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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Hopes are pinned on the Orioles rotation

Cuts have begun in Orioles spring training as the slow march to the regular season continues. In today's links, veteran O's start to get in form, Dylan Bundy is poised (hopefully) for a breakout, and Joey Rickard is an on-base machine?

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Hello, friends.

There are now 26 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number has not been in use since it was worn by Cla Meredith. It was also worn farther back in the past by Bobby Bonilla, Don Stanhouse, and Boog Powell.

Roster cuts have begun. Other than the composition of the outfield-capable bench players, there aren't really any mysteries to solve over the remainder of spring for the Orioles, so several weeks of cuts will mostly be slowly dealing with the inevitable. The only way there will be a surprise is if someone gets hurt, and nobody wants that.

Of course, another thing still to figure out is how hopeful you should or shouldn't be for the Orioles rotation this year. Not that spring stats mean anything, and sometimes the team can draw inferences from spring that it shouldn't, like last year's premature dismissal of Miguel Gonzalez. On yesterday's radio broadcast, Jim Hunter was actually praising the fact that they've had four consecutive three inning starts from their pitchers.

Today, it'll be up to Wade Miley to try to provide three vaguely encouraging innings before getting lifted as part of the normal spring routine. This afternoon's game against the Blue Jays will air on MASN, so you can watch him if you really want.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles option Dariel Alvarez to Triple-A Norfolk, re-assign Richard Rodriguez in first cuts of camp - Baltimore Sun
I'm starting to get the feeling that Dariel Alvarez might be the next one to come on down as the next contestant on The DFA is Right.

Peña not sure where Machado will play after today - School of Roch
Manny Machado was the third baseman in yesterday's exhibition against the Orioles, but he might be a shortstop tomorrow! You never know. The Dominican manager sure doesn't.

Manny Machado gives family 'chills' by representing Dominican Republic for WBC
It has to be cool to be good enough at anything to be asked to represent a country in a competition for that thing. Not in danger of happening to me any time soon.

Camden Depot: Joey Rickard: On-Base Machine?
Although this question is not worth contemplating based on Rickard's MLB performance to date, there is still that .427 OBP across the minors in 2015.

For Orioles regulars Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis and Seth Smith spring training set to begin in earnest - Baltimore Sun
Seth Smith just got his first spring hit yesterday... and it doesn't even count in the Grapefruit League stats. He has walked four times, though. Walks are good.

The pressure could be on at the front of the Orioles rotation - Steve Melewski
Some year you'd think the Orioles might be able to end up with a decent starting rotation if only by accident. Well, actually, that happened in 2014, so hopefully that wasn't their only year to do so for the next two decades.

Dylan Bundy Looks Ready to Breakout | FanGraphs Baseball
This is encouraging when viewed in conjunction with the above link about the pressure on the O's rotation. Although the pedant in me cringes when "break out" is presented as one word in the context of the headline.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2001, the Orioles announced that Albert Belle was no longer able to perform as an MLB player, meaning that they could place him on the disabled list and possibly collect insurance on his contract.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2009 four-gamer Chris Lambert, 2011 four-gamer Mark Worrell, the late Ryan Freel, 2002 eight gamer Mike Moriarty, and the late Marv Breeding of the 1960-62 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today are: British Admiral/Earl Richard Howe (1726), Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841), baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice (1953), Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides (1960), and TV's Dawson, James Van Der Beek (1977).

On this day in history...

In 1618, the astronomer Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion, which today is stated: The square of the orbital period of a planet is proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.

In 1775, an anonymous American writer, possibly Thomas Paine, published a pamphlet "African Slavery in America," which was the first such tract calling for the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of all slaves.

In 1862, the naval Battle of Hampton Roads began during the Civil War. This battle became noteworthy because it was the world's first-ever clash between two ironclad ships: the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia.

In 1936, the Daytona Beach and Road Course held its first ever oval stock car race.

In 1983, while addressing a conference of Evangelicals, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Soviet Union to be an "evil empire."


And that's the way it is in Birdland on March 8 - or at least, until something happens later, which it might, because there will, after all, be a televised game. Have a safe Tuesday.