Just today I was telling someone that there’s one small silver lining to the Baltimore Orioles Opening the season with two of their first three series’ being against New York. And that’s the fact that New York has a plethora of injuries right now. If you’re going to play six games in a week against them, you might as well do so when they aren’t at full strength.
Then Opening Day starter Alex Cobb took the mound this evening in his final spring start of the year, vs. Minnesota. Cobb pitched one inning, and showed no sign of discomfort. However when the last of the second came around, Cobb was out of the game. The Orioles later announced that he had groin tightness, and after the game they said it was a mild groin strain. They felt they got him out in time, but that remains to be seen.
No folks, my commentary about New York’s injury issues didn’t cause this. Just a coincidence. As of when this is being written, Cobb is still slated to start on Opening Day. It’s unclear if that’ll end up being the case. It just matters how Cobb feels going through this week. Cobb’s line: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.
This meant that the Orioles’ bullpen was called into early action – not something that happens often in spring games. Jimmy Yacabonis gave up a two-run homer to Castro, Cruz added an RBI-double, as sos Rosario (in the third). The Orioles trailed 4-0.
But the Orioles did make a small run. Dwight Smith Jr. smacked a solo homer in the last of the third. Later in the inning Chris Davis smacked a moonshot solo homer, and the O’s had cut the lead in half at 4-2.
However Minnesota put up another four runs in the fourth. A softly-hit bloop RBI-single, and a three-run homer; the Birds trailed 8-2. However Smith came back up in the last of the fourth and reached on a Schoop error, scoring a run. However two innings later in the last of the sixth Eduardo Nunez‘s solo homer cut the Minnesota lead to 8-4.
Dwight Smith has a great game, smacking a two-RBI double later in that sixth inning. One inning later Rio Ruiz‘s solo homer brought the O’s to within 8-7. And that ended up being your ballgame. But the Birds have bigger issues now than dropping this game.
As this column is being written, Alex Cobb is still the Opening Day starter on Thursday. Will that change? If so, who now gets the ball?
The Orioles really find themselves in an unfortunate position in that regard. It would seem to me that the next man up would in theory be Andrew Cashner – who’s also scheduled to start tomorrow afternoon’s game. If Cashner were to now start tomorrow, he’d find himself pitching on short rest on Thursday (if in fact he was the new Opening Day starter).
So I’m short, Cobb couldn’t have possibly injured himself at a worse time. To make matters worse, Austin Wynns injured himself a n a minor league game today. The injury occurred as he slid into a base, and he’ll have an MRI on his wrist tomorrow. Not good news for the O’s.
Tomorrow the Orioles’ “A team” will remain in Sarasota to take on Pittsburgh (while the “B team” heads to Clearwater to take on Philadelphia). Again as this is being written the aforementioned Andrew Cashner is slated as the Orioles’ starter, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams game time is set for just after 1 PM.