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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Félix looks good in spring debut

Bautista excels, Wells struggles, Jones answers questions, and the O’s continue feuding with the Nationals.

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Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

My brain can only focus on so much baseball at one time, and with the World Baseball Classic in full swing this week, the Orioles are often the ones taking a backseat. But that didn’t prevent me from paying close attention to one very big (in more ways than one) debut for the Birds on Tuesday.

Félix Bautista finally pitched in a Grapefruit League game after working his way back from the knee discomfort that ended his 2022 season a tad early. But you never would have guessed he missed any time at all. The 27-year-old appeared to be in midseason form. In his one inning of work he struck out two Pirates and got his fastball up to 99 mph. With a little over two weeks left until Opening Day, he should be at 100% just in time.

A less positive outing came from Tyler Wells, who allowed five runs on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over 2.1 innings. But he also threw a whole bunch of sliders on Tuesday. They made up 43% of his offerings and got just one whiff. So it also might have just been one of those “workin’ on some things” type of starts. The righty has now given up nine earned runs in seven innings this spring, but maybe his side sessions have looked better.

There’s no game for the Orioles today. They will use it to reorganize the rotation and get things set up with an eye towards the regular season, according to manager Brandon Hyde. That will have Cole Irvin start in Kyle Bradish’s place on Thursday against the Blue Jays.


Bautista returns from injury with perfect spring debut |
All the quotes and notes from the O’s 7-6 win on Wednesday, including some thoughts from Hyde on what has been a tough on-field spring for rookie Gunnar Henderson.

Orioles minor leaguer Luis Ortiz was a ‘fighter’ throughout cancer battle: ‘Everybody’s feeling it’ | The Baltimore Sun
Terribly sad news, and to happen to such a young person with massive potential makes it even worse. Hopefully the Orioles are able to provide the support and structure needed for his family and friends within the organization that are surely going through some difficult moments right now.

Q&A with Adam Jones: The former Orioles star on the WBC, MLB’s new rules and more | The Athletic
Adam Jones is all over the place recently. He’s got a podcast, a charity he’s working with, and probably a million other things in the hopper. Hopefully he will be given his rightful spot in the Orioles’ team Hall of Fame sometime in the near future.

Orioles ask New York’s top court to toss out payment to Nats | WBAL
Right. Good luck with that.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Freddie Bynum turns 43 today. The utility man spent parts of two seasons with the Orioles from 2007 through ‘08.
  • Mike Pagliarulo is 63. His stay in Baltimore lasted just 33 games in 1993 as a backup infielder.
  • Harold Baines celebrates his 64th birthday. The Easton native would play in seven seasons for his hometown Orioles split up into three stints (1993-95, ‘97-’99, ‘00), but became a Hall of Famer during his early career with the White Sox.

This day in O’s history

It’s been a slow day in history for the Orioles, according to Baseball Reference. So here a few things that have happened outside of Birdland.

44 BC - Julius Caesar is assassinated.

1820 - Maine becomes the 23rd state

1917 - The 304-year Romanov dynasty comes to an end as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the throne.