Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Are you ready for some more exhibition baseball? The Orioles, who had their first and only off day of the Grapefruit League schedule yesterday, are back at it this evening against the Yankees. They’re starting their camp-ending stretch of 15 games in 14 days, which will wrap up on March 25 against the Mets.
Fifteen meaningless games seems like kind of a lot for those us who are antsy to get the regular season started. But the games aren’t meaningless to Orioles players, many of whom are still battling for the many open positions on the Birds’ Opening Day roster.
Just over two weeks until the first game, there are still — by my count — at least 10 roster spots up for grabs. Who’s going to be the starting right fielder? The starting third baseman? How about the No. 4 and No. 5 starters? Who’s rounding out the bullpen? Who’s the backup catcher? What about the rest of the bench? There are millions of possible permutations at this point, and the Orioles haven’t tipped their hand much about which way they’re leaning. They probably don’t even know yet.
It’s going to be a fascinating final couple of weeks. And then the real fun begins.
Critiquing camp again as O’s creep closer to opening day (updated) - School of Roch
Rock Kubatko weighs in on the Orioles’ roster machinations and which players could break camp with the club. He sees both Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson making the roster, which is intriguing. He also has Mike Wright making it, which is decidedly less exciting.
As Orioles face a decision with Chris Davis, what are the largest contracts ever eaten by a team? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
One guy who’s guaranteed to be on the roster, barring injury, is Chris Davis. But if he doesn’t start playing better, soon he could join the ranks of the largest salaries ever released mid-contract. Join me in exploring the others.
7 questions O’s must answer before spring ends - Orioles.com
This is the second time I’ve seen Trezza say the O’s don’t need a fifth starter until the third week of the season. But they have Opening Day on March 28, then an off day, and then six straight days of games. Wouldn’t they need a fifth starter during that stretch? What am I missing here?
Orioles’ preparations heat up on the No. 1 draft pick - Steve Melewski
The amateur draft is still three months away, but Mike Elias and the Orioles are already going full throttle on their preparations. Good to hear. They can’t afford to screw up a decision this important.
Why Adam Jones Probably Didn’t Make Sense For The Orioles, Even At $3 Million A Year - Forbes
I mean, logically, I get it. Jones wasn’t a good fit for the rebuilding Orioles roster. Still, it’s going to be sad not to see Adam Jones running down the orange carpet on Opening Day for the first time in 12 years.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your most notable Orioles birthday buddy is outfielder Steve Finley (54), who began his career in 1989-90 with the O’s before he was traded to Houston as part of the infamous Glenn Davis trade. Finley went on to have a stellar 19-year career in the majors, winning five Gold Gloves, two All-Star berths, and a 2001 World Series championship with Arizona. Two late Orioles outfielders were also born on this day: Ray Barker (b. 1936, d. 2018) and Chuck Oertel (b. 1931, d. 2000). Neither started a game for the Orioles, instead serving in pinch-hitting duty.
On this day in 1989, the Orioles acquired outfielder Mike Devereaux from the Dodgers for pitcher Mike Morgan. Devereaux spent seven solid years with the Birds, winning Most Valuable Oriole honors in 1992 and making perhaps the most spectacular catch in Camden Yards history.