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Monday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles spring training ends today

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The Orioles got themselves pretty close to the Opening Day roster over the weekend. Three days to go!

Philadelphia Phillies v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now just three days remaining until the next real Orioles game. From the time this article publishes, there will be about 78 hours until the first pitch of the season. One last fake baseball game stands between now and then, the O’s Grapefruit League finale this afternoon at 1:05, where they will host the Mets. The game will be streamed on Orioles.com and the MLB At Bat app.

After a loss and a tie yesterday, the Orioles are now 12-16-3 in their spring training game. Their last spring win came a week ago. The road O’s were pasted Sunday by the Phillies, 11-4, in part due to Gabriel Ynoa pitching poorly and in part due to the defense committing three errors. The home squad had a 1-1 tie against the Pirates. Chris Davis picked up a hit, raising his spring OPS to .653.

The past weekend was the last one with no real Orioles baseball from now until October. That’s exciting no matter what the outlook is for this year’s team. If you weren’t paying attention over the weekend, it was something of a busy one. Alex Cobb had an abbreviated start on Saturday due to what was first called “right groin soreness” and later “fatigue,” leaving his Opening Day start in question. A side session today will settle it. Stay tuned for news.

Less surprising, Mark Trumbo will be starting off the season on the injured list. It may be that the only reason Trumbo was ever thought of in the Opening Day picture was that last September, then-manager Buck Showalter proclaimed a six month timetable, which might charitably be called optimistic and less charitably labeled delusional or dishonest. The signs ever since have pointed towards a more typical 9-12 month recovery. It’s been about seven months.

The Cobb uncertainty combined with the concession to reality about Trumbo’s knee have the Opening Day roster a bit more in flux than it seemed to be 48 hours ago. Maybe Andrew Cashner will be starting the first game instead, with everyone else moving up a spot. Maybe the Orioles will have three real outfielders in the outfield. Whatever pitchers there are will probably be glad for it, though a Cashner, Dylan Bundy, David Hess, Mike Wright quartet is going to serve up plenty of home run balls no matter who is standing where in the outfield.

There was even a roster move over the weekend, with the Orioles claiming catcher Pedro Severino off of waivers from the Nationals. As the O’s needed to clear room on the 40-man for Severino, they designated Stevie Wilkerson for assignment.

The late arrival of Severino quickly rippled, as the O’s have decided to start catcher Chance Sisco off in Triple-A Norfolk rather than at the big league level. He was among a round of cuts on Sunday that have provided another disappointing reminder that the most exciting version of the 2019 Orioles is not the one that will begin the season. Of the young, interesting players from the beginning of spring training, only Cedric Mullins is starting the year in MLB. Even Tanner Scott got optioned to Norfolk.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 62 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Trumbo on knee, Cashner on start (School of Roch)
“Once I got in game action in spring (the knee) kind of flared up and never let down,” said Trumbo. I suspect the Orioles have known for a little while before they told the rest of us that Trumbo wouldn’t be on the Opening Day roster.

Davis’ daunting challenge: Burying brutal 2018 (Orioles.com)
Beat writer Joe Trezza says that in Davis’s first face-to-face meeting with Mike Elias and Brandon Hyde, they essentially mandated he get on board with the new program. Music to O’s fans ears! Whether it makes a difference is another story.

Orioles fans might be ready for a brand-new team. They just won’t be getting it on Opening Day. (Baltimore Sun)
It’s going to get better, but it sucks right now.

O’s 2019 season preview: A new direction following a historically awful 2018 season (CBS Sports)
Surprisingly, the wide world of baseball writers seems to think that the Orioles are going to remain pretty bad.

O’s 2018 fourth-round pick Rom preps for his first full season (Steve Melewski)
I find the idea of lefty Drew Rom interesting because there would be a number of opportunities for me to make Star Trek: Deep Space Nine references. And the O’s already have a Sisco in the system!

Birthdays and anniversaries

One lone former Oriole was born on this day: The late Woodie Held, a utility man for the 1966 and 1967 O’s. Also, former Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli turns 64 today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: father of the American Navy John Barry (1745), Mount Rushmore designer Gutzon Borglum (1867), composer Bela Bartok (1881), actor Ed Begley (1901), Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell (1928), musician Aretha Franklin (1942), musician Elton John (1947), actress Sarah Jessica Parker (1965), baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (1966), and actress Katharine McPhee (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh received a patent granting him the right to colonize Virginia.

In 1655, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens made the discovery of Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons.

In 1802, France and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Amiens, a “Definitive Treaty of Peace,” ending the War of the Second Coalition. Within 18 months, the peace was broken and the two countries became involved in the War of the Third Coalition.

In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City led to the deaths of 146 workers, 62 of whom jumped or fell to their deaths from ninth floor windows. Many deaths could have been prevented if the owners had not locked the doors to the one stairwell not consumed by fire, if the building had been constructed with a required third stairwell, or if there were more and better-constructed fire escapes.

In 1948, meteorologists at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, noting similar conditions to when a tornado struck the base five days prior, issued a forecast warning of another tornado. They were correct, so this became both the first official tornado forecast and the first successful tornado forecast in recorded history.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 25 - or at least, unless something happens later on the final day of spring training. Have a safe Monday.