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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles haven’t lost in a week

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The Orioles’ unbeaten streak reached six games after a tie against the Rays yesterday. Yes, a tie. Spring training, man.

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Break up the Orioles, am I right?

Since starting Grapefruit League play with a 1-4 record, the Birds are on a roll, carrying a six-game unbeaten streak into today’s action. I have to say “unbeaten streak” instead of “winning streak” because, you know, ties. That’s spring training for ya. The O’s and Rays finished in a 3-3 deadlock yesterday because ain’t nobody feels like playing extra innings in a game that doesn’t count.

A team’s spring training record, of course, means absolutely nothing. The Orioles could finish with the best record in the Grapefruit League, or the worst, and it wouldn’t have any bearing on how they’ll fare in the regular season (which will be, in all likelihood, very poorly). But it’s nice that we’re seeing some impressive individual performances during this past week.

In yesterday’s tilt, the Orioles’ pitching was the star. Presumptive third starter Asher Wojciechowski mowed through three scoreless, hitless innings to set the tone. Hunter Harvey made his exhibition debut with a clean frame, and even Maryland-born Bruce Zimmermann — who gave up three runs — flashed a sharp slider, racking up six strikeouts. On the hitting side, Yusniel Diaz smoked a triple to the gap for his first hit of spring, and Renato Nunez bopped a homer. So the Birds’ contributions have come both from veterans who’ll be on the 2020 roster and from prospects who could be a part of the club’s future.

As the O’s attempt to extend the streak today, they travel to West Palm Beach for their first matchup against the defending world champion Nationals. It’ll be an online-only radio feed if you’re looking to track their progress.

Links

Melanie Newman to make O’s broadcasting debut today - Steve Melewski
Newman made history yesterday as the first woman to do play-by-play for an Orioles game. From the brief clip I heard of her, she sounded very polished, which isn’t surprising given her experience. For those who listened to her entire broadcast, what were your thoughts?

O’s remain focused on laying future foundation - Orioles.com
As Joe Trezza writes, the Orioles’ priority right now is to develop their prospects, not be 2020 contenders. But...what about their spring training unbeaten streak??

Keith Law’s farm system rankings for all 30 MLB teams – The Athletic
More ammunition for the “Keith Law hates the Orioles” crowd, as the prospect writer ranks the Birds’ improving farm system a distant 24th in baseball.

J.J. Hardy back with Orioles this week as spring training instructor - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Fan favorite and noted handsome Oriole J.J. Hardy is back with the team for the week, after having barely watched baseball since his retirement. I laughed when he said he put on a protective cup just because he “wanted to see what that felt like again.”

Velazquez and Valaika in thick of utility competition (3-3 tie) - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko relays Brandon Hyde’s quotes on yesterday’s game and checks in on the Orioles’ ever-exciting utility infielder competition.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You share your day with current Oriole Jose Rondon (26), who had one plate appearance for the Birds last year and is battling for a utility infield spot this spring. Former Orioles born on this date include one-time closer Jorge Julio (41), nine-game righty Bobby Munoz (52), and the late right-handers Jesse Jefferson and Francisco de la Rosa, who each died in 2011 at the respective ages of 62 and 44.

March 3 has been a pretty slow day in O’s history. The best I can offer you is that the Birds signed Danny Valencia on this date in 2018. He posted a mediocre .723 OPS in 78 games before the O’s released him Aug. 15, ending his major league career.