There are now 49 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This uniform number was used by Gabriel Ynoa in the 2017 season, and if everything else holds the way it is right now, he may well be back to claim it here in 2018. I mean, unless he wants to change numbers. That's always an option.
We're also down to just five days until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota to mark the beginning of spring training. Five also happens to be the number of starting pitchers that an MLB team needs to typically have in its rotation during the regular season, of which, as we all know, the Orioles presently have... two. This does seem like a less than ideal state of affairs.
The even more immediate sad news on this Thursday is that the permanent Orioles utility man of the last six seasons, Ryan Flaherty, is officially not an Oriole any more. He signed a minor league deal with the Phillies on Wednesday. Whoever is going to fill that role for the O's this upcoming season, it won't be Flahrt.
Does that mean a whole heck of a lot for the 2018 team? Not really, no. After all, the Orioles seemed to have moved on from him before now, since they had plenty of opportunities to sign him and instead they spent time acquiring players like Engelb Vielma. Poking fun at names is the low-hanging fruit of this whole blogging enterprise, and a name like that is the lowest of the low-hanging fruit.
The really interesting thing would be if they actually sign a starting pitcher. They probably won't do it today, but as we'll see in today's links, they are, at least, talking to some guys who may not be terrible. That counts as some kind of progress. Sort of.
Around the blogO'sphere
As Orioles' wait continues, other teams have inexpensively filled out rotations (Baltimore Sun)
The Sun observes that while the Orioles don’t seem to want to pay starters, they also didn’t sign a bunch of cheap starters who got signed early this offseason. Maybe they shouldn’t have slept through November.
Market notes on Orioles, Lynn, other starting pitchers (MLBTR)
Not that my opinion is worth a hill of beans, but Lance Lynn is a guy I hope the Orioles would be able to sign to a contract that doesn’t leave everyone laughing at the Orioles.
He’s not the only one they’ve been talking to:
The #Orioles have checked out Lance Lynn, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman, among others. They appear content to wait in hopes of signing someone to a short-term deal. Peter Angelos hesitant to commit to 4-year deal after the Ubaldo Jimenez experience.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 7, 2018
...this isn’t very re-assuring.
Orioles re-sign Craig Gentry to minor league deal (School of Roch)
If anyone out there was losing sleep over the fate of Craig Gentry, you were probably able to sleep soundly last night. There are many worse players who could be stashed in Norfolk.
Can the Orioles now take the next step with Jonathan Schoop? (Steve Melewski)
I have to admit that after all of the FanFest absence hullabaloo, I’ve been assuming that Jonathan Schoop will be gone ASAP much like Manny Machado - just a year later for Schoop. But maybe the Orioles will surprise me.
Minor league podcast: Analyzing the Shorebirds (Baltimore Baseball)
Continuing their trek through the Orioles system, the folks at Baltimore Baseball look at last year’s Delmarva Shorebirds prospects. There, uh, weren’t any, except for Australian lefty Alex Wells.
Here's some lower-ranked prospects we love (Fangraphs)
A few Orioles minor leaguers who were left off of the Fangraphs top 100 prospects list got something of an honorable mention in this article, including Hunter Harvey.
Birthdays and anniversaries
In 2008, the Orioles pulled off the trade that sent Erik Bedard to the Mariners for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, and two other players. That was a good trade, you guys.
There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: cycle-hitting 2008-10 outfielder Felix Pie, 1974 short-timer Bob Oliver, and the late 1955-56 reserve Hoot Evers.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: mathematician Daniel Bernoulli (1700), Civil War-era general William Tecumseh Sherman (1820), adventure author Jules Verne (1828), novelist Kate Chopin (1850), actor James Dean (1931), composer John Williams (1932), wrestler Big Show (1972), and SNL acress Cecily Strong (1984).
On this day in history...
In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was executed after having been found guilty of plotting to assassinate her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, in whose custody she had been held for the past eighteen years.
In 1904, the Japanese struck a Russian naval force in a surprise night attack in the Battle of Port Arthur, opening the Russo-Japanese War. The Japanese victory in that war proved rather influential as the 20th century unfolded.
In 1915, the silent film The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles. This film is credited in part with inspiring a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. President Wilson screened it at the White House.
In 1968, members of the South Carolina Highway Patrol opened fire on a crowd of protestors at South Carolina State University, killing three people. The protest in Orangeburg, South Carolina was centered around a bowling alley whose owner refused to segregate.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on February 8 - or at least, unless something happens later, which, hey, you never know... it might. Have a safe Thursday.