There are now 28 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. It’s four weeks away! We crossed the one month to go mark yesterday. The uniform number 28 is currently in use by Pedro Severino and has also been worn by Steve Pearce, Randy Myers, and Jim Dwyer, among others.
The exhibition schedule rolls on with another 1:05 game this afternoon. The Orioles host the Pirates. It’s going to be an audio-only broadcast streamed through MLB.com. Yesterday’s contest saw the Orioles edge the Braves, 4-3, with each of Asher Wojciechowski and Baltimore’s own Bruce Zimmermann giving up a run on a solo home run across two innings. Some first Grapefruit League impressions have not been good. These could have been worse.
With that victory, the O’s are 2-4 through their spring training schedule. Six games wouldn’t mean a whole lot if it was the regular season and it means even less in February, when a lot of the players getting time are ones who won’t be opening up the season with any team.
Think about today, where the starting pitcher is going to be Tommy Milone. I spend more time than is healthy thinking about the Orioles and absorbing their every transaction and I didn’t even remember that Milone was around in camp. That may be because he only signed a minor league deal with a big league invite on February 14, after pitchers and catchers had already reported.
Maybe by the time Opening Day rolls around, we’ll be thinking about him a bit more. He pitched to a 4.76 ERA in Seattle last year, which is not super exciting but also a lot better than like, Dan Straily and Aaron Brooks were for the O’s in 2019. And one of the guys who might have had an inside track for an O’s rotation spot, Kohl Stewart, hasn’t been able to pitch yet due to arm soreness.
If the O’s don’t think that one or more of the prospects like Keegan Akin are ready right away - or if they want to play service time games or whatever - then it could be a guy like Milone who benefits from that, if he shows them enough over the next few weeks. We’ll get a first idea of whether he can move beyond being a late signing afterthought.
Around the blogO’sphere
Chickasaw heritage helps drive Orioles pitcher (Orioles.com)
Rule 5 pick Brandon Bailey is a registered member of the Chickasaw tribe in Oklahoma. This is a great story and an easy reason to root for the guy’s success.
Rule 5 picks Brandon Bailey, Michael Rucker try to show their stuff (Baltimore Baseball)
It’s a double Rule 5 pick article kind of day. An added detail in this one: Bailey, listed at 5’10”, is actually 5’7”.
Asher Wojciechowski on his outing against Atlanta (Steve Melewski)
Woj was dealing with a blister and now he’s not. He’s also working on throwing a split-change pitch - new to him - during spring training. It’s not bad if a starter can develop a fourth pitch.
Trey Mancini talks hitting (Fangraphs)
A lot of times, baseball players are asked boring questions and they give boring answers, so it’s always interesting to see when this formula is broken with interesting questions and interesting answers.
Injury updates on Wells, Stewart, Rodgers, Diaz, and more (School of Roch)
It’s been a sore oblique for Alex Wells and a sore shoulder for Yusniel Diaz keeping them out of spring games so far. I hope both those guys recover soon so they can get back on the road to MLB.
Dean Kremer showing Brandon Hyde a lot to like in spring training (Baltimore Sun)
At least one of the Orioles high minors pitching prospects seems to have a fan in the O’s manager. Good luck!
Keith Law’s prospect rankings: Baltimore Orioles (The Athletic)
Law is a bigger fan than any other ranking of infielder Adam Hall, putting him at #5 in the system. It’ll be exciting if Hall ends the year as the kind of prospect Law envisions.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
A few former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2016 pitcher Yovani Gallardo, 1998 reliever Pete Smith, and 1965 nine-game outfielder Carl Warwick. Today is Warwick’s 83rd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Roman emperor Constantine (272), poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807), author John Steinbeck (1902), actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932), and musician Josh Groban (1981).
On this day in history...
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln delivered a 7,000 word speech at Cooper Union in New York City. Though it’s not one of his widely-quoted speeches today, the speech, which argued against expansion of slavery into western non-state territories, is seen as helping to propel his election as president.
In 1933, the German Parliamentary building, the Reichstag, was set on fire. Blamed on communists, the fire became a pretext for the Nazis to seize more power.
In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which set a limit of two presidential terms, was ratified. when approved by the legislature in Minnesota, the 36th state to approve. Maryland was late to the party, ratifying two weeks later.
In 1964, the Italian government asked for international assistance to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from falling over. The effort was successful. In 2008, engineers proclaimed the tower to be stable for at least 200 more years based on current conditions.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 27 - or at least, until something happens down in Florida later. Have a safe Thursday.