We are now 22 days away from the start of the Orioles regular season, with the first game to be held at Camden Yards, with its freshly-changed left field fence, three days beyond that.
The first spring training game is tomorrow! You won’t be able to watch it, but it will be on the radio. The O’s announced their spring broadcast schedule yesterday, with three games on MASN and eight on the radio, counting one that’s on both. The three televised games are March 24, March 30, and April 1.
Tomorrow’s, Saturday’s, and Sunday’s games will all be on the radio, as well as March 24 (also on TV), March 26, March 27, April 2, and April 3. All of these games have 1:05 start times except for March 24 and March 26. Remember that this season, the Orioles have returned to 1090 AM in Baltimore, in addition to sister stations 97.9 and 101.5 FM.
One player who we will unfortunately not be seeing or hearing in these games is Adley Rutschman. The first bit of big news from Orioles camp was bad news: Rutschman has a tricep strain and is out of action for at least 2-3 weeks. The abbreviated spring schedule being what it is, that doesn’t leave much time for Rutschman to recover and then do the ramping up that he would normally have been doing over these few weeks in time for Opening Day.
The dream of Rutschman as the Opening Day catcher had to overcome the cold logic of MLB’s service time loophole allowing teams to squeeze out an extra year of control over their players. Maybe that would not have happened and he was always destined for a few weeks in the minors. Now, this injury, rest, and recovery guarantee some Norfolk time for Rutschman. We can hope that he’s able to get a big league call-up as soon as the date passes for the O’s to get that extra year before free agency.
In other scheduling news, the make-up dates for games from the first week of the season that were postponed due to the lockout have been announced. The new end date of the 2022 regular season is October 5, with the Orioles now finishing the season at home against the Blue Jays from October 3-5.
The three-game set in Boston from April 4-6 has been split up as follows: There’s an added doubleheader on May 28 that turns a four-game series into a five-game series, a one-game jaunt to Boston for what had been an off day on August 11, and a fourth game added on September 26, also previously an off day, in front of a three-game series in Boston from September 27-29.
Some other teams will now lose the Thursday of the All-Star break as a part of this process. I don’t know if that’s better or worse than what the Orioles will endure. One other wrinkle about losing that September 26 off day is that the Orioles now have no off days from September 16-October 5. Other teams certainly are better off. The Dodgers season will now close out with six straight games at home against the Rockies. Sorry, every other team that might be contending with the Dodgers for postseason position.
Around the blogO’sphere
Fun to watch this year on farm: Shortstops at Bowie (Steve Melewski)
Gunnar Henderson, Joey Ortiz, and Jordan Westburg all seem to be ticketed to start off the season at Bowie. That could be a heck of a fun infield indeed.
Orioles prospect Norby makes top 10 2B prospects list (MLB Pipeline)
It probably doesn’t mean much that Orioles second round pick Connor Norby is in at #10 on this list of best second base prospects in baseball, but still... good for him, and I hope he can move up for next year.
Versatile Chris Owings happy to contribute (almost) anywhere; Orioles bring back pitchers Chris Ellis, Conner Greene (The Baltimore Sun)
The O’s handed out a pair of minor league contracts to pitchers who played here in 2021. I was surprised that Ellis, who had a 2.49 ERA across six starts, got purged from the roster to begin with, but I guess the O’s judged his market correctly, since he’s back and not even starting out on the 40-man roster.
Orioles nearing deal with catcher Beau Taylor (School of Roch)
With Rutschman injured, there’s a need for more catching depth in camp, and so the O’s are looking to hand out another minor league deal.
Finally, there’s this:
As you may have picked up on if you’ve seen me talk about it over the offseason, I think the chances of the Orioles going after Carlos Correa seriously are so low that it’s almost cruel to even pretend that might happen. To this point, the only person who has put this idea into the sphere is Raul Ramos, who is not exactly one of “the usual suspects” for breaking baseball news.
On the other hand, sometimes random baseball stories break in odd places. One legendary example of this was when Jose Quintana being traded to the Cubs ended up being broken by a Reddit user named wetbutt23. Ramos ending up having the inside scoop on an O’s-Correa connection would not be stranger than that by any means. He does at least have a verified badge on Twitter, which is more than I can say.
I still don’t think there’s much chance of it, but the longer the month drags on with Correa unsigned, the more likely that something weird will happen at the end of it. Maybe today will be the day it finally resolves in a predictable way - the Astros step up and spend big money to bring him back and make him a Houston lifer, say. If that doesn’t happen today and people keep dreaming about Correa playing here, I don’t blame them.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day: 2011-20 player Chris Davis, 2020-21 reliever César Valdez, and 2006 catcher Raúl Chávez.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: composer Alfred Newman (1900), musician Nat King Cole (1919), cyberpunk pioneer author William Gibson (1948), astronaut Ken Mattingly (1936) and the actor who played him in Apollo 13 Gary Sinise (1955), Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan (1967), soccer legend Mia Hamm (1972), and Maryland-raised gold medal swimmer Katie Ledecky (1997).
On this day in history...
In 45 BC, Julius Caesar won his last battle, defeating the Pompeians in the Battle of Munda, after which he returned to Rome to govern. His assassination was two days shy of one full year later.
In 1776 AD, the American siege of British-occupied Boston came to an end when the British evacuated the city.
In 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was first proclaimed, uniting different regional kingdoms under one flag for the first time. Modern day Italy’s boundaries were not fixed until after World War I.
In 1992, the people of South Africa voted to end the apartheid regime in a referendum that passed with 68.7% of the vote.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 17. Have a safe Thursday.