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rutschman 1

Luke Jones and Nestor discuss this loaded Baltimore Orioles roster of pure hitters. A deep dive into some numbers and the depth of an offense that hitting on all cylinders this summer.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

year, week, mullins, henderson, hit, team, runs, pappas, talking, play, shortstop, sunday, day, cedric, speaks, costas, machado, coco, good, walks

SPEAKERS

Luke Jones, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are W n s t, Towson Baltimore. Baltimore positive.com. We are. We’re out doing our thing here this week, man. We’ve got football in progress with like a real mini camp happening this week. Orioles come home. They’re going to be playing the Braves all week and then of course the Phillies over the weekend. We got Fleet Week and in this week, we will be giving away the scratch off so the Maryland lottery the Pac Man remaining as well as some lucky sevens. We will be a Coco’s I’m wearing my Coco’s see I was. Luke was established in 1983. My kid was established in 1984. And Coco’s pub was established in 1985 and will be there on Wednesday. My co host with a que receive will be there with us Max Weiss from Baltimore magazine. She just wants some awards. She better not be pooping on my royal farms, Western fries. That’s the only thing we’re not going to let her do. I’m going to have a I might make her eat some rural farms Western fries right here, Coco’s on just just to talk through. What she doesn’t know what’s good is what my mother would tell her but she’s not from around here. Also on Wednesday, Damien O’Doherty who is Moran here. He’s west side. Now he’ll be with us. Over Coco’s Friday. We’re going to be down for Fleet Week at Cooper’s Tavern on the we would say on the square and fellas point off the square and fellas pulling on the cobblestone across in the pantry. They’re also doing crabcake contest bands, music booths, and flying over above ships here. They’re everywhere. It’s Fleet Week, Maryland Fleet Week, we’ll hear from Chris Rosen, as well as Dorothy Fuchs. My friend Patrick Russell from Cooper’s as well as Terry Beck. We were up at Cooper’s North last week. We had Thomas Dolby with us for breakfast over at State Fair. Had a great morning, man. I mean, don’t be nice at breakfast for an hour and that did radio for an hour and then I hung out with Howard talking old the rock and roll and the hockey so all that’s going to air this week. That was from say, Fair last week, Coco’s this week on Wednesday, Friday. We’re at Cooper’s downtown next week. We’re Costas and I was trying to talk Mr. Costas into coming on next week. He keeps ducking me amazed. He’s like a prizefighter just duck in me, but I’ll be there next Thursday. The Orioles will not be ducking the Yankees next Thursday in the third game of a three game set will be there from one until four on Thursday, Jessica phallus who just did our brand new website Marfa designs is going to be our guest on Thursday amongst others. And then on the 25th. Tuesday, the 25th will be at Pappas in Parkville. And I am stacking up guests for that one because I’m going to enjoy that by the way. Pappas. Look, people ask like do all of us do my crab cakes, sponsors they know each other? In some cases they do. And some cases they don’t. But the one thing you know, because having met all of them, you’ve been to Coco’s you’ve been to families. They all kind of get along and are in the same business. I went to Costas on Sunday to watch the the Adley rutschman show. And and the Grayson Rodriguez show, I might want to point that out as well. And we got these giant crabs and it had some corn on the cob. And I’m there and Mr. Costas comes up. He always wants to buy me beer, and I’m driving my wife Cindy cast, no beer for me. He always said he wants to give us desserts and they have this great dessert. They call it let your booty grow. And, you know, but it’s good luck. I don’t know how to say it. But Mr. Costas came up and he says, Hey, I am playing in a golf tournament tomorrow for purpose. And I’m like, you know people think that the Pappas people in the Costas people can’t get along. And it’s kind of like when I got a Tomlin on stage with with hardball and Billy, we can all play it. It’s like the wrestlers, you know, so every once in a while, there’ll be an old picture of Andre the Giant drinking with the bad guys at a bar somewhere. We all try to get along. You’re so big love to the Pappas folks for their golf tournament, which is happening as I look out the window here today on a glorious glorious spring day, scheduled to be 75 and perfectly sunny for the Pappas golf tournament. So they’re, I think I plugged everybody. Luke, how are you? I’m feeling good, right? I mean, we got practice with most of the players being healthy and the Ravens organization we’ve got the Orioles taking on top notch competition with the Braves and the Phillies coming down and really hitting the ball well and they’re just playing great baseball. I don’t know what else to say we can worry about this and worry about that and whatever is going to come along but not too much to complain about in the land of pleasant living when you’re in eaten pit beef, eating crabs, getting silver Queen corn, you know a completely perfectly ripe and then finishing it off with a snowball the beer is cold in Baltimore, Maryland, Luke Jones.

