There are now 81 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. In uniform number terms, three different Orioles since the 2021 season have worn that number, with a combined 32 games between them. The longest-tenured 81 guy was Conner Greene, who had a 7.71 ERA in 22 games. It’s still a long way to go.
Much closer will be the start of spring training. Teams haven’t officially announced the pitcher and catcher report dates yet, but it’s likely to be about a month and a week from today, give or take a day or two. Fake games will start up about a week after that. If prospects like Jackson Holliday and Samuel Basallo are getting early spring training playing time, those days may be more interesting than they are in a typical year. Not that MASN will bother to televise much of that, if they behave as they’ve done in the recent past.
Most years, I’m impatient to get through spring training. It’s an important ritual for the players to get themselves in playing shape, but for me, it’s not exciting. I want the real stuff to come along. This year, coming off the 101 wins of the 2023 Orioles campaign, I’m going to be even more impatient than usual. I want to find out how the follow-up is going to go.
Opening Day is a way to go still. Time is running shorter for roster moves to happen before the start of spring training. We’re all wondering the same thing we’ve been wondering since the season ended. Is there a move coming that will impact the Orioles starting rotation? If so, what other ripple effects will that move have on who makes the roster and who’s traded away from the organization? It’s no less exciting and for the prospect-attached potentially nerve-wracking than it was in November.
Around the blogO’sphere
A look at the players expected to head up the next Orioles international signing class (Steve Melewski)
In eight days, the new international signing period starts. According to Melewski, the Orioles are expected to sign two players who rank in the top 50 of the class, with Dominican shortstop Emilio Sanchez set to get a seven-figure bonus that will rank as the fifth-highest bonus the O’s have handed out to one of these players.
40 potential Hall of Famers we’ll see play in 2024 (MLB.com)
Historically, there are 30+ Hall of Famers active in a particular season. MLB’s Mike Petriello picks 40 to keep an eye on, with Adley Rutschman getting a shout-out, Gunnar Henderson getting an honorable mention, and Machado in the “Veterans 30 or over who are well on their way” category.
Orioles reportedly among six teams interested in Ryan Brasier (MLB Trade Rumors)
This would only make sense if there’s a returning reliever where the team knows about an injury but the public doesn’t yet. I don’t expect anything to happen here.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
We have a current Oriole with a birthday today! Happy 28th to Dean Kremer, who’s ended up being the centerpiece of the Manny Machado trade that was now six years ago. Kremer has notched 4.0 bWAR since debuting in 2020.
Additionally, a pair of former Orioles have birthdays today: 2013 reliever Francisco Rodríguez, and 1974-77/82 pitcher Ross Grimsley. It’s Grimsley’s 74th birthday today, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: calendar namesake Pope Gregory XIII (1502), novelist Zora Neale Hurston (1891), baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Mize (1913), actor Jeremy Renner (1971), singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc (1979), and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (1997).
On this day in history...
In 1558, a French force captured Calais, bringing an official end to England holding territory in continental Europe.
In 1785, French inventor Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American friend John Jeffries rode in a gas balloon across the English Channel, crossing at the shortest point between Dover and Calais.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 7. Have a safe Sunday.