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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the roster makeover continues

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With Donnie Hart’s departure, the Orioles have only seven players remaining who have played for a winning O’s club.

MLB: Game One-Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s no secret that the Orioles have overhauled their roster rather dramatically in the past year. Mark Brown’s tributes to departing players from the 2012 and 2014 postseason squads have come fast and furious as, one by one, the key players from those glorious O’s clubs have moved on to greener pastures.

And now, even the 2016 wild card Orioles — the most recent O’s club to make the playoffs, and the most recent to have a winning record — are being dismantled, bit by bit. Lefty Donnie Hart, who had a 0.49 ERA as a rookie that season and recorded an out in the Orioles’ Wild Card Game loss in Toronto, is the latest to leave the organization. The Dodgers claimed Hart on waivers yesterday, six days after the Birds designated him for assignment.

With Hart’s departure, incredibly, only seven of the 47 players from that 2016 club are still with the Orioles: Dylan Bundy, Chris Davis, Mychal Givens, Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard, Mark Trumbo, and Mike Wright Jr. Of those, only three — Davis, Givens, and Trumbo — actually played in the Orioles’ lone postseason game that year.

It’s amazing how different this team looks just three years later. Less than one-quarter of the Orioles’ current roster has ever played for a winning O’s club. The concept of a successful Orioles team is practically foreign to most of these guys.

There’s only one way to fix that. This new-look O’s roster will just have to start winning all over again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Links

Wright stays on roll while unsure of role (O's lose 5-4) - School of Roch
Holy smokes, Mike Wright has thrown 10 scoreless innings this spring. We’ve been burned by Wright enough times that I’m not getting my hopes up, but hey, maybe he’s in for a good year. It’d be a refreshing change of pace for a homegrown O’s pitcher to actually exceed expectations.

What the O’s might look like on Opening Day - Orioles.com
Joe Trezza updates his best guess on what the Opening Day roster will look like. I’m confused why he says the O’s don't need a fifth starter until the third week of the season. By my count, they would need one by game six at the latest, assuming nobody starts on short rest.

Looking deeper into Rule 5 picks — and the Orioles’ infield competition – The Athletic
Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson, despite theoretically being in competition with each other for a roster spot, have become fast friends and roomies. Adorable!

Orioles don’t have an obvious choice to lead off - BaltimoreBaseball.com
They also don’t have an obvious choice to bat second, or third, or fourth, or...you know what, it's hard to find a good fit for any spot in the order when your lineup has as many question marks as the Birds do.

After latest run-scoring hit, is Yusniel Diaz pushing for a roster spot? - Steve Melewski
Is he pushing for one? Definitely. Should he get one? Not quite yet, in my opinion. Diaz hasn’t played above Double-A, and he put up mediocre numbers in the Orioles’ system after they acquired him last year. Plant him in Norfolk for a bit and let him get on a roll.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your living O’s birthday buddies are Mike Moriarty (45), Chris Lambert (36), and Mark Worrell (36). The three of them combined to appear in 16 games for the Orioles, all during the 14-year streak of terribleness. If you have any memory of any of them, more power to you. And two late Orioles were born this day: early ‘60s outfielder Marv Breeding (b. 1934, d. 2006) and 2009 utility man Ryan Freel (b. 1976, d. 2012).

On this day in 2001, much-disliked Orioles slugger Albert Belle was forced to retire, just two years into his five-season contract, after O’s doctors found he was “totally disabled and unable to perform as a Major League baseball player” due to a degenerative right hip. To this day, it’s speculated that the busted Belle contract is a big reason why owner Peter Angelos became so hesitant to hand out long-term deals to free agents. Although that didn’t stop him from pushing for the seven-year Chris Davis extension, much to the current Orioles’ chagrin.