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Luke Jones  04:46

No doubt about it. And Sunday finish it offered the Adley rutschman Grand Slam. I mean, look, we’ve talked about this a lot and going back a couple weeks ago. They’re swept by St. Louis, you know, my grumpy old man rant about the street ends and all that stuff aside, you saw how they responded after that they play a good baseball Toronto series they win the first two, they lose the last two disappointing. Missed opportunity to take a series from the Blue Jays how do they respond? Respond, they go down the St. Petersburg and again this weird series with this Monday night finale, but they take care of business and they hit the ball and they really hit the ball in the late innings in a couple of these games to make a close game not so close as they did on Saturday and Sunday, Friday night, what they hit three home runs, you know, backing up call Ervin in the bullpen was really good behind him. I mean, what the answer relative issues we’ve talked about that and we’ll continue to talk about the pitching and the bullpen, and do they need another starter? And what’s going on with Cedric Mullins and his Mullins gonna stay in the majors? Are they going to option him? What are they going to do? You know, Jorge Mateo, Jackson, holiday, all the different issues that we talked about with this team, we need to continue to remind ourselves, they are all very relative. And it’s the kind of issues that other teams around baseball envy, that they would say, Oh, those are your issues. That doesn’t sound too bad. So a really good weekend for the Orioles offensively was great to see Anthony Santander swing the bat, the way he has on this road trip is hits another home run and he’s finishing up a nice stretch for him after, you know, he’s kind of been the one we haven’t talked about as much in the outfield, but certainly wasn’t having the best start to his season and still isn’t overall, but has certainly been heating up of late. Even Cedric Marlins got two hits on Sunday. I’m not gonna sit here and say that that’s what fixes him. But it was good to see. But by and large, I mean, over the weekend, they they swung the bats, and like I said, they really swung the bats late, which tends to be the MO for this team. But I don’t know Nestor, you know, I’ve mentioned Adley rutschman. And we’ve talked a lot about him, not drawing walks anymore. And we spent a whole segment at phaleas, a couple of weeks ago talking about the Orioles, lack of walks as a team and I said how much of that was driven by Adley rutschman. But at the Russians baton over 300 and a slugging or 90, you know, in as we’re getting into the middle of June, he’s doing something right. This isn’t something where he just forgot how to walk. This is something very deliberate from a strategic standpoint, from an approach standpoint. And it’s very difficult to argue with the results. And let’s be clear, I’m sure le rutschman will have some periods of time between now and the end of the season or next year or the year beyond control walks and hope he can still do that. I don’t think he forgot how to do that. I think this is something that was identified with him and the hidden coaches and the analysts and the organization to say, Hey, be more aggressive in these certain spots. And lo and behold, he’s doing that. And it’s difficult to argue with the results, especially on the heels of a three hit day, a six RBI performance capped off with a grand slam in the eighth inning on Sunday.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:01

