Good morning, Birdland!
Between the ongoing World Baseball Classic and March Madness, MLB’s regular season is sneaking up on us. In just under two weeks, the Orioles and Red Sox will get the year underway at Fenway Park.
For now, though, the O’s are hitting their stride down in Sarasota. They have lost just once this past week, and that came in a road split squad against the Braves, so it doesn’t really count.
The Birds played the Twins for what feels like the 20th time this spring on Friday, and they brought out the power sticks in the process. In the third inning Jordan Westburg, Daz Cameron, and Colton Cowser went back-to-back-to-back to take a 3-2 lead, one they would never give up en route to a 5-3 win.
On the mound, Dean Kremer returned from international duty to toss four innings and allow two runs on three hits and three strikeouts. Félix Bautista followed with a perfect two-strikeout frame.
You can actually watch the Orioles on TV today. MASN 2 is the spot to find the action, which will include a start by prospect Grayson Rodriguez. How kind of our Angelos overloads to actually show the team on a channel you pay extra for all year long just to watch repeats of mid-major basketball games for six months at a time. Of course, the caveat is that you won’t get Kevin Brown or Ben McDonald. Instead, it’s a simulcast of the Red Sox NESN feed. First pitch is 1:05 from Ft. Myers.
Baumann ready to embrace new reliever role | MLB.com
This feels like a good fit for Mike Baumann. His stuff should play up, and he should not have to deal with yo-yoing from rotation to bullpen to Norfolk and back again.
Still battling to grasp Orioles’ bullpen plans | Roch Kubatko
The Orioles are not unique here. Every team’s bullpen is a bit of a mess up until Opening Day. Fortunately, the O’s do seem to have more quality arms than typical. So they should be able to weather the roster crunch just fine.
Hudson Haskin making his own mark among talented farm group | Steve Melewski
It is easy to forget about Haskin amidst the players atop various prospect rankings. But he has an enticing skillset that should make him a big leaguer at some point. It seems unlikely that it happens in Baltimore this year, though. He doesn’t have to be protected from the Rule 5 draft until December. Of course, a trade could always be part of the equation.
Left-handed bats hoping to continue forcing tough roster decision | The Baltimore Sun
Out of this list, Kyle Stowers feels like the only one assured an Opening Day spot. He probably even starts most of the time in one of the corners, especially if Anthony Santander takes on more of a DH role. I know Terrin Vavra has had a nice spring, but where is he gonna play? The team doesn’t trust him at shortstop, which makes the fit as a utility player a bit odd.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Trey Mancini turns 31 today. A fan favorite, the slugger spent 2016 through 2022 in Baltimore before a midseason trade last year sent him to Houston, where he won a World Series with the Astros. He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs over the winter with a player option for 2024.
- Craig Tatum is 40. He appeared in 31 games as backup catcher for the 2011 Birds.
- Gerónimo Berroa is 58 years old. The outfielder spent half of the 1997 season with the Orioles.
- Randy Miller celebrates his 70th. He pitched two-thirds of an inning for the ‘77 O’s.
- The late Dick Littlefield (b. 1926, d. 1997) was born on this day. The pitcher was an original Oriole, coming over with the team from St. Louis. But he would play in only three games for the club once in Baltimore.
This day in O’s history
1974 - Jim Palmer and the Orioles face a Texas Rangers lineup that includes country musician Charley Pride. The singer goes 1-for-2 but the Orioles prevail 14-2.
1984 - Former Orioles catcher and coach Charlie Lau passes away after a battle with cancer. Before becoming a renowned hitting coach with the Royals, Lau started his big league coaching career as a member of Earl Weaver’s staff in 1969.