Baltimore Orioles are only 1.5 games out of the Wild Card

The Baltimore Orioles got off to a great start against the Tampa Bay Rays after a 10-3 win on Friday, but the last two games were a much different story.

On Sunday, they almost had a perfect game pitched against them by Drew Rasmussen until it was broken up by Jorge Mateo with a double in the ninth innings. While he has a solid season, his long term future is definitely in question as their top hitting prospect shortstop, Gunnar Henderson, is close to a big league promotion. Henderson has 18 homers with an OPS of .970 in split time between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Baltimore Orioles need a spark

The Orioles are now 1.5 games out of the final wild card spot and do not play the Rays for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, they begin a critical series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. They trail the Jays by 2.5 games for the top wild card spot, and they have ten games left against them. At this point the Orioles might need some help to get into the playoffs.

Could calling up Henderson provide that spark? I think It would be a tremendous idea, and it could be a way to bench the struggling Rougned Odor. Odor has played in over 100 games with an OPS of .640. He is a diminished player at this point that’s barely an MLB starter. Mateo could slide to second base and Henderson could man shortstop. This could provide the lineup that extra boost it needs, and help make up for some of the production Trey Mancini left behind.

Meanwhile, their starting rotation seems to have worn down and they could really use some help down the stretch. Their top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, just threw off the mound last week for the first time since injuring his lat. Could he possibly be ready before the end of the year? If he can’t start could there be a bullpen role for him?

Of course, they will want to see him pitch more in Triple-A first since he’s only thrown 56 innings this year. He has struck out 80 batters with 14 walks during that span. His ERA was 2.09 which is outstanding. Rodriguez is an impressive kid at 6’5 and has been clocked as high as 101 MPH with his fastball. His changeup, slider, and curve are also plus pitches.

On the bright side, even if the Baltimore Orioles don’t make the postseason this year, next year looks like it could finally be the year. A full season of Henderson and Rodriguez could take the O’s to the next level. All hope shouldn’t be lost this year because this team has shown that they’ll fight until the end