Baltimore Orioles: One week before a northward turn

One week from now Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles will have broken camp and be on their way back to Baltimore. Actually they’ll probably already be back in Baltimore. The spring is winding down, and a lot of people (myself included) are happy about that. Everyone looks forward to spring training every year because it signals the return of baseball. But once we get towards the end we’re happy it’s over and that the real stuff is about to begin.

The jury’s still out on who the fifth starter will be coming out of camp, or even if the Orioles would even need one. One would think that Mike Wright is in the discussion, although he gave up five runs last night in Ft. Myers as the Birds ended up tying Minnesota. But I suspect he’s still in the discussion.

The Orioles have days off scheduled on April 4th (day after Opening Day), April 6th, and April 10th. So the fact is that they won’t need a fifth starter right away. (Obviously if it rains on Monday April 3rd that will be the off day and the season will start on the 4th.) So it might well behoove them to carry an extra reliever or an extra field player right off the bat.

If they do decide to bring Wright north, I might recommend that they invent an injury an send him to the DL. That would allow him to remain back in Sarasota working out when the season starts. It also allows them to send him to the minors (depending upon when they backdate the DL listing) for a “rehab assignment.” Would that be right and fair? Probably not. But teams do it all the time. This isn’t to say that’s what they’re going to do, but it’s an option.

The O’s have three home games left in Sarasota, and three road games. I suspect that this week we’ll start to see some of the regulars hit the road as the team starts to come together to head north. Especially guys like Jones and Machado, who have been away from the team in the WBC.

One of those home games will be tonight when Minnesota hits Ed Smith Stadium. Gabriel Ynoa will be on the mound for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Hector Santiago. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

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