There are few teams in baseball who have been hotter than the Baltimore Orioles since the All-Star break. Led by MLBbro Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins, heading into Tuesday night, Baltimore is 12-6 since the break and only a half game back in the AL Wild card despite trading Trey Mancini and All-Star closer Jorge Lopez.
Baltimore is currently locked in a three-game set with another Wild Card hopeful, the Toronto Blue Jays, and our MLBbro Mullins made sure his squad got off on the right foot to kick off this series.
On Tuesday, Mullins went 2-for-4 with a double and one run scored in his return to the leadoff spot after spending some time batting eight. Following his 30/30 season, Mullins continues to hit fastballs and get on base. Coming into Wednesday night, Mullins was batting .299 against fastballs and hit five of his nine homers against the pitch.
Now the Os haven’t sniffed the playoffs since their 2016 Wild Card game appearance, but for one of the most historic franchises in MLB history, this return to relevance is much needed.
Much like Mullins with this current bunch of Orioles, whenever the playoffs are within reach in Baltimore there’s an MLBbro doing some of the heavy lifting.
Let’s take a look at some notable bros who have led Baltimore to the playoffs.
Any list involving the Orioles would be invalid without the inclusion of this legend. Mr. Robinson was one of two men in the history of this franchise to play, coach and manage. His versatility as a person could only be matched at the plate, where Frank won two MVPs and a Triple Crown for Baltimore. 1966 was one hell of a year for Frank and the O’s, as he took home the regular season MVP, The Triple Crown AND the World Series MVP Trophy.
One of the greatest first baseman in MLB history, “Steady Eddie” is one of seven players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers. Murray was an All-Star seven times in 12 seasons for Baltimore, a run that included five top-5 MVP finishes and a World Series Trophy in 1983. Eddie’s 1983 season saw him hit .306 with 33 homers and 111 RBI in the regular season, arguably the best year of his career.
A member of the last Baltimore squad to have an opportunity to make the playoffs in 2016, Adam Jones was quietly one of the best Orioles of all time. A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner in his 11 years with the squad, Adam ranks top five all-time in hits, runs, RBI, home runs, total bases and extra base hits.
Aaron Judge, Cedric Mullins and Mookie Betts are three of the hottest players in the Majors post All-Star break. Here is a look at their numbers and a preview of what’s ahead for them over the last two months.
1. Aaron Judge
Statistically, Aaron Judge’s 2022 could end up being the greatest regular season for a New York Yankee in their franchise’s history and he has shown little signs of slowing down during the first few weeks of the second half.
He ended July by being unanimously voted for his fourth career American League Player of the Month award after slashing .333/.446/.806 with 32 RBI and 13 home runs including the 200th of his career a few Saturdays ago.
Judge began August on pace to hit 67 home runs which would be the most in a single season since Sammy Sosa hit 66 in 2001 and the most by a Yankee since Babe Ruth had 60 in 1927.
Coming down the stretch, the Major League leader in home runs is going to have to stay locked in not only for his pursuit of a record amount of home runs, but also so his Yankees can earn the top seed in the American League.
His outfield mate and fellow MLBbro Aaron Hicks is 0-for-29 since his last hit on July 27, newly acquired Andrew Benintendi has just two hits in 25 plate appearances as a Yankee and Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with an Achilles injury that will be worth watching as we inch closer towards fall.
2. Cedric Mullins
Cedric Mullins set the tone for the Baltimore Orioles after an emotional trade deadline that saw locker room favorite Trey Mancini sent off to Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.
In his first swing, he muscled an opposite field home run to the left field foul pole at GlobeLife Field.
That hit re-energized the entire roster as they would go on to sweep Texas to begin what is now an undefeated month of August.
Mullins, who last season became the first Baltimore Orioles player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season is now the clear cut captain and catalyst of Major League Baseball’s biggest surprise team.
His O’s came into Sunday just one game out of the final American League Wild Card spot and will have plenty of chances down the stretch against other contending teams to earn their first playoff berth since losing to the Blue Jays in the 2016 Wild Card Game.
Even though the home run pop is not there this season Mullins is still one of the most solid players in the game on both sides of the field.
He is going to eclipse the 30 steal mark for the second season in a row while setting a new career high and he ranks in the top 15 for hits in the American League.
3. Mookie Betts
Everyone in baseball is looking forward to a possible October matchup between the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers and the league’s newest “super team” the San Diego Padres who just added MLBbro Josh Bell along with All-Stars Juan Soto and Josh Hader.
In addition to DJing in the locker room after victories and some wild home run celebrations Betts, whose 25 home runs put him in the top five in the National League and his 78 runs scored first, has his Dodgers with the best record in the Majors and 9-1 in their last 10.
Over his last 15 games, Betts is batting .299 with nine RBI, four home runs and a stolen base.
Baltimore Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins got some much-needed rest during the All-Star break. Even though he wasn’t selected to play in this year’s All-Star Game, Mullins has put together a productive season.
And he plans to make some noise during the second half of the season. Well, he’s certainly off to the right start on making that happen. The Orioles have had some success during the month of July, going on a 10-game winning streak at the beginning of the month.
There’s no question that the American League East is one of the toughest divisions in all of baseball this season, and the Orioles have held their own for the most part. And having a leader like Mullins on the team certainly helps.
The Orioles returned from the All-Star break taking on one of the best teams in the league, in the New York Yankees. In the first two games of the series, Mullins stepped up and reminded everyone why he’s one of the best in the league.
Mullins, a 2021 All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner, went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the first game of the series.
The next game he played a significant role in helping the Orioles come back and win 6-3. He finished the game with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with two RBI and a run scored. He also had a stolen base.
He finished the series with a hit in each game.
Our MLBbro is not afraid of the big stage and when the game is on the line, you better believe he’s going to find a way to come through for his team. Throughout the season, there have been some trade rumors involving Mullins, but nothing has been verified.
Either way, Mullins is going to give full effort every time he steps on the field. This game is a business and at the end of the day, you can only control what you can control. And for Mullins, that is trying to put his team in a position to make a run at a Wild Card spot.
There’s no question that Mullins can provide value for any team he’s a part of.
If the Orioles do decide to keep Mullins around, the next few months for the talented outfielder will be crucial time.
Don’t let Mullins catch fire like he did last season, because it’s going to be bad for opposing teams. And he still has a shot at another 30-homer, 30-steal season, even though he’s only hit seven home runs on the season, with 20 stolen bases.
So don’t count him out just yet.
Mullins is a player who will continue to grow and will get better and better as his career progresses. It’s going to be exciting following him and seeing all the things he’s yet to do.
As the All-Star break approaches, two AL teams, the Seattle Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles are scorching hot, each with double-digit winning streaks. Wouldn’t you know, there’s an MLBbro at the helm of each of these winning streaks… JP Crawford and Cedric Mullins.
In the O’s winning streak, Mullins is batting .307, with one home run and six RBI. He has an on-base percentage of .386 and a slugging percentage of .487 during that span.
Crawford has a batting average of .292, hitting no home runs and five RBI. His on-base percentage during this stretch is .333, to go with a .366 slugging percentage. He has only struck out twice during the M’s 11-game winning streak.
Baltimore has been in a rebuild for at least the past four years, basically waving the white flag when they traded away their superstar third baseman Manny Machado back in 2018 to the LA Dodgers. Ever since the trade, there have been very limited bright spots for Orioles fans to look forward to. Mullins has been one.
Mullins was drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, and made his big league debut in 2018. In 2021, despite Baltimore tying for the worst record in Baseball, he had a career year, batting .291, with 30 home runs, 59 RBI, to go with an on-base percentage of .360 and a slugging percentage of .568. In addition to winning the Silver Slugger award, he ended up being the only Oriole to make the All-Star team in a year in which he became the first Oriole in franchise history to be a part of the 30-30 club, having stolen 30 bases in 2021 as well.
“I think he’s just getting better and better… how far he has come defensively from my first year in 2019 is unbelievable” said Brandon Hyde, the Orioles manager. Hyde wants fans to realize he is a great defensive player as well, emphasizing that he’s not just good with the bat, but an elite all-around player.
Crawford, who was a first round pick in 2013 by the Philadelphia Phillies, had made serious improvements to his game on the offensive side. In 2017 and 2018, his first two seasons in the pros, he batted .214 in each year. When he was dealt to the Mariners in 2019, the change of scenery changed everything. He has improved his batting average every single year, peaking in 2021, having a batting average of .273. He also has done well on the defensive side, as he ended up winning a Gold Glove in the 2020 campaign.
Crawford signed a 51 million dollar extension earlier this year, as he is seen as Seattle’s shortstop for the foreseeable future. “He’s (Crawford) an incredibly competitive player who has become an integral part of our team, both on the field and in the clubhouse” said general manager and president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto.
The Mariners are currently in the AL Wildcard, with the Orioles only being one and a half games back of the final slot. The Mariners have not made the playoffs in 20 years, and the Orioles have been arguably the worst team in baseball of the last half decade. This season has huge potential to be stepping stones in the right direction for both franchises, and Crawford and Mullins will play huge roles to possibly write a new page in their respective franchises histories.