Baltimore Orioles fall to Pittsburgh, Andrew Cashner the Opening Day understudy
Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde announced before this afternoon’s game against Pittsburgh that starter Andrew Cashner would be pitching a shorter outing this afternoon. If Alex Cobb is unable to pitch in the Bronx on Thursday for Opening Day, Cashner will be the one getting the ball – so he was limited in his work this afternoon. Cashner’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Cashner gave up a solo homer in the first inning to Kang, which is the only run the Birds surrendered. The game was a pitcher’s duel to the end. However the Orioles have suddenly sustained a few injuries in the past 24 hours – literally the worst time possible in spring training.
I mentioned in last night’s column that Austin Hays injured his thumb sliding into a base in a minor league game. Hays wasn’t expected to start the season in the big leagues, however he’s a great prospect and has had a great spring. He also missed most of last season with injuries. I suspect he was definitely someone who should expect to be in Baltimore at some point this year – and his injury status is something to watch.
Brandon Hyde also announced before today.’a game in Sarasota that Mark Trumbo would be starting the season on the injured list. Trumbo of course had knee surgery last September, and had been appearing in games for the past two weeks or so. It’s disappointing, however not a total surprise. It’s unclear how long Trumbo will be out – it could be a few weeks, could be a month.
Which brings us back to Alex Cobb. Hyde said that he (Cobb) felt better this morning, and that limiting Cashner in today’s game was only a precaution. However it’s a decision that will probably need to be made by Tuesday or early Wednesday at the latest.
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the case of Chance Sisco, who’s had a great spring. In my view, he’s earned a roster spot. However they also have Jesus Sucre, who’s opt out was extended to tomorrow. If he isn’t on the big league roster, he can become a free agent. On top of that, the Birds claimed Pedro Severino off of waivers from Washington on Friday.
They really like Sucre, and it seems to me that they wouldn’t have claimed Severino (a veteran catcher) if they weren’t going to put him on the roster. (Granted they could try to pass him through waivers and send him to the minors.) They also like Sisco, who again has had an outstanding camp. However he has options, unlike the other two. If the decision were mine, I’d go with Sisco and Sucre. Either way, this should be more clear by tomorrow.
And Chance Sisco figured big in the Orioles tying today’s game. He went 3-for-3 on the day, including a double in the eighth inning with the Birds still trailing 1-0. He would eventually et to third, and then score on a sac fly-RBI. While the game goes down as a 1-1 tie, Sisco is still making it tough for them to send him down. And that’s to his credit.
The O’s will play their final Grapefruit League game tomorrow afternoon as the NY Mets come into Ed Smith Stadium. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Zack Wheeler. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.