I’m gonna go old guy on you for a minute here, just through my history of watching elite players like really good players, that the reason they’re elite, and they’re awesome. Is they made it not an adjustment or to adjustments or go look at Cal Ripken batting stances over 20 years. Right. You know what I mean? Like, you know, so this is where I start to GIS and I bring it in, but you know, a Robin Yount a Paul Molitor. BJ surhoff, I’ll throw him in there because it gives you three brewers of that era, that we’re all really special players. They moved positions, they move batting stances, they move places in the order, but go look at the back of their baseball cards. And in the case of stir off, it’s probably unfair because he’s not a Hall of Famer. But he’s a hall of consistency. You know, whatever he was, he stayed and remained and never regressed from and I bring him up as a one one and I guess I just threw him in because the other brewers are Hall of Famers. But I think about adjustments that players can make. Whether it’s Machado saying, Are you a shortstop, third baseman, I don’t know, but you’re a ballplayer and we’ll figure out a place to play you. Whether you’re Dale Murphy, you come up a catcher, we’ll make you an outfielder Gary Carter, you know, like any of those kinds of players. The reason you have 1012 1416 years in the big leagues is that not only you’re you have a growth mindset, with a glove, and what you can do, running the bases or not, if you can singleton you know your station station, you realize what you want, but maybe you’re a bunt or maybe you hid behind, but maybe you find some other way to stick around. But these guys that are really special and I guess I would use Downton Molitor and I use syrup because he was one one special special guys, once they get to this level and this speaks to Jackson holiday and whatever he’s going to be is you always feel like especially if you sigma dial and you think like that, or Mike Elias, and you know, you’re a Ivy League guy, and you brought these guys in to do what you couldn’t do, because he couldn’t pitch at that level, he would admit that, but, but he, he knows how to grow baseball players, they’re going to make adjustments, and they’re going to get better. And whatever you tell a guy like rutschman to do, he’s so special to begin with, that if he can take it to heart, and the science of it makes sense. And you get it to make sense to him, that they can go into a cage, get their feelings hurt a little bit in the winter, and maybe come back out and be something a little different, a little better. And that speaks to what they think holiday is going to be and where they believe Gunnar Henderson is going. And I guess all of this, Luke to bring it back to the team is I looked down on the stats, and I I see six guys at the top of the order slug and 500. It’s like, they have weapons. And if it’s not today’s day for Ryan mountcastle. It’ll be tomorrow’s for Westberg. And that’s what’s so good about them is that, yes, rutschman stay the other day. And by the end of the weekend or so it’ll hit two or three more. And you know, Santander feels like he caught a little something over the weekend. Although I’d like to see the average up for a couple of these guys just added the old guy way of me, wherever that’s on base percentage walks, moving counts, but just putting the ball in play and getting hits getting on base seeing more of that at a 300 clip and a 200 clip. Just in a general sense. I don’t like guys hitting 227 in general. I don’t think that’s sustainable. But it in this lineup where everybody else is doing something else. It’s a really special group of players, man, I mean all the way through. But rutschman Everyday you want to talk about Henderson everyday, you’re feeling good about Westberg every day, we’re moving for Couser. By the way, the moves were moving at Costas, as he rolled into third base lot of triples to one Sunday. This team’s just incredible. It really is.

Luke Jones  11:53

It really is. And I’ll continue to remind and I look at the overall run scoring environment and Major League Baseball, offense is way down. And you know what your point about the batting average is fine. You know, I’ll though I, I’m the type that I’m going to evaluate the whole picture batting average on base percentage slugging percentage. And when you look at this team, I saw a stat the other day, I’m just I’m not going to. I’m not going to bore you with going through all of it. But it was it broke down the teams by the number of hitters that they have talking about qualified hitters enough plate appearances, obviously, with an RPS of over 750, you know, so that’s on base plus slugging percentage over 750. There’s one team in Major League Baseball who has six guys that fit that description. The Baltimore Orioles. Now this was as of a couple of days ago, it may have been tweaked a little bit here and there. There’s one team that has five guys with an LPS of 750. Right. That’s the Dodgers. Yankees, Houston, San Diego have four guys, the rest of baseball, there’s there are four teams that don’t have anyone with a 750 opio. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:00

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let’s go back to the 2018 1920 2122. How many Mullins that one year, you know, like, but how many of our guys one or two in every lineup? Maybe some years?

Luke Jones  13:18

But yes, but the point is with that, in 2019 Go look at home runs and offense around baseball. I mean, guys, we’re hitting everywhere, except in Baltimore, except for a couple guys. You know, tre man Seanie and a couple others that you’ve since forgotten, but again, offense is so bad. I looked at the number the other day. The league average as of I think it was Friday, the league average Oh, PS, which anyone who follows o PS. You know, I’ve kind of viewed an 800 Oh, PS is kind of the you know, not knowing what offense is like around baseball. That’s kind of the benchmark for a that’s a good two really good hitter. You get into 900 and 1000. And then you’re talking about Gunnar Henderson wants Soto Aaron judge kind of guys, right. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:05

the way to judge numbers this month. Oh, crazy. Crazy. Exactly. I

Luke Jones  14:10

mean, gunners doing what he’s doing. And now judges separated a little bit as far as the homerun lead. But the league average Oh, PS as of a few days ago, Nestor was 699. It’s under 700. So the reason I point that out, it’s not the boy bore people who aren’t as statistically minded. It’s to just point out that what the Orioles are doing relative to the rest of the league offensively, it makes their offense look even better. And that’s my point. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Cedric Mullins, major struggles, you know, two hits aside on Sunday, you know, there’s been lots of talk of whether they’re gonna use a minor league option on him or not, I mean, the fact that we’re discussing that even speaks to how much he struggled and, you know, you mentioned Santander, we’ve talked about Austin Hays. But when you

