Baltimore Orioles: The Brooksies, July Edition
Since the Baltimore Orioles have traded fan favorite Trey Mancini and all star closer Jorge López, a varnish of melancholy has covered Birdland, but it’s time to cheer up buttercup!
The O’s will head back home after their series against the Texas Rangers with a winning record. The bullpen is stocked with arms ready and willing to fill the hole left by López. Adley Rutschman has already cemented himself as one of the best catchers in baseball. More prospects should emerge from the minor league system and make contributions for the Orioles before the season is done. There’s no shortage of good vibes here.
Before looking into the future and envisioning what might be, it’d be erroneous to not stop and commemorate the Orioles performance in the month of July. A 16-9 record calls for celebration and with that being said, Birds Watcher presents to you the July edition of the Brooksy Awards.
Best Hitter: Ramon Urias
Anthony Santander (159 wRC+ in July) and Adley Rutschman (148) both put up performances that would’ve run away with the Best Hitter award in most months, but Urias was simply overwhelming in July. Urias entered last month with a .225/.273/.387 slash line and hadn’t played since early June thanks to an oblique injury. Several July hitting clinics later, that same slash line rose to more respectable .248/.298/.429.
Urias was not only the standout performer of the Orioles offense, but one of the hottest hitters in baseball, period; his .406 wOBA was 16th highest among MLB hitters for the month. His five July home runs tied Anthony Santander for most among Orioles hitters and led the team in all other major hitting categories. The Brooksy could only go to Razor Ramon.
Best Pitcher: Spenser Watkins
In a month known for revolution, Spenser Watkins was a revelation in July.
Watkins began 2022 in Baltimore but was optioned to AAA Norfolk in early June after his struggles in eight starts left his ERA sitting at 6.00. After seemingly consuming whatever they put in the water at Harbor Park, Watkins returned to the big club in late June and has been a completely different pitcher since.
Watkins tossed 23 July innings to a 2.35 ERA which led all Orioles starters, lowering his overall ERA to 3.80. Austin Voth has every right to feel snubbed considering his performance, but the Orioles will need both to continue this level of performance to remain in the AL Wild Card race.
Baltimore Orioles: The Brooksies, July Edition
Best Single Game Performance – Hitter: Ramon Urias (7/23 vs. Yankees)
Hogging all the hitting awards to himself, SMH how rude.
It’s hard to pick against against a guy who went 3-for-4 and hit a game-clinching home run against the Yankees though, and that is exactly what Urias did. With the Orioles hanging on to a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, Urias and his volcanically hot bat stepped into the box to face Yankees relieve Shane Greene and launched a ball over the top of Mount Baltimore. The homer gave the Orioles all the insurance runs they required to finish off their division rivals.
Best Single Game Performance – Pitcher: Tyler Wells (7/3 vs. Twins)
Before his month came to an abrupt end when he was struck with an oblique injury, Wells was settling comfortably into his new role as a starting pitcher, exemplified most by his fist July start in Minnesota.
Wells allowed just three hits and one run against a Twins team that currently leads the American League Central, striking out seven in six innings of work. The oblique injury likely ends his stint in the rotation, but Wells showed more than enough to give the Orioles hope that he will be a permanent fixture every fifth day for seasons to come.
Best Moment: Trey Mancini hits inside the park home run on Mo Gaba Day (7/28 vs. Rays)
Fans packed Camden Yards that Thursday afternoon in anticipation that the series finale against Tampa Bay would be the final time Trey Mancini played in front of a Baltimore crowd in a Baltimore Orioles uniform and were rewarded with a moment that wholly embodies Orioles Magic. With the Orioles holding onto a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning and Austin Hays standing on second base, on the day where O’s Hall of Famer Mo Gaba was celebrated, the storybook became reality:
A perfect going away gift from a player that’s given Orioles fans a cornucopia of fond memories during an otherwise rough period of Baltimore baseball.
The Baltimore Orioles Brooksy Awards – July 2022
Best Game: July 26th vs. Rays – Orioles win 5-3
The Orioles weren’t shut down completely by All Star Game starter and purveyor of filth Shane McClanahan (2 runs in his 7 innings of work), but found themselves down a run in the eighth inning with an elite Rays bullpen standing before them. The odds of the O’s turning the game around were low, the margin of error razor thin.
Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, nobody informed Ramon Urias of that.
Razor Ramon flicked his proverbial toothpick towards the Rays dugout as the ball he sent to left field cleared that menacing new wall. Trey Mancini added the final garnish with a sacrifice fly that scored Jorge Mateo and Jorge López sealed the comeback victory with what ended up being one of his final saves in an Orioles uniform.
The Orioles continue to play well despite the recent trades and the remainder of the season should be filled with excitement and intrigue. Be sure to tune in next month for another edition of the Brooksies!