Results tagged ‘ Trey Mancini ’

Baltimore Orioles: Is baseball logic biting the Birds?

The Baltimore Orioles couldn’t stay out of the big inning last night against Texas. Namely, the big inning was the second inning, which in fact basically ended the game. Andrew Cashner gave up seven runs – again, ending the competitive portion of the night. Cashner’s line: 1.2 IP, 7 H, 10 R, 3 BB, 1 K. Cashner was pitching-to-contact; and the Texas hitters certainly were making contact.

The O’s actually had an early lead when Mark Trumbo grounded out to yield a run in the first inning. However Profar’s three-run homer in the last of the first gave Texas the lead for good. Then came the second inning – where Texas put seven runs on the board. if you’re going to win games, that’s not a good way to do it. And unfortunately, there will probably be more games like this during the rebuilding process.

The third and fourth innings brought three more Texas runs, as the hits with runners in scoring position just kept coming. It’s tough to come back from 13-1 down. But to their credit, the Orioles tried. Trumbo smacked a two-run homer in the fifth. One inning later the Birds also got a solo shot off the bat of Caleb Joseph. Granted however, it didn’t help matters when Texas decided to put four more runs on the board in the wake of that.

The O’s would round out the night with an RBI-single by Chris Davis, and a two-run homer by Trey Mancini. When the game ended, the score was an ugly 17-8. The sad part is that if you remove the seven-run second inning, all things being equal the O’s still lose this game by two.

Obviously the pitching itself wasn’t up to snuff last night – both Cashner and subsequent relievers. However there was one play that really struck me about this game – Profar’s RBI-single in that big second inning. Let me preface this by saying that the Orioles are a pretty by the book team. And apparently that’s fairly well known across the league.

In the aforementioned sequence, Cashner threw a low-and-away curve ball to Profar on an 0-2 count. Incidentally there were also two outs. Traditionally, teams will in essence waste a pitch on an 0-2 count because the pitcher’s already ahead and so forth. Why not try to get the guy to chase a pitch out of the zone as opposed to throwing a pitch directly in the zone?

In effect, you’re trying to outdo the hitter. The problem here is that Profar seemed to know that low-and-away curve was coming. And for the record, Cashner didn’t throw a bad curve ball. But Profar seemed ready and willing to go down and get it. And he clubbed it into the outfield for an RBI-single.

I’m not accusing Texas of stealing signs. What I’m saying is that the book on the Orioles is that they’re by the book. In trying to outdo the hitter at that moment, Cashner and the Orioles were outdone themselves because the hitter anticipated that they were going to throw a pitch exactly where they did. And ironically, had Cashner thrown a fastball right down broadway on that pitch, it would have been strike three.

The sad thing is that the manner in which the Orioles do things (in this regard) is old school baseball logic. But it’s almost biting them in the behind at times. Again, because if you want to beat the Orioles, just read the book. For what it’s worth, the Orioles became the latest team to use a position player as a pitcher last night. Danny Valencia struck out a batter to end the eight.

The series continues this evening in Texas. David Hess gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Ariel Jurado. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini and friends ensure that big wheels keep on turning

The Baltimore Orioles are thinking about petitioning MLB to play Tampa for the rest of the season. They put up 15 runs last night, and 11 in this evening’s ballgame on Trey Mancini bobble head night behind Kevin Gausman, who gave a great starting effort. Gausman’s line: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

Similar to last night, Tampa actually had an early 1-0 lead in this game – on Sucre’s first inning RBI-single. But that didn’t last long, as Mancini’s two-run homer in the second inning gave the Orioles the lead for good at 2-1. Joey Rickard followed suit with a solo shot, giving the Orioles back-to-back homers, and a 3-1 lead.

Tampa’s Kiermaier would smack a solo homer of his own in the third, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. And at that singular moment it appeared that this would be a game. That notion didn’t last long. The Birds loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth, and Rickard’s bases-clearing double extended the Orioles’ lead to 6-2. That ended the competitive portion of the evening.

