Baltimore Orioles: Bowie Baysox Face “Major” Hurdle To Championship
The Bowie Baysox are set to take on the Trenton Thunder in the Double-A Eastern League championship series. Can the Baltimore Orioles affiliate repeat their 2015 season and bring home the title?
After a significant turnaround by the Bowie Baysox, the Baltimore Orioles Double-A affiliate begin their quest for an Eastern League title tonight in New Jersey as they begin a best-of-five series against the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Elite pitching performances and a dominant bullpen helped to get Bowie into the playoffs, and while the pitching has continued to show up in the playoffs, it’s been the offense that has helped to propel Bowie into the Eastern League championship series. If Bowie wants to claim their first EL title since 2015, they are going to have to do so against some major league competition. We’re not talking about major league-quality prospects, but literal major leaguers.
Here’s a look at the pitching probables for the first four games of the series. These names are according to MASN’s Steve Melewski and the Trentonian’s Kyle Franko and are subject to change.
- Game 1- Michael Baumann (6-2, 2.31 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) vs Jordan Montgomery (Rehab- 3.2 IP this season) followed by Dellin Betances and Stephen Tarpley.
Montgomery went 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA and finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting back in 2017 with the Yankees but made just six starts in 2018 (2-0, 3.62 ERA) before going under the knife for Tommy John surgery. He’s in his early stages of returning from surgery, making a handful of rehab appearances recently. According to Kyle Franko, Montgomery will throw three innings or 50 pitches before giving way to Betances and Tarpley. Betances owns a career 2.36 ERA in 357 major league games and is a four-time MLB All-Star. Tarpley has also made 16 big league appearances this year.
- Game 2- Cody Sedlock (5-3, 2.84 ERA, .202 BAA between High-A/AA) vs Luis Severino
Severino hasn’t pitched with the Yankees this season but has been one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball in his last two seasons of action (33-14, 3.19 ERA, 450 strikeouts in 384 IP). The Yankees are hoping that he can be contribute come playoff time.
- Game 3- Zac Lowther (13-7, 2.55 ERA, .197 BAA) vs Clarke Schmidt (6-5, 3.47 ERA, 1.18 WHIP across 3 levels).
Schmidt, a first-round pick of New York back in 2017, is currently ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees system and hasn’t given up a run in his last three starts (19.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 18 K’s). He will go up against Birds Watcher’s Pitching Prospect of the Year in Zac Lowther who will look to continue to lead this Bowie Baysox team as he has done all year.
Game 4 (if necessary)-
(8-6, 2.95 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) vs Michael King (3-2, 5.48 ERA across 4 levels).
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King enters as the 20th-ranked prospect in the Yankees system and is seen as a future major league starter for the Yankees, according to MLB Pipeline. He owns a career 2.93 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 387 career minor league innings.
While many fans have expressed frustrations online about the Yankees using a slew of major league pitchers on rehab to help Trenton win this series, even if Bowie falls in their first two games of the series (which I doubt happens), they respond with Zac Lowther and Alex Wells who have been phenomenal all season.
Bowie is also coming off a 2-1 series victory over the Harrisburg Senators in which they scored 18 runs on 46 hits. Cedric Mullins (hit for the cycle in game four against Harrisburg) and Preston Palmeiro have been hot this postseason, after less than stellar performances during the regular season, Top 30 prospects Yusniel Diaz, Ryan McKenna, and Brett Cumberland grace the lineup, and “Mr. I Hit A Lot Of Baseballs And Make Ridiculous Plays With My Glove” Mason McCoy is always a threat.
This Bowie Baysox team can win it all and I can’t wait to watch it! You can also watch via the MiLB TV app or get one last taste of live minor league baseball at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie.