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Will Grayson Rodriguez be enough pitching for Orioles the rest of the way?


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As the trading deadline approaches, Luke Jones and Nestor wonder how and where Mike Elias will look for additional pitching now that Grayson Rodriguez is back in the rotation and a real pennant race heats up for the Baltimore Orioles.


year, teams, pitch, orioles, give, innings, rodriguez, trade deadline, pennant race, prospects, pitcher, rotation, bullpen, baseball, grayson, sign, norfolk, dodgers, week, good


Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back wn S T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive positively a great week for baseball here. A warm summer week. Make sure buddy stay cool out there as we get through this summer in this pennant race. Look, Jones joins us now we’re gonna be on Thursday talking pennant race, and the Dodgers series will be over by the time we make it back out to not stay fair, not El Guapo we’re going to be BOMA. We’re going to be at the Beaumont on the corner of Beaumont Frederick. On Thursday from two until five. We’re going to be doing our 25th anniversary two weeks from now on August 3 and fourth at drug city on the fourth, Costas on the third, lots and lots of stuff to give away on third. I’ll be telling you more and more about that. Certainly for the Orioles giving away hope. At this point. Luke spent the weekend at the ballpark after the big sweep of the Miami Marlins a little bit of trouble there late in the afternoon on Sunday when I was over Costas cracking crabs, but they made it through and made it through enough that you know, Mike Elias was on the broadcast on Friday night, as they kicked off the second half of the season talking about we’ll see Grayson Rodriguez soon. Well, I think deep down we knew that how he’s pitching down in Norfolk. But this feels like the right time right and and much like Palmer struggled in the beginning and Brooke struggle in the beginning grace and Rodriguez getting shipped out was not part of the original grand plan, was it?


Luke Jones  01:22

No, it wasn’t well, and keep in mind, part of the original plan was that he was going to make the team out of spring training. He had an uneven spring did not make the initial opening day rotation we already mentioned in our previous segment, title Bradish was the one who took the line drive off his foot and landed on the aisle for a short time in April. And that opened the door for Grayson to be recalled, ideally, because the command hadn’t been as sharp and spring training. They wanted him to work on some things. A lot of people at the time, scoffed at that notion and said, Oh, the Orioles are just manipulating service time. And you know, because baseball teams are apt to do that sometimes, not just the Orioles. But in any franchise, they wouldn’t do that it was clear. But it was clear in his 10 starts with the Orioles. And look, let’s be very clear. You look at the body of work. And you say all right, well, we had a 7.35 era allowed 13 homeruns and 45 and a third innings. He did have some good outings, you know, he had some good outings, and he had some bad outings. The problem was the bad outings were really bad. And it put them in a tough position with their bullpen at the time. So you saw the lack of fastball command got him into trouble. You know, when you throw in the high 90s, you can get away with not commanding the fastball perfectly in the minors because most of those guys can’t hit it anyway. So you can be wild within the strike zone. And you can be out out of the strike zone and guys are trying to time it up and try to guess on your fastball and they’re gonna swing and miss through it. Major Leagues, it doesn’t work that way, you have to be much more fine, you have to be much more precise. And that’s something that Grayson Rodriguez ran into trouble with. So keep in mind, he had the awful last start against the Rangers. they demoed them at the time and they said, Hey, need to go down triple A need to work on your command need to work specifically on your fastball command, go do it. You’ll be back to your point, even some of the greatest of all time even some of the greatest Oreos or elsewhere. Struggle initially, you know, it’s really difficult to do. It’s the highest level the jump from triple A to the majors is immense. So what has he done since going back down to triple A, you know, as he is back this week, and we’ll see what happens here moving forward. But a 169 era and 54 strikeouts, 15 walks over 37 And a third innings with the tides. Since being demoted, they saw everything, at least what they’re saying. Anyway, everything they wanted to see, and we’re gonna see how it plays out. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect. It doesn’t mean that he’s guaranteed to stay in the rotation.

Nestor Aparicio  03:56

But I forgot he made 10 starts if you would ask me, I would have said it was six. You know what I mean? Like without looking? It didn’t feel like he was here that long.

Luke Jones  04:05

It’s a long season, right? I mean, he was up in early April, and he was back down before Memorial Day. So I mean, that was roughly a third of the season. So you look at it and you say, well, we’re two weeks from the trade deadline roughly, you know, give a give or take a few days depending on when anyone’s listening to this and you’re trying to weigh what you can do. Certainly doing better than Cole Ervin is your number five starter that’s the immediate hope right here. Right. I mean, he wasn’t given them much in that role. If he can be a nice long man out of out of the bullpen for them then great, you know, you’ve you’ve I don’t know if it fortifies your bullpen but you at least have more length out there from someone with some experience. You’d like to

Nestor Aparicio  04:47


think you’ve upgraded the ceiling of the rotation to because yeah, this is your number one. This is your Jim Palmer. We make about all this trading deadline and this and Gibson and you know what Bradish might be and what he was on Sunday, but there This is the great hope really, I mean, if this guy doesn’t pan out, you know that that speaks to trouble for the next couple of years for them in regard to pitching, because they’ll have to go buy it at that point, right? Yeah, yeah,

Luke Jones  05:11

buy it, or you’re gonna have to go trade prospects for it, as a lot of people will have y’all are talking about them doing right now. And that’s a

Nestor Aparicio  05:17

heavier price really, when it comes down to it for this organization? Wow.