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Nestor J. Aparicio  14:58

capture had a run at since the beginning of the year. I mean, he you know, like, since the first three weeks, these last five or six weeks, he’s a sub two. He’s a sub Mundo here,

Luke Jones  15:10

here, what’s here’s what is really complicated about him. And you’re right. I mean, the average since about the final week of April, it’s been rough one, he draws walks. So that helps his overall up his overall value in the same way. We talked about gunner Henderson, the first two months last year, remember, gunner was hitting second week of May go back and look, he was hitting like 175 180. But he was walking a ton. So while he’s figuring that out, he’s still bringing some value to your lineup. So counselors doing that. The other thing, and this is where Statcast and all the batted ball data that we now have the benefit of, instead of just anecdotally saying, Oh, he’s hit into a lot of tough luck. And if you watch the games, he’s hitting the ball hard, but he’s hitting it right at people. And we, we always said that at various times about hitters in the past, you know, if you actually watch the games, you would see all your Cal Ripken ‘s hitting into some tough luck, the last couple of weeks, he squared up a number of balls and went right to the shortstop or right to the left field or whatever. If you look at counters, batted ball profile, really continued to hit the ball hard. He said in some tough luck. Now that’s not, I’m not saying that to completely absolve him, he still has a little more swing and miss to his game than you would like, ideally speaking. But the point is with that, I’m telling you, I’m not as worried about him. When you look at his average exit below and the number of times he’s barreling up the ball and all those different things you can look at, which I’m not saying is the end all be all, but it peels back some layers. And it tells you how a player swinging the bat compared to Cedric Mullins who’s not getting results. And he’s not hitting the ball hard. Even so, you know, aside from a couple times, look, I’m hoping with Mullins, yeah, had two hits on Sunday. Maybe that’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:52

the star squared, a couple balls up over the weekend as well, we get to right off the bat at bats that we’re like, man, you know, I can’t buy a hit, you know, right. So so but but you’re,

Luke Jones  17:03

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if you’re look, it’s one thing for fans, just to look at the stat page, you know, the stat sheet, or the box score, it’s one thing for media to look at that. But if you’re the evaluators in the organization, if you’re the coaching staff, if you’re Brandon Hyde, if you’re Mike Elias, and you’re trying to figure this out, because hey, Jorge Mateo is going to be coming off the concussion list here shortly, you know, what are you going to do? Are you going to send Norby back down? Or, as some people have at least asked, Is Cedric Mullins in jeopardy in terms of being sent to Norfolk? I don’t know. You know, I’m not going to sit here and say that he should be, but I mean, you got to perform. And it’s really been a massive struggle for him for about two months now. You know, we had that stretch in mid April, that looked really good, hit that walk off. And since then, look at the numbers, it’s been really ugly. He’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:48

also a guy that could go down to Norfolk for three weeks and hit three a shore and come back up when Couser turns an ankle in early August. And, and performing you know, I mean, I’m not bad. It’s over the hill, or a guy that you know, a guy that’s a one hit wonder who’s only you know, and and they also tall guy, you know, who knows other skills as well. So, you know, I mean, I think half I mean, I, you know, I tweeted out over the weekend, I’m like, it’s tough to watch him struggle, because people have such fondness for him.

