There are now two months and 29 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. We’ve made it into the calendar year where it’s happening.
This time a year ago, nobody would have guessed that there was going to be so much fun in store for the Orioles in 2022. Sure, we were all hoping that there’d be significant contributions from Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez and maybe even Gunnar Henderson later on, but there was absolutely no expectation that the team would turn in a decent season overall.
With the drama surrounding the lockout, there wasn’t even a clear idea of when the season would actually end up being played. Now that it’s all played out, we know they still got 162 games in and the scheduled was only disrupted by about a week. This was not always a sure thing in the early months of last year.
It’s different now. Having been through the fun of 2022, we’d all like to see the improvement continue into this year. That’s what has made the moves thus far this offseason feel as disappointing as they have, because they haven’t felt sufficient to kick in that improvement.
The starting rotation swap of Jordan Lyles for Kyle Gibson doesn’t feel like enough to me, since we can’t even be sure how many innings they’ll try to push out of Rodriguez with his missing so much time due to his unfortunately-timed lat injury last year. I’m not sold on how much Adam Frazier improves the bench, and if James McCann hits like he did in 2022 then he’ll be an even worse backup catcher than Robinson Chirinos was.
Where does that leave the Orioles? It’s tough to say. While there are a number of high-minors infield guys and also close proximity in the outfield with Colton Cowser, the existing Orioles players in those spots weren’t too shabby this year, so even making room for prospects is complicated unless there’s an injury or a trade. We’ll still be looking to see if that picture changes between now and the end of March.
Even with the frustration, it’s nice to have seen some tangible results from the team in 2022. None of us needs to take it on complete faith that this plan will eventually start showing signs of big league success. It’s already done that. I hope more will be coming soon.
Around the blogO’sphere
Taking a look at O’s reported interest in Eric Hosmer (Steve Melewski)
I’m sorry to have this be the first thing I hit you with in a 2023 Bird Droppings link section. I mean, not sorry enough to not do it, but still.
5 Orioles predictions for 2023 season (Orioles.com)
As a palate cleanser for the above, consider this set of predictions that includes the Orioles finishing 88-74 and getting a wild card spot. You can sign me up for that right now.
And Mike Elias even struck with one last little roster move in the waning hours of 2022. The team announced that Tyler Nevin, who was previously designated for assignment on December 21 with the acquisition of McCann, was traded to the Tigers in exchange for cash considerations.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on January 1. They are: 2012 outfielder Xavier Avery, 2006 corner infield/outfield man Fernando Tatis, and 1958 infielder Foster Castleman.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Renaissance-era Italian Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449), midnight rider Paul Revere (1735), American flag seamstress Betsy Ross (1752), author E.M. Forster (1879), and DJ Grandmaster Flash (1958).
On this day in history...
In 45 BC, the Julian calendar was established in the Roman Empire, setting today’s date of January 1 as the beginning of each new calendar year. Though the Julian calendar has since given way to the Gregorian calendar, we’re still sticking with January 1 to get the party started.
In 1808 AD, the United States of America banned the importation of slaves from overseas, the very first day the country was allowed to do so by the Constitution.
In 1934, Alcatraz was established as a federal prison.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 1, 2023. Have a safe Sunday.