Luke Jones  05:21

Right, because you have to give up assets? And then okay, what’s the contractual control look like? I mean, is it a rental? Or is it someone that signed through next year? You know, typically, that’s what you’re looking at, in most cases. So look, on paper, I’d love to have Lucas G. Alito, for example, but what are you going to have to give up to get them? And, you know, in terms of what it takes to keep them long term, I mean, that’s those are great questions. You would much rather be able to plug JSON or JSON. Grayson Rodriguez into the rotation. And no, he’s not Lucas G. Alito. Right now. He’s not Jim Palmer right now to you using that analogy. But you’re hoping in the next couple years, he could be their best pitcher. No, and he has that kind of pedigree. This isn’t someone that the Orioles hyped internally, as we’ve seen with pitchers in the past. This is a guy that widely regarded going into 2023, consensus, top 10, prospect and all baseball. And over the last two years, the consensus, I’d say consensus, can consider the best right handed starting pitching prospect in baseball over the last couple years. We know last year took a toll on him. I think at this point. Now, with hindsight and looking at the injury, he missed three months last year with that lat strain. I don’t think it’s a case of him not being healthy earlier in the year. But I do think that time missed was that that harmed his development, some he was on such a swift path to be in in the majors last June, and he lost half a season, then I think that takes a toll on you sometimes, mentally, as much as physically. And maybe it did throw his mechanics off a little bit. But he’s done everything they could have asked since going back to North, he’s pitched well, specifically his last two full outings for the tides. He was really good. And I think at this point in time, now, you bring him back. It doesn’t mean that these next couple weeks are everything as it pertains to him and how Mike Elias proceeds with the trade deadline. But you do want to see, at the very least can this guy show like he belongs is one of their most consistent top five starters where you kind of expect him to be in the rotation the rest of the year. Now, I think it’s also worth mentioning. And this is something the Orioles haven’t talked about a lot because they’re not going to broadcast this. But we also have to keep in mind, what is what is the reality for him with his innings and his workload this year? I don’t think the Orioles are a team that look at innings limits in terms of like some kind of gospel where okay, this guy cannot dare pitch one more inning then acts for the 2023 season. However, you look at last year because he missed those three, you know, three months. So it’s hard to gauge in that way. You look at what his workload was in 2021. Yeah, no 2020 Season other than working out in buoy. So you’re trying to figure out, Okay, how many innings does he have for them the rest of the year? And I think he still has plenty, let’s be clear, but I don’t think it’s a case where there aren’t any rains whatsoever on him either. So that’s where you slot them into the fifth spot and the rotation? Might you periodically skip him a couple times here and there with off days and things of that nature. Down the stretch? Might you do what the Orioles did with Tyler wells last year, which was shortened him up, he might have some starts where you say we only want him to go 75 pitches in this outing, because we’re trying to manage this, because we want him available for September and October. So I think that’s a factor as well. But let’s be clear that he has to he has to pitch well for that to even be a factor. If he doesn’t pitch well, then it’s a moot point, right. And then you’re talking about him going back to the minors or maybe he’s in the bullpen for the rest of the year, something along those lines. And I’m not saying that’s what I expect. I’m just saying he has to pitch well for that part of the conversation to come into play. So that’s part of this. And I think that’s another factor here as Mike Elias is weighing what to do between now and the trade deadline in terms of opportunities to try to fortify this club. But let’s not misconstrue if Grayson Rodriguez comes up and pitches like he’s capable of pitching, then that’s as good of an addition as I don’t want to say any pitcher you go out and get at the trade deadline because that would be what if he


Nestor Aparicio  09:40

can give you five or six innings every night two or three runs and be good enough at this point. That’s better than whatever you’re going to buy and have to give up. Jackson holiday for it. I’m making that up but you know what I mean?

Luke Jones  09:51

Exactly. He’s free right now. Right? He can come up and he’s part of he’s already part of you. And yeah, exactly. He’s he’s free in terms of you don’t have to give up anything to get him? And yeah, he’s big in the league minimum right now. So there’s that part that I’m sure would please John Angelo’s. But the point is, he’s got the upside. And you just said it. I mean, this is such an upside play for the Orioles it was before the season even started. I love Kyle, what Kyle radish has done, I love what Tyler Wells has done. But Grayson Rodriguez from a talent standpoint, is easily the most talented pitcher they have in their organization. Now, that does not mean that that’s going to come to fruition for the rest of 2023. But as you have a couple of weeks ago with the trade deadline, and you’re weighing what you might potentially do, or what you might not do at the trade deadline, you certainly need to get him back up here and pitching, seeing how he fares not just against not just in this first start. But as moving forward here, the next few starts and you’re hoping that he made the adjustments because we saw the flashes as much as the fastball command was an issue. The secondary stuff played for the most part it did, it’s just he got into some bad counts and the pitch efficiency wasn’t there. And then, you know, he’d throw a 98 mile per hour fastball that he didn’t know exactly where it was going. And it was wild within the zone and then he get hammered. So if he’s made that adjustment, then I think he’s gotten the chance to pitch really well for them. And let’s remember as we gave him some love here because what Kyle Bradish did against the Marlins, you know what Dean Cramer did Friday night. Keep in mind how much those guys struggling Dean Kramer two years ago the way he struggled immense you know, he had a seven, er whatever it was seven something era, like Grayson Rodriguez did earlier this year. Bradish struggled the first half of last year. But we saw the Orioles. You know what those guys that go up, go down, make some adjustments. We saw patients, and then both of those individuals pitch so well for them over the final two months last year. And we’ve seen it you know, for the most part this year, Kramer a little little less consistent, but it’s just as different than when you put when you’re in a pennant race though it’s gonna be different this year for them.

