We are now two days from Orioles players being in Baltimore to pick back up with what it’s easiest to call spring training 2.0 even though it isn’t spring any more. The beginning of the abbreviated regular season is, for the O’s, 25 days away from today. Or at least that’s what is planned at present.
The past weekend did have one deadline for teams, in that they had to name candidates for their secondary pool of players that will eventually form an expanded roster of up to 60 players for the 2020 season. The active roster will eventually get down to 26 players, and there’s supposed to be a three-player taxi squad allowed to travel with the team during the season.
Players on the 40-man roster are included automatically, so the team will eventually have to decide on another 20 names who aren’t on the 40-man who will be trying to stay sharp somewhere in some kind of organized activities.
The Orioles announced what is probably the least interesting possible initial camp roster that they could have come up with. The initial list put out by the team has 44 active players on it and effectively zero prospects. The team is still able to add more players later and will almost certainly do so.
From what I saw yesterday, there are some other teams who are specifically naming which players will be working out at a second location. The Reds, for instance, had a 35-player main camp with their expected big league candidates and then a 22-player secondary camp that will take place nearby with more minor leaguers.
The O’s seem to be lining up something similar, and have divided the group between Opening Day 30-man roster contenders and prospects who will be doing some work. Since players like Ryan Mountcastle and Keegan Akin, who I’d been hoping to see on the Orioles in 2020, aren’t on the roster that’s been announced so far, they’ll presumably be headed for the second camp.
Hopefully they will still get a little big league audition over the 60 game regular season, but who knows. This could be a sign that Mike Elias is just not going to get any of the prospects into the picture in this shortened 2020 schedule.
In the meantime, there are still a few weeks where imaginary baseball is about all we’re going to get. The Orioles of Baseball Reference’s Out of the Park Baseball-powered simulation were 6-2 winners yesterday, beating the Tigers, who are so far worse than the O’s are. Renato Nunez had three hits, including his 20th home run, and Anthony Santander connected for a team-leading 21st home run. This all came in support of Alex Cobb’s seven inning outing where he gave up just two runs to even his record at 6-6.
These O’s are tied with the Blue Jays at the bottom of the AL East, with a 35-49 record. There are six teams in the simulation with a worse record than that, so the BR OOTP O’s are, surprisingly, only in line for the #7 pick in the 2021 draft. That is a lot better than the Camden Chat OOTP O’s, an update from which you can look forward to a little later today.
Around the blogO’sphere
Wondering about free agents and arbitration-eligible players (School of Roch)
Roch notes the Orioles don’t have a lot of pending free agents, but they could choose to part ways with some arbitration-eligible players depending on how they want to progress in the rebuild process.
Orioles allowed to use Camden Yards for training camp and games, possibility of fans under discussion (Baltimore Sun)
Some fans attending some games at Camden Yards this year hasn’t yet been ruled out. It seems like a bad idea to me, though of course I’m not an expert.
Orioles sign draft picks Jordan Westburg, Hudson Haskin (Orioles.com)
One other piece of news from over the weekend is that the O’s officially signed two of their draft picks.
Looking at some prospects that could make O’s player pool (Steve Melewski)
The only guy listed here who did make the initial pool announcement is Austin Hays, and since he seems like he’s got a starting job lined up he almost doesn’t even count. The rest, we’ll be waiting to find out.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2010-11 pitcher Pedro Viola, and 1957 two-gamer Dizzy Trout, who passed away in 1972. It’s also the birthday of current 40-man pitcher Travis Lakins, who’s yet to appear in a game for the Orioles.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Panama Canal designer George Washington Goethals (1858), Mayo Clinic co-founder William James Mayo (1861), poet/pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900), and baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew (1936).
On this day in history...
In 1613, the original Globe Theatre in London burned to the ground. It caught fire after a cannon was set off for a production of Henry VIII.
In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which officially created the interstate highway system
In 2007, Apple released the first iPhone.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 29. Have a safe Monday.