Baltimore Orioles: CD-ROM in Grapefruit League opener

The Baltimore Orioles announced a starter today for Saturday’s Florida Grapefruit League “Opening Day.” That starter is (drumroll please)…Drew Rom. Not exactly the name you expected to see? Yeah, most people would say the same thing.

Obviously you see I’m already up to my old tricks early on this year! Yes folks, the title’s a play on words. And one that you’re going to have to have been born in the 20th century to understand at that. But nevertheless, Drew Rom to the mound it is.

Rom, a southpaw, appeared in 26 ballgames last year between double-A Bowie and triple-A Norfolk. He posted a 4.43 ERA over 120 innings. Manager Brandon Hyde was quick to say that this WAS NOT necessarily a preview of things to come in terms of the starting rotation. He quipped that it’s just sort of how things lined up.

For his part in all this, Rom appeared to be thrilled with the decision (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Especially this being my first year in camp. I think that’s kind of a big, almost confidence boost for me, especially coming into my first season when I have the potential to be in the big leagues and having that confidence from the front office. Definitely helps that they trust me to go in and set the tone for the first game.

Rom was drafted in 2018 out of high school in Kentucky. So he’s been in the organization for some time, and has been waiting for his chance at the big leagues. But for now, he’ll settle for a Spring Training Opening Day start on Saturday. (Or any spring game at all for that matter.)

I would also remind fans as we get going with these spring games that the pitching rotation is set in advance. Guys come to the ballpark everyday knowing when, if, and for how long they’ll be appearing in that day’s game. Sometimes they’re even aware of it well before game day. So Rom may only be in the game on Saturday for one or two innings. And Brandon Hyde will have a pre-set list of pitchers who will be scheduled to come in for limited appearances after that.

However it all starts with Drew Rom. For all we know this could be the highlight of his career – starting in a big league spring training game. The hope is that he throws well and has a good camp – and that we see him in Baltimore at some point this year. But it’s tough to say. The only thing we can say for sure is that he’s starting on Saturday afternoon for the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium against the Minnesota Twins.

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