Nestor Aparicio  12:01

It was the first time around when they write it. This isn’t good enough. You gotta go. Right It was But in fairness,

Luke Jones  12:06


let’s and look they weren’t. They didn’t they weren’t 20 plus games over 500. But they were in a wildcard race last year. I mean, go look at where they were at. You may, people may not have believed that they were going to make it but they were in it. They were they were playing big games last year. So you’re hoping that grace and Rodriguez fall follows a similar path to a Kyle Bradish a dean Kramer, only the difference is he has the upside to be even better than those individuals not saying that’s gonna happen this year. In fact, I bet on it not happening this year to that degree. But from a long term standpoint, yeah, this is the guy that you’re hoping is going to be your race, because that’s a heck of a lot better than having to go out and get one you know, so we’ll see how it plays out. And I think at the very least he can give them a really nice lift here down the stretch, and absolutely be in play to someone that who knows to pitch some pitch for them in October and do some really exciting things for them. By the time people

Nestor Aparicio  13:03

hear this, he’s gonna have pitching on Monday night against the Dodgers will have, you know all the results. But the big picture of the next two weeks for Elias, let’s drill down on needs and wants. And if Rodriguez is this, the next two starts, you feel differently about him. But where are the targets? Where are the starting pitching targets? Where are they? I mean, I saw somebody put out on Facebook, the kid from the Brewers who has one year left and like they’re in a pennant race, I don’t You better be dealing from the bottom of the deck. Right. And I don’t even mean the padres, right. I mean, who might be out of it. But certainly talk last week at the All Star game like they’re in it. You’re trying to identify bad teams with good pitchers, hard to do, and then trying to make it work and trying to beat other teams to it and having the prospects there. The Orioles have not been that team. They have not been that team since Andrew Miller. But a decade right since they’ve been in this position to fortify right? It’s a whole different way of looking at it, especially when you have this deep depth in the organization. And you feel like this halo of the next three to five years is going to be grand that you don’t want to give away the farm for an Andrew Miller. But where are you two weeks from now? On what would feel like a good acquisition versus a bad acquisition? I don’t mean given away mind if they deal deal Hall whatever they do, right. But I’m talking about what makes this team better. Who who is the Andrew Miller who who is the starting pitcher that’s going to come in here.

Luke Jones  14:29

Yeah, I mean, that’s what’s so tough now. Nestor I mean, I, I feel and I don’t just say this personally, I think a lot of people look at this. It’s tough to recalibrate, because now you have three wildcards in each in each league. I mean, you know, and look, you start at the top with I mean, the angels, you know, there’s so much talk, are they gonna deal Otani or not? And ownership says they don’t want to but then, I mean, they blew a game on Sunday Night Baseball that was just a backbreaker for them against the Astros. They give up what four or five runs in the ninth inning and they lose It was I mean, so you have those teams. I mean, look at the Padres. I mean, you know, Blake Snell could be available. I mean, the you’re talking about a rental. I mean, that would be. Yeah. What would someone like that make the Orioles? Rotation better? Yeah, but what are you having to give up to do

Nestor Aparicio  15:13

that? So that’s where it’s just so more than the second place. Right. I mean, you know, there’s getting right competition. And there are other teams that feel a lot more desperate to pick up a pitcher than maybe the Orioles do at this point. The Orioles don’t feel desperate to me.


Luke Jones  15:28

Yeah, I mean, I would still very much and again, I’ve said this, I’ve alluded to this for a while, but I feel you know, Sunday, kind of brought it into focus, so to speak. And, and that sounds silly saying that because you know, I’m the first guy that’s like, hey, small samples, you know, don’t don’t fall into narratives you saying

Nestor Aparicio  15:46

between my third and fourth crabbet Costas, when they blow five nothing lead. They almost lost the baseball game that that made you Mike Elias nervous that I gotta make a deal here. Were you on that?

Luke Jones  15:56

I mean, look, I’m not saying it has to be Josh hater. I don’t think it has to be Josh hater. It doesn’t have to be that reliever. But can you add another reliever where it’s someone you feel really good about pitching, high leverage for you someone that’s coming in in the seventh or eighth inning in a one run game? Someone that’s saying, Hey, you and your kiddo is not available tonight. But we have Felix Batista, we need someone to pitch the eighth inning in a one run game to get us to Batista in the night. Can you go out and get that guy and buck? I don’t know, I don’t have every team’s second or third best reliever memorized by heart.

Nestor Aparicio  16:32


Well, Josh Hader could do that.

Luke Jones  16:34

I mean, he could but again, how much you’re gonna have to give up to get someone like that. And, you know, again, a rental compared to can you get someone that has an extra year club control someone that you acquire that you also have next year? You know, to me that’s kind of that would be the ideal sweet spot for the Orioles, you know, because you’re gonna have to give up something right. I mean, you’re gonna have to give up. Joey Ortiz, you know, Connor Norby, you know, like, not their best prospects, but prospects that are in their system, you’re gonna have to give up something to get something, you know, let’s be clear about that. You’re not, you’re not just going to try to swindle someone, you love what you can. But that’s not how it generally works. So, but if you can add another bullpen arm to this to what they already have, again, I think that makes Brian Baker better. I think that makes Danny coulomb better who can truly move back into a situational lefty kind of role, which I think he’s been really good when he’s been in that role. I think it makes Mike Bauman better when he’s someone that can pitch the sixth or the seventh rather than the seventh or the eighth on any given

Nestor Aparicio  17:37

day, Andrew really.

