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Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini recovering after colon surgery

When it rains it pours for the Baltimore Orioles. However the start of the season being pushed back pales in comparison to what Trey Mancini‘s been through this week. Mancini’s recovering this evening after having a malignant tumor removed from his colon.

Mancini of course left the team last weekend for an undisclosed medical procedure. We now know what that was for. The Orioles have said that at this time there’s no news on his rehabilitation, or when he’ll be ready. That might come next week. I don’t think that timetable should be a problem for anyone.

Join me in keeping Mancini in your prayers and wishing him well.

Baltimore Orioles, Tom Eshelman blitzed by Toronto in Dunedin

The Baltimore Orioles ran into a buzz saw this afternoon in Dunedin against Toronto. Tom Eshelman struggled out of the gate. Or was it that Toronto’s bats were just hot? Probably a bit of both. Eshelman’s line: 2.0 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Eshelman’s trying to secure a spot in the back end of the Orioles’ rotation, meaning he picked a bad day to get roughed up like he did. However the fact that every other Oriole pitcher had similar results probably helps Eshelman’s case. After coming out of the game he didn’t seem to want to dwell on it:

Understand what I did and kind of move on from it. Not think about it too much. If you think about it a lot, then you screw yourself. Just take the negatives and turn them into a positive on my work days and get better for the next one

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Eshelman surrendered a solo homer to Bichette on the first pitch in the last of the first. That shouldn’t have been a huge issue, as solo home runs don’t beat you. But the game seemingly snowballed from there.

Gurriel smacked an RBI-double later in the inning. Grichuk added a two-run homer, and Jansen a solo shot. And before the crowd had seemingly settled in, the Birds trailed 5-0.

One positive for the O’s was Stevie Wilkerson‘s solo homer in the top of the second inning. But if anything that seemed to inspire Toronto hitters even more. They put four more on the board in the last of the second, all but ending the competitive phase of the game.

Grichuk would homer again in the fourth (this of the two-run variety), and Espinal would add a two-run homer of his own in the fifth. One inning later Burns’ solo shot ran the tally to 14-1. Needless to say, it wasn’t a good day to be an Oriole pitcher – that is unless you stayed back in Sarasota. Mason Williams would add a solo homer in the eighth to get the O’s to within 14-2.

The Orioles announced before the game that Alex Cobb is being scratched from his scheduled start tomorrow due to a blister on his hand. Cobb of course had knee surgery last year, ending his season. The Orioles did say that he would probably play if it were a regular season game, however in this case they’re holding out.

The Orioles head to Fort Myers tomorrow night to take on the Minnesota Twins. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jhoulys Chacin. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Three-run sixth lifts the Birds

Keegan Akin is making a case to be in the Baltimore Orioles’ starting rotation this year coming out of spring training. However his chances may have taken a bit of a hit this evening against Atlanta at Ed Smith Stadium. Akin’s line: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

The four strikeouts and one walk were certainly positives. However Akin surrendered a third inning three-run homer by Pache, giving Atlanta a 3-0 lead. Akin admitted after coming out that he made a bad pitch to Pache (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

I would say so (one pitch really hurt). Just kind of felt uncomfortable out of the stretch. That’s kind of been my whole spring training memo I guess. Yeah, one bad pitch and obviously leadoff walks don’t help to start the inning. Have to eliminate those. Other than that, I felt pretty good.

However the last of the fourth saw the O’s get on the board. Anthony Santander‘s solo homer cut the Atlanta lead to 3-1. Hanser Alberto smacked a solo homer of his own one inning later. But it was the sixth inning that decided the actual outcome of the game.

Jose Iglesias‘ RBI-double in the last of the sixth tied the game at three. The Birds would later load the bases, and they were able to take the lead when Renato Nunez reached on an error. Dwight Smith Jr. would later get hit by a pitch, giving the O’s a 5-3 lead. Yusniel Diaz would smack an RBI-triple in the seventh, to close out the scoring in the Birds’ 6-3 win.

Again, one of the good things here is that the O’s didn’t quit when they were down early. That’s a good sign, and indicative of the moxie that this team had last year. They didn’t win a lot, but they never quit. That.’s important.

The O’s head to Dunedin tomorrow to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Tom Eshelman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Chase Anderson. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: A mixed bag in a tie

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t get quite the same crisp effort out of starter Kohl Stewart this afternoon that they’ve gotten out of other starters this spring. Now granted Stewart had a stiff assignment in taking on the New York Yankees today; furthermore he wasn’t shelled by any means. He was somewhere “in the middle,” as I like to say. Stewart’s line: 3.0 IL, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Stewart, who hadn’t pitched in a game in a while (save for simulated games), said he felt he gave himself something on which to build (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

It felt pretty good. It’s been a while, you know? So finally getting in the game instead of doing some of these sims that I’ve been doing. My stuff felt really good, especially as long as it’s been since I’ve been against live hitters. I felt like I executed the majority of things that I wanted to today. I made a few mistakes and they made me pay for it, but as far as building on this and getting some of thsoe things corrected that I didn’t do, we know exactly what I need to do a little better and we can make that happen in between starts.

Chris Davis continued his hot spring with an RBI-single in the last of the first to give the O’s a 1-0 lead. Dwight Smith Jr. would add an RBIsingle later in the inning as well, and Pedro Severino would add a sac fly-RBI. However New York would storm back with three runs in the second, tying the game at two.

They would then take the lead in the fourth with a two-run homer my Milone. Now for the record, that wasn’t charged to Kohl Stewart. He had exited the game by then.

However an inning later Dwight Smith Jr. would bring the Birds back to within one with an infield RBI-single in the fifth. A Yusniel Díaz RBI-single in the eight would then tie the game at five. Which is how it ended. The teams opted to call it a day and leave it as a tie. Which of course is like kissing your sister. But results don’t matter at this stage.

The more pressing matter is the condition of Trey Mancini, who’s left the team and will undergo elective surgery for a non-baseball related condition this week. We don’t know what the condition is, nor how much time Mancini will miss. The Orioles ask that his privacy be respected at this time.

None of that sounds good. Nor do some of the quotes coming out of the Orioles’ clubhouse, with several players and coaches expressing that Trey is in their prayers. I’m not going to speculate on what the issue is, as per the family’s request through the team. However I would ask that all readers keep Trey Mancini and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

The O’s now find themselves with their line off day during camp coming up tomorrow. So no game! The facility will be closed, and players will be asked to stay away. Even during spring guys value their time off. So I’m sure they won’t have any issue following that edict!

Baltimore Orioles blanked against Tampa

The Baltimore Orioles pitched well for the second consecutive game. That’s seemingly been the motif this spring, as the O’s have pitched well in most games. This afternoon they sent Baltimore native Bruce Zimmerman to the mound, and he didn’t disappoint. Zimmerman’s line: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

Zimmerman was solid on a day when Orioles’ pitching in general was solid. And after coming out of the game he himself seemed very satisfied with his outing (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I think I threw really well. I had a little bit of control issues that first inning. Loved having that solid defense behind me today, picking me up with that double play as well as a couple of those wind balls that Rio (Ruiz) played extremely well because it was moving around a lot up there.

I think my second and third inning I was able to settle down and really attack some hitters. Changeup was really good today. Didn’t really get to use my breaking balls as much, but overall I think it was a pretty solid day and the defense helped me out, which was nice.

After Zimmerman exited however, Tampa got on the board. Martinez’s RBI-single gave them a 1-0 lead. And as they say, that’s your ballgame.

It may not have been a good day at the plate for the O’s, but the pitching was once again solid. And I think the coaches understand that not all games are going to yield big runs on offense. Especially against a team like Tampa who gets on base through any means necessary. But the fact that the pitching shut them down for the most part today is something that should give coaches and fans a lot of hope.

The O’s return home to Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow as the New York Yankees come to town. Kohl Stewart takes the mound for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Clarke Schmidt. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ pitching bombs the bombers

This has been a good camp for the Baltimore Orioles thus far. While the bats are coming along well, Oriole pitching has been really solid – to this point. Tom Eshelman got the start tonight in Tampa for the Birds against New York, and was true to form. Eshelman’s line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

New York has a decent lineup. Granted they have a lot of injuries right now (that will continue into the regular season), they still have a great lineup. Orioles’ pitching, led tonight by Eshelman, kept them at bay.

The O’s got on the board early in the first inning when Austin Hays scored from third on a wild pitch. He was followed to the plate by Dwight Smith Jr., who later scored on a pass ball. After getting two runners in scoring position the O’s netted two runs without a base hit.

And as I’ve written many times before, that illustrates why it’s good to have base runners. Sometimes quirky things like wild pitches happen. If they happen with nobody on base, in reality it never happened. But if it happens with guys on base, you can see runs scored, or runners moved up. Every little bit helps.

2019 Oriole-killer Voit smacked a solo homer in the second, bringing NY to within 2-1. But Oriole pitching shut them down after that. Miguel Castro followed Eshelman into the ballgame, pitching the fourth inning. He struck out the side, which bodes well for the Orioles’ pen this year.

However before Castro took the field, the O’s got a two-RBI single from Richie Martin which ran the lead to 4-1. They would also get an RBI-single in the ninth from Mason Willians, in what amounted to an insurance run. That’s also a good sign, because in a regular season game that could be big. While the Birds lost most of them, they played a lot of close games last year. An insurance run could be the difference between a win and a loss.

This game was also notable because it was the Orioles’ first game under the lights this spring. Most of the regular season games occur at night obviously, so getting in a few in the spring is always a good thing. As time goes on we’ll start seeing 6 PM starts at Ed a Smith Stadium sprinkled in as well.

Tomorrow the O’s head to Port Charlotte to take on the Tampa Rays. Bruce Zimmerman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Sean Gilmartin. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Austin Wynns a tie for the Birds

The Baltimore Orioles returned to Sarasota today from their Florida East Coast trip to take on the Minnesota Twins in Sarasota. Keegan Akin got the start for the O’s, and despite surrendering a solo homer, looked pretty good. Akin’s line: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Akin made one mistake. In essence, one bad pitch. Former Oriole Cruz smacked a solo homer in the first inning. But that’s how you learn. Over the years numerous pitchers have struggled against him. Including many Oriole opponents in 2014.

The O’s evened things up in the last of the third when Chris Davis smacked an RBI-single. This only to see Minnesota re-take the lead in the fourth on Celestino’s RBI-single. And the score stood at 2-1 in favor of Minnesota until the end.

And at that, I mean the bitter end. As in the ninth. Minnesota added a solo homer in the top of the ninth. That’s what one would normally call an insurance run. But keep in mind that the mark of this team last year was that they never gave up. They played until the end. And that was the case today.

Following a walk and a base hit in the last of the ninth, T.J. Nichting smacked an RBI-single to right, bringing the O’s to within 3-2. Austin Wynns then yielded another run on an infield RBI-single. That tied the game at three – which is where it ended.

Again, wins and losses don’t matter in these games. Neither do ties, which as we know doesn’t happen in the regular season. But the part of this game that’s promising is that the guys in the game at the end – including Austin Wynns – refused to allow the O’s to lose. That’s the type of pedigree that you want on the team and within the organization. As tough as last season was, we saw it then. And we’ve seen it here and there this spring.

Chris Davis continued his hot spring with an RBI this afternoon. If he can continue this trend into the regular season, that should equal a win or two more for the O’s. Not all of them need to be homers, but if he can get on base that helps. And it helps a lot at that.

The O’s head to Tampa tomorrow evening to take on the NY Yankees at Steinbrenner Field (in what’ll be the first night game for the Orioles this spring). Tom Eschelman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Deivi Garcia. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles begin new streak with win over Miami

Wade LeBlanc made the start this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter against the Miami Marlins. The veteran Leblanc is making his case to be on the Orioles’ final roster that heads north at the end of the spring. And his case today was fairly convincing. LeBlanc’s line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

While LeBlanc surrendered a run, he did so on a sac fly-RBI. So in effect, when he found himself in a jam he was able to minimize the damage. And that’s one of the marks of a serious pitcher in this league. They’ll get themselves in trouble here and there. The good ones get themselves out of trouble.

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Pat Valaika smacked a two-run homer. One inning later Andrew Velazquez laid down a bunt that ended up doubling the Orioles’ lead. With runners at first and second Velazquez laid down a bunt, and Miami catcher Cervelli tried to field the ball and throw the runner out at third base. However he threw the ball into foul territory down the left field line, allowing both runners to score. The aforementioned sac fly-RBI by Miami’s Anderson would come in the last of that third inning.

