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Wednesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles will have an alternate training site again in 2021

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In other news: The O’s continue looking for a spring win, Mullins gets a hit against a lefty, and Baumann looks to impress.

Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning Birdland,

Just like their MLB peers, the Triple-A season was set to start in early April. That has now been punted to May, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The report explains that the reason for the delay is that teams will be setting up alternate training sites, similar to what was done last summer.

It is unclear if these sites will be an entirely separate entity from Triple-A, or if they will continue operating past the start of the minor league seasons.

As it was a season ago, the goal of having these sites would seemingly be to give each major league team a pool of potential players that are physically ready to play at the major league level while limiting their exposure to others, and therefore lowering the risk of virus contraction. That theory would kind of go out the window once games start and minor leaguers are traveling by bus from town to town.

It will be interesting to see how the pushing back of the Triple-A season and the addition of the alternate site impacts roster decisions. Someone like Stevie Wilkerson or Wade LeBlanc may not make the major league roster for Opening Day, but they would almost certainly warrant a spot in the alternate site.

Links & Notes

Orioles pitching prospect Mike Baumann brings explosive stuff to big league camp: ‘I just want to prove that I belong’ | The Baltimore Sun
Michael Baumann is one of the players that seemed to take a huge leap forward with the implementation of Mike Elias and Chris Holt’s vision for the club. There is a chance he makes his Baltimore debut late this summer and then be fighting for a rotation spot by this time next year.

Pitcher pulled in 1st, trots out to start 2nd | Orioles.com
John Means got taken out after some struggles in the first inning. But then he pitched the entire second inning. Oh yeah, and the teams only played seven innings. Spring baseball has kind of turned into that show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Everything is made up and the points don’t matter. Take the balls and strikes off the board. Just let an at-bat go for, like, six pitches and then move on to the next guy. Use ghost runners. Whatever.

Cedric Mullins on scrapping switch-hitting | Steve Melewski
This is a big deal. It will take a while for Cedric Mullins to adjust to seeing left-handed pitchers throw to him on the same side of the plate, but ultimately it seems like his best chance to turn into an everyday option in the outfield.

Hyde on Means, Mullins, Rutschman and more | School of Roch
Adley Rutschman caught knuckleballer Mickey Jannis, and seemed to have done well. Plus he worked a walk. Who needs to see more? Call the kid up already!

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Dilson Herrera turns 27 today. He played in three games for the 2020 O’s.
  • José Rondón celebrates his 27th birthday as well. He appeared in just one game for the 2019 Orioles.
  • Happy 42nd birthday to longtime reliever Jorge Julio. The right-hander spent five seasons in Baltimore from 2001 through 2005, accumulating a 4.20 ERA.
  • It’s the 53rd birthday of Bobby Muñoz, a right-handed pitcher that made his way into nine games for the 1998 Birds.
  • The late Francisco de la Rosa (d. 2011) was born on this day in 1966. He played in two games with the 1995 Orioles.
  • Jesse Jefferson also has a posthumous (b. 1949, d. 2011) celebration. He was an O’s hurler from 1973 through 1975 before being traded to the Chicago White Sox for Tony Muser.

Orioles history

1916 - Orioles owner Jack Dunn purchases the ballpark built by the Baltimore Terrapins.