At its very best, spring training is a mandatory, boring slog standing in the way of the start of real baseball. At its worst it is an ongoing source of anxiety over when things will actually start to look better.
The Orioles, so far in spring training, are closer to the worst than the best. The number of games they've lost keeps growing, and while it's all meaningless and none of it counts, with each passing day you have to wonder a little more if everything is going to be OK when the regular season starts.
On top of just the losses, there continue to be nagging injuries suffered by players who are expected to contribute to the big league team this year. Matt Wieters is only the latest - after he was plucked from Saturday's win over the Twins after only half an inning, much was made of the fact that he's OK, there's not even an MRI scheduled. Fast forward to today:
Wieters had MRI this morning. Buck said Matt's elbow not as sore. Most of swelling gone #orioles— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) March 14, 2016
Maybe it will still turn out to be nothing, but that's quite a reversal.
Anyway, today's game. The Orioles are playing at their spring home, so something resembling a real lineup will take the field - against a Phillies team that is expected to suck. So they should definitely win, right?
This game will not be televised, but it will at least be on the radio airwaves in Baltimore on 105.7 FM.
1. Ryan Flaherty 2B
2. Manny Machado 3B
3. Chris Davis 1B
4. Adam Jones CF
5. Pedro Alvarez DH
6. Mark Trumbo RF
7. Nolan Reimold LF
8. J.J. Hardy SS
9. Caleb Joseph C
SP - Yovani Gallardo RHP