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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are rolling through spring

The Orioles made their first wave of roster cuts on Sunday, sending Hunter Harvey and others over to minor league camp.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 24 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. A lot of baseball that doesn’t count stands between now and then, including a 1:05 contest in the Twins spring home today. The game will be streamed online only for Baltimore audiences, freely available through or the MLB At Bat app.

After beating the Tigers yesterday, the Orioles are now 5-3-2 through the first ten games of their Grapefruit League schedule. Making his first appearance of the spring, Andrew Cashner gave up four runs in three innings, but the O’s battled back to tie it thanks to Austin Hays hitting a solo homer and Anthony Santander delivering a three-run bomb. A little bit of bullpen back-and-forth ended up with the O’s on top, 7-5, at game’s end.

Not everything is going swimmingly. Chris Davis took an 0-3 in the game, striking out both looking and swinging. Davis has only played in five games so far, but he’s just 1-12 and has struck out seven times already. The two walks he’s drawn aren’t enough to make up for all of that. It’s still early in spring, but when a guy goes out in spring training looking exactly like he did in a dismal last season, you have to wonder if it’s only a matter of time until they have seen enough.

The first wave of spring training camp cuts happened before the game on Sunday. Among those reassigned to minor league camp - he was optioned, technically - was Hunter Harvey. After last year’s continual winking through camp that they might just push Harvey onto the MLB roster to start the year, it was a surprise to see him sent down so early this time around.

It’s another reminder that there are new people in charge now. Manager Brandon Hyde addressed Harvey being optioned with Orioles reporters following yesterday’s game. He said that the O’s want Harvey to be “on a more controlled program” in minor league camp so he can build up his innings there. That makes sense.

Others who will be headed over to minor league camp include Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, pitching prospects from the Manny Machado deal last July. Kremer has yet to pitch due to an oblique situation, while Pop was slowed down after diminished velocity in his first outing. It seems how they bounce back from that will be happening in minor league games that get less attention.

The remaining cuts from Sunday: catcher Cael Brockmeyer, lefty pitcher Chris Lee, outfielders Ryan McKenna and Mike Yastrzemski, and infielder Zach Vincej. That Lee and Yastrzemski were also sent down so early seems to be a sign that the new brain trust is not as enamored with some of the old brain trust’s fascinations.

It’s been 41 days since Mike Mussina was elected to the Hall of Fame. The Orioles have yet to announce any plans to retire his jersey or erect a statue.

Around the blogO’sphere

Austin Hays impressing Orioles early in spring (
The O’s have had some nice performances in the early spring games, and they’re not all from no-name jabronis. Actual prospects like Hays are getting in on the act. If we’re lucky, that means exciting things later.

Chance Sisco on his hot start in spring training (Steve Melewski)
One less-exciting detail in this article is that Sisco batted .429 last spring. As we know, it didn’t help him much when the regular season rolled around.

After growing up fast, Trey Mancini, Mychal Givens, Dylan Bundy help younger Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
It sounds like the new “veterans” of the Orioles clubhouse are using their own experiences with some recently-departed O’s veterans like Adam Jones and Darren O’Day to inform how they help the next wave of players. Anyone can do a lot worse than “Be like Adam Jones.”

DJ Stewart hopes to be with Orioles for all of 2019 (Baltimore Baseball)
It might be things like Mark Trumbo’s health and how long the Orioles decide they want to keep giving Davis chances that determines how much time Stewart spends on the big league roster more than any aspect of his own performance.

Cashner examines his first start (School of Roch)
I think of “I feel good” quotes after giving up four runs in spring training to be a latter-career Chris Tillman thing, and I hope Cashner doesn’t keep having to say he feels good while the results are bad.

Orioles acquire right-hander Xavier Moore from Twins in second spring trade for international bonus money (Baltimore Sun)
These trades seem to be about as useless as the Dan Duquette-era trades for the bonus slots, with the difference being that I’m hopeful Mike Elias will start spending this money when the new signing period begins in July, rather than kicking off a new wave of trades for players who are barely even worth being called lottery tickets.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017 five-game reliever Richard Rodriguez, 1996-98 pitcher Nerio Rodriguez, Frostburg-born 1959-62 pitcher Jack Fisher, and 1963-67 reserve Bob Johnson. Today is Fisher’s 80th birthday. It’s also the birthday of former Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: early American cavalry general Casimir Pulaski (1745), Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne (1888), baseball Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance (1891), and novelist Khaled Hosseini (1965).

On this day in history...

In 1461, the King of England, Henry VI, was deposed his cousin of the house of York, Edward IV, following a defeat in the Battle of Towton. The Wars of the Roses would not be settled until 1487, with neither Henry nor Edward surviving to their conclusion.

In 1789, the first Congress of the United States met for the first time in New York City, meaning that the Constitution was in effect. The Bill of Rights was proposed to the congress on its inaugural day.

In 1917, Montana’s Jeannette Rankin was sworn in to the House of Representatives, becoming the first woman ever to serve there.

In 1933, Frances Perkins began serving as the Secretary of Labor, making her the first woman in the United States Cabinet. Perkins would serve through the entire presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 4 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles take on the Twins. Have a safe Monday.