During the holiday, Camden Chat published an article about every member of the Orioles’ 40-man roster. During the 2022 season, we will update new arrivals as they make it onto the roster.
How it arrived: Obtained from Radiology for Critical Considerations 8/2/22; Set to designation by ray 8/1
Who left: Trey Mancini trades with the Astros in a three-team deal that also includes Rays, 8/1/22
Early in the 2000s, then-Ravens coach Brian Bellick delivered one of the great quotes in Baltimore sports history when, after his big win on the road, he said, “When you go into a lion’s den, you don’t swing. You hold a spear, and you go screaming like a villain, kicking any door inside, and saying, ‘Where’s the son of a bitch?’ “
This quote comes to me every time there is an underdog Orioles too, because its spirit always applies. What is essential to defeating a team that you are not supposed to defeat is the bold belief that you can do it – that there is nothing that on paper that stronger team has that you don’t either, or at least you can’t. Overcoming.
What this has to do with the latest version of Oriole Brett Phillips is very simple. On his first day on the job on Wednesday, the first time he spoke to members of the Orioles media as an Oriole, He said“I am here, and I am looking forward to winning the World Championship with the Baltimore Orioles. That would be great.”
When Orioles picked Rice’s Philips in the hours before Tuesday’s trade deadline, my first reaction was to scratch my head in confusion. Here’s a player whose striking career stats don’t seem to do much for the Orioles they don’t already have. He’s a career .189/.275/.349 hitter, and he’s underperformed in the 2022 season. That’s why the Rays hired him for the job after they acquired a different defensive player, Jose Seri, in a three-team deal with Mancini. At bWAR, Phillips has been negative for the season.
The Orioles already had Ryan McKenna sitting as their fourth quarterback, a role that seemed to fit right in for him. At first I thought, maybe they’d send McKenna down when Phillips arrived, but no. At least for now, these two players coexist on the roster.
The left-hit Phillips offers the opposite platoon of the split from the right-handed McKenna, so that’s a thing. However, using the menu doesn’t seem to be very effective if you have two different 4th Defender platoon options. I am also concerned about the opportunity cost of the listing site. There are young players in the league that the team needs to rate at the MLB level at the end. As a bench player, Phillips probably wouldn’t cost them that much that way. But if you ask me before the trade deadline, I’d rather see Kyle Storrs here.
One part of the explanation is certainly that Phillips was a man who was coined by Elias. The Astros picked him in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, the same thing that Houston surprised people with by choosing Carlos Correa as number one overall. Phillips was traded before he played an MLB game before the Astros, but I’m sure Elias knows what he’s going to get. He presented his opinion in Wednesday’s statements:
Certainly his reputation in the league is well known as a great teammate and club man, but we brought him in for his defensive profile, his left racket, his extra speed… I think Brandon will be able to connect him to the locations where he can affect the game, because he has some tools that, when published in the The right place at the right time, you can make him an influential player.
The first sentence of the MLB article you linked near the beginning described “Phillips’ contagious personality,” and that’s on display if you watch the video, as he never seems to stop smiling. Imagine that: a man has traded with Orioles and can’t stop smiling! We don’t see that every day. Rosh Kopatko’s article quoted above here uses similar wording for Phillips: “He doesn’t seem to be having a bad day. A smile never leaves his face.”
It’s easy for fans to underestimate things like having a “good guy in the club” in the mix. In baseball media there are often a lot of post-truth justifications for players who are not very good. Phillips certainly looks like one of those guys. Sometimes this is a load of nonsense and sometimes they offer something invisible to the public.
On Tuesday night’s MASN broadcast, Melanie Newman described one of the ways Phillips has made an impact: He just walks around, hooks himself up with the players and decides they’re friends now. It looked lovely, not annoying.
For the 2022 season, Phillips, 28, gets $1.4 million. He has two more years of team control left after that, if the team wants to take it. A weak reserve will not get a huge increase in arbitrage, so there will be no huge cost. If they think he’s doing positive things behind the scenes and sometimes on the field, the Orioles will probably decide to keep him somewhere beyond this year.
Time will tell whether or not Phillips is actually some kind of invisible “glue man.” I’m always skeptical about this. But also when you start at it, I’m a jerk and I want to believe that my favorite baseball team, who has never won a world championship since I was born, will one day win a world championship.
A man walks in the door of a team that lost 110 games last season and talks about how he wants to win the world championship here? As Bielik said 21 years ago, you can’t swing. The Orioles head into the lion’s den with the running schedule remaining for the final two months of the season.
Phillips’ professional hitting streak says we probably don’t want him to be the one with the spear, but if he’s walking around telling anyone else who’s never been part of a winning team before you know what, we can take down that lion. Well, he certainly can’t hurt – especially as long as he never encounters a left-handed shooter. That would be great.
will come later: Canon lights up