There are now 18 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. Between now and then are another 15 exhibition games that will determine who makes it onto the roster. Today’s 1:05 game against the Tigers will not be available on either Orioles radio or TV, but Tigers broadcasts of both will be out there if you are able to access them.
Yesterday’s contest was not a banner day for the Orioles. They were very nearly no-hit by the Blue Jays in an eight inning game that they lost, 5-0. The only hit collected was by Adley Rutschman, who doubled late in the game in his only at-bat. Wade LeBlanc gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in three innings of work. Tanner Scott allowed a run in an inning, and two more were tacked on against Ashton Goudeau.
The loss puts the Orioles at 3-9-1 in Grapefruit League play. The good news is that none of it counts, so it doesn’t matter yet that the Orioles are, as a team, hitting a combined .202/.304/.295 through spring training. It’s not even like Chris Davis has been playing to drag down the team numbers. They are running out of time before it starts to count.
Things with the offense turning around in the second half of spring training would be nice. Although no one expected good things from the 2021 Orioles in general, I don’t think that many fans have steeled themselves for a trash-tier offense. I know that I certainly haven’t prepared for that, and I already expected this team to easily lose 95+.
The prospect of returning to a 162 game season is going to go quickly sour if a number of guys who I thought would be fine end up stinking. Such is the lot of a fan of a losing team. All we can hope for is some signs of progress for the future.
Around the blogO’sphere
LeBlanc on his outing and the rotation competition (Steve Melewski)
Wade LeBlanc is more impressed with the arms in camp this year compared to last year. I think we’re all looking forward to when those guys are in the big league team.
Q&A with O’s prospect Gunnar Henderson (Orioles.com)
Gunnar Henderson, who was born in 2001, says his favorite musical artist is Motley Crüe.
Nick Markakis was the most underappreciated Oriole (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff writes here that he wonders if Nick Markakis being present beyond 2014 could have helped Chris Davis through some of his slumps. I’m going to go ahead and guess... no.
How Hunter Harvey’s oblique injury could impact the Orioles roster choices for Opening Day (The Baltimore Sun)
Jon Meoli suggests Harvey’s injury might end up necessitating a 60-day injured list stint, which would open up a roster spot for one of the non-roster pitchers like Felix Hernandez or Matt Harvey.
Oh, and apparently the Orioles haven’t ruled out using a six-man rotation:
5 or 6 starters? Still a decision that's pending. Hyde said will probably figure it out the last few days of camp #orioles— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) March 13, 2021
This is one of those questions where if you get a beat writer who thinks there should be a six man rotation, they’ll ask about it almost daily, so sometimes the “still considering” answer is meaningless. It’s interesting that Brandon Hyde specified the decision could come down to the final few days of camp, though.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2013-14 pitcher Josh Stinson, 2008 reliever Randor Bierd, and 1995 starter Kevin Brown, who is not the same person as Orioles broadcaster Kevin Brown.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: first known woman dental school graduate Lucy Hobbs Taylor (1833), director Wolfgang Petersen (1941), basketballer Wes Unseld (1946), ice cream man Jerry Greenfield (1951), and baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett (1960).
On this day in history...
In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the British Fort Charlotte at modern day Mobile, Alabama was captured by Spanish forces. This was significant as it was the last British frontier post that might threaten New Orleans.
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established the first National Wildlife Refuge at Pelican Island, Florida. Today, it’s part of the larger Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge.
In 1964, Jack Ruby was found guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 14. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!