As the seemingly-interminable spring training season winds to its conclusion, the Orioles find themselves in second place in the Grapefruit League with a 16-7 record. I wrote the previous sentence thinking I would jokingly pretend to care about the Orioles winning Florida spring training for the rest of this post, but just pointing out their record is all the farther I can get.
Many of the games, especially road games, feature lineups populated mostly by scrubs. Many of the home games feature the opposing team's lineup being mostly full of scrubs. On top of that, you have manager Buck Showalter's cheeky manipulation of his presumptive rotation to start out the season, making it so those pitchers avoid facing AL East hitters and also the Twins, whom the O's will be playing in their home opening series once again. No one is playing full strength against anyone in spring training.
Still, it feels better to have good meaningless results than bad ones. So while there's no prize for winning the Grapefruit League, it's sorta nice to see that whoever has been taking the field in an Orioles uniform has mostly been winning games. There were probably a lot of years where the Orioles had a great spring training record and they ended up stinking in the regular season, so, you know.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||PITTSBURGH PIRATES|
|Alexi Casilla SS||Starling Marte LF|
|Ryan Flaherty 2B||Russell Martin C|
|Nolan Reimold DH||Andrew McCutchen CF|
|Wilson Betemit 3B||Gaby Sanchez 1B|
|Jason Pridie RF||Pedro Alvarez 3B|
|Trayvon Robinson LF||Neil Walker 2B|
|Travis Ishikawa 1B||Jose Tabata RF|
|Taylor Teagarden C||John McDonald SS|
|Chris Dickerson CF||Chris Leroux RHP|
This lineup is a great illustration of why I don't take spring training results seriously.
Brian Matusz is the O's starter, and according to the Orioles reporters, Luis Ayala, Troy Patton, Chris Pettit, Jason Gurka, and Zech Zinicola also made the trip to Bradenton.
The game is not on TV in Baltimore, but you can listen on WBAL radio, or watch the Pirates TV feed through MLB.tv.