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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles pitching staff is in tatters

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Injuries aplenty, relievers getting roughed up and the Norfolk shuttle getting warm. In other news: the O’s are back in court against their beltway rivals.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

There were legitimate concerns about the Orioles pitching situation all off-season, and many of those concerns are coming to fruition in the season’s first month.

A few members of the bullpen that were expected to hold significant roles this season, are continuing to struggle. Richard Bleier and Miguel Castro both got roughed up again against the Athletics on Tuesday night. They each now have season ERA’s north of 11.

On top of that, Alex Cobb and Nate Karns are headed to the IL. Cobb has made just one start so far, but he looked pretty darn good. Karns has made a few appearances and has allowed just one run to this point. Those two will be replaced, for the moment, by Evan Phillips and Josh Rogers.

This feels like it could begin the never-ending shuttle between Norfolk and Baltimore in order to plug holes in the pitching staff throughout the season. Phillips threw three innings on Tuesday. Could he be optioned to bring up yet another fresh arm? Rogers is expected to backup Dan Straily today and could be counted on for multiple innings as well. That may mean he gets sent back down after just one appearance.

It was inevitable that this was going to happen at some point in the summer. I was just hoping it would be a little while longer before we needed to get the revolving door of relievers going.

Links & Notes

Orioles Place Alex Cobb On Injured List - MLB Trade Rumors
This is not what the O’s needed right now. Luckily, both injuries sound rather minor. Neither player is expected to stay on the IL for longer than the minimum 10 days.

Bad luck and one bad pitch doom Means in 13-2 loss (updated) - School of Roch
All of the quotes you can handle! Brandon Hyde compliments John Means on his first career start and explains the pitching moves he has made following the injuries to Karns and Cobb. Plus, Means reflects on a rough and slightly unlucky outing.

MASN feud continues as Nationals and O’s battle over new lawsuit = Washington Post
This will never end. It will be death, taxes and the O’s and Nats fighting in court. I’m not smart enough to understand the entire situation between the two clubs, but it sure seems like MLB and the Nationals don’t seem too interested in maintaining the deal that was agreed to when the Washington franchise relocated from Montreal.

Davis can’t hit, but the O’s have little choice but to keep playing him - Washington Post
This is a nice look at everything that goes into a contract going so sour for a big league team. There has been talk about the O’s recouping money via insurance or doing literally anything else to avoid paying out every single dollar they agreed to pay Chris Davis. In short: they really can’t unless something wild happens.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former outfielder and dugout cheerleader of the 2013 Orioles, Chris Dickerson, turns 37 today. Relief pitcher Alberto Reyes, a member of the 1999 and 2000 Birds, is 49. Mike Devereaux, the longtime centerfielder in Baltimore from 1989 through 1994 and then again in 1996, celebrates his 56th birthday. Utilityman Lee Lacy, who played a role for the Birds in the mid-80’s, is turning 71. And finally, 1959-1964 right-handed pitcher Wes Stock is 85 years old.

2013 - The Orioles are a part of history! They play a game against the Red Sox in front of 30,862 fans at Fenway Park, ending the Red Sox streak of 820 consecutive sell-outs. This streak had begun on May 15, 2003 and included both regular season and postseason games.

2014 - More history! The O’s are beaten 12-4 in their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. Southpaw Mark Buehrle starts for the Jays and gets the win, the 200th of his career.