Luke Jones  17:43

Honestly, at this point, 60 day il means look, I think means has a very reasonable chance to pitch for them this year. Now, what does that look like? Is that going to be a case where you know, and we’ve talked so much about grace? And Rodriguez, could John means be starting games for them in September? I mean, hypothetically, could he sure. Are you expecting that? I think that’s tough to expect that I think that’s tough to say, John means who hasn’t pitched competitively since Tommy John surgery back in April of last year to come in and he’s gonna pitch into pennant race. Now, I think what’s interesting, though, is could you slot him into some kind of role where maybe he does what he did for the Orioles in the beginning, which was, you know, he was kind of a to winning reliever back in 2019. Early in the year before, they kind of said, Hey, he’s one of our best starters. And then they said, Hey, he’s our best starter. So is there a role for John means potentially to do that? I think it’s possible. But again, can you count on that? No. And you’re certainly not going to have any more clarity on that before the trade deadline. So you’re kind of that’s a bonus. If anything else, that’s how I view that Givens. You know, he’s throwing in Sarasota, but Brandon Hyde, most recently over the weekend, he was asked about him and said, he’s still a few weeks away, Dylan Tate is not even playing catch right now. So I think counting on him at this point. You know, this is pure speculation. But, you know, I fear Tommy, John, more is more likely than him pitching at a high level for them to share. Again, I haven’t heard that but you read the tea leaves. He hasn’t been right since the offseason with the forearm in the elbow. So you know, CNL Perez is getting ready to come back at a really nice rehab outing a buoy, in fairness, even though he’s had a rough year he had pitched quite well his last four or five times out before having a little bit of arm soreness. So you know, can he be part of the equation? Sure. Is he the guy that I feel is fortifying them and making their bullpen great or better than it already is? You know, I tough on that. So I still think there’s a deal out there. If it makes sense. You’re not giving up your absolute best prospects to go out and add another high leverage or lever. That’s what I’d really like to see them do. I think that’s what, for me, when I look on the scale of realistic to the least realistic, I feel like that’s the most realistic move we might see my clients make. And, look, it’s much sexier to talk about a starting pitcher, right, you know, go out and get that true ace. And I’m not saying I’m opposed to that, but it’s just, you’re given up a lot for that. And you have to be careful not to acquire someone that’s masquerading as an ace, you know, you don’t want to go out and get someone that, Oh, this guy’s gonna make us so much better. And then you realize, well, maybe it’s not that much better than what we already have it.


Nestor Aparicio  20:41

Let’s throw him in. I want to talk about him. Well, yeah.

Luke Jones  20:43

Oh, that’s, that’s, that’s a tough game to bring up in these parts,

Nestor Aparicio  20:47

especially bringing in other. I mean, you’re not happy with another 35 year old trash man, that might get you five or six innings and other Sutcliffe kind of guy, right? Like, to me that doesn’t move the needle around.

Luke Jones  20:59


I’m happy with that. If you’re not giving up anything to get that guy. But if you’re giving up something real in terms of your minor league system to get that guy then yeah, I’m not. I don’t love that. So, again, that’s where I would really much more be focused on the bullpen. I think for me, that’s the balance of need. And also, what can be reasonable to go acquire that’s not going to hurt my farm system over the next few years in terms of, you know, again, I’d love to see show Otani and origin black as much as anyone in a dream world, that would be so much fun. I mean, that guy’s unbelievable. But just to rent him, what you would have to give up is just, you know, it’d be extraordinary. And that’s why I still don’t know if the angels are even gonna move them. I mean, I still think they are going to try to hold on to some hope of citing him or making a wildcard run or whatever, although it doesn’t look likely. But again, I feel like the if you’re asking me, what’s the sweet spot between maintaining your long term farm system, organizational health, and improving your odds for this October? I do think it’s bullpen help. Now, again, who are the teams that are going to sell because it’s so tough? Because you look at the standings? You know, you look at the standings as, as we’re in the middle of July, you have some teams that look like they, they should consider themselves out of it, and they’re not in terms of the wildcard standings, you know, you, you look at a team that, you know, I mean, look at, you know, I just mentioned the angels, you know, the mariners are 500, the Yankees look at the Yankees and the Red Sox at the bottom of the Al least they’ve got a pass multiple teams to get back into a wildcard spot. But in terms of games out, it’s not unrealistic. So you look at those kinds of teams and say, you know, are you gonna be a buyer? Are you gonna be a seller or are you just gonna stand pat? So it’s where it’s just it’s so tough to gauge this. And that’s, that’s part of the challenge for Mike Elias. He hasn’t been in this present position. Even last year, he was selling at the trade deadline, they, they traded Manzini, they traded Jorge Lopez. So he’s in a very unique position in which he has not been in so it’s gonna be interesting to see how it plays out. But, again, if you’re asking me what’s most likely, I feel it’s adding a bullpen arm to the picture. And because I think you can, you’re gonna have to give up something for that. You’re not going to get that for free or just for spare parts, but you’re not going to have to give up one of your very best prospects in order to land a bullpen arm that I think you can kind of slot in there into that third best reliever behind Batista and Cano.

Nestor Aparicio  23:40

He’s no John C is Baltimore. Look, you can find him at the ballpark here in the early part of the week is the LA Dodgers come to town, get out of here on a business person special on Wednesday afternoon, Birch, taking it back to the roads been a nice start to the homestand here in through through all of this to Hall and the rest of the organizational depth of pitching and how we say Bruce Zimmerman, because you know, he’s Baltimore, I like him. But what’s behind Rodriguez, what else is going on? We always look at the bats at Norfolk. Is there anything in the organization that they would look at and say, maybe in August, other than John means?

Luke Jones  24:16

Yeah, I mean, you meant I mean, John means so I think he’ll be pitching somewhere come August, but I think you know, he’s going to need some minor league rehab, but deal halls the interesting one in the sense of remember, he had the back issue over the winter, delayed him in spring training. He gets to Norfolk and the velocity was down and it’s not because there’s an arm issue, but it’s just that back issue anyone and certainly you can attest to this as someone who has had back issues and I lost my press credentials, because I had a backache. They’ll tell you whether you’re an athlete or whether you’re just you know, your everyday living I mean that can be so detrimental to anything you tried to do. But they got to the point at Norfolk where, you know, it’s velocity wasn’t great. Eat, and they just he wasn’t strong enough. They sent him to Norfolk or they sent him to Sarasota just to kind of get on a strength program now, they’ve been very quiet about that. And, you know, we’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks. You know, could DL Hall factor into their bullpen late in the year? I think it’s possible. I mean, we saw that last year, he pitched out of the pen in September and did some nice things for them last year. So, you know, you asked me a triple, you know, who had triple A I mean, look, I’m not saying that there isn’t. There aren’t a couple guys here or there that couldn’t come up and give them some decent innings here are there but is there a difference maker? You know, is there someone that’s knocking on the door loudly at AAA saying I’m ready for an opportunity to be a really serious piece to what the Orioles are doing at the major league level on the pitching side? I think that’s I think that would be ambitious.

Nestor Aparicio  25:53

You know, wasn’t that guy 90 days ago? Right? True. I


Luke Jones  25:57

mean, yeah. And you know, people were wondering in the offseason why he’s still on the 40 man roster. So you know, you never do know, I suppose, but you know, I think FTL haul we’ll see later in the year. Could he be a bullpen piece for them? You know, on the position player side I already mentioned I mean, Heston Kierstead is at triple weigh. You know, he’s been one of the great stories in the organization over the last year. I mean, you think about what happened to him after he was drafted and he has myocarditis with the heart issue and the bad hamstring issue to start spring training last year. Yeah, so he’s been through a lot, but he’s raked always done his rake this year. Could he be a factor for them later this year? Well, probably depends on the health of the roster, right. I mean, we’ve talked about that. And Cedric Mullins, you know goes down with some quad tightness over the weekend, although seems like a day to day situation and Colton cows are playing centerfield over the weekend. So you never truly know. But you know, that’s where I keep coming back to the pitching, you know, and the bullpen if you can add another bullpen piece because, yeah, there are guys a triple way. But I think we’ve seen those guys, you know, it’s been Logan glaspie. You know, we we started, we saw Edward bazaruto on on Sunday, and that did not go well. So that’s not to say that those guys won’t get another chance at some point. But you know, there isn’t that one guy that you just say, Wow, they’ve got to get him in the major leagues. Grayson Rodriguez is that guy, we’re gonna see that it you know, hopefully see how that works out with the rotation again. So we’ll see how it plays out. You never know, you know, their secret sauce to this right. I mean, in fairness,

Nestor Aparicio  27:34

allegedly added 12 to 15 innings a week by bringing Rodriguez up right that you fortified. The you know, there should be 12 to 14 innings this week. And next week, and the week after that by the end of the month, you’d say, well, he’s gonna pitch 40 More innings here, you know, at some point, and if he’s gonna do it here or do it at Norfolk, let’s have him do it here and see if he can win four out of five ballgames. Let’s see if he can give us a chance to win. Because if you do that, you wake up on July 31. Feeling differently than you did last week at the All Star break about that about the rotation?

Luke Jones  28:06

Yeah, no question about it. I mean, that’s the thing. I mean, he’s tossed at this point, you know, that going into his return and pitching against the Dodgers and everything played out there. But 86 and two thirds innings between Baltimore, Norfolk, his career high in innings, two years ago, which keep in mind, he was hurt last year. But he had 103 innings. So he’s 16 innings off of what his career high is, and professional baseball. So you know, he’s got innings, but you might have to manage it a little bit. But if you think he’s ready, if you think he’s made the adjustments that you wanted him to make back in June, you know, when you set them down on Memorial Day weekend, then by all means, bring them up and see what it looks like. And if it doesn’t look great, then we’ll send them back down. And then you’re no worse off than you were a week ago. But you want to spend

Nestor Aparicio  28:55


you then are much more desperate to make a deal if your alias. Yeah, yeah. And

Luke Jones  28:59

it’s tough. I mean, you know, it’s only a two week, we’re only gonna be talking about a few starts that he makes between now and the trade deadline. I mean, that’s how we’re only two weeks,

Nestor Aparicio  29:06

these are really important starts in that case, right? Well, they are but you don’t want to.

Luke Jones  29:12

I guess my point is you don’t want you don’t want to make too much out of it good or bad. Right. But so you


Nestor Aparicio  29:16

think if he looks good for really good for three starts, that allies would still go out to try to get a starter you think?

