It’s an open question as to what the Orioles’ front office will look like beyond 2018, though ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick writes that it seems both executive VP Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter will both stay in their jobs for the remainder of the season. Beyond that, “any and all options are on the table,” including the surprising possibility that Duquette and Showalter could both be retained. Even with John and Louis Angelos (the sons of owner Peter Angelos) taking a larger role in team business, there remains a perception around the league that the family will still have a strong voice in baseball operations. “As long as the Angelos name is attached to it, you know you’re going to have to run the team not the way you want to run it but the way someone else thinks it should be run,” one personnel executive tells Crasnick. This could mean, if Duquette is replaced, that the O’s could lean towards an experienced general manager who has been out of baseball for a while and thus has less leverage to demand more authority, or perhaps the team could hire an executive who has experience in Baltimore and knows how the organization operates. Crasnick suggests that candidates like farm director Brian Graham or Phillies assistant GM Ned Rice could fit the latter description. The whole piece is well worth a full read for a look at how the Orioles operate, and what changes could be coming on and off the field in the coming weeks and months.
Some more from around the AL East…
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman “wouldn’t comment” to media (including the New York Post’s George A. King III) on a recent report from MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi about the Yankees’ interest in Mike Moustakas as a possible first base option. King did note that the Royals recently had scouts watching not just the Yankees, but also New York’s Double-A and Triple-A teams as well, so Kansas City seems to be checking out both Major League and minor league players in the organization. In terms of what the return could be on a potential Moustakas trade, King doubts that the Yankees would part with current first baseman Greg Bird for just two-plus months of Moustakas’ services.
- An MRI revealed inflammation in Jonathan Loaisiga’s throwing shoulder, as reported by MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and others. The Yankees right-hander will meet with doctors in New York on Monday to further access the problem. Loaisiga made his Major League debut earlier this season and pitched well in four starts, posting a 3.00 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and a 2.63 K/BB rate over 18 innings. That performance did much to elevate his value, particularly with the Yankees short on rotation depth options. Loaisiga had been sent down to the minors last week but was expected to be recalled for a start on Monday when the Yankees had a double-header against the Orioles,
- Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks was taking some grounders at second base prior to Friday’s game, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. It isn’t very likely that Hicks will actually see time at the keystone with Gleyber Torres on the DL, as New York already has Neil Walker, Brandon Drury, and Tyler Wade (all of whom were also participating in the fielding drills) on hand to play the position. It could be that the Yankees were simply exploring all options, perhaps with a very long view towards maximum roster flexibility during a playoff series, or something of that nature. Hicks also did some warmups as a first baseman last season, underscoring his athleticism and versatility.
- Kendrys Morales had a measly .499 OPS in his first 109 plate appearances this season, but has since posted an .899 OPS over his last 129 PA. While a swing tweak or perhaps simple reversion to the mean could be behind the turnaround, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith writes that Morales’ hot streak coincides with his decision to stop wearing glasses at the plate. Morales had produced strong hard-hit ball numbers all season long, though he is now putting the ball in the air with far more regularity since losing the frames. It isn’t likely that Morales has revived his value enough to become a legitimate trade chip for the Blue Jays, as he is limited to a DH role and is still owed roughly $17MM through the 2019 season, though it is a bit of a relief for Toronto given that Morales looked like a release candidate through the first six weeks.