Luke Jones  18:16

They do, no doubt about it. And, again, I’ll continue to use this example, Jorge Mateo, at this time, last year, you know, had really started started to fall off. And by August, everyone was asking, why is this guy still on the roster? And the answer at that point, one, he was out of options, so you didn’t want to lose him. But the point with him was, okay, he’s not hitting but fast to pinch running option for you late in games, and he can defend and he can defend at shortstop. And if something happens to Gunnar Henderson, and that changes the equation. A year later, Matteo is performed at a much higher level, right? I mean, he’s, he has at least solidified his standing as a utility guy for them moving forward. I mean, I think that that much is pretty evident with considering his skill set, which now he’s added playing really good defense at second base to what he could already do. My point with talking about Matteo is exactly what you just said, you do have minor league options with Mullins, if the organization deems it valuable or useful for him to go down to Norfolk in a lower pressure environment and work some things out if there’s something very specific, they want to work out with his swing, then they’ll do that. I think they would do that. However, he does give you great defense in centerfield. He is a speed option for you off the bench, and will also point out, it’s not as though the rest of their outfielders have played so great, collectively, that Mullins has been the worst there’s no disputing that, but it’s not as though they have three other guys that are playing at all star levels in the outfield where then Okay, send them down. Now, they might decide to send them down or they might have said Hey, son, Day Two hits, see how he plays, you know, see how this goes the next couple of weeks, Matteo coming back is kind of Norby gonna play all that much, you know, do you really need both those guys? Or is that kind of a redundant scenario there? So, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean, I think they were, what was interesting to me was Matteo plays, or not Matteo Molins, plays three straight days, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, he had played Wednesday in Toronto, so he played four out of five games going into this Monday night finale, I found that in and of itself to be interesting, from the standpoint of was that perhaps them looking at this and saying, all right, we’re gonna give Cedric a legit chance here to try to bust out of this, with the thought being that maybe they are considering sending them down. So and, you know, to two hits on Sunday change their decision there. I don’t know, again, you look at all of it. And it’s been a struggle. That’s why I said his struggles compared to kowsar, you know, having a stretch where he’s been sub 200, but still hitting the ball extremely hard and still drawing walks. You know, it’s been, it’s been a massive struggle for Molins. But, you know, how do you feel about your other options in centerfield? Okay. Couser can play centerfield who’s going to be the backup, you know, you have to consider that. What about your speed off the bench? What about your defense in the app in all three outfield spots? So, you know, I’m not saying this to to be, you know, a ringing endorsement for Cedric Mullins. But you do have to weigh all these things. And, again, there’s also the human element here of will it be something that he responds favorably to, or knowing him as a human being and trying to? Because the end goal is to get him straightened out, right? I mean, fans and media, we talk about guys in terms of struggles, and sometimes it’s almost like it becomes you want to punish the guy. This is not

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:49

a punitive action. Fan at race, and one eight, he’s not going to make it go. Yeah. And we have other bodies around here. Don’t make us don’t put us in a bad spot. And I would think, for you to say that they played him over the weekend, to kind of say in or out. I thought, I don’t know, at this point. I mean, yeah, and I

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Luke Jones  22:10

don’t know that for sure. But it just felt a little bit different. Because we’ve seen Mullins playing time decline the last few weeks, I think we’ve all seen that. Now, I will also point out set hours left Saturday’s game with a sore wrist. You know, it doesn’t sound like it’s serious. But he wasn’t in the lineup Sunday. And we know he’s got plunked at the end of the Toronto series in the ribs. And he was sore and missed a couple, you know, hasn’t played a whole lot since this nasty to that. Yeah, yeah. So so the point with that is, perhaps it’s just circumstantial, that he played as much as he did over the last four or five days. But well, then they’re glad they haven’t when guys get hurt. And that’s where you look at this. And look, I mean, another point to what you just said, yeah, they’re trying to win games. And yes, it’s a performance based business. I mean, you have to perform. We’ve seen that I mean, Cedric Mullins got sent down five years ago, all the way down to double way after he had made his debut in the majors. So it’s not as though they’re, you know, that they are opposed to doing this. But there’s also the flip side of how do we unlock this? How do we get him on track? Is it sending them down? Is it giving them fewer starts in the majors, and he’s taken early BP, which, by the way, he’s been taking early BP for weeks. I mean, this isn’t a case of him not working hard, I can tell you that much. You know, whatever. The disconnect is, in terms of him not performing, like he’s capable of performing in the past is not a through a lack of effort. You know, I can, I can assure you of that. But what’s best for him? What is going to get him on track? Is it possible that sending him to a less, you know, a lower pressure environment like triple A for a few weeks to reset clear his head? Not have cameras and, and, you know, eyes on him every single night in the same way that you do in the major leagues? I don’t know. You know, and, and perhaps, I mean, as someone’s listening to our conversation, maybe the Orioles make a move, or maybe they decide to stick with him and continues to be a case where he platoons and isn’t played every day, but continues to work behind the scenes at the major league hitting coaches and, and maybe bust out of it. So it’s a tough, it’s a tough proposition, because what exactly do you do? And, you know, buckshaw, Walter used to always talk about this. This wasn’t, he wasn’t the only one who had this idea. But there’s always that idea with someone that is struggling, and they’re playing time starts to diminish where they say, Well, I’d play better if you play me more, but what does the manager or the head coach gonna say? Well, I play you more if you were playing better. So, you know, how do you how do you get that aligned? You know, how do you get him in a position to try to get him going? And you know, that’s what’s tough. I mean, they’re trying to figure it out. We’re talking about a former all star here, a former Silver Slugger, 3030 guy and I get it, it was three years ago. I’m not saying that gives them a pass. The point is, you’re trying to figure out how to get him right. You’re not trying to punish him or embarrass him or send them down to AAA because you’re mad at them. But at the same time, you have a duty an obligation to the rest of this team. in their organization, the fan base that you need to put your best foot forward and Cedric Mullins knows that in the same way that Austin Hays understood it earlier in the year when he was benched and basically lost his starting job to Colton Couser, which he still hasn’t gotten it back, even with him coming back off the I O and being better since then. So you know, there’s a lot that was the worst part

