Orioles trade Jonathan Schoop to Brewers

BALTIMORE — Minutes after the Orioles shipped Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to the Atlanta Braves for four prospects and international signing bonus slot money, the team dealt Jonathan Schoop to the Milwaukee Brewers.

For Schoop, the Orioles receive infielder Jonathan Villar (on the 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain), right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz (No. 7 prospect) and shortstop Jean Carmona (No. 14 prospect).

Hours before the 4:00 non-waiver trade deadline, it appeared that the Orioles would not deal any of their players with club control beyond the 2018 season. Things changed very quickly, with Gausman (two more years of club control), Schoop (one more year of club control), and O’Day (free agent in 2020) all on their way out of Baltimore.

Out of all the controllable players the Orioles let go of on Tuesday, Schoop is easily the hardest to see go. After the Orioles failed to lock Manny Machado down with a long-term deal, many assumed that they would try to correct their wrongdoing by signing Schoop to a new contract. Now, they give away their 26-year-old power-hitting second baseman who’s hitting .349 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in his last 14 games.

In Milwaukee, Schoop will get an opportunity to win the National League Central and compete for a playoff spot. As things stand now, the Brewers (62-47) sit one game behind the Chicago Cubs (61-44) for first place in the NL Central. The Brewers lead the NL Wild Card race by 2.5 games, but the Diamondbacks (59-49) are right on their heals with both Atlanta (56-47) and Colorado (57-48) a half-game back.

For the Orioles, Villar looks to join the major league roster once his thumb is healed. He’s projected to return in early August, so it should not be too long before he makes his Orioles debut. Villar plays every infield position except first base. In 257 at-bats this season, he owns a .261 average with six home runs, 22 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. He’s 27-years-old and won’t hit free agency until 2021.

The Rangers drafted Ortiz 30th overall in the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft before trading him to the Brewers’ system in 2016. Ortiz is 22-years-old and 230 pounds. His fastball carries into the upper 90’s and he throws strikes. In 11 starts (16 appearances) at Double-A Biloxi this season, Ortiz is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 68 innings pitched.

Like Villar, Carmona, 18, is versatile in the infield with the exception of first base. He’s a switch-hitter who carries a higher batting average from the left side (.250) than the right side (.194) so far in 2018 with the Helena Brewers, Milwaukee’s Rookie League affiliate. The best attribute of his defense could be his arm. Scouts say that Carmona’s arm is good enough for shortstop and even third base.

Although the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, players can still be moved through August. The main difference is that if the Orioles were to move a player now, they would need said player to pass through waivers, meaning that every other MLB team would get a look at the trade before passing it through.

Image Credit: Camden Chat

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Podcast Episode 9: Rebuild – To build something again after it has been damaged or destroyed

Welcome to Episode 9 of the new Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell and author Ian Schultz.

As usual, the podcast opens with the weekly numbers segment (4:57), reminiscing the best Ravens and Orioles players to sport a #9 jersey.

Next, Jake and Ian mourn the loss of Manny Machado and break down the trade that sent the former O’s superstar to the Dodgers (14:13). As you can tell by the podcast’s title, the gang also addressed Dan Duquette’s recent public comments announcing that the Orioles are beginning a rebuild. Jake and Ian pondered whether or not Duquette is the right man to lead the rebuild, and broke down the latest trade rumors surrounding the ball-club.

Up next, Jake’s friend from high school, Conor Miller, calls in (30:56). Conor is the younger brother of 14 News Sports Director Bethany Miller, who was on the podcast in January. Conor, a lifelong Baltimore sports fan and current collegiate baseball player, gives us his reactions/hot takes to the Machado trade, the Orioles rebuild, and the start of Ravens training camp.

With the end of Conor’s call-in focusing on the Ravens, Jake and Ian’s next segment analyzes the first few days of Ravens training camp (54:28). We’ve already heard from both Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson, and the national media is having a field day with the current storylines surrounding the two quarterbacks. Will Jackson’s presence make Flacco more emotional than we’ve ever seen? What are the biggest takeaways from the first few practices? Football is back, and we’ll get you up-to-date on the latest Ravens nuggets.

Last but not least, we wrap up episode 9 with What an Idiot (1:04:53).This week, Jake and Ian call out Josh Hader and the Milwaukee Brewers fanbase for embarrassing themselves in front of America.

Subscribe to the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please leave us a review, we love to hear your feedback and may read reviews on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

Series Recap: Orioles road troubles return in three game sweep at Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The Orioles may have shown some signs of life a week ago with two road series wins, but they now find themselves in another slump as they stumble their way into the All-Star Break.

This week’s series against Milwaukee did nothing but confirm, once again, that the O’s don’t have what it takes to be contenders. Despite being successful in interleague play this season, the Birds struggled against the NL Central-leading Brewers and were outscored 18-3 in the three-game sweep.

It all started on Monday with an 8-1 loss. Wade Miley didn’t make it out of the second inning after getting tagged for seven runs on 67 pitches. The bullpen was fairly successful in relief but the deficit was too big to overcome. Five Brewers players scored at least one run in the blowout victory.

