The Baltimore Orioles’ 6-2 loss in Bradenton against Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon should be of no concern to anyone. However the fact that injuries seemed to come in a wave yesterday should be on people’s radar. Welington Castillo was to make his maiden start of the spring yesterday, but woke up with neck spasms – he ended up being a scratch.
How ironic a twist of fate is it that less than a week after Wieters signs elsewhere, his apparent replacement comes down with an injury? The Orioles don’t appear overly worried about this per se, but it’s something to watch. If Castillo appears in the Orioles’ lineup for this afternoon’s home opener in Sarasota, perhaps that indicates that the Birds dodged a bullet.
But they didn’t dodge a bullet with outfielder Michael Bourn. He’s going to be on the shelf for about a month, after breaking his finger playing football in the outfield during a workout yesterday. First off let’s be clear; guys on every team chuck the football around before and after workouts, and even during the regular season. It’s lighthearted of course, however it’s also a good warm-up or even cool-down activity.
The Orioles believe that Bourn could in theory be ready for Opening Day if he had to be, but there’s no reason to do anything but take this slowly. According to reports he simply caught the ball wrong. It could happen to any of us, but it happened to Bourn.
The Orioles also signed infielder Paul Janish to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training yesterday. That doesn’t appear to be related to any current injuries – or does it? The O’s of course already have J.J. Hardy who’s battling his normal routine of back spasms; does the Janish signing indicate there’s a chance Hardy might need to spend some time on the DL? Or perhaps at extended spring training?
To top it off, Christian Walker was claimed off of waivers by the Atlanta Braves yesterday. And that’s probably a better situation for him in the sense that he’s not going to be in a log jam of players. However that’s just another very talented player out of the Orioles’ system, with nothing in return.
As I said above, the Birds will play their spring home opener this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota against Pittsburgh. Wade Miley will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.