Luke Jones  29:23

I think you’re exploring you should you should be exploring every avenue in the same way, Eric to Costa, you know, with the Ravens. How many times have we seen the Ravens sign a player at a position where you say, like last year is perfect. You know, they they drafted Kyle Hamilton, after they had already signed Marcus Williams, it’s well, he was the best player on the board. That was that was the player he identified at that point, that moment in time and saying, That guy can make us better even if that’s not our biggest need right now. So you know, being a little wishy washy and saying that but the point is, Grayson Rodriguez is already here, hypothetical pitcher, you go out and get at the trade deadline. line. One, how much is it going to cost to get him to? Is he available? Three? Is he going to acclimate? For what kind of impact is he actually going to make for you? Because everyone loves the story of Justin Verlander going to the Astros. Randy Johnson being traded way back when going to the Astros. It’s

Nestor Aparicio  30:18

a great press conference when you make the trade, right? No, no, I’m

Luke Jones  30:21


not even talking about that. I mean, yes, that’s part of it. I’m not going to talk about I’m talking about the guys that actually go out. And, you know, they are required, and they help your team win a World Series for every guy like that, how many guys are required. And even if they perform well, that team doesn’t still doesn’t win the World Series. Or, even worse, sometimes, those guys are acquired and they’re really underwhelming, you know, they we’ve seen scars even be acquired and aren’t great for somewhere else, they go,

Nestor Aparicio  30:50

Well, there’s a lot when you’re coming into a pennant race when you stunk for three months, and now you have to come in and get the ball and everybody’s looking at you and you’re the new guy. And you’re looking and you might be coming with a $20 million contract, you know, into a place where all these young guys don’t have any money. There’s, there’s something about messing with the chemistry, you know, that with this team specifically? I don’t know, you know, i That’s why I begin at the beginning and say, I’m not of the mindset that they have to make a deal. And that it has to be impactful that they’ve been pretty good as it is.

Luke Jones  31:24

Yeah, yeah, that’s totally fair. And and let me be clear, when I when I keep saying to explore every avenue, if it turns out that the right deal never materializes for them. I’m okay with that. Again, I’d love to see another bull pennant arm. And that’s what I’d really like to see for them. Because I think that’s the middle ground here where not having to trade Jackson holiday, you know, you’re not having to trade Heston curse dad for that. But it’s someone that I think can impact them, even if it’s just a rental piece, and you’re not giving up quite as much. They’re, you know, you’re giving up something, but it’s not dramatic, you know, it’s not changing the long term outlook of your farm system in the way that if you dealt Jackson holiday for Shohei Otani, you know, it’d be great to have a pro right now. But then when he leaves as a free agent, then well, you don’t have Jackson holiday for the next six years, or seven years, whatever it is. So, but yeah, that’s the thing with where they are right now. And look, there’s going to be shuffling that goes on, and they’re gonna have a roster decision they’re gonna have to make here at some point, because they’re not going to be able to continue to go with 14 position players into all pitchers. And it’s going to be tough to decide how that’s gonna work out if everyone stays healthy, and, you know, Mullins, you know, getting banged up over the weekend, assuming he’s gonna be fine in the next couple days.

Nestor Aparicio  32:42

Either, right. Yeah, I


Luke Jones  32:43

mean, he had some lower back soreness, but if everyone’s healthy, is it right, you know, is right now, Castile gonna be on this roster because he hits left handed pitching as a first baseman that you platoon with Ryan O’Hearn? Who has absolutely outplayed mountcastle This year, or does mountcastle Get option for the time being? He’s got options remaining? Always. It’s gonna 265 on base percentage. I mean,

Nestor Aparicio  33:07

he’s not alone and figured out young man. Yeah,

Luke Jones  33:10

yeah. Whether it’s that whether it’s, you know, could, I wouldn’t want to see them do this, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see it happen for the time being. Could Colton counselor go back to triple A for the time being? You know, maybe I’d like to see him play because you know, you call them up and he did everything you want them to do with Norfolk. Jorge Mateo. He’s not a starting player for them anymore. Other than we’ve seen him start against left handed pitching. We’ve seen Gunnar Anderson play a lot of shortstop and even play shortstop. Well, you know, Matteo is out of options, though. So if you take him off the 2026, man roster, you have to DFA um, so my point is, it’s already getting tight from a roster construction standpoint. And let’s be clear, that’s a good thing. You want to have options, you want to have tough decisions to make. Talk about this with the Ravens at the end of August every summer? Who’s on the 53 man roster? Can they carry that extra young corner? Can they carry that extra veteran defensive lineman that you’d like to have in your rotation? Or do you run out of space? So they’re gonna have some of that and there are going to be changes, you know, they’re, they’re not going to the roster is not going to stay what it is right now. There will be some, there’s going to be some fluidity and even if they don’t make a trade at the trade deadline, you know, there’ll be some moving parts here and there. But, you know, it really is a case of just trying to figure out, how can you get a little bit better because they don’t have to get a lot better. I mean, it can’t get much better Realistically speaking, in terms of just other than just Gunnar Henderson’s more experienced and continues to get better as the year goes on, you know, just as one example, but you know, you’re just you’re looking at this and you said it, and I agree with you. Generally speaking, as much as I would like to see the right deal come into place and to add a piece. They’re in pretty good shape even without that right So it really does speak to just how steady they’ve been, how relentless they’ve been, I mean, Saturday was such a great example of that you fall behind early and they don’t panic, they, they had good at bats and get back in it. You think Gunnar Henderson hits a homerun and ties it up and you win a couple winnings later. I mean, it’s just it’s been their formula all year. And I don’t know if that’s going to carry them to a World Series in 2023. But I think it’s Boyd has done a really good path here, not just this year, but thinking about it long term. And, and that’s where you look at this thing and say, yes, if you can add a piece to make yourself better to increase your chances this year, great. But you don’t want to do anything that’s going to mess that up long term. Because unlike talking about 2014, or two, certainly 2016, where it was very clear that their window was closing. This is, you know, their windows just opening and it feels like it’s wide open. So you don’t want to do anything that’s going to mess with that long term. So I, you know, again, doesn’t make for great radio, because you know, you and I disagree and fight on things all the time and all that. But for the most part, I generally agree with you that if the right deal is there at a reasonable price, God bless, do it. But if it’s not, don’t force it, don’t don’t feel that you have to do something just for the sake of doing it because that’s when teams tend to run into problems where

