With a roster the average age of 28.5 years-old, the Baltimore Orioles rank 18th in MLB, which tells you that they have a perfect blend of veterans and young guns.
Led by 28-year-old All-Star centerfielder Cedric Mullins the Orioles are currently 91-53, which is good enough for the second-best record in all of MLB, trailing only the Atlanta Braves. As the team tries to navigate the final 18 games of the season, one which will likely end with a playoff berth, its first since 2016, the focus is to stay healthy and finish strong.
Mullins, who in many ways is an elder statesman on the roster is doing his best to lead by example. His play is always up-to-par, and even when his bat isn’t going, he’s one of the game’s best defensive centerfielders. His infectious spirit, and love for the game resonates throughout the club. Mullins has 11 hits, 12 RBI and three homers in his last 15 games. The O’s are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Mullins Says Team Staying Steady In Approach
His presence was never more evident than on Monday night as the Orioles registered their 46th comeback win of the season, the most in all of MLB. In the 11-5 win over the Cardinals, Mullins went yard for the third grand slam of his six-year career.
Mullins told reporters that the team prepares for a multitude of things every day, and that’s a huge reason why they’ve had so much unforeseen success this season.
“We’re just staying diligent with our approach,” Mullins said. “We go over a handful of guys that are possibly going to be available each day, just having a broad idea of what we want to do against them. When they come in, we just narrow in our focus.”
Mullins definitely demonstrated that on his grand slam, when he took the fourth pitch by righty reliever Andre Pallante, who entered to face him, deep.
O’s Manager Hopes That Hit Was A Sign
The dynamic centerfielder has struggled a bit since his return from an adductor/groin strain that sidelined him for four weeks. Batting just .251 since he returned to the field, O’s manager Brandon Hyde hopes that big hit opens up the floodgates for Mullins.
“He’s a little bit frustrated and wants to contribute a little more,” Hyde said. “For him to get a hit like that at a time new needed it, we weren’t pitching well, and down early … For him to give us that boost, that was huge.”
For the Orioles sake Hyde isn’t the only one who hopes that unlocks Mullins’ hitting prowess, and they can only hope it extends into the postseason. As the Baltimore Orioles seek to make some noise in the “Hunt For October.”
This season Mullins is batting .248 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI. His .772 OPS is one of the better ones for centerfielders. He’s also flashed that speed on the base paths with 17 stolen bases, the injury slowed a lot of that prior to him being out.