Hurricane Dorian is weakening as it crawls up the Florida coast, thank goodness, but the Orioles and the Rays are still playing it safe: Wednesday’s game has been scratched and today they’re playing a doubleheader instead.
If you’ve been hungry for fresh new faces in the lineup, today’s your day: September call-up Mason Williams is making his Orioles debut in center field. It’s not clear that the 28-year-old Williams, drafted by the Yankees in the fourth round in 2010, exactly qualifies as a “prospect,” but unlike most of the gloves the Orioles have out there right now, he’s actually played his whole pro career as an outfielder, and pretty solidly, too.
Williams was once the Yankees’ No. 2-ranked prospect after some guy named Gary Sanchez, and he hit .293/.331/.729 in 51 games with Cincinnati in 2018 as an injury replacement before he became a late spring roster cut. The Orioles picked him up in March, and in 121 games for Norfolk this season, Williams has hit .308/.371/.848. Not a new storyline, the Orioles giving chances to players cut by other teams, but I for one am excited to see what Williams can do.
On the mound for the O’s in Game 1 is the lefty Ty Blach, whom at least one Camden Chatter has dubbed Ty Blech. Granted, three starts is not a lot to go on, but the numbers so far are definitely in blech territory: an 0-2 record with a 12.81 ERA in 19.2 innings, including seven runs allowed in his last start against Tampa Bay.
Let’s hope Blach and TBD, making the Game 2 start, have a better day today. If not, this will be one long day of baseball.
The Game 1 Orioles starting lineup:
- Jonathan Villar - SS
- Trey Mancini - 1B
- Anthony Santander - RF
- Renato Núñez - DH
- DJ Stewart - LF
- Hanser Alberto - 3B
- Mason Williams - CF
- Rio Ruiz - 3B
- Chance Sisco - C