The Orioles’ surprising second-half success came in spite of the loss of their top starter, as John Means was knocked out of action just two appearances into the year by an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. That procedure occurred in late April, putting him a little more than nine months into his rehab. Means recently told reporters he’s “right on track” in that process, progressing to throwing from 140 feet off flat ground (link via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). He’s yet to begin throwing anything other than fastballs but indicated he’s likely to throw from a half-mound early in Spring Training.
A specific timetable for Means’ return to MLB action is unclear, as it’s obviously dependent on whether he can avoid setbacks as he further builds into a throwing program. He certainly won’t be ready for Opening Day but should factor into the mix at some point during the season. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams explored last week, Means’ eventual return will be a welcome development for a Baltimore rotation whose only present locks are Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson. The O’s have a number of quality strike-throwers to mix in at the back end but not many pitchers capable of missing bats at a high level. Top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is the exception, and the young righty could get a chance to carve out a season-opening rotation role as a rookie.
While Rodriguez has yet to make his MLB debut, outfielder Kyle Stowers did reach the majors briefly last year. The 25-year-old corner outfielder appeared in 34 games, hitting .253/.306/.418 with a trio of home runs over 98 plate appearances. It was a solid first impression on the heels of an excellent .264/.357/.527 showing through 407 trips to the plate with Triple-A Norfolk. The O’s have Austin Hays and Anthony Santander to man the corner outfield on most days, although the lefty-swinging Stowers should have a path to reps at designated hitter and/or off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
“I think there’s value in being someone that can (adjust), whether it’s being a spark plug in a pinch-hit at-bat or be ready to go when your name is called,” Stowers told reporters (including Kubatko). As to whether he’s on the MLB roster and where he’s playing, the Stanford product noted he’s “not the one who makes those decisions. All I can control is how I play and how hard I play, and the effort I put toward. … Just take care of everything I can control.“
While those kinds of roster battles will be significant stories for the club over the coming weeks, much of the recent attention has been on the organization’s ownership situation. In-fighting among the Angelos family led to lawsuits between Louis, John and Georgia Angelos over the past few months. Those were all resolved yesterday, when the sides agreed to dismiss all claims against one another as part of a confidential settlement.
Dan Connolly of the Athletic explores the fallout of that agreement, pointing out a settlement might pave the way for Louis Angelos to reassume more involvement in the franchise’s operations. The organization’s ownership structure has been the subject of plenty of recent attention, particularly as they negotiate with the Maryland Stadium Authority for a new lease agreement. With their current deal at Camden Yards set to expire after the 2023 campaign, the O’s declined an option for a five-year extension in search of a longer contract last week.
Along with the recent internal squabbling among the Angelos family, the O’s are still embroiled in litigation with the Nationals regarding television rights fees related to their shared Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. In 2019, an arbitrator ruled the network (of which the O’s are majority owner) owed the Nationals around $105MM in unpaid rights fees. MASN appealed that decision, and it has remained pending at the New York State Court of Appeals in the three years since then.
Connolly writes that oral arguments on that are scheduled for mid-March and echoes previous reporting Major League Baseball continues to pressure the franchises for a resolution. The uncertain rights figure has reportedly been the main stumbling block in the Lerner family’s exploration of a sale of the Nationals over the past nine-plus months.
Some interesting fallout in Baltimore. Today Geoorgia Angelos was granted full power of attorney for her husband.
Louis Angelos, who had attempted to sell his father’s law firm to himself, was asked to remove his personal things from the firm today. That would seem to indicate that Georgia Angelos was successful in have the court invalidate Louis’ sale of the law firm to himself.
A short time ago, the judge in the case his mother had filed against Louis for elder abuse for his dealings in the law firm had appointed a caretaker to manage the law firm and determined that Louis could no longer be involved in the management or day to day operations of the firm. At the time it was filed, her attorneys said, “At 52, working as an employee of his father’s law firm, and never offered to make partner, Lou simply stayed and evidently stewed,” her lawyers added. “Try as she might, Georgia could not seem to placate Lou’s bitterness or his misplaced resentment of his brother John P. Angelos.”
This was my very favorite line from the lawsuit against Louis by Georgia Angelos. “Having no capacity at self-reflection, Lou instead projects his own shortcomings on John and levels upon him outlandishly false accusations, including that he has browbeaten his poor, enfeebled mother to deny Lou his expectation to inherit what he had no part in creating,”
Taken together, those are not a good sign for Louis Angelos’ end of the settlement in his mother’s lawsuit against him.
As far as the Orioles go, John Angelos is still the control person on the team and MLB has not announced yet that any change is happening in that department. I am sure that if the settlement created a change in the management structure of the team, that they will be announcing that quickly. They had already denied Louis Angelos’ petition to the league to be that control person in 2020.
