There are now 18 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. That uniform number has not been in use by a player since 2018, when Austin Hays wore it for his debut. That’s because right now it belongs to manager Brandon Hyde. We are getting pretty close now.
Between now and then, spring training will be rolling along. There are 17 more spring training games to be played, including two days of split-squad action. Today’s contest will feature Grayson Rodriguez as a starting pitcher. That would be cool to get to watch on TV, except, as you’re familiar with by now, MASN is not bothering to televise the game. It will, at least, be on the Orioles flagship radio stations in the Baltimore area - 1090 AM, 101.5 and 97.9 FM. That means that MLB.tv subscribers can listen to the audio wherever you can log in across the world.
In yesterday’s game, the Orioles were on the wrong end of an 8-6 game against the Blue Jays. Austin Voth wasn’t very good as the starting pitcher and Mike Baumann was even worse in relief. The eight runs were charged only to those two guys.
Offensively, roster hopeful lefty masher Franchy Cordero had three hits, and prospect Connor Norby added a couple more himself. Heston Kjerstad had a hit in two tries, driving in a run. Jackson Holliday also went 1-2 after entering as a reserve. The team is now 5-8-2 in spring training contests this year, without a win since Wednesday. Obviously, wins and losses don’t matter until the games count, at which time there will be fewer scrubs getting time in late innings, especially scrub pitchers.
What might have been the most interesting thing for Orioles fans to keep in mind yesterday had nothing directly to do with the Orioles at all. Diamondbacks beat writer Steve Gilbert of MLB.com broke the news yesterday that Arizona has agreed on an eight-year, $111 million contract extension with its young outfielder Corbin Carroll.
What’s interesting about this is Carroll has a lot in common with Gunnar Henderson. The two players each got about a month of MLB experience at the end of last year. Carroll is the #2 prospect to Henderson’s #1 on at least a couple of lists. If there was going to be an Orioles extension with Henderson, it’d probably look a bit like this. Henderson’s might have to be a little bigger, because he’s a year younger.
We’ve seen absolutely no indication that the Orioles might want to get in on the flurry of contract extensions being handed out to young players this offseason. We have no way of knowing whether the Orioles players who’d be the best candidates - Henderson and Adley Rutschman - even want to look into deals like this. Maybe they don’t. But if they do, hopefully the Orioles aren’t sleeping at the wheel.
And now, here’s Anthony Santander homering off the reigning NL Cy Young in the World Baseball Classic:
Santander just LAUNCHED a homer against Sandy Alcántara. pic.twitter.com/iPWriBQ7uV— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) March 12, 2023
Around the blogO’sphere
Updates on Joey Ortiz, Félix Bautista, and more (Steve Melewski)
The presumptive closer could make his spring game debut as early as Thursday. Will that leave him ready for Opening Day? I guess we’re going to find out.
Voth looking at progress, not numbers, in chase for roster spot (Orioles.com)
I would like if there were both progress and numbers that were worth looking at. Voth said he was working on his new pitch, a sweeper. Not many outings left for a rotation candidate until the season arrives.
Among Orioles spring stars, Heston Kjerstad grateful to have focus on baseball: ‘That’s all I want to do’ (The Baltimore Sun)
If the Heston Kjerstad Finally Arrived Tour keeps on rolling into the 2023 minor league season, the near future of the Orioles is going to feel that much more exciting.
John Means talks about his rehab, 2023 Orioles, broadcasting (Baltimore Baseball)
Asked about the difference compared to his first camp in 2019, Means said, “. We would never really say it was a rebuild in spring training, but obviously it was, and now, it’s, ‘let’s go make the playoffs and win as many games as we can possibly win, and make it to the World Series.’ It’s just a completely different feeling of going into a season.” It’s not going to mean much unless they start winning when the season starts, but for now it’s sure nice to hear of the different vibe and expectations.
Baltimore Orioles bet on young players in 2023 season (The Washington Post)
The Post is acknowledging the Orioles and it’s only March? How unusual! Perhaps with the Nationals expected to suck and the Orioles having higher hopes, this will occur more often through the year.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2020-21 pitcher Cole Sulser, 1989-90 outfielder Steve Finley, 1960 five-gamer Ray Barker, and 1958 outfielder Chuck Oertel.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: archaeologist John Aubrey (1626), singer Agathe von Trapp (1913), astronaut Wally Schirra (1923), and actress Zhao Wei (1976).
On this day in history...
In 1088, Urban II was elected as pope of the Catholic Church. His historical contribution: Under his watch, the period of crusades began.
In 1912, what we know today as the Girl Scouts of the USA was founded. The original name for the organization was Girl Guides.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first address to the nation since being inaugurated. This is recognized as the first of his now-famous fireside chats.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 12. Have a safe Sunday.