Orioles acquire minor league pitcher from Yankees

BALTIMORE — While everyone waited to see if the Orioles would trade Zach Britton, another deal came out of nowhere on Monday afternoon. The Orioles gave up more international signing bonus slots in exchange for Yankees RHP Yefry Ramírez.

So far, Ramírez has spent the 2017 season with the Trenton Thunder, New York's Double-A affiliate. The 23-year-old pitcher holds a 10-3 record and a 3.41 ERA in 18 starts. Ramírez has never pitched above the double A level, and is not considered a prospect. He could still find himself on the major league roster in a year or two.

This marks yet another Orioles trade that involves international signing bonus slots. The team already traded away slots to the Yankees and Dodgers earlier this year in exchange for minor league relievers. The O's even sprinkled some bonus slots into the Jeremy Hellickson deal on Friday. Either the Orioles have no desire to explore the foreign market, or these slots are the only pieces left in the organization with trade value.

Image Credit: MiLB.com

Series Recap: Orioles swept by Yankees after embarrassing pitching display

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse for the Orioles pitching staff, they go out and surrender 38 runs in three games. That’s not a typo, the O’s actually gave up 38 runs against the Yankees this weekend.

Coming into the series we knew it was going to be difficult to take two out of three from the AL East leaders, but what ended up happening is just embarrassing. Yankee batters went 44/110 with 12 home runs as a collective in the series.

The Orioles actually looked ready to play on Friday when the game started. Jonathan Schoop put the O’s up early with a two run homer in the second inning. However, that would end up being the only offensive production for the Orioles. The Yankees, on the other hand, lit up the scoreboard with eight runs.

Dylan Bundy was able to hold the dangerous New York lineup to just three runs through his six innings of work, exiting the game with a one run deficit. The Bullpen was not as effective. Edwin Jackson made his second appearance of the season and surrendered three unearned runs while Stefan Crichton continued to struggle, giving up two more runs.

The Bronx bombers picked up where they left off at the beginning of Saturday nights game. The first inning struggles continued for Chris Tillman as he gave up six runs to start the game. Aaron Judge got things started with a solo shot, followed by a two RBI single from Gary Sanchez and a two run homer by Didi Gregorius. Chris Carter capped off the inning with a RBI single. To make things even more demoralizing, all six runs were scored with two outs on the board.

Due to a lack of off days, injuries, and general overuse in the past few weeks, the Orioles bullpen has not been as deep as manager Buck Showalter would like. The Orioles just cannot afford to have their bullpen pitch more than four innings a game at this point. However, three more Yankee runs in the second inning forced Tillman out of the game after just 1.1 innings.

Once again the bullpen failed to be effective in any way, giving up a collective seven runs in their 6+ innings of work. After their dominate game two win, the Yankees had already secured a series win but a sweep looked inevitable.

Sunday afternoon’s game started almost exactly like Saturday nights game.  The Yankees scored five runs off of Kevin Gausman in the first inning. A two RBI single by Castro got things started and Gary Sanchez followed with a three run homer to take the early lead.

Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees on Sunday. With Masahiro Tanaka struggling in recent outings, the Yankees decided to move his start to Monday. Despite getting an ample amount of run support, Green was on a short leash and had to exit the game after just two innings. It appears that Joe Girardi had set a strict pitch count limit for Green and he reached it faster than they anticipated.

This early call to the bullpen helped the Orioles crawl back into the game. Four straight doubles by Hardy, Tejada, Smith, and Schoop put the Orioles on the board and cut the Yankees lead to two. Just when things started to turn in the Birds favor, the pitching disappointed once again. Gausman was forced out of the game in the fourth inning after giving up another two runs.

The bullpen gave up another seven runs in relief as the Yankees picked up an easy 14-3 win and a sweep. New York now holds a three and a half game lead in the division. The Orioles are sitting six and a half games back and have sunk all the way into fourth place.

The O’s will hit the road tonight as they prepare to take on the Chicago White Sox in a four game series this coming week.  The last time the Orioles faced the White Sox they were able to pick up a sweep.  Their going to need a similar performance this week if they want to turn their season around by the all star break.