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:19

for me with Hayes taking it on the ribs is that like, you could almost feel this hurts, but you almost feel like, damn, I just got going, you know what I mean? Like I just and this, this isn’t he knew the next week was going to be a struggle to pick up a bat. Because of where he got hit. I think everybody on the on the bench knew that at the moment, you know, that he was at first base and Brian evil comes out. I’m like, oh, man, you know, we just just got going.

Luke Jones  25:46

Yeah. And, and in fairness, he had an at bat on Saturday, and he got hit even so you know, hopefully, he’s fine. And then a position where, you know, he won’t miss much time. But that that was also something I wanted to at least throw out there as we’re talking about Mullins and what’s going to happen here. I mean, again, to hit day on Sunday, it’s great to see. I mean, his triple, you know that that came in a big time. You know, what, when they were kind of looking at it, you know, it was a close game at that point. So that was good to see, you know, no doubt about it. At the same time, when you’re you don’t want to overreact to struggles. But you also don’t want to overreact to it was a couple hits, you know, let’s see what it should be.

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:25

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You don’t want to look up and see him going one one for 18 this week against the Braves in the Phillies, because you gave him five stars. Yeah,

Luke Jones  26:32

exactly. So I mean, you know, we’re gonna see how it plays out. I mean, it’s, you know, they’re looking. And that’s where I, you know, for Santander to come alive here hit what four home runs on the road trip, you know, to this point, good to see, you know, we’ve talked about it with Couser, even if the contact has continued to be good, you know, and indicates that more success is coming. You know, he hasn’t gotten the results. You know, we’ve talked about Hayes, we’ve certainly talked at length about Mullins, you know, Kyle sours is the guy that, you know, I’d still like to see him get a few more opportunities. But at the same time, if you’re Brandon Hyde, you’re trying to get your veteran guys going that have a track record. It is a balancing act here. And I understand that and look at for every lineup, Brandon heights gonna write out at this point in time with the number of talented players they have on the 26 man roster, let alone talking about anyone at Norfolk, someone’s gonna complain about something and I get that I mean, that’s baseball. That’s the discourse on a daily basis of baseball, that’s fine. I’m not, I’m not criticizing that. But it just speaks to, again, this is a good problem to have. But you are trying to figure this out in terms of optimizing your chances to win on a nightly basis, but also thinking in the big picture in terms of how do I get this guy going, you know, I don’t want Mullins to you know, if he’s gonna be in the Major League on the major league roster. I don’t want him to sit seven straight days. I mean, is that really going to be conducive to him breaking out at the same time? I can’t start them seven straight days if he’s not producing so. Oh, yeah, there is. There is a challenger. That’s why it’s so valuable to have Gunnar Henderson with 20 home runs Adley rutschman, slugging 490, Jordan Westbrook who scuffled a little bit in that Toronto series snapping out and breaking out and having a good Tampa Bay series. Sanders again, has 30 home runs at the All Star break looks that way. Right? I mean, at this point, I mean, it’s it’s amazing. And I saw the factoid over the over the weekend talking about, you know, with his age, being a leadoff hitter, and what was the I can’t remember what it was kind of an arbitrary thing, but he was the first time it made your first time in Major League Baseball, someone has done all of those things in the same year. And it just speaks to it’s also mid June. And he already has done that. I mean, it speaks to how impressive this kid is. I like I said, I think it was a 22 year old shortstop leadoff hitter, and I can’t remember what but point is it something that hasn’t been done? And for him? I can’t I was talking to someone over the it was actually during ravens mini camp last week or OTAs. Last week talking to someone else who obviously follows the Orioles. And they said the same thing that I did. I constantly find myself completely forgetting that gunner Henderson’s 22 years old. I mean, because he is that great. I mean, it’s, it really is remarkable. And I think back to how we thought about Manny Machado at age 22, and the Prodigy that we viewed him as regardless of you know, the, you know, sometimes being a hothead or not running it out the first place, just the pure talent, right just the ability I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:36