The game ballooned further and further out of control (from Tampa’s perspective at least) from there. Caleb Joseph‘s RBI-single later in that fourth inning gave the O’s a 7-2 lead, and two innings later in the sixth Rickard netted the Birds an additional run with an RBI-double. Add in another RBI-single by Joseph, an RBI-double by Adam Jones, and a sac fly-RBI by Mark Trumbo, and when the smoke cleared the O’s had themselves an 11-2 victory over Tampa.

It’s either been feast or famine for this team thus far in 2018 – and in saying that, I mean mostly famine. So this has been a special two games for the Orioles, who have tried in vain to date to re-capture the form they showed from 2012-2016 or so. But needless to say, for at least two nights in July we saw the Orioles of old.

I think perhaps the biggest thing was that the O’s came back this evening after a big win on Friday night and won again. Not only that, but they won with ease once again. This is a team that’s struggled to put back-to-back wins or even good performances together this year. But they did it tonight.

I’m not one who buys into the idea that players have struggled on the field because of uncertainty regarding the direction of the franchise. It just seems to me that players are paid to play regardless of anything else. The ownership/leadership issues should bear no relevance to how hard guys play on the field.

However you’d be remiss not to recognize that since the Machado trade when the Orioles committed to a rebuild, there’s been a skip in guys’ steps once again. And I’m a guy who likes to know the reasons for things, or at least knowing that reasons exist. So it kind of baffles my mind that something like that could have been such a big deal. But it’s a lot easier to justify than by saying it’s mere coincidence that the team is playing slightly better.

The series with Tampa concludes tomorrow afternoon at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles, and Tampa hasn’t yet announced a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Death by 1,000 paper cuts

Tonight was supposed to be an off night for the Baltimore Orioles. However Philadelphia trekked into town for a one-shot makeup game for a previously rained out affair. Kevin Gausman got the start, and he labored through five rough innings. Gausman’s line: 5.0 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

Of the five runs that were charged to Gausman and the five runs they scored overall in the game, I’m not sure that any of them (save perhaps for a solo homer) didn’t come off of or after a ball that was squared up. The Orioles were dipped and dunked to death, bled by 1,000 paper cuts, and chiseled to death. One the flip side, the Birds consistently square balls up and hit them into the outfield – only to find fielders.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead on a soft bloop RBI-single by Santana in the third inning. Later in the inning Williams would ground into a force out which scored a run, and the O’s trailed 2-0. And Alfaro’s two-RBI double in the fourth would give Philadelphia a 4-0 lead. Toss in a solo homer two innings later the next time Alfaro came up to bat, and the Birds had dug themselves a 5-0 hole.

However the O’s got their bats going in the sixth. Manny Machado‘s RBI-single got them on the board, cutting the Philadelphia lead to to 5-1. Trey Mancini would cut the lead to 5-3 in the seventh with a two-run homer, followed by a solo shot by Jace Peterson. However while a valiant effort to come back, the Birds wouldn’t get any closer and fell 5-4. For what it’s worth, Philadelphia also swept the season series with the Birds with this win. The two teams won’t face each other again until the 2021 season – unless of course you count Grapefruit League play next spring.

I’ve had fans tweet and comment on the site how I always throw in that opposing teams score on softly hit balls. The fact is that a hit’s a hit, no matter how you get it. And whether you get aboard with a hit, a hit batsman, a walk, or an error, a base runner’s a base runner. One way or the other, teams are getting them on and getting them in against the Orioles.

The Orioles as I said square up a lot of balls. They’re just hit right to outfielders. Opposing teams seem to have this knack of hitting the ball so softly that it ends up as a hit against the Orioles. And from the Birds’ perspective, it has to be frustrating to see and experience. You’re in position and placed perfectly in accordance with the spray charts, