clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles were home run happy

The Birds bashed eight dingers in their two split-squad games yesterday, with a couple of notable prospects joining in on the fun.

MLB: MAR 05 Spring Training - Orioles at Rays
Heston Kjerstad continued his sizzling spring with his third home run.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Yesterday the Orioles doubled up on the exhibition fun, playing their first pair of split squad games this spring, with varying results. In the home contest at Ed Smith Stadium, the O’s busted out the bats for an 11-7 victory over the Tigers, while the road crew fell to the Braves, 6-5, in North Port.

One thing that both halves of the club did was hit dingers. The Sarasota crew was particularly prolific, bashing a whopping six home runs against an overmatched Tigers staff, including Austin Hays’ third — the most of any O’s regular — and Adam Frazier’s first. Non-roster backup first baseman candidates Franchy Cordero and Josh Lester each homered in separate games. In an always exciting development for Orioles fans, a couple of high-profile outfield prospects went yard, too, with Colton Cowser hitting his second of the spring while, in the road game, Heston Kjerstad swatted his third roundtripper, keeping pace with Hays for the spring lead.

Even guys who aren’t technically part of the Orioles’ camp joined in on the fun. Outfielder Hudson Haskin and first baseman Jacob Teter, O’s draftees from 2020 and 2021 respectively, came over from minor league camp and homered. It’s fun when the ball is flying.

Speaking of fun, the World Baseball Classic marches on, and yesterday brought a few more humdingers. Puerto Rico threw the first perfect game in WBC history, a combined eight-inning effort against Israel capped by a walkoff hit that activated the 10-run mercy rule. And Team USA ambushed Canada for a nine-run first inning, with the Orioles’ Cedric Mullins — making his first start of the WBC — providing a key hit with an RBI triple.

Four more games are on the WBC docket today, including the red-hot Anthony Santander — who’s homered twice already — leading Team Venezuela against Nicaragua at noon EST. Meanwhile, the O’s will take on the Pirates at 1 PM in Bradenton, and it’ll air on the Pirates’ TV broadcast if you’re able to access such things.


Kyle Gibson is solid, O’s hit six homers in split-squad win over Detroit - Steve Melewski
Overshadowed by the Orioles’ homer-fest was presumptive Opening Day starter Kyle Gibson working a strong four innings, giving up just one run. If Gibson can be an above average starter for the Birds and not just a Jordan Lyles replacement, it’d go a long way for the Orioles’ chances of contending.

Grayson Rodriguez’s spring speed bump was probably just that. But it could it be occasion for the Orioles to knock his roster plans off course. - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Jon Meoli speculates that Grayson Rodriguez might not be the lock we think he is to make the Opening Day roster. That would make me sad.

Answers to your Orioles questions, Part 1 -
Rich Dubroff answers questions from readers, including one who wants the O’s and Nationals to switch leagues because there are too many big spenders in the AL East. Uh, has he seen what’s been going on with the Mets lately?

Jackson Holliday on his first Spring Training with Orioles -
The 19-year-old Holliday not only got an invite to spring training, he’s managed to stick around for more than three weeks. Hear me out: Jackson Holliday on the Orioles’ Opening Day roster. Who says no?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Three Orioles in history have March 14 birthdays: Josh Stinson (35), Randor Bierd (39), and Kevin Brown (58). That’s Kevin Brown, the right-handed pitcher and six-time All-Star, not Kevin Brown, the current Orioles broadcaster, who does not have a birthday today. At least I don’t think so. Kevin Brown, if you lurk on Camden Chat, can you let us know if it’s your birthday?

On this date last year, the Orioles finally held their first workout of spring training, which started nearly a month late due to the MLB lockout. Also on that day, the O’s signed veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos, who ended up being the Birds’ primary catcher for the first month and a half due to Adley Rutschman’s injury, then served as Adley’s backup for the rest of the season, and not particularly well. The 38-year-old Chirinos has gone unsigned as an MLB free agent this offseason, but he’s currently on Team Venezuela’s roster for the World Baseball Classic.