Nestor Aparicio  36:26


the Yankees go rent Shohei Otani for a couple of years, right? Yeah,

Luke Jones  36:32

yeah. Right. I mean, I’m fascinated to see what’s gonna happen there. I really am. Because the angels, I mean, you have to ask for the moon. And we know that teams value prospects more than ever, in today’s game. I mean, look at how many great

Nestor Aparicio  36:48

teams especially broke to Yes. Well, but smart,

Luke Jones  36:51

smart teams also because they truly are the best value these


Nestor Aparicio  36:55

guys yes, the holiday means more to us than he does to the Dodgers?


Yeah, sure.

Nestor Aparicio  37:04

To assets and resources, our resources are limited against the Yankees with the Dodgers or the angels or any of the bigger mark. I mean, that’s I talked to Dave shine and at length about this. So to promote our Maryland crabcakes, where we were Coco’s the other day Dave shine and longtime Washington Post, we had a, you know, we had a bra we sent me him and receive, we sat and had it all out about baseball. And I said, the real issue here is that it’s in the original sin is that it isn’t equal. It’s not like the NHL or the NBA, or the NFL or everybody has same amount of money, that when you have a Jackson holiday, or a Grayson Rodriguez under team control, as we say, I mean, no different than paying Lamar Jackson, a lot less than you should be paying him and he’s winning a lot more games than you think in football. But in baseball, it’s it’s way different. When you’re going to deal a young prospect for the Yankees to give up three prospects for Shohei Otani for the bright lights and what their organization represents. That’s a whole lot different. They can deal from the bottom of the deck different than the the Orioles can or then the Reds can right now even they can

Luke Jones  38:08


but I will also say again, look at how it’s changed. You don’t see as many of those premium and I’m not talking prospects like oh, he’s number 56 on baseball, America’s top 100 list I’m talking those top five prospects and all baseball. You’re not seeing those guys moved as often as you used to. I mean, you’re just not even even the rich teams still recognize when you’ve got someone like that in Jackson holidays, you know, he was in futures game he’s already getting you know, he was intentionally walked at buoy you know that a tight game late, just a couple days ago. It speaks to his reputation is quickly spreading in terms of what he can do. Those guys, you’re just not going to see guys like that moved very often at all. And I’m not and it’s not to say they were moved all the time in the past. But teams like the Yankees would be willing to do that. You know, I feel as time’s going on. Even the richest teams are recognizing

Nestor Aparicio  39:01

point that’s a really well that’s all the more reason to think Otani is not going anywhere because no one’s gonna pay a lot and the angels aren’t gonna give them away.

Luke Jones  39:07

And that’s the thing. I just I really, it’s crazy to say this because I mean, he’s the best player in baseball. I mean, he is but is there a team that is truly going to be willing to give up? What it’s going to take what the angels are going to be willing to say all right, our fan base is going to hate us for this because we squandered Otani and trout for the last several years if we didn’t win a darn thing. But so we’ll take this is is a team going to give them that asking price knowing full well that Shohei Otani is probably hell bent on hitting the market because he’s gonna see if some teams gonna pay him $50 million a year to pitch and it’s so it’s just such a unique situation that I mean, I’m just fascinated to see how it’s gonna play out But that’s where my gut still tells me he’s going to end up being there. And then he’ll just walk at the end of the year and the angels misery will be even more miserable than it’s been. It’s been

Nestor Aparicio  40:12

the giant sign just hangs up, you know, I mean, you know, I want to see the Giants back in the mix, you know? He’s gonna play on the West Coast.


Luke Jones  40:22

Yeah. You would think so? You would think so. I mean, that seems to be the, you know,

Nestor Aparicio  40:27

to see the mariners like go into their kitty and like, get after him.

Luke Jones  40:31

You know what I mean? Well, he got the obey. He got the big Ovation during the all star game there. So I mean, look, any team in baseball would love to have Shohei Otani. But how do you get them? How do you pay for them? How do you and here’s, this is me getting a little nerdy or about about it? How do you try to project someone like that? You know, you’re not signing Shohei Ohtani for three years. Let’s be clear this, you’re you’re having to give them a what 10 year deal or eight year deal, whatever it is. How do you project that out? He already has been a two way player. Everyone has used the Babe Ruth comparison. That’s fine. Babe, Ruth was truly only a to a player for about two seasons. You know, he was a pitcher. And then he did both for about two years. And then he was just an outfielder and pitcher occasionally for a few years hot dog eat or a beer drink, right? But the point is, as extraordinary as Otani is, how much longer can you expect him to truly do both? Because you have to figure that out in terms of whatever you’re gonna pay him. You’re not paying him for what he already did. You’re trying to pay him for what he’s going to do over the next seven years.

