all August and into September celebrating 25 years watching baseball waiting on the trading deadline and watching the birds take on the Phillies this week. You can find a look at Baltimore look at on the Instagrams and the social medias and Twitter and Facebook as well as myself getting back from the beach to Baltimore we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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