Podcast Episode 13: Checking in on the Ravens, the Maryland investigation, and The Fan’s Alex Woodward joins us!

Welcome to Episode 13 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

On Tuesday evening, it was announced that Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith will be suspended for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Jake, Nolan, and Ian kick off this week’s show by talking about how Smith’s absence will impact the Ravens, particularly during weeks 2 and 4 on the road against the Bengals and Steelers (3:24).

Following the discussion on Smith, the guys dive into the Ravens’ 20-19 preseason win over the Colts on Monday Night Football (11:30). There’s certainly plenty to talk about regarding the status of Ronnie Stanley (12:46), and Who’s Trending (22:39) following Monday’s win that moved the Ravens to 3-0 in preseason action.

In the last part of this week’s Ravens discussion, the Charm City Bird Watch crew goes over a few things to watch for on Saturday (41:14) as the Ravens take on the Dolphins from Hard Rock Stadium in their fourth preseason affair.

After the Ravens portion of the show wraps up, Jake sits down with a long-time 105.7 The Fan board operator Alex Woodward (45:44). After working as a board operator for five years, Woodward has recently been given a few opportunities to host a live show over The Fan’s airwaves. In addition to talking Ravens, Orioles, and the Maryland Football scandal, the two spent some time discussing the radio industry and sports talk radio’s presence in today’s media-filled world.

Speaking of the Maryland Football scandal, the next segment of the show dives into the latest details surrounding the current investigation taking place at the university (1:02:39). On Monday, a number of Maryland football players made a number of announcements pertaining to how they will honor McNair’s legacy throughout the next few seasons. Are Damon Evans and Wallace Loh doomed? Jake, Nolan, and Ian try to answer this very important question.

Up next, the guys catch up on the Orioles (1:11:12), specifically Alex Cobb‘s perfect game from Saturday and Mark Trumbo‘s trip to the disabled list that will likely end his season. Will the O’s still be able to shop Trumbo amidst this latest setback, and should Cobb start on Opening Day 2019 ahead of Dylan Bundy?

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Ravens & Orioles players to wear the number 13 (1:17:33).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and now Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

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Mark Trumbo potentially headed to disabled list with lingering knee injury

The Orioles could be forced to place Mark Trumbo on the disabled list in the coming days as he continues to deal with a lingering knee injury.

Trumbo left Sunday’s game against Cleveland in the eighth inning and will now head back to Baltimore to meet with a team doctor and get an MRI instead of traveling with the O’s to Toronto. The inflammation in Trumbo’s right knee has been bothering him for a while but only sidelined him for a short stretch of games in back in May.

Trumbo was given an injection last week when the pain started to flare up again. However, things have not progressed since then and the pain is starting to become a liability according to Trumbo. His .302 batting average and 14 RBI’s in the month of August certainly make him an asset, but at a certain point that gets negated by the injuries’ impact on his defense and running.

Image credit: Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Reasons for hope as the Orioles season trudges along

As the Baltimore Orioles crawl towards the finish line in what has been arguably their worst season ever, several veteran Orioles are doing their best to instill some hope in what has been a disappointed fan base.

Free agent pitching acquisition Andrew Cashner delivered a quality start Tuesday night against the Mets, going seven innings and giving up just two earned runs on five hits while striking out three and walking three.  Cashner (4-10) dropped his season ERA to 4.71 and has rebounded nicely since his clunker on August 2 against Texas.

In his last eight starts, Cashner has surrendered two earned runs or fewer in six of them. Cashner has begun to right the ship at the same time as fellow free agent signing Alex Cobb has seemed to turn the corner as well.

Cobb (3-15) has lowered his ERA from 7.23 on June 10 to 5.31 now. Unfortunately for Cobb, it has not translated in the win/loss column as he appears headed to a potential 20-loss season. Cobb has given up one earned run in four of his last five starts but has just one win to show for it as the year-long struggle at the plate continues for the Birds.

Other Orioles who have seen recent upticks in play include outfielders Trey Mancini and Mark Trumbo. Mancini has raised his batting average from .220 to .235 out of the All-Star break by hitting .300 month in the month of August to-date. Mancini has four homers and ten RBI in what is already his most productive month on the season.

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Trey Mancini has picked up his play since the All-Star Break. Image Credit: AP

After exploding on the scene last season, Mancini had gotten off a rough start in the 2018 season. While he won’t reach his production levels from 2017, it is an encouraging sign that he now appears poised to salvage what is left of this forgotten year.

Trumbo has taken his season average from .250 at the All-Star break to .264 currently. This is thanks in-part to what has been a massive August for the 32-year-old Trumbo. In the month, Trumbo is hitting .350 with 5 homers and 13 RBI and is getting on base at a .372 clip. Not to mention that he’s doing this with knee discomfort that had Buck Showalter talking about an injection as recent as Sunday.

The Orioles sit at 36-84, a whopping 49.5 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. This is not an attempt to put lipstick on a pig by any means. This season has been a disaster of epic proportions. Long-standing Orioles Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Zach Britton, Brad Brach, and Kevin Gausman are gone and it remains to be seen what the returns for those players will produce.

But it is encouraging to see some of the key veteran players remaining on this team play well down the stretch. All four players figure to factor heavily in the equation in regards to next year’s team while Cobb and Mancini have potential to be here through the rebuild and the hopeful eventual rebirth of the team.

Stay faithful Orioles fans. There are reasons for hope.

Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports