This past week, there was snow in central Maryland. You may have gotten a truncated day of work, depending on your place of employment, and if you have or are a school-aged kid, they probably got the day off, too. These things may make winter seem cold and interminable, but it will not last forever. As proof, there is Orioles baseball today, and it will even be on your TV, provided you can watch MASN.
Spring training is only spring training, and as you’ll see when we get to the lineups and expected pitchers, there’s not a lot of inherent excitement brought on by the specific personnel who will be involved today. The 2019 O’s season’s approach in less than five weeks offers little inherent excitement as well.
Still, it’s been nearly five months since there was last an Orioles game to watch, and today there is one. That’s exciting in and of itself. We’ll get a first little look at some new faces, anecdotes from the broadcasters about the new front office and coaching staff, and maybe somewhere in the middle of it all will show up a feeling that things are going to get better eventually.
The starting lineup for the first Orioles exhibition game looks like this:
- Cedric Mullins - CF
- Joey Rickard - RF
- Renato Núñez - 3B
- Chance Sisco - C
- Yusniel Diaz - DH
- Stevie Wilkerson - 1B (you knew him previously as Steve)
- Eric Young Jr. - LF
- Jace Peterson - 2B
- Richie Martin - SS
It is a lineup that might make one feel glum even if you already had calibrated your expectations for the 2019 team to be low. Seeing Yusniel Diaz in action for a little bit could be fun, but there are certainly several names of which I’d prefer to see little during the regular season as they’re not even potentially-interesting young guys who need a chance to play.
Chris Davis, Trey Mancini, and Jonathan Villar are expected to debut tomorrow. MASN’s Roch Kubatko relayed that Mark Trumbo thinks he’s still two weeks away from appearing in any exhibition games.
As we are in the earliest days of the spring training schedule, that also means scheduled pitchers to make sure people get in the right amount of work on the right days. Here are the Orioles expected to pitch in this game, in this order:
- RHP Yefry Ramirez
- LHP Josh Rogers
- RHP Mike Wright Jr.
- LHP Paul Fry
- RHP Evan Phillips
- RHP Bo Schultz
- RHP Zach Pop
On March 28, the games start to count. Until then, it’s about shaking off the rust and figuring out who belongs on the Opening Day roster.