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Monday Bird Droppings: Positive signs early in spring training

Another day, another spring win for the Orioles

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers
Does Terrin Vavra have what it takes to make this team?
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! Spring training is in full swing, and while we haven’t been able to watch any of it on TV, there are still plenty of stories coming out of Sarasota about our favorite baseball team.

The Orioles are now 2-0 in spring training, which means nothing but also still makes me feel better than if they were 0-2. Yesterday’s game featured Dean Kremer’s first appearance of spring, followed by a string of relief pitchers whose names you may or may not recognize.

It was an especially nice day for returns from the Jorge López trade. Yennier Canó pitched a hitless inning with two strikeouts while Cade Povich pitched two innings with three strikeouts and the minimum number of batters faced. Keep it up, guys! I like being able to declare that we won a trade.

Over on offense, the Orioles racked up 10 runs and 14 hits and the spring of Heston Kjerstad continued. He only had one at-bat, but it was a single to keep his batting average a perfect 1.000 on the season.

Bubble player Terrin Vavra got two hits in his first start AND he played third base! He has only logged one inning at third in his professional career, but if he wants to get playing time on this roster he needs to be able to mix it up. He’s also being considered as a first base backup. I have my doubts about him being good enough to crack the lineup, but I hope he proves me wrong.

Today the Orioles and Rays face off at 1:05 but the game isn’t being broadcast on tv or radio by either team. If a game is played in Florida but nobody sees or hears it, did it really happen? At any rate, it’s Bruce Zimmermann’s time to shine as he’ll get the start for the Birds.


Dean Kremer makes Spring Training debut -
Kremer threw just 22 pitches in two innings in his first start of spring. He'll get one more and then he's off to the World Baseball Classic. I am optimistic about Kremer this year. I don't know why, but it feels weird to be optimistic about anything.

Orioles roster battles: Evaluating Baltimore’s camp competitions with spring training games underway – Baltimore Sun
The Sun looks at roster battles among starting pitchers, relief pitchers, left-handed bench bat, and backup centerfielder. That's it! Not much competition in camp. I'm pulling for Ryan McKenna.

Orioles pitcher DL Hall has a whole new look — for a good cause - The Baltimore Banner
There is a lot of talk about the copious hair flow on the Orioles, so it was big news when DL Hall showed up with a shaved head. The good news is that he's donating his hair to a company that makes wigs for cancer patients. The bad news is I prefer DL with long hair.

Sunday Notes: Born To Brits, Harry Ford Could Be MLB’s Next Great Black Catcher | FanGraphs Baseball
David Laurila has notes from an interview FanGraphs did with Cole Irvin. It remains to be seen how effective he'll be with the Orioles, but he gives a good interview.

Reading the Tea Leaves: O’s, Phils Appear to Be Close to Uni Ad Deals - Uni Watch
If you're someone who likes to get up in arms about things like ads on uniforms, Uni Watch has some bad news for you.

Consistency, results came with repetition for Jorge Mateo - WBAL TV
Everyone loves Jorge! But can he get on base enough for that to matter?

Effectively Wild Episode 1973: Season Preview Series: Phillies and Orioles | FanGraphs Baseball
Ben and Meg brought Nathan Ruiz onto the podcast to preview the Orioles season.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies. Turning 26 years old today is minor leaguer, Alex Wells. Wells appeared for the Orioles in 2021 and 2022 with disappointing results. He was injured most of last year and was outrighted to Norfolk in September.

Also born on this day are 2016 starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (37), 1998 relief pitcher Pete Smith (57), and 1965 outfielder Carl Warwick (86).

On this day in 1988, the Orioles traded third baseman Ray Knight to the Tigers for pitcher Mark Thurmond. Thurmond spent two seasons as a mediocre relief pitcher for the Orioles, while 1988 was Knight’s last year in the majors. He put an OPS+ of 63 in 105 games.