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How 23-win Orioles could possibly end up with more than one All-Star

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I mean, there’s no earthly way that the Baltimore Orioles, who are on pace to lose 116 games, could have more than one All-Star, right? After all, they’re the worst team in baseball, and it’s not particularly close. In fact, if you look through run-differential-colored glasses, they’re on pace to be the worst team in modern baseball history: Through 81 games, the O’s are at minus-178 (and that’s after a shocking 13-0 beatdown of the Cleveland Indians on Friday). If you multiply that by two, you get minus-356, which would break the record currently held by the 1932 Red Sox (minus-349). So how in the wide world of sports could a team like that possibly have multiple All-Stars?nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

On Friday against Cleveland, Means — who missed his last start because of shoulder issues — did what he has been doing all season long, keeping hitters off balance by mixing his low 90s fastball and good-not-great slider with a vastly improved changeup that has become a legit out pitch for the 26-year-old rookie. The result was five shutout frames against a surging Indians squad that has been treating hurlers pretty rudely of late. But on Friday, the Tribe couldn’t get anything going. In other words, it was business as usual for Means.5

Including his outing against Cleveland, the left-hander has a crisp and clean 2.50 ERA that ranks third among American League starters. Well, it would rank third if Means had enough innings to qualify. But thanks to his recent injured list stint, plus the fact that he spent the first couple of weeks of the season in the bullpen, he’s about five innings short of qualifying. When it comes time for All-Star reserves (and pitchers) to be announced on Sunday evening, there’s a good chance that Means’ relatively light workload leaves him on the outside looking in.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

It has been widely accepted for weeks now that Trey Mancini, Baltimore’s slugging outfielder/first baseman, would be the team’s one and only representative at this year’s Midsummer Classic. Mancini, who finished a distant 15th among AL outfielders in the primary election (the top nine finishers had a run-off to determine the three OF starters), has been solid from the get-go this season. Entering Friday, his .904 OPS ranked third among American League outfielders, and his 1.6 WAR ranked eighth. Clearly, if you’re mining for Orioles All-Stars, Mancini is the only logical choice.

“Does he have enough starts?” asked manager Brandon Hyde when asked about his pitcher’s All-Star credentials following Baltimore’s win on Friday. “I mean, he’s 7-4 with a 2.50. I haven’t even seen his stat pack, so I don’t know where he ranks. But I’m sure it’s up there. I think if he would’ve started the year in the rotation, and maybe didn’t get this last 10-day IL stint, I think he’d get a little more consideration. But I do feel like he’s pitching like an All-Star pitcher. He’s giving us All-Star starts.”

In a world where skippers are constantly stumping for their own players to make the Midsummer Classic, Hyde’s candid comments suggest that, in all likelihood, Means won’t get the nod. It doesn’t help that his FIP (fielding independent pitching) entering the Indians series stood at 4.09, suggesting that there’s probably a bit of smoke and mirrors when it comes to Means’ success in traditional stat categories like ERA.

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