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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where spring training is only a week away

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It's one week to go until spring training and the Orioles still have two starting pitchers. That probably won't change today. Also today: Top prospect lists aplenty.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 51 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used in the 2017 season by Alec Asher, who may yet find himself back on the team to reclaim the number this year.

We’re also now down to just one week until Orioles pitchers and catchers report to mark the beginning of spring training. One week! If it wasn’t clear already, we can now fairly safely conclude that the Orioles will be heading into spring training without a full rotation.

That’s not ideal, but I guess it’s only the March 29 rotation that matters... and even then, the fifth starter doesn’t matter until, if I’m doing my math right, the ninth game of the year. At FanFest, Dan Duquette said he hopes to have any additions settled by March 1. So he isn’t in a rush at all, much to the chagrin of Orioles fans who watched last year’s rotation and would like to not see such a horrible rotation again this year.

Around the blogO’sphere

Once distinctive to the Orioles, teams waiting out free agency becoming destructive this offseason (Baltimore Sun)
The time is fast approaching, if it hasn’t already passed, for the Orioles to you know what or get off the pot.

Leftovers for breakfast (School of Roch)
A confused soul lobbed a softball question about Ryan Flaherty to Dan Duquette at FanFest, the answer to which is still providing fodder for Roch more than a week later.

Is it important for MLB to shorten the length of games? (Baltimore Baseball)
Dan Connolly wants to know where people stand on pace of play. I’m all in favor of shortening games if what’s being cut out is boring gamesmanship like endless catcher visits.

2018 Top 100 prospects (Fangraphs)
We’re still in prospect list season, and here’s a new batch. Fangraphs is not so high on the O’s set of guys, slotting in with just one: Austin Hays at #90.

2018 prospects: The top 101 (Baseball Prospectus)
Baseball Prospectus is a little bit more positive, but only slightly: Ryan Mountcastle at #65 and Austin Hays at #72. Nowhere to be found: Chance Sisco.

Who does ZiPS project to be the top 100 prospects of 2018? (ESPN)
And one more stab at a top prospect list, as the ZiPS projection system takes a crack at the O’s minors. ZiPS likes Hays (#19) quite a bit, and also gives some love to Tanner Scott at #85. That’s... a whole lot more optimistic than I am about Tanner Scott.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 2012, the Orioles traded Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. The Camden Chat reaction to the trade, “Jeremy Guthrie traded to the Rockies for two players not likely to be any better than Jeremy Guthrie,” may not be our most prescient response ever.

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: 2016-17 designated hitter Pedro Alvarez.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Illuminati founder Adam Weishaupt (1748), infamous duel winner Aaron Burr (1756), baseball legend Babe Ruth (1895), 40th president Ronald Reagan (1911), actress Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917), actor Rip Torn (1931), TV journalist Tom Brokaw (1940), musician Bob Marley (1945), and Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose (1962).

On this day in history...

In 60, the day of the week has been preserved for posterity for the first time. In Pompeii, there was a record in graffiti that this day was a Sunday - although by today’s calendar it would be a Wednesday.

In 1778, a pair of treaties concluded between France and the nascent United States of America marked official recognition for the young republic.

In 1862, during the Civil War, Union forces won their first victory of the war, when a force led by General Grant captured a Confederate fort in Tennessee at the Battle of Fort Henry.

In 1952, Elizabeth II became the Queen of England when her father, George VI, passed away. At the time, Elizabeth was in a treehouse in Kenya.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 6 - or at least, unless something happens later, which, with the way this offseason is going it probably won’t be today. Have a safe Tuesday.