It takes a lot to slow down former Orioles ace Jim Palmer, who turns 74 in October. But the longtime Orioles color commentator hasn't been on the call for MASN in recent weeks due to shingles.
However, Palmer has maintained a positive attitude during this difficult time.
"The first 72 years of my life were pretty good," Palmer said on
The Bat Around
Sept. 7, "so this last year isn't so bad."
Though the Orioles are struggling, Palmer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, three-time World Series champion and six-time All-Star, likes what he's seen from some of the team's young players in 2019. Infielder Hanser Alberto, 26, is hitting .314/.336/.432 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs, while outfielder Anthony Santander is hitting .271/.308/.483 with 18 homers and 53 RBIs.
"The Orioles had some great stories this year -- Hanser Alberto, Anthony Santander, what a year he's had," Palmer said. "It will be interesting to see where this ballclub goes down the road. It's a shame I'm missing September, because I can't see some of the young guys come up."
Though right-hander Dylan Bundy has posted some disappointing numbers this year, Palmer is still confident Bundy can turn it around in the years to come. Bundy has posted a 6-14 record with a 4.99 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 149.2 innings pitched.
Palmer harkened back to 2016 -- Bundy's first full year in the big leagues -- when the right-hander had extra heat on the fastball.
"I still remember him coming into extras in Dodger Stadium throwing 94-95," Palmer said. "I'm surprised his fastball velocity has dropped as much as it did, and is a little bit below the average. [Camden Yards] plays so small. You need to throw more breaking balls. Dylan's always prepared and he works on his stuff."
Palmer has long been an icon in Baltimore, but this summer, another longtime Orioles ace joined him in the National Baseball Hall of Famer Jim: Mike Mussina.
Mussina, who pitched in Baltimore from 1991-2000, was a five-time All-Star and a seven-time Gold Glove winner during his 18-year career. In addition, he amassed a career WAR of 82.8 (according to Baseball Reference), 270 career wins and 2,813 career strikeouts.
"We all knew he deserved to get in. He pitched in the steroid era. ... He was a very, very good pitcher and won all of the Gold Gloves," Palmer said. "I always thought he was as good a pitcher as I was. He didn't pitch as many innings because the description changed. Gifted, smart, probably made adjustments in game as well as anyone else."
Mussina, who pitched his final eight years of his career with the New York Yankees, decided to go into the Hall of Fame without a logo on the cap of his plaque.
"I wish ... he would have gone in as an Oriole and played his whole career as an Oriole, because he certainly would have helped this organization," Palmer said. "... If you know Mike Mussina, you know he is the voice of reason."
For more from Palmer, listen to the full interview here:
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