The Orioles are deep in negotiations to renew their lease in Baltimore long term and having a third-party that has not been part of any discussions to date jump in at this late hour could throw a wrench in the works. I would think that John Angelos would need to stay at the center of those discussions, not Louis Angelos.
At the beginning of all this Louis Angelos was suing in part to allow his mother to divest the team and accusing John Angelos of strong arming her to allow him to have complete control to sell or move the team without anyone else’s involvement. Georgia suing Louis put the kibosh on that line of argument.
It is going to be fascinating to read what comes out about the subject from less biased reporters than Dan Connoly.
Ah too bad some families are not united or shall I say dysfunctional?
Not dysfunctional? What’s bad about that?
@websoulsurfer: What’s interesting about a family airing out its dirty laundry?
This has Pitt and Damon staring as the Angelos brothers written all over it.
Don’t forget Ben Aflac (sic). He’ll need a job too…..
They’d be wise just moving the team. When your city is considered worse than Detroit, it’s time to make changes.
Have you ever been to Camden yards? Downtown Baltimore?
Probably not. OPaCY is beautiful and so is the surrounding area. Something does need to be done about a lot of areas in the city though.
Stowers will probably play more in the outfield than Santander. Santander will DH a lot and is reported to be taking reps at 1B.
As for the pitching, Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer really finished strong and DL Hall got over his poor debut and posted good numbers over his last 8 or so games out of the bullpen. Small sample size and a different role, I know, but it was encouraging nonetheless.
I wouldn’t say the area surrounding OPACY is “beautiful”
It’s fine if you walk in the right direction. But even harborplace is mostly vacant at the moment. You walk a few blocks the wrong way and yeah….
What are you basing that on?
Detroit and St. Louis are both ranked hire statistically than Baltimore for crime. If you’re looking at violent crime, you need to add Kansas City, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Houston to the list. So Milt, based off what you’re saying, MLB needs to move a lot of teams. And I’m not advocating for that, I’m only putting that out there to prove a point.
Baltimore is a great baseball city with a beautiful park. When they have a good product on the field, the fanbase supports it. There is zero reason to move the Orioles.
Outlaw – in stats, yes, but Baltimore’s got them on per capita
Yes, even Minneapolis has really gone downhill in the past decade or so.
They aren’t moving, this is them shaking down MSA for funds to update the stadium in return for a longer lease.
Dead Wrong. The legislature and MSA have already allocated 1.2 billion for upgrades to Camden and M&T. The Ravens signed the lease and the state released the 600 million for improvements in and around Ravens roost. As soon as the Angelos clan sign they can access the same money. MLB and the Commissioner both told the Orioles they wouldn’t even consider moving until after the Tampa and Oakland stadium issues are resolved and expansion takes place. Over/under on that is 10 years. MLB is also not walking away from 600 mil in stadium improvements.
Mike Elias’s MO in Houston was draft position players and trade for,pitching. He stated that early in his time here when he didn’t draft many or any pitchers. Looks as he is staying the course. Trade deadline 2023 and 2024 off-season look to be an interesting time in Baltimore hon.
Bohs and Os
I’d like to see means in the bullpen this year if our starting pitching isn’t an issue. Which I hope 5 of the 12 guys can get the job done. Only issue would be the lack of left handed starting pitching besides Irvin. But means in the pen for 23 would limit his innings and workload and allow him to ease back in and fully stretch out for the 24 campaign.
You hired Elias to turn the ship around, he’s done everything to show there’s progress being made.
Just stay out of his way.
Stowers should be playing. Santander should have been dealt.
I thought Santander was going to be dealt; I had heard his name all winter. With 33 HR last year we may have seen his career year and selling high might not be a bad way out.
Mullins is in CF and for corner OF’s plus DH you’ve got Hays and Santander as two proven, slightly above average but incomplete players with Stowers and Cowser, two highly regarded prospects with potentially higher ceilings (though my Matuszitis will not let me say its a given that one or both hits it). Of the group I think Santander is best suited to be the DH with the others all better defensively..
Hopefully Stowers get some leash to play in 2023.
If the recent scouting reports on Cowser are true, they’ll need Stowers to claim an OF spot.
*Sigh* another article that totally ignores the brilliance that Kyle Bradish can bring to the mound. How does he not qualify as having the ability to miss bats?! Ridiculous. Him and Kremer are going to be staples.
I don’t think a handful of good starts from a guy who isn’t going to blow you away, especially after he was morbid for a larger handful earlier in the season can be called brilliance yet.
After all, Jeff Ballard was 18-8 and a Cy Young candidate one year…then the league caught on and he became Jeff Battered.
At least Bradish was better later in the season than at the beginning, that’s encouraging.