Opening Day is only four days away and the Orioles have a total of two exhibition games between now and then to give their players a last tune-up opportunity and maybe even see how they look to make some roster decisions. One of those chances is going to come tonight, when they host the Nationals in an exhibition game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Tonight’s exhibition will air on MASN, so it represents the first time for O’s fans to see their team since baseball shut down back in March. It’s also the first game to be played against another team at Camden Yards.
If last night’s game against the Phillies is any indication, this game could still be completely bizarre. Sunday’s game went for 9.5 innings even though the Orioles, the road team, led 4-1 after nine. There was also an inning where the Orioles were at bat that was just arbitrarily ended after one out had been recorded, and another one where the O’s were allowed to record four outs.
One bit of Orioles news from Monday is that Dwight Smith Jr. was placed on the COVID-related injured list on Monday afternoon, as his late arrival to camp has kept him from being ready for game action in time for the season. Whenever the O’s deem him ready, he can come off the list, and he apparently hasn’t even been ruled out for Opening Day, but for now this move opens up a 40-man roster spot that could make room for a non-40-man player to make the initial team.
Some unrelated food for thought is that Camden Yards is apparently under consideration as a home site for some games for the Blue Jays this season. That would be strange, though it would not be the strangest thing we’ve seen in the last few months.
Here’s the starting lineup for the O’s tonight:
- DJ Stewart - LF
- Jose Iglesias - SS
- Anthony Santander - RF
- Renato Nunez - 3B
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Hanser Alberto - 2B
- Rio Ruiz - DH
- Bryan Holaday - C
- Cedric Mullins - CF
Alex Cobb is starting the game, keeping him on turn to be the #2 starter for the Orioles. According to MLB.com’s Joe Trezza, these other pitchers are lined up for possible action: Richard Bleier, Travis Lakins, Paul Fry, Cesar Valdez, Rob Zastrysny.
As far as Orioles pitchers go, it’s still an open question whether John Means will be able to start on Opening Day after all. Manager Brandon Hyde said before Monday’s game that any of Wade LeBlanc, Tommy Milone, and Thomas Eshelman could make the start if Means can’t.