Good morning, Birdland!
I want to take the feelings I have about this team at this moment, bottle them up and save them for later in the summer, when things are (likely) not going as well as they are right now.
The season is less than a week old. This team still has 97% of their schedule in front of them, and yet the 2019 Orioles have nearly 10% of the wins that the 2018 Orioles were able to muster over the entire 162-game slate.
How are they doing this? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s a whole lot of fun. They are winning games in different ways. Sometimes the defense makes an awesome play. Other times they power their way to victory. And the last two nights have seen them get ridiculously good starts from unlikely sources.
If this good run of form could just last through their first home stand, then I consider this season a success. That would give us all some good feelings to carry us through the year and set them up to improve upon their record while maintaining a nice draft position. That said, I’m not gonna complain about more wins. Keep it going, Birds!
Links & Notes
Andrew Cashner pitches the Orioles to a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays - Camden Chat
Nothing can stop these guys!
Royals Acquire Andrew Susac - MLB Trade Rumors
From the Orioles perspective, this move just clears out the logjam behind the plate. They had too many minor league catchers and not enough innings to go around. Andrew Susac has had injury problems and did not perform well when he had a shot in the bigs last season. It makes sense that he was the one to get the boot.
Orioles Opening Day specials in the Baltimore area - Baltimore Sun
The big day is on Thursday. If you are headed to Camden Yards, then you’ve already shelled out a good amount of money on tickets and parking alone. You may as well save a couple of bucks on some grub.
Hunter Harvey to pitch without restrictions in Bowie: ‘The gloves are off’ - Baltimore Sun
This is awesome to hear. It feels like Hunter Harvey has been in the Orioles organization for decades at this point. While his prospect star has certainly fallen since being drafted, scouts still seem highly impressed by his stuff. The problem is that his ability to become a starter long term is questionable. Instead, we may have to settle for Harvey becoming a high-leverage reliever. In the modern game, that can still be an incredibly important role.
Birdland Radio 2019 (Ep. 30) - The Warehouse Podcast
Shameless plug time! In case any of you haven’t heard, I have an Orioles-themed podcast that I host with two of my non-blogging buddies. We were invited to the third ever Birdland Radio event, hosted by the guys at Section 336, this past weekend. It was a lot of fun and we got to record an episode of our show, where we talked roster composition, pitching decisions, Richard Bleier and more. Check it out!
Orioles birthdays and history
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Only one former Oriole celebrates his birthday today, but it’s a pretty important one, at least to me. Former relief pitcher Koji Uehara turns 44 today. He appeared in 98 games for the O’s over three seasons from 2009 to 2011. During that time, he had a 3.03 ERA, 144 ERA+, 2.94 FIP and 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He was traded to the Texas Rangers in July of 2011 in a deal that landed Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter in Birdland.
1960 - The Orioles make a trade, sending second baseman Billy Gardner to the Washington Senators in exchange for catcher Clint Courtney and shortstop Ron Samford.
1997 - Jimmy Key starts opening day for the Orioles, beating the Kansas City Royals 4-2. He now has a 7-0 career record in the season opener, an MLB-best mark.
2011 - Zach/Zack Britton makes his major league debut. The lefty starts for the Orioles, allowing one run on three hits and six strikeouts over six innings. The O’s beat the Rays 5-1 at Tropicana Field.