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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Orioles Defeat Yankees 7-3

Updated: Apr 3

Stowers, Charles, and two MLB Vets contribute to O’s victory

*Cover Photo Credit: The Baltimore Banner


The Orioles and the New York Yankees faced each other for the first time in the 2024 calendar year, and it ended in a 7-3 Orioles win.


Austin Hays led the offensive charge with a solo home run to break the scoreless tie in the 5th and 3 RBIs total on the day. Ryan Mountcastle added 2 RBIs of his own with a clutch double shortly after. Cole Irvin tossed three scoreless innings.


As has been the case in many of the Orioles’ early Spring Training exhibitions, many of the team’s Minor League signings, invites, and campers contributed to the win. Here is a look at who else contributed to today’s exciting win over the Yankees.

 

OF Kyle Stowers is ready to graduate the Minor Leagues for good.

Stowers is in the crowded running for the Orioles’ fourth outfield spot. He continues to give guys like prospects Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad a run for their money, and he helped his own case today. Stowers pinch-hit for centerfielder Cedric Mullins in the bottom of the 7th and launched a 2-run home run off a high fastball from the Yankees’ Nick Ramirez. All three of Stowers’ home runs have come against lefties this spring, thus demonstrating his abilities to succeed in left-on-left scenarios.


He is now batting .308 in Spring Training with a 1.357 OPS.


Stowers is doing anything he can to get out of the Minor Leagues for good. Who can blame him? The former 2nd rounder from Stanford University and former top prospect has nothing left to prove in the Minors. He has a career .869 OPS in the Minors along with a .506 SLG. The power-hitting lefty has clobbered 63 home runs in just 294 Minor League games the past three seasons. He even handled the big leagues fairly well in 2022, hitting .253 with his first big league bomb off elite closer Liam Hendriks.


Stowers has been Major League ready for a while, and I personally do not want to see him wear a Minor League uniform ever again. The issue he faces is that he is in the mix of an extremely crowded outfield mix for the Orioles, hence why he pretty much spent most of 2023 at Triple-A Norfolk. Stowers needs to keep hitting well to send the message that he is ready. The way he is hitting right now, he is making his case for the Orioles to fit him on the roster. Perhaps another team may pick him up in a trade if the Orioles run completely out of room for him.  

 

The Orioles’ Minor League pitching development has sent some outstanding relievers to the big leagues before. Felix Bautista, who is out for 2024 due to Tommy John surgery, and Yeinner Cano have blossomed into MLB All-Stars, while Mike Baumann serves as a reliable multi-inning reliever.


27-year old Wandisson Charles could be next.


The Dominican Republic native appeared in the top of the 8th inning today and got off to a quick start, striking out Yankees infielder Jeter Downs on three pitches including a well-spotted high-90s fastball and a sharp slider as the ender. After surrendering a ground-rule double and a walk, Charles got a flyout and a groundout to escape further trouble and end his scoreless outing.

Pitcher Wandisson Charles threw a scoreless inning today and could be the Orioles' next big breakout reliever. Photo: John Topoleski

Charles stood out to me in Bowie last year. I noticed his big arm immediately, as he would occasionally top out at 100 MPH and just blow heat by Double-A hitting. The strikeout material was there, and he was Bowie’s late inning machine until his promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. He has the potential to sneak up on people as a late-inning piece for Brandon Hyde this season. If the Tides and pitching coach Justin Ramsay can help Charles with his command and the base on balls, he could become an unhittable force out of the bullpen. I am very excited to see how Charles develops as he makes a run for the show.

 

Both Teheran and Wong were signed to Minor League contracts earlier this week. However, it has been a while since either player has seen the Minor Leagues as both have all-Star resumes in the Major Leagues. They each made their Spring Training debuts today.


Teheran tossed a scoreless top of the 4th inning, striking out one batter (Kevin Smith) allowing no hits or walks. The 2x All-Star was a stalwart in the Braves’ rotation for 9 solid seasons, putting up a 3.67 ERA and 1,184 career strikeouts in 1,469 innings as a Brave. He has shuffled around battling injuries and pitching with several different teams since departing the Braves and most recently spent 2023 with the Brewers, where he put up a 4.40 ERA. Teheran is now in the running for one of two rotation spots in Baltimore with Kyle Bradish and John Means still down with injuries. He will make $2 million if his contract is selected to the 25-man roster.


Wong batted seventh and started at his natural second base for the Orioles today. Though he went 0-for-2, he saw a lot of defensive action at second base where he held the fort down well. Defense has been the name of Wong’s game his entire career. The 2x gold glover is one of the smoothest fielding second basemen in the game, and the St. Louis Cardinals were treated to eight glorious years of Kolten Wong gold glove defense.


Wong, a lifetime .256 hitter, most likely serves as either platoon depth or Minor League depth for the Orioles right now. The Major League infield is crowded with Gunnar Henderson, Ryan Mountcastle, Jordan Westburg, and possibly even No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday having spots occupied in the infield. That means Wong will most likely stick around if anything were to happen to anyone, but to also build his career and skillset back up. Between the Dodgers and Mariners last season, he hit just .183 and had an OPS of just .519. That being said, the Orioles are good at revamping veterans as past guys like Adam Frazier, Jordan Lyles, and Tommy Milone saw newborn success upon joining Baltimore. Perhaps that part of Orioles magic can help Wong.

 

Tomorrow

The Birds will do battle against the Pirates again, but this time in the Bucs’ house in LECOM Park. Former top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez has the ball for Baltimore.

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