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Saturday night Orioles game thread: vs. Twins, 7:05

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The Orioles put their undefeated record on the line against the Twins on Saturday night as Andrew Cashner makes his O’s debut. Here’s hoping this works out.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Mets Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

So, this Chris Davis leadoff thing is really happening. He is leading off once again, meaning it’s no longer a one-game experiment but rather a possible unfolding pattern. Maybe Buck Showalter will change his mind tomorrow, or any time that the Orioles face a left-handed starter.

No lefty in sight tonight. Instead, the Twins will be sending out Kyle Gibson, who has been so bad over the last two seasons that he would have fit right in the Orioles rotation with his 5.07 ERA. This would be the time for the Orioles hitters to start to make their presence felt this season.

The other thing that’s happening tonight is the Orioles debut for Andrew Cashner. It will neither be a success nor a failure based on what happens in his first start. There will need to be a much larger sample size to make any judgments. Our early feelings about the rotation, however, will certainly be riding on whether one of the O’s three free agent pitching signings gets off on a good foot.

I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Cashner, as has been written before, and if he struggles may be written again, has some of the same warning signs as, say, Yovani Gallardo, with velocity concerns, a declining strikeout rate paired with a high-ish walk rate, and more rhetoric about being a “veteran innings eater” than his actual innings totals deserve.

I wish him good fortune tonight nonetheless. I would like to be wrong to worry about that stuff. Here’s the starting lineup for this Saturday night:

  1. Chris Davis - 1B
  2. Manny Machado - 3B
  3. Jonathan Schoop - 2B
  4. Adam Jones - CF
  5. Trey Mancini - LF
  6. Colby Rasmus - RF
  7. Tim Beckham - 3B
  8. Anthony Santander - DH
  9. Caleb Joseph - C

You can also color me surprised to see Anthony Santander in there at DH. I figured the Orioles would mostly try to hide him and not play him over the 44 days that they have to have him on the roster due to Rule 5 regulations. It won’t be the last time that I figure something wrong about this team. Hoping for a good night from him, too.