Good morning, Birdland!
With the 6-4 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday night, the Orioles summer camp has essentially come to a close. The club will work out at Camden Yards again on Wednesday, but unless an injury occurs at that time what takes place there won’t have much, if any, barring on the season ahead.
The O’s have to wait until Friday to begin their regular season, but they must cut their 60-man summer training roster down to 30 by noon on Thursday.
There are competitions all over the field: left field, utility roles, starting rotation and the bullpen. These Orioles have relatively few “locks.” Add in minor injuries to John Means, Dwight Smith Jr., Dillon Tate, and Chance Sisco and you make the picture even more difficult to see.
It may disappoint some portion of the fan base if a prospect like Ryan Mountcastle begins the season at the alternative site in Bowie rather than with the big league squad up in Boston. But it is simply a reality of where the Orioles are in their rebuild. Mountcastle’s time will come, but not right away. Adley Rutschman isn’t going to skip Double-A and Triple-A. Same goes for Grayson Rodriguez and D.L. Hall.
This 2020 season won’t provide the Orioles faithful with much of a glimpse into the future. But it will get us a step closer to that future, as frustrating as it may be to wait.
Links & Notes
Orioles left with 6-4 loss to Nationals in rain-shortened exhibition - School of Roch
This one had plenty of exhibition-ness to it. Players were hopping in and out of the lineup. Innings ended after just two outs. It started raining, and they didn’t even both with a delay.
The Orioles believe in Kohl Stewart’s potential as a reclamation project - Baltimore Sun
It wasn’t Kohl Stewart’s finest showing on Tuesday, especially that first inning. But one start doesn’t tell the whole story, and the Orioles seem intrigued by what he brings to the mound. He should have a few chances, even in a shortened season, to prove them right.
O’s face 4 questions before Opening Day - MLB.com
Sure, I guess we can narrow it down to just four questions for the sake of brevity. But this Orioles team really has endless questions considering their roster has so few proven veterans, or even highly-regarded prospects.
2020 Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen (No. 16-30) - FanGraphs
The Orioles have finally emerged from the bottom third of the league in this FanGraphs series. In fact, they have the O’s relievers as downright mediocre. That’s a win!
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Tanner Scott is the lone Orioles birthday. He turns 26 today. The hard-throwing lefty has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Orioles, but has struggled to a 5.31 ERA and 84 ERA+ over 81.1 total innings. He is expected to play a big role in the O’s ‘pen in the upcoming campaign.
1996 - Eddie Murray returns to the Orioles after being acquired from the Cleveland Indians the previous day. The first baseman receives a standing ovation from the Camden Yards faithful, but the O’s would lose 9-5 to those very same visiting Indians.