There may be 34 days to go until there's real Orioles baseball, but there are only zero days remaining until there's fake Orioles baseball. The spring training schedule starts this afternoon with a contest against the Rays, and to help it feel a little bit more like real baseball, it will be televised on MASN as well as on 105.7 in Baltimore, so you'll be able to hear familiar Orioles voices talking about baseball. That's worth something.
During this game, the Orioles will be wearing caps of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team to honor the victims of the shooting at the Parkland, Fla. school. The game-worn caps will eventually be autographed and auctioned with proceeds benefiting the Broward Education Foundation.
The Orioles haven't even played a game yet and they are already having some injuries crop up to affect their lineup. Jonathan Schoop was originally in the lineup and was scratched due to bursitis in his non-throwing elbow. A bursa sac is full of fluid and cushions joints. Bursitis is when there's inflammation in a bursa sac. The Orioles team doctor drained some of the fluid from Schoop's elbow to relieve that inflammation. There's no timetable for his return.
So that's not ideal. Neither is Miguel Castro having tendinitis in both of his knees. In the normal course of affairs, spring training is the healthiest that players are going to get, so having these sorts of problems at the beginning of the exhibition season is, while not necessarily a disaster, more than is ideal to have to worry about.
On the other hand, at least the Orioles aren't the Rays, who had pitching prospect Brent Honeywell, one of the top 20 prospects in baseball, suffer a torn UCL while throwing batting practice yesterday. That's some crummy luck. Never pitch.
Here is the first fake Orioles lineup of the year:
- Tim Beckham - 3B
- Trey Mancini - LF
- Manny Machado - SS
- Adam Jones - CF
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Mark Trumbo - DH
- Anthony Santander - RF
- Caleb Joseph - C
- Luis Sardinas - 2B
Mike Wright is the starting pitcher, though he surely won't be pitching for long since it's early in spring training. Also scheduled to throw in this game are Chris Lee, Jeff Ferrell, Joely Rodriguez, Donnie Hart, Jimmy Yacabonis, and Pedro Araujo. As of this writing, I cannot independently confirm that Jeff Ferrell is not made up.