Series Preview: Orioles prepare for another battle with division leading Yankees

It seams like the Orioles are just treading water at this point in the season. They have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games, preventing them from moving up or down in the division standings. That could change this weekend as the O’s prepare to take on the AL East leading Yankees in New York.

The Yankees are coming off of a series win against the Red Sox, helping them maintain a spot at the top of the division. They are currently up by three games but are certainly aiming to make that lead a little more comfortable in the coming days.

Last Meeting: The Orioles and Yankees have already played three series against each other this season. In these games the O’s hold a 5-4 advantage despite being outscored 60-52 by New York. After their fourth meeting this weekend, the teams will not meet again until September.

Game times & pitching matchups:

Game 1: Friday, June 9, 7:35 pm – Jordan Montgomery (3-4, 3.67 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (6-4, 2.93 ERA)

Game 2: Saturday, June 10, 7:15 pm – Luis Severino (4-2, 2.90 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (1-3, 5.59 ERA)

Game 3: Sunday, June 11, 1:05 pm – Masahiro Tanaka (5-6, 6.55 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-4, 5.86 ERA)

Notes on the Yankees:

  • Brett Gardner can thank the Orioles pitching staff for getting his offensive production going in 2017. The Yankees veteran is hitting .317 with four home runs and seven RBI’s against the O’s this season.
  • Yankees starter, Masahiro Tanaka has been struggling as of late. In his last five starts Tanaka has given up a combined 35 hits and 27 runs.
  • Its no longer a secret that Aaron Judge is one of the best young players in the game. Judge has been a big threat for opposing pitching all season. With a .330 batting average, 18 home runs, and 41 RBI’s, the Orioles pitching staff will be paying extra attention to Judge.

 Notes on the Orioles:

  • Chris Tillman is in desperate need of a quality start.  After making his season debut in early May, Tillman has struggled immensely. His first start  was a five inning shutout performance that earned him a win.  However, Tillman has given up at least three runs in every start since that season debut.
  • Kevin Gausman has found success against New York so far in his career, going 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 20 games against the Yankees.
  • After taking an MRI on Wednesday, Manny Machado has suffered a sprained left wrist. The third baseman was taken out of Wednesday nights game against Pittsburgh with the wrist / hand injury. Machado missed Thursdays game against the Nationals but is considered day-to-day going forward.

Following their trip to New York, the O’s will head to the south side of Chicago to take on the White Sox in a four game series.

Series Recap: Orioles pick up much needed wins against AL East leading Yankees

After being swept by the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros in consecutive series, the Orioles faced the tough challenge of hosting the AL East leading Yankees early this weekend. To many fans surprise the O’s were able to walk away with a series win and move back within 3.5 games of the division lead.

The Orioles started the three game series against the Yankees with a big win on Memorial day. After losing seven games in a row and finding themselves playing from behind in most of those games, the O’s jumped out to an uncharacteristic, early 3-1 lead by the end of the third inning.

Mark Trumbo brought Joey Rickard home with an RBI single in the first while Jonathan Schoop extended the lead with a double in the third. This would end up being the only offense necessary as Dylan Bundy pitched seven strong innings and held the potent Yankees lineup to just one more run. Darren O’Day pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Brad Brach closed it out in the ninth for his tenth save of the year.

The Bronx bombers would not be held down for long though. The Yankees and their exceptional offense exploded in Tuesday nights game, tagging Chris Tillman for five runs and forcing him to exit after just 2.2 innings. Logan Verrett replaced Tillman out of the pen and gave up three more runs in his three innings of relief.

After five innings the Orioles found themselves down 8-0 and the game was pretty much over. The offense put together three runs through the next four innings, falling very short of a comeback but setting up a rubber match for Wednesday night.

The Orioles offense came back to life in the third game, scoring seven runs off of Masahiro Tanaka. Adam Jones led the way with a three hit game for the O’s after missing the first two games of the series. An RBI double in the third, a three-run homer in the fifth, and an RBI single in the eighth.  Jones’ third hit of the game also marked his 1,500th as an Oriole.

Kevin Gausman was able to battle his way through 5.1 innings of work, surrendering three runs. An inflated pitch count drove him out of the game but the bullpen was able to close out the remaining innings. Mychal Givens, O’Day, and Mike Wright all pitched well and held the Yankees down for the 10-4 win.

Injury notes:

  • Adam Jones was left out of the starting lineup in last Saturday’s game against Houston with hip and ankle discomfort. Buck Showalter said that it was a precautionary move but Jones ended up missing a total of four starts before returning to the lineup on Wednesday.
  • Welington Castillo has been placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a groin injury in Tuesday nights game against New York. The injury is being compared to the one that backup catcher, Caleb Joseph suffered last season. Coincidentally, Castillo was sent to the DL exactly one year after Joseph was for almost the exact same injury.  You can’t make this stuff up.

The challenges for the O’s will continue as they prepare to host the Boston Red Sox for a four game series this weekend. With Boston sitting right behind New York in the standings, these four games hold even more weight. The series begins tomorrow night at 7:05 pm.

Series Preview: Tough road for Orioles continues with first-place Yanks coming to town

The Orioles are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and now sit just two games above .500. With that being said, no one feels sorry for them, and their immediate future is not going to get any easier. The O’s just got swept by the Astros, who happen to have the best record in baseball, and now they are coming home to face the first-place Yankees, who the birds trail by 3.5 games in the American League East.

While the Orioles are ice cold, the Yankees are just the opposite. Over the weekend, the Yankees won two of three games in their home series against the Oakland A’s. New York lost the first game, 4-1, but won the last two games by scores of 3-2 and 9-5. The Yankees are three games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings, and the O’s will face Boston following this series with the Yanks.

Game 1: Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day) – 1:05 pm – Jordan Montgomery (2-3, 4.30 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (5-3, 2.92 ERA) – MASN, ESPN.

Game 2 – Tuesday, May 30 – 7:05 pm – Luis Severino (3-2, 3.11 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (1-1, 4.43 ERA) – MASN.

Game 3: Wednesday, May 31 – 7:05 pm – Masahiro Tanaka (5-4, 5.86 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-4, 6.17 ERA) – MASN.

Last Meeting & Season Series: The Orioles and the Yankees last met in New York from April 28-30, with the Yankees taking two of those three games. The season series between the two teams is all knotted up at 3-3, with the Orioles taking two of three games at Camden Yards in the first week of the season.

Notes on the Yankees:

  • Rookie sensation Aaron Judge is tied for second place in the majors with 15 home runs. He has just one home run in the past 12 games, with the most recent coming on May 20. Against the O’s this season, Judge has a .438 batting average in 16 at-bats, with seven hits, four home runs, and seven RBI.
  • Starlin Castro is the Yankees’ top hitter this season with a batting average of .326. Against the Orioles this season, Castro is .385 with 10 hits, a home run, and four RBI in 26 at-bats.
  • None of the Yankees’ starters that face the Orioles in this series have gone deeper than five innings against the O’s so far this season.
  • Closer Aroldis Chapman was placed on the 10-day disabled list on May 14 with rotator cuff inflammation. His projected recovery time is one month, meaning he will clearly miss this series.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • In the six games played against the Yankees this season, the Orioles scored four or more runs five times. However, they allowed four or more runs five times too.
  • In 13 career starts against the Yankees, Kevin Gausman has a 2.59 ERA. Both Tillman and Bundy’s career ERA’s vs. New York are above 4.
  • Seth Smith’s average against the Yankees this season is .308. In 13 at-bats, he has four hits, a home run, and two RBI. Jones is .385/10/0/2 in 26 AB’s.
  • Brad Brach has not appeared in a game since May 24 against the Twins. He has not allowed a run in three straight appearances. Darren O’Day has not allowed a run in five straight. His last appearance was on Saturday against Houston.

As mentioned above, the Orioles have the Red Sox on deck following this series. The four-game series with Boston runs Thursday through Sunday at Camden Yards.