Good morning, Birdland!
Spring training is over for the Orioles. It was not the most ceremonious conclusion. The O’s were supposed to play the Tigers today in the spring finale, but both teams agreed to skip it due to pitching shortages, making the 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Monday into the actual end of the Grapefruit League season.
It seems to be an odd excuse given how large spring rosters often are. But it make sense given the proximity to Opening Day and the fact that the minor league players have started to roll out.
Given that game action is done this should mean that we get some roster news today. Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s hurt?
Jorge Mateo got hit on the wrist yesterday. The severity is unclear, but that could clear a spot for Chris Owings or Richie Martin to begin the year. D.J. Stewart has dealt with injuries this spring too, and could start on the IL.
Zac Lowther was optioned. I liked him better than some other options that remain in camp, but it’s not like he won’t make it up to Baltimore at some point anyway.
The variable is what other teams do. There are sure to be interesting players DFA’d prior to the season starting. The lineup looks quite stable, but Mike Elias would probably jump at the opportunity to upgrade the pitching situation. It’s not terribly sexy, but is the reality.
The Orioles opted to keep all of their exciting young players down to begin the season. It’s not shocking, and it’s not necessarily the wrong choice. But it is most definitely boring.
As Triple-A Norfolk season begins, minds — and expectations — naturally wander to a future with the Orioles | The Baltimore Sun
For now, I am very interested in Norfolk Tides baseball. I hope that interest fades throughout the summer as the talent makes its way north.
Wells strikes out seven in last start, Mateo hit on hand (O’s adding lose 2-1) | School of Roch
I am officially excited about Tyler Wells the starter. It seems like he was dominant on Tuesday, and the O’s are going to give him a real shot in the rotation. It’s different and at least gives us something to look forward to out of the chute.
On Mike Elias’ challenge to the Orioles’ tweener pitchers, the last source of hope that aren’t solely on his account | Maximizing Playoff Odds (Jon Meoli)
Mike Elias is not wrong that the batch of young pitchers struggled last year. But I have seen some on Twitter absolve Elias of blame for those specific struggles. Why? Sure, he didn’t draft those players, but it’s his job to implement development, and it’s not as if someone forced him to only consider those pitchers. He does not get a free pass for players that existed prior to him taking the job. We are in year four under Elias now! That is long enough to sort things like that out.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Danny Clyburn (b. 1974, d. 2012) is the lone Oriole born on this day. The outfielder played in 13 games for the O’s between 1997 and ‘98.
This day in O’s history
1973 - O’s hurler Dave McNally throws a three-hit complete game, topping the Brewers 10-0.
1992 - The Orioles play their first game at Camden Yards. Rick Sutcliffe turns in a dominant performance as the Birds beat Cleveland 2-0.
1996 - Cal Ripken Jr.s streak of errorless games stops at 74 as he flubs a grounder in an 8-3 loss to the Twins.