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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are still conducting business

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Baseball season may be on indefinite hiatus, but the O’s are still making roster moves.

2020 Grape Fruit League Media Availability Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If you’ve come here looking for the latest updates on the suspended baseball season, well, sorry, I don’t have any. Nobody does. We’re going to be in a holding pattern for quite a while longer. It hasn’t even been a week since MLB announced it was extending its season-opening delay to at least eight weeks. So, you know, get comfortable.

In the meantime, teams are free to conduct business — maybe just to keep busy, more than anything — and the Orioles made a few roster moves yesterday, their first transactions since spring training was halted. Most notably, they optioned top hitting prospect Ryan Mountcastle to Triple-A Norfolk, a move that was entirely expected. The O’s want him to work on his plate discipline and defense, and presumably they don’t want to start his major league service clock too early.

Others getting optioned yesterday were 2019 disappointments David Hess and Cedric Mullins, the former of whom was battling for a bullpen spot and the latter for a backup outfielder role, as well as utility infield contender Ramon Urias. With that, there are four fewer candidates to crack the Opening Day roster.

Heh. “Opening Day roster.” Those words have kind of lost all meaning right now, huh?

Links

Season is delayed, but what about the amateur draft? - Steve Melewski
I’ve been wondering the same thing. Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo is in favor of keeping the draft in June as planned, since teams are already pretty much prepared. I’m in favor of that too, especially since it’ll give us some actual baseball news to talk about if the MLB season still hasn't started by then.

Rosenthal: MLB and its players dive into the many details of what-if scenarios – The Athletic
The draft is just one of the many considerations for MLB and the players’ union to ponder about this delayed (and possibly, God forbid, canceled) 2020 season. What happens to pending free agents? What happens in arbitration or with player incentives? This is gonna be a mess.

Elias on roster moves, draft, Mancini and more - School of Roch
Mike Elias comments on the Orioles’ roster moves as well as the many other questions facing MLB. Before you ask, no, he doesn’t have any inkling when the season will start either.

Five things that stood out in Orioles’ spring training - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Hey, remember when the Orioles were actually playing baseball? It seems like eons ago. Anyway, Rich Dubroff shares his observations from the Birds’ truncated exhibition season.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, most notably the best offensive catcher in club history, Chris Hoiles (55). Hoiles bashed 151 homers and OPS’ed .833 during his 10-year career with the Birds and was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2006. Also celebrating birthdays today are 1982-87 outfielder Mike Young (60), #teampaul member and 1983 three-gamer Paul Mirabella (66), and failed former infield prospect Manny Alexander (49).

On this day in 2012, the Orioles signed former NL Rookie of the Year Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract. Willis made four appearances for Triple-A Norfolk, going 0-3 with an 8.53 ERA, and retired.

And on this day in 1995, during the baseball players’ strike, O’s owner Peter Angelos broke ranks with his fellow owners and refused to put replacement players on the field, canceling the rest of the Orioles’ spring training games. Can you even imagine it being late March and there being no spring training games to watch? ...Oh.