The Orioles will never play another game in whatever they’re calling the ballpark in Arlington after tonight. It is strange that this could be true, given that the stadium is newer than Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but it is. They are replacing it next year. It is not the first stadium younger than Camden Yards to have already been replaced. At least in Texas’s case, they have sort of a good reason: The new stadium is going to have a roof.
As the O’s play the Rangers in Texas so infrequently, I have no nostalgia about this. It does not add any stakes to tonight’s game. It’s just that I’d rather talk about that than I would talk about David Hess pitching against the Rangers in that very stadium. He gives up many home runs. At least he will not have to face Texas home run leader Joey Gallo and his 17 home runs, as Gallo is on the injured list.
This is going to be something of a short-handed game for the Orioles. After three players left last night’s game due to injuries, they had no bench for the end of the game. Catcher Pedro Severino is not in the starting lineup, although he told O’s reporters that he could play tonight and will play tomorrow. Infielder Jonathan Villar said he needs a couple of days.
The third of the injured, DJ Stewart, suffered an ankle sprain in the game. The Orioles released their lineup later than usual, perhaps waiting to see whether Stewart would be able to avoid the IL. He did not, and Stevie Wilkerson is back in Stewart’s roster spot.
That gives us the following lineup for tonight:
- Stevie Wilkerson - CF
- Trey Mancini - DH
- Dwight Smith Jr. - LF
- Renato Nunez - 1B
- Rio Ruiz - 3B
- Hanser Alberto - 2B
- Chris Davis - RF
- Chance Sisco - C
- Richie Martin - SS
Yeah, that’s Chris Davis in right field. Also among the wounded is Mancini, who was hit by a pitch in the foot last night and fouled a ball off the same foot. Hopefully the Orioles can avoid any more in-game injures tonight so that we don’t have to end up with some kind of strange scenario where Mychal Givens is playing shortstop. Things are weird and bad enough already.
The Royals already fell to the White Sox earlier on Thursday, so an Orioles victory would temporarily have them out of the basement of MLB. If the Orioles lose, they will stay knotted at the bottom for another day.