Orioles general manager Mike Elias understands the growing frustration with the team’s current 10-game losing streak.
Baltimore is enduring its longest skid since June 2019.
Elias remains committed to the Orioles’ rebuilding plan and expects these types of growing pains.
“I don’t think anyone’s happy about the win-loss record,” Elias said. “We haven’t been since we’ve been here. But it’s very important for us to remain focused and committed.
“Overreacting briefly to struggles from young players, making rash roster decisions with guys that have bright futures is not in our long-term nor short-term best interest.”
The Orioles lost more than 100 games in 2018 and 2019. In last year’s abbreviated season because of COVID-19, the team went 25-35. This year, Baltimore is 17-33 and mired in last place of the AL East — 14 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays.
There have been some bright spots, however.
John Means has been one of the top starting pitchers in MLB. Trey Mancini is one of the league’s most productive hitters one year removed from colon cancer surgery and treatment. Cedric Mullins has emerged as an everyday center fielder and led the league in hits earlier this season.
However, that has not translated into many wins.
Outside of Means, the starting pitching has struggled to go deep into games, which has put more pressure on the struggling bullpen. The offense has been tepid.
“We remain committed and focused and working hard every day on what we do and understand that baseball can be like this, especially when you’re going through what we’re going through,” Elias said. “The players themselves have the same approach and know that the hits will start to fall or they will get into a groove on the mound. And we wait for that to happen. We see talent here and we see youth here and want to continue to support these players and allow them to develop and get better.”
There are also bright spots within the minor-league affiliates. Lefty D.L. Hall has been lights out at Double-A Bowie and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez has been electrifying at High-A Aberdeen. Infielder Gunnar Henderson leads the Low-A East with 30 RBIs for Low-A Delmarva. Catcher Adley Rutschman is one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
“We continue to have the utmost confidence in the coaches and player development professionals that we have up and down the organization — the people that are involved in guiding these young players and coaching them and making decisions about their futures,” Elias said.
The Orioles will focus on adding more talent to the organization with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft.
In the last five drafts, the Orioles have selected right-handed pitcher Cody Sedlock (2016), Hall (2017), Rodriguez (2018), Rutschman (2019) and Heston Kjerstad (2020) with their top picks.
“We’re still in kind of the field scouting phase,” Elias said. “The conference tournaments are happening this week. The high school seasons are starting to wrap up. We’re starting our small pre-draft workouts in the next few weeks in different regions. A lot of these plans were put on ice with the pandemic and not knowing what would be allowed by the league, but we will be able to have some small workouts.
“We’re far from getting all of our scouts and analysts in the same room and starting to debate players and line up the board and look at data and all those things that you do in the draft room. A big part of that is the draft is so much later than usual, it’s a full month later than it normally is, so we have a lot of time. So right now we’re still in the process of gathering as much eyeball footage, so to speak, as we can of these players before they stop playing games.”
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