waiting for Henderson to act like a chump to act like a young guy. I mean, Machado act still acts like a chump. You know what I mean? Like I’m waiting I’m waiting for that immaturity to show up in some optical way for me from afar from the bench from here body language this that postgame press conferences, eating pizza after the game Whatever it is, I don’t see it from afar, you know, right.

Luke Jones  30:04

I mean, the only the only thing I would say that ever at this point reminds me that he is really young. Every once in a while is like he plays really good defense at shortstop, really good, especially for a guy his size. I mean, he’s Cal Ripken with more athleticism, you know, in terms of how big he is, and but he can just move way better than cow ever did. Book, cows a Hall of Famer, I’m not disparaging him. I’m complimenting Anderson. But the one thing that he does every now and then he’ll try to make a superhero kind of play defensively and throw the ball away. But for every time he does that, how many times does he do something where you just he wowed you defensively. So he got to take a little bit of that. But that’s about the only example. But you know, just to go back to my point I was putting aside anything Machado in terms of what you were just mentioning, but I think of Manny as a 22 year old and now I see what Gunnar Henderson’s done as a 22 year old. And I say this as a compliment to him because Manny Machado, you know, health concerns are starting to pick up on him more frequently here the last couple years. But go look at his numbers. I mean, if Manny performs for another five, six years, at a high level, relatively high level, he’s gonna be a Hall of Famer, you know, he’s in that he’s in that conversation. Certainly. So for Gunnar Henderson to do what he’s done at age 22. And to kind of look at him right now. And dare I say, and again, I don’t say this lightly. You know, me, Nestor. I’m not a hot take artist or anything. But to look at him, and to feel like he has a higher ceiling than I thought Machado did at age 22. My goodness, I mean, that’s just ridiculous. Because I thought Machado had an incredibly, incredibly high ceiling at age 22. So, I mean, it’s just, it’s fun to watch, you know, he’s going to be an all star. Example.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  31:54

Let’s, let’s give an example your Machado and 21 had 28 home runs, hit 278 106 RBIs 22. He had 32 home runs 102 RBIs. Hit 298 2330 home runs 91 RBIs he 258. So a little bit, you know consistency. And there’s just gonna have 33 All Star break, dude. What what?

Luke Jones  32:20

But you’re you’re also comparing apples to oranges. You’re talking about Machado in his late 20s into his early 30s. Think about what Henderson is at age 22. Compared to what Manny Machado was in 2013 or 2013 1415. This year, he’s 31. Right now you’re right. Yes. Yep. So but that’s my point. That’s my point. When you look at what and look Manny Machado go look at how many doubles he hit in 2013. I mean, crazy. You know, he was an all star his first 51 doubles. Yeah, yeah. But But you look at this. And again, I don’t say this even now because you tend to be a president a prisoner of the moment. And recency bias really plays in big time when you’re comparing players like this. But to even suggest that Gunnar Henderson it feels like Gunnar Henderson has a higher ceiling than Machado did as a 22 year old just speaks to how special of a talent he really is. Because as I said, Manny Machado has a chance to be a Hall of Famer, you know, at this point where he is right now if he can stay healthy and produce for another five years, let’s say. So, I mean, that’s just it’s silly. It’s ridiculous what he’s able to do. And, you know, that’s why I said even with some of the, you know, when you talk about Mullins or Hayes or other guys that are scuffling, and you know, not performing to the level that they’re capable when you have Gunnar Henderson and Adley rutschman at the top of the lineup in the same way that the Yankees same thing with Aaron judge and Juan Soto Soto was banged up over the weekend and their offense scuffled a little bit you know, until Sunday anyway, so, you know, it just speaks to Newsflash, MVP caliber players are really, really, really valuable. Shocking, I know, but just speaks to what these guys are doing and just how impressive it really is.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:03

Because you’re in the real media, and I’m not I’m assuming you get a vote for the MVP of the team and whatever. It’s fascinating that if I had a vote, I don’t you know, right now, if half the vote today, and you have to split a hair, where do you I mean, you would say Henderson, maybe I know your Henderson guy, industry. This rutschman part, where rutschman starts to make his own case for this insane dude on the catch her on the rah rah guy um, the straw that stirs the drink on the reason the team has turned around like he would never say that. I can say that, though, on the radio. I don’t know man. watchman’s making his own case, that even in a year where Henderson is gonna hit 48 home runs or whatever, regiments making his own case for his value to say, Yeah, you’re like Tony Perez and all that. But I’m Johnny Bench, you know. Yeah.

