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Sunday Bird Droppings: Orioles spring training enters the final two-day sprint

Players on the Orioles roster fringe have two more games to change their chances

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MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now just four days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. We have entered the week in which regular season baseball returns to us. Is it going to be fun? Will it be a frustrating disappointment instead? We’re close to where we start to find out.

Between now and then, there are still a couple of spring training games left to be played. The Orioles are 15-12-3 through their Grapefruit League schedule as we enter the last two days. A 1:05 contest against the Phillies awaits today. In keeping with the recent O’s spring training tradition, the game will not be televised, but you can listen on the flagship radio stations in Baltimore - 97.9, 101.5, and 1090.

Yesterday evening’s game against the Pirates was a 6-4 victory. Rotation competitor Tyler Wells turned in a solid final audition with five innings pitched and only an unearned run allowed. After Wells, DL Hall struck out three batters in a 2.1 inning outing; an inherited runner scored and was charged to Hall due to Rule 5 pick Andrew Politi not having a successful effort in finishing the inning.

At the plate for the Orioles, Ryan O’Hearn also turned in a good late audition, with a three-hit effort that fit in the classic “triple shy of the cycle.” Prospect Jordan Westburg drove in three of the O’s runs, including a two-run double as part of a four-run seventh inning for the Orioles. O’Hearn still has a chance to make the team as a lefty bench bat. Westburg, I think, will be waiting for something to change with the big league roster picture during the season. That could be someone getting hurt or someone getting chucked from the roster due to stinking.

Following last night’s win, there was one more injury update that might affect the Opening Day roster. Manager Brandon Hyde told Orioles reporters that catcher James McCann currently has a sore side but could return in a few days. Opening Day is in a few days, so a “could” for that is not a very strong endorsement. McCann has not played since March 20.

If there’s a silver lining to this news, it’s that you probably weren’t very excited for McCann to be on the Orioles anyway so if he’s on the injured list to start the year, it probably doesn’t impact how you view the team. From a roster standpoint, the only issue if McCann misses the first week or something like this is that someone would have to be trimmed from the 40-man roster to make room for another catcher.

Here’s hoping the Orioles can get through today and tomorrow without any other injures that might affect somebody’s status to begin the season. There was also a minor problem with Ramón Urías having taken a grounder off of his thumb a few days ago. Urías missed two games but played last night.

Around the blogO’sphere

DL Hall feels ready to face major league batters, but Orioles must decide where he fits (The Baltimore Banner)
Bullpen or Triple-A rotation seem to be the choices to start the season. I honestly don’t know what they’re going to end up doing.

Givens uncertain whether he can avoid injured list (School of Roch)
Between this and the injury to Dillon Tate, the bullpen we all assumed two months ago may be a good bit different than what is actually there on Opening Day.

Orioles bullpen success runs through fun and trust (
Catching instructor Tim Cossins has dubbed the O’s bullpen “The Mosh Pit,” which, hey, if they’re doing well and having fun then I’m glad for that combination.

Kyle Gibson hopes his second Opening Day start is better than his first (Baltimore Baseball)
Gibson allowed five runs while failing to get out of the first inning on Opening Day 2021, so, you know, that makes two of us hoping his second such start is better than his first.

Two phenoms, two droughts: How Gunnar Henderson, Corbin Carroll could make history (The Athletic)
Is it counting the chickens before the eggs hatch to already be thinking about how Gunnar Henderson could break the Orioles Rookie of the Year drought that stretches since the last O’s win in 1989? Probably, but it is fun to do that counting for now anyway.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1998 eight-game outfielder Jesús Tavárez, 1995 outfielder Jarvis Brown, 1989-90 pitcher Mickey Weston, and 1983 pitcher Dan Morogiello. Today is Morogiello’s 68th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: poet Robert Frost (1874), fashion designer Guccio Gucci (1881), playwright Tennessee Williams (1911), first female Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor (1930), actor Leonard Nimoy (1931), musician Steven Tyler (1948), and actress Keira Knightley (1985).

On this day in history...

In 1484, an English printer named William Caxton published the first English translation of Aesop’s Fables.

In 1979, an American-brokered peace treaty was signed between Israel and Egypt in Washington, DC.

In 1982, also in Washington, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The finished memorial was dedicated a bit less than eight months later.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 26. Have a safe Sunday.