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Sunday Bird Droppings: The struggling Orioles rotation edition

A week into spring training games, there have been a number of bad outings from starting rotation candidates.

MLB: MAR 05 Spring Training - Orioles at Blue Jays
Matt Harvey is one of the several Orioles pitchers whose first outings didn’t go great.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 25 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day. Between now and then are another 21 exhibition games that will help the team decide who is going to be on the roster to start out the season. Some of those decisions will be made by who’s healthy at the end of spring training, and some will be made by who looks to be performing well.

That includes one this afternoon at 1:05 against the Pirates. As is the case with the majority of spring training games, this one will be on neither television nor radio in Baltimore. If you have the ability and interest to watch Pirates broadcasts through MLBtv or other means, you can get a TV or radio broadcast for the contest. I’ll be watching this one through Roku thanks to the free MLBtv perk for O’s season ticket holders.

The Orioles actually played nine innings in yesterday’s spring training game, which has been uncommon across MLB over the first week of these games. Going the full nine was good for the Orioles, as they scored all five of their runs in the eighth and ninth innings of the game.

The reserves got some offense going late, although the O’s still fell to the Tigers, 6-5. The good news is that there will probably not be very many regular season Orioles games whose outcomes hinge on the pitching of Zach Muckenhirn. The North Dakota product walked the bases loaded while retiring no batters and was charged with three runs for the unenviable infinite ERA.

A starting lineup that consisted of seven or eight players from the probable Orioles Opening Day lineup mustered just three hits through the first two times through the order, after which the expected regulars were mostly all lifted from the game. Adley Rutschman was 1-3 with a walk, the one hit being a ninth inning infield single. No, really:

Around the blogOs’phere

Observations on Félix Hernández’s slow fastball in his first start (Baltimore Sun)
The Sun’s Jon Meoli went into a bit more detail about what he saw from Hernández in his two innings. Hernández himself was unconcerned, saying he’d be better by the end of the month.

A slow start for the starters (Steve Melewski)
King Felix’s first spring outing fit in with the rest of the Orioles starter hopefuls, in that they have mostly stunk so far.

Rutschman humbled by high expectations (
“I just want to see him play,” said manager Brandon Hyde. He’s not the only one.

Digging deeper into some remaining business in camp (School of Roch)
Roch notes that late spring training additions to the roster have happened in recent years, including the days before Opening Day waiver claim of Pedro Severino two years ago.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Out of all of the players to ever play for the Orioles, only a single one has been born on this day: 1998 outfielder Joe Carter. It is also the 26th birthday of camp invitee Nick Ciuffo, a catcher who’s probably ticketed for Norfolk but could end up in the picture if there is an injury or a trade.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: blueprint inventor John Herschel (1792), actor Bryan Cranston (1956), comedian Wanda Sykes (1964), and The Office’s Pam, Jenna Fischer (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1945, Allied forces captured the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, allowing an advance across the Rhine into Germany for the first time in World War II.

In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations troops launched Operation Ripper, a month-long battle that led to the UN recapturing Seoul from North Korean and Chinese forces.

In 1965, a civil rights march in Selma, Alabama was attacked by local and state police as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 7. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!