- - Wednesday, June 26, 2019

BALTIMORE — Baltimore introduced first-round pick Adley Rutschman on Tuesday and second-round selection Gunnar Henderson tipped his cap to the fans before the top of the fourth inning Wednesday.

The Orioles are doing their best to sell fans on the future — because the present is not very pretty after a 10-5 loss Wednesday to San Diego.

Baltimore allowed five homers and is now 22-58. The Orioles have been outscored by 189 runs this season and given up 165 homers — on pace to smash the MLB record. Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, a first-round draft pick in 2011, now has a 4.91 ERA and has yielded 19 longballs this season after allowing two homers in four innings.

Franmil Reyes hit two homers for San Diego while teammates Greg Garcia, Eric Hosmer and Hunter Renfroe also left the yard.

Former Nationals catcher Pedro Severino, batting cleanup, and Jonathan Villar had home runs for Baltimore before a crowd of just 13,408.



The Orioles were a franchise-worst 47-115 last year and have barely been competitive of late.

“I don’t feel great about it,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “This has probably been the worst two-week stretch that we’ve had, not only in terms of the losses but the play has been rougher.”

The Orioles have drawn an average of just over 16,000 fans per game this season, down from 19,311 last year.

But some supporters are willing to wait on the youth movement.

Paul Morano was at both games with the Padres this week since his son Nicolas, 11, is a big fan of Manny Machado, who played for the Orioles from 2012-18 and is now with San Diego.

The elder Morano has been making the trek from Worcester, Mass., to Orioles games since Camden Yards opened in 1992.

“If they are going to lose 120 games, people would rather watch all of the kids; bring them all up,” Morano said. “If they are going to lose, lose with the kids.”

Jim Zapf, 47, of western Maryland isn’t so optimistic. “For another 20 years?” he said when asked how long the rebuild might last. He was at Wednesday’s game with his son Camden, 13, who was named for the stadium.

The man in charge of the massive rebuild is Elias, who was part of the Houston front office when the Astros won the World Series in 2017. That came after the Astros lost more than 100 games a season from 2011-13.

Elias was hired following last season after general manager Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter were not retained.

Rutschman was the first overall pick by the Orioles since pitcher Ben McDonald out of LSU in 1989. The power-hitting catcher was the first backstop taken first overall in the draft since 2001 when Joe Maurer — a possible Hall of Famer — was picked by the Minnesota Twins.

“This was a big decision for our organization,” Elias said. “We took it very seriously. It’s huge. It was a great draft class.”

“It has been a long journey to get here,” Rutschman said. “I am honored and excited to get going. I had the opportunity to meet of the guys (with the Orioles). It was always a goal of mine to be in this position.”

It may be several years before Ruthschman and Henderson, signed out of an Alabama high school, make it to Camden Yards. Both are headed to the rookie Gulf Coast League in Florida to start their pro careers.

And some fans are willing to wait for them. “I was ready for it to happen,” Ed Strong, 39, of Catonsville said of the rebuild. “I’m patient, I’m willing to see it through.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide