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Weekend Bird Droppings: Spring training draws closer

The left field wall remains a work in progress, prospect talk, and more!

Baltimore Orioles, 2013 Spring Training Set Number: X156157 TK1 R1 F25

Good morning, Birdland!

It’s nearly February. Maryland has experienced brutal temperatures and snow showers on and off for several weeks. But the days are getting slightly longer, spring is inching closer, and that means spring training is on the horizon.

The Orioles know this. Their social media team fed into the excitement by posting a video on Friday that featured the Oriole Bird “helping” to load up the trailer bound for Sarasota, Florida in just a few days.

Spring training is going to happen. It is looking more and more likely that the 40-man roster players will not be taking part, at least not right away. But the minor leaguers will be there are some point. Their season is fully on, regardless of what happens with CBA negotiations.

That still gives Orioles fans a lot of reasons to be excited. We should get substantial updates on Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, Colton Cowser, and more. I’m all about that!

But it will be different. I wouldn’t think that any potential games would be broadcast on radio or TV until the major leaguers are back in action. I’m sure many of us would love to see an intrasquad game between the club’s prospects, but it’s been tough enough to get normal spring games on MASN. Don’t hold hold your breath to see the baby birds face off.

A potential (seemingly probably at this point) delay in the start of the 2022 season certainly sours the upcoming start of spring training. But there remains something magical about that time of year that just gets baseball fans excited. Anything could happen, even for our rebuilding Orioles.

Links

Can Santander recapture 2020 form next season? | Steve Melewski
The Orioles need to do whatever they can to keep Anthony Santander healthy for an entire season. He has struggled with a myriad of maladies for his entire professional career. We have seen what he can do when healthy, but it just hasn’t been the case often enough.

Leftovers from Ferguson and Fuller | School of Roch
Some more praise for Kyle Stowers in here. That has become a pattern from inside the organization the last few months. A big league debut is certainly within reach for the outfielder sometime in 2022, but the team may need to make some trades in order to create the necessary space.

A Top 100 prospect for every club in 2024 | MLB Pipeline
Coby Mayo is the 2022 version of what we saw with Gunnar Henderson a year ago, and I’m cool with that. Like Henderson, there are some that expect Mayo to move down the defensive spectrum at some point. The problem is that Mayo is already at third base, so that would represent a move to a corner outfield spot or first base. That’s OK as long as his bat plays up, which is entirely possible. It will be fun to see what he can do this year.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Jair Jurrjens turns 36. The former all-star pitcher appeared in two games for the 2013 Orioles.
  • John Habyan celebrates his 58th. The righty began his 11-season career with a four-year stint in Baltimore.
  • Joe Kerrigan is 68 this weekend. He came to the Orioles along with Gary Roenicke and Don Stanhouse in a 1977 trade with the Expos. Kerrigan played in 27 games for the O’s between 1978 and ‘80.
  • Davey Johnson turns 79. The Orioles legend was an infielder for the team from 1965 through ‘72, making three all-star games, and then managed the club in 1996 and ‘97, winning the Manager of the Year award in ‘97, before having a falling out with ownership and resigning.
  • Walt Dropo (d. 2010) was born on this day in 1923. The first baseman played in parts of three seasons from 1959 through ‘61.

This weekend in O’s history

1994 - The Orioles sign reliever Lee Smith to a free agent deal.

1998 - Ozzie Guillen signs a minor league deal with the Orioles. He would make the Opening Day roster but be released a few weeks later.

2002 - The O’s and White Sox make a swap. Outfielder Chris Singleton lands in Baltimore while infielder Willie Harris heads to Chicago.

2003 - Cal Ripken Jr. is elected to the Orioles’ Team Hall of Fame in his first season of eligibility by a unanimous vote.