Spring training games have been going on for more than a week now without the Orioles having a game appear on televisions in the Baltimore area. That finally changes today, as their afternoon contest against the Twins will be carried on MLB Network.
That channel will probably just be carrying the Twins broadcast, so don’t expect too much talk about the Orioles, but you know. It’s something. Maybe eventually this past weekend’s report about MASN carrying a whopping four exhibition games will materialize into reality. Until then, here we are with MLB Network.
For those who aren’t able to tune in to a TV, the game will also have an Orioles radio broadcast. Enjoy it if you can, because after today, three of the next four games will have no TV or radio broadcast of any kind.
If you’ve been following any of the sparse radio broadcasts or box scores from the first week-plus of the Grapefruit League action, you already know that things haven’t gone so great for the O’s up to this point. It’s been a particularly poor go for the candidates for the starting rotation, including Sunday’s game, when John Means gave up two runs in two innings.
For the rest of the month, we can tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter because the games and results don’t count yet. It’s true that everything that happens in March will be erased when the calendar turns to April. But there’s 20 games left to play, so that’s something like four more outings for every rotation candidate. That’s not very much time for it all to click. Don’t even get me started on how some of the regular position players are hitting.
Here’s the Orioles starting lineup for today. If the pattern of the last week or so holds, these players will get two at-bats before being lifted for reserves:
- Cedric Mullins - CF
- Trey Mancini - 1B
- Ryan Mountcastle - LF
- Pedro Severino - C
- Austin Hays - RF
- Pat Valaika - SS
- Yolmer Sánchez - 2B
- Tyler Nevin - DH
- Rylan Bannon - 3B
Dean Kremer is the starting pitcher. Maybe he’ll go three innings if he does well. The game is scheduled to be seven innings in all, so enjoy it while it lasts and sorry to everyone who paid full price to attend.
One might note the continuing absence of Chris Davis from the lineup. It’s now been more than a week since he’s played in a game. Brandon Hyde told Orioles reporters before the game that Davis is “seeing some doctors” today and currently has no timetable for a return.
This is not an ideal circumstance for a guy who’s trying to break out of an extreme three-year rut. It takes a sunny disposition to believe that Davis is capable of breaking out of that rut, even supposing he achieves 100% of the physical capability that his body can currently muster. Those with a less sunny disposition about Davis are likely not missing his absence.