Luke Jones  34:55

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And let me be very clear when I say it’s gunner undisputed for me. That is not to take anything away from Richmond is doing. It’s just that Gunnar Henderson right now, home runs positional value based running. Like I said, defense, all of that. He’s right now on track when you look at those numbers, and you can just look at the counting stats, right? But also in terms of war, he’s got a chance to be the Cal Ripken has the two All Time War seasons in franchise history got to understand as a chance to eclipse that. I mean, he has a chance to be an 11 Win player, which is just in sabermetric terms. I mean, that’s insane. You know, you’re talking about an all time great kind of a season there. So that’s why I say Gunnar Anderson undisputed for me any other season. Yeah. Adley rutschman. And let me while I’m while we’re talking about this conversation, Jordan Westbrook is having a extremely valuable season as well. Defense at third base or second base. What he’s done is consistency at the plate. You know, he runs the base as well, even though he’s not stolen base guy. I mean, those three guys alone without even getting into the year at the plate Ryan O’Hearn is having which is good. I’ll be it platoon, platoon kind of guy mountcastle With what he’s done, and he’s slugging just a hair under 500. He has a chance to be an all star when you kind of look at the Al landscape at first base. There aren’t a ton of great first baseman in the Al which is so strange, because I grew up in an era.

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:30

Oh, yeah. It’s wherever. It’s for everybody. Just you know, Paul, Mara was the eighth best, you know, first baseman, and yeah, yeah, right.

Luke Jones  36:38

I mean, the NFL still has some of that with Freddie Freeman. And some but but the Al, it’s like, okay, Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and then you kind of look at the rest of you say, Now castles got a he’s got an argument to be in the All Star game this year. You know, if he can be hot, stay hot the next three weeks. But the point is all those other guys. Look, they’re having really, really good year, some of them having years that are bordering on great. But what Henderson is doing, and what Adley rutschman is doing, specifically and their positions matter for what Henderson is doing at the shortstop position for you offensively, what Adley rutschman is doing as a catcher offensively, let alone what they do with their defense is just mean it’s extraordinary value. And it’s why we’re talking about a team that’s 20 games over 500 before what Flag Day, so it’s just speaks to, hey, you’re doing something right. And you’ve got some really, really special talents at the top of that lineup.

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:34

I begin to segment and I want to praise Adley rutschman And all you can do is praise everybody but him including gunner head. You know why just

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Luke Jones  37:41

praise them? He’s been on he’s been unbelievable. And keep in mind in fairness, I you know, I also stuck up for him in terms of okay, he’s not walking, but what is he doing instead of walking? He’s hitting for a lot more power. Well, that’s been it’s been amazing. It’s just gunner to me has just been this.

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:00

Flash is going to have to pay one of them, if not two, so it’ll be at least one right? Yeah, sure. Sure. All right. Luke Jones is here. We will be there at Coco’s on Wednesday. from two to five on Friday. We’re gonna be down at Cooper’s in Fells Point that’s group of stabbing your original. I’ll probably be over to launch a bend in the elbow as well. It’s Fleet Week downtown. The Phillies are in town. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery we’ll have Pac Man and Lucky Seven scratch offs to giveaway this week will be a Costas next Thursday. Pappas the following Tuesday on the 25th lots of guests lots of fun all the brought to you by our friends at Liberty pure solutions. I’m gonna be telling you more about the salt in the water and the things that they do and while water and all the cool stuff that they do to make our water potable and clean and delicious. Also our friends at rural farms, keeping the coffee in the coal roofing mug. Nice and percolated here as we get through a training camp week here, little mini mini camp happened in here this week for Luke, we got the Braves in we’ve got the Phillies in all sorts of fun fun things as summer has begun. We are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive and Adley rutschman

Luke Jones and Nestor discuss truly, Adley and deeply the rest of Orioles hitting machine roster

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