It’s here folks; Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles. Obviously the team begins today on the road, however hope springs eternal on Opening Day. Anything can happen.
The question is, what WILL happen for the Birds this year? The outlook isn’t exactly brilliant if you listen to various outlets. However the hope is that the entire team looks at things in the manner of second starter, Matt Harvey. On numerous occasions during the spring, he said that he didn’t buy into the idea of a rebuild. His goal is to win everyday.
The biggest weakness this team has is going to be starting pitching. Now that’s an awful spot to have your biggest weakness. However first off, we just don’t know how the rotation will turn as time goes on. Maybe guys out-perform themselves. But one strength might well be the bullpen.
And we’ve seen in the past how manager Brandon Hyde has been willing to use the bullpen in non-traditional ways. That goes from pulling starters after just three or four innings, to using an “opener.” It’s not cut and dry. And that’s what bothers traditionalists such as myself. But if it helps the team to win more games, maybe it’s worth it.
Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and others all had great springs. The Oriole outfield also looks to be a strength this year. The infield is a bit more undefined, although getting Trey Mancini back will be a big plus. Maikel Franco will also be an upgrade at the hot corner.
However it always boils down to pitching. Matt Harvey was a decent addition. The success or failure however of the likes of Bruce Zimmerman and Dean Kremer may well have a lot to do with the success or failure of this season. And unfortunately, the competition is tough. But that’s always the case in the AL East.
I can’t give you a won/loss prediction. There are too many intangibles, and too much can happen. We don’t know what happens to this team regarding injuries. Or to other teams in the division for that matter. But I’ll say the same thing I said last season, which is that they won’t finish in last place.
And it starts today, on Opening Day against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. John Means gets the call for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.
Update: Due to inclement weather in the Boston area today, Opening Day has been postponed until tomorrow. The O’s will open the season tomorrow at 2 PM against Boston at Fenway Park.