Ironically that’s a moment in a game where the Orioles aren’t going to want Velazquez to lay down a bunt. There’s no reason to do so at that stage of the game. But Velazquez is trying desperately to make the team. And he felt that was a good way to get himself noticed. So he did what he did.

The Orioles unfortunately were also hurt by Miami second baseman Villar – the Birds’ former second baseman. He smacked a two-run homer in the fifth, bringing the Orioles’ lead to 4-3. Mason McCoy added a sac fly-RBI in the ninth, and the Birds defeated Miami 5-3.

While we didn’t see the starting team, it’s good to see that the O’s lost yesterday but immediately began what could be another winning streak this afternoon. That sort of mindset helps in terms of having a good season.

The O’s return home to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow as the Minnesota Twins come to town. Brandon Bailey gets the start tomorrow for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s TBD. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles clipped by Washington

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t quite get out of Ty Blach what they’ve seen out of other starters to this point in the spring today. Blach got knocked around a bit by the defending champion Washington Nationals, putting the O’s in an early hole. Blach’s line: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 1 K.

Luckily the Orioles haven’t had many days of sketchy pitching this spring. This was bound to happen at some point, as you can’t just ride a wave forever. Even the best of teams can’t do that.

The O’s actually got on the board first in the game on Chris Davis‘ sac fly-RBI. However the bottom of that third inning saw Washington put up five runs. Almost out of nowhere. That’s why they’re the defending champions.

But there’s always a silver lining. The Orioles battled back. Pedro Severino‘s RBI-triple in the fourth inning cut the Washington lead to 5-2. Mason Williams also added an RBI-single, cutting the lead to 5-3.

And that was where the score stood for the remainder of the afternoon. This snapped a six-game streak during which the Orioles didn’t lose a game – dating back to last Tuesday. However fans shouldn’t fret about that – they really shouldn’t. Just like they shouldn’t think too hard about the fact that the Birds won five straight (plus one tie). Results are meaningless here in spring training.

Incidentally, Oriole pitching did improve. Nobody scored in the game after the fourth inning. While that’s somewhat reflective on Blach, pitchers can certainly reach dead arm periods here during the spring. Furthermore the law of averages says that the Orioles were due for a performance like this.

Tomorrow the Orioles head just north to Jupiter to take on the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Wade LeBlanc gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Miami’s Caleb Smith. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles tie with Tampa (updated)

Asher Wojciechowski got the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium against Tampa, and with some good results. Wojciechowski pitched three innings, and looked strong in doing so. He’s had a great spring thus far in limited action. Wojciechowski’s line: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

After his outing Wjociechowski commented that he was impressed with how solid Oriole pitching as a whole has been thus far in the spring:

I think we’re all throwing the ball really well. It is spring training though. It’s good to build confidence here, but it’s different when the lights come on during the season. But it’s great we’re throwing the ball well and all learning from each other. And we are going to take this into the season, be a confident group and go out there and compete and give it our all.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Tampa took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a Perez home run. However the O’s were able to immediately get back in the bottom of the inning. Chris Davis drew a walk with one down; as I tweeted on Saturday, each Davis walk is worth almost as much as a homer. Because teams will pitch to him differently, opening up more of an opportunity to hit his way on base.

With Davis on first, Renato Nunez smacked a two-run home run. That gave the O’s a 2-1 lead. However Choi’s sixth inning two-run homer put Tampa back in the lead at 3-2. Choi, as you may remember, torched the Orioles last year. As in nothing that Oriole pitching threw was let go. He’s just one of those guys.

But Chris Davis’ sac fly-RBI in the last of the sixth re-tied the game back up at three. And that’s where the score remained, as the Orioles’ five-game winning streak ended. But the good news is that they didn’t start a losing streak – in theory. Both teams were content with what they saw, and the game ended in a tie.

This almost feels like the end of a home stand, as the Orioles will head to the East Coast of Florida tomorrow. They’ll have a stop in West Palm Beach to play Washington, and then Jupiter on Wednesday to play Miami. Kind of like a mini-road trip during the spring season.

The Orioles will take on the aforementioned Washington Nationals at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches tomorrow. Tommy Milone gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Max Scherzer. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

UPDATE: Ty Blach will start tomorrow in West Palm Beach against Washington. Tommy Milone will be staying back in Sarasota.

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