The Baltimore Orioles have taken an extremely unusual path to playoff contention this year. And now they find themselves just three games out of the third Wild Card spot heading into September.
Now, they’re calling in reinforcements to help in the playoff push, bringing up top prospect Gunnar Henderson to the majors on Wednesday.
Henderson was walking past his manager’s office in Triple-A when he got called in. He seemed a bit perturbed by the fact that he was on his way to get a burger he’d ordered, although the news he received probably tasted a bit better:
Orioles Farm Continues To Contribute
Henderson is a consensus top-5 prospect in all of baseball and should immediately pay dividends for the Orioles as they chase down the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays. He will start at third tonight for the Orioles.
He’s torn through the minor leagues this year, hitting 19 home runs and stealing 22 bases between AA and AAA. He has shown outstanding plate discipline. That success was rewarded with an appearance in the MLB Futures Game at Dodger Stadium.
The Orioles bringing him up shows they intend to try and compete as hard as possible for the playoffs this year. Add this to the fact that their future looks brighter now that catcher Adley Rutschman appears to be living up to expectations.
That makes it all the more confusing that they were sellers at the trading deadline:
Orioles Still In The Hunt
Trey Mancini and closer Jorge Lopez would sure seem to be valuable additions right now, wouldn’t they?
It’s even more confusing given that, at the end of August, the Twins, who traded for Lopez, have the exact same record as the Orioles.
Either way, calling up Henderson makes the rest of the AL playoff race that much more interesting.
And don’t worry, his teammate confirmed he did receive the burgers anyway: