Good morning, Birdland!
There is a very high likelihood that the Orioles roster you see today is going to be pretty darn similar to the Orioles roster you see on Opening Day. Technically, there aren’t any holes. They have a player for each position. Yeah, that would mean a lot of Richie Martin at shortstop and potentially a revolving door in the fifth starter spot, which isn’t ideal. But honestly, how much worse is that than a couple of veterans signed on minor league deals?
The real star of the 2021 season for the Orioles will be whichever prospect is playing well at the time. Adley Rutschman may be banging on the major league door by September. D.L. Hall and Grayson Rodriguez could each dominant their levels. And it’s possible that Gunnar Henderson starts to show off the skills that some scouts raved about last summer.
That pipeline of talent could get an additional boost from the international signing period, which opens later this month. And all signs are pointing to the O’s making quite a few splashes north of $1 million.
Inbox: What to expect from young O’s in ‘21 | Orioles.com
In what is probably going to be another rough one at the major league level, the focus is going to be on the progress that can be made by the youngsters throughout the organization. That could range from a Rookie of the Year performance from Ryan Mountcastle down to an impressive professional debut for Heston Kjerstad.
Orioles notes on minicamp and free agent possibilities | School of Roch
It sure sounds like the O’s are going to sign a shortstop with major league experience at some point this winter. But they don’t seem too interested in dishing out a major league contract, so don’t be surprised if it takes another couple of weeks for a deal to be reached.
Mickey Jannis thinks he can be the next Orioles’ knuckleballer | BaltimoreBaseball.com
Knuckleballers aren’t the most reliable of hurlers to have on a pitching staff. But there is really no risk in the Orioles taking a close look at a guy like Mickey Jannis if they believe he has a chance to stick. After all, R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young winning season of 2012 wasn’t all that long ago.
Orioles’ Mike Yastrzemski mistake still astounds Curt Casali | KNBR.com
Yeah, the Orioles done goofed on this one. But more than anything else it’s unfortunate for Mike Yastrzemski, who didn’t get to debut in the big leagues until he was 28 years old.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
No Orioles, current or former, have been born on this day, according to Baseball Reference. But some non-baseballers celebrating today are actor J.K. Simmons (b. 1955), musician Dave Matthews (b. 1967), and Maryland native and basketball player Michael Beasley (b. 1989).
This day in history
1890 - Frank Farrell and Bill Devery buy the Baltimore baseball franchise for $18,000 (about $500,000 today) and move them to Manhattan, where they will become the New York Highlanders.
1991 - Alan Wiggins, a former infielder for the Padres and Orioles, dies in Los Angeles due to complications from AIDS. He was 32 years old.