Nestor Aparicio  41:38


So you don’t sound like his agent at all. You sound more like the buyer. Well,

Luke Jones  41:44

and, and anyone who knows me knows that Shohei Otani. He’s, I’ve got a man crush on that guy, that guy’s unbelievable. Anytime he is on late at night, I’m watching him pitch. I mean it. That’s just reality, but considering what you’re gonna have to pay him and look, he deserves every penny. But how do you project that out? Is he going to be a two way player for another two years? Another three years? Dare I say? Could he do it for another five years? I mean, my goodness, you know, is he going to become maybe a hitter? And maybe he becomes a closer and maybe you can manage it that way a little bit differently long term? Well, that chain just the value for him, right the valuation of him. So I’m fascinated to see how that story is gonna play out. And in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy watching him but I don’t think it’s going to be the Orioles citing him. You know, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb saying that. But boy, it’s gonna be really interesting to see how that plays out. And very interesting to see if he is move because again, the price is going to be so steep. But if you’re that team, are you going to give up all those prospects and then have no assurance whatsoever that you’re going to be the team that ultimately is willing to pay him the most to sign him long term? Boy, it’s a it’s a great question and fascinated to see how it’s gonna play out.

Nestor Aparicio  42:57

I got to a fight with Sean and rustig about this. I got flipped and I’m like, Well, why why? Why can’t we think that we could sign him? You know what, that’s the Oriole way for the last 25 years with the Angelo’s way. We’re a small market. We can’t have nice things here. You know, we’ve had a long time of that. And that that is baseball’s Original Sin. That if true, Braun hits the market in the NBA, you know the he can get him somebody can anybody can get him. Ted leonsis could figure it out if they could ever figure it out that there’s no financial restriction to them signing Steph Curry or to signing any player they draft baseball is different. And I think the offseason makes it different that you would say when Lamar is available, or Aaron Rodgers available other teams that have quarterbacks, you don’t say they can’t afford it, or they wouldn’t spend the money on or they’d have to wreck their organization to do it. Baseball is different. And the Otani thing is different because he is the best player. He’s the best player maybe we’ve ever seen in regard to what he does and the value that he doesn’t add. And you say, well, we’re major league team, but we’re not allowed to play there. We can’t have nice things. And that that’s Baseball said it really is that there are 20 teams that can’t sign show a atonic they can’t have the best player. That’s effed up. That’s after Yeah.

Luke Jones  44:15

And I mean, I will say this, I mean, not every team in the NBA signing LeBron James because he doesn’t want to go to most of those markets. But your point is well taken. And I don’t disagree with you. I mean, look when I say that the Orioles aren’t gonna side Shohei Otani that’s not because I say I don’t think they should I just know they’re not going to and and the teams that aren’t even going to be in that conversation.


Nestor Aparicio  44:34

Well as an Oracle fan, you would then say we can’t get the best player. I mean, like that that is that that’s not I mean,

Luke Jones  44:41

I guess for good. I I agree with you. I guess for me, it’s tough to even talk about that when you didn’t go sign Nathan eovaldi This past offseason, right, which that was a much more reasonable, you know that. If that’s not realistic, then we’re not even talking. You can’t even dream about dotati right. So Right. I hear you I I’m not disagreeing with you on that. But until the Orioles at least show that they’re going to be in that kind of market, which they weren’t this past winter, which Hey, they’re 22 games over 500 So what do I know? You know, they, they clearly knew more than me. But yeah, that’s, that’s a bummer, right? I mean, you’d love to see 15 teams trying to sign Shohei Otani. By the way, Otani and his agent would love to see 15 teams tried to sign him because you can imagine what the prices are, we might be talking about a $60 million baseball player that so. But yeah, it’s it’s part of the it’s part of the sport. It’s part of why so many people have been frustrated with the sport and you know, it’s even though they don’t have a salary cap per se, they you know, especially the luxury tax thresholds of absolutely act acted as a cap for so many of these teams, a self induced salary cap, I guess so. But we’ll see how it plays out. Again. I don’t know if Otani is going to be down at the deadline. But what a story if he’s going to be I mean, a player of that magnitude moving at the deadline would just be just be massive.

Nestor Aparicio  46:08

Yeah, you know, I tend to think he’s no Deshaun Watson, but we’ll find out. Look, John’s be back talking football next week. A lot of baseball this week. He’s down with the Dodgers down with Grayson Rodriguez. You can follow all of it at Baltimore, Luke, as well as that Baltimore positive. I’m going to be doing the Maryland crabcake tour. This Thursday over at the Beaumont. I’m wearing my state fair shirt. They don’t have a Beaumont shirt. So I have a guapo shirt stay fair shirt. I keep telling Evan Donnie give me a BOMA. We don’t have a Beaumont shirt, so I gotta get a Beaumont hat or something to wear around your Thursday two to five we’ll be at the Beaumont Kingsville all the brought to you by the Maryland lottery scratch offs to give away on $100 winner last week at Koko, so that was fantastic. Hope you guys are enjoying our conversation from last week Coco’s as part of the Maryland crabcake tour. We are celebrating 25 years here at wn st am 1570 on the third of August, we’ll be a Costas. I’m basically giving away everything I have. I’m gonna have copies of Purple Rain. One, two, if you come to cost this between 11 and four on the third, pick up anything you want. Take it home, I have all sorts of old shirts, everything that’s not glued down or tied down. After 25 years we’re giving away Costas on the third also going to be drug city on the fourth from 11 until four so that’s August 3 for celebrating 25 years. All are brought to you by the Maryland lottery and our friends at window nation. I am Nestor we are wn St. am 5070, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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