The O’s starting pitching didn’t get any better in game two as Ubaldo Jimenez returned to his sub-par level of play. Jimenez turned in the best orioles start of the season last week but this time he gave up five runs in five innings of work.

The Brewers’ starting pitching was the exact opposite in this series. On Tuesday, Jimmy Nelson turned in another great start and picked up his seventh win of the season. For the offense, Eric Thames led the way by hitting two homers and pushed his total to 23 on the season.

Once again the O’s found themselves trying to avoid a sweep after dropping the first two games of the series. They were able to scrap together a win on Sunday against Tampa, but it looked much more difficult this time around. With Chris Tillman on paternity leave, Jayson Aquino was called upon to make the start for the O’s on Wednesday.

Aquino started his night with three solid innings but ran into some trouble in the fourth. The spot starter gave up four runs before exiting in the sixth inning. It was disappointing to see his solid start fall apart, but he received no run support from the offense. Given the circumstances Aquino was very serviceable.

The O’s lineup had a prime chance to jump out to an early lead when they loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning. Somehow it wasn’t very surprising to see the next three batters strike out and fly out to end the inning without scoring. It goes without saying but this is unacceptable, especially when you have a spot starter on the mound.

Some of the only good news in this series was the return of Zach Britton. The Orioles star closer was able to make his long-awaited return in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game, allowing one hit on 19 pitches. His presence will certainly add more consistency and depth to the bullpen, but that does not matter if the Orioles aren’t scoring runs and the starting pitching continues to be as bad as it has been .

Just like the first two games, scoring opportunities were wasted as the O’s racked up eight hits but quickly left runners stranded. The Brewers closed out the series with a 4-0 win and secured a place atop the NL Central for the near future. Meanwhile the Orioles are in a free fall and find themselves nine games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox.

The O’s will close out the first half of the season with a four-game series at Minnesota later this week. When these teams met back in May, the Twins walked away with a sweep. This time around, the O’s will need a sweep just to get back to .500.

Image Credit: The Herald-Mail

Series Preview: Orioles begin last road trip before All-Star Break in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The beginning of July means one thing in baseball; the All-Star Break is near. The 2017 showcasing of the best baseball has to offer takes place next week, and at least one Oriole will be making the trip.

Before the All-Star festivities begin, the Orioles have seven games to play, all on the road. The first three games of that stretch take place in Milwaukee, as the Orioles take on the Brewers for the first time since 2014.

In their last meeting, the Brewers took two of three from the Orioles in a Memorial Day-themed series at Miller Park. Milwaukee won the second game of that series, 7-6, in extra innings off the bat of Yonvani Gallardo, who hit a 2-run home run off T.J. McFarland. Gallardo would of course go on to become an Oriole in 2016, when he was traded to Baltimore from Seattle before the season. The other runner who scored on Milwaukee’s walk-off homer was Mark Reynolds, another former Oriole.

A lot has changed since 2014. That year, the Orioles battled their way to their first American League East crown since 1997. The Brewers finished just four games above .500 in a competitive National League Central division that was won by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Standings Update: After losing two of three to the Rays over the weekend, the Orioles (40-41) come into Milwaukee still in fourth place in the American League East, 6.5 games behind the Red Sox (47-35). The Brew-Crew (44-40) currently lead the mediocre NL Central, with the .500 Cubs (41-41) two games behind them. Over the weekend, Milwaukee took two of three from the Miami Marlins.

Britton Returning: Orioles closer Zach Britton, who has not pitched for the O’s since May 4, is expected to come off the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday. Britton has been absent the last two months with a strained left forearm, and has been dominating his rehab assignment. In his most recent appearance, he had an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 inning for the Fredrick Keys. He will also pitch on Monday night for Fredrick.

Game Times and Pitching Match-ups: 

Game 1Monday, July 3, 2:10 pm – Wade Miley (3-6, 4.54 ERA) vs. Brent Suter (0-1, 4.20 ERA) – MASN, MLB Network, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 2Tuesday, July 4, 4:10 pm – Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 6.48 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (6-4, 3.43 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 3Wednesday, July 5, 7:10 pm – Jayson Aquino (1-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (3-4, 4.36 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • Jimenez has a career 2.63 ERA against the Brewers, and a 1.29 ERA at Miller Park.
  • Adam Jones is a career 2.92 hitter against the Brewers, with all 24 of those at-bats taking place at Miller Park.
  • Ever since moving into the #3 slot in Baltimore’s lineup, Jonathan Schoop is slashing .306 in 36 at-bats, with two doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI.

Notes on the Brewers:

  • Garza, 33, who has previously pitched for the Rays, Twins, and Rangers, owns a 3.11 lifetime ERA against the Birds in 13 starts.
  • Third baseman Travis Shaw missed Sunday’s game with back spasms, but he will return on Monday. He leads the team in hits (81), RBI (59), and batting average (.291).
  • First baseman Eric Thames leads the Brew-Crew in home runs with 21. He is tied with Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Jay Bruce (NYM), and Joey Gallo (TEX) for the fifth-place mark for MLB home runs this season. Aaron Judge of the Yankees leads the league with 27.

Up Next: The Orioles head to Minneapolis for a four-game set against the Twins, and then the All-Star Break will begin.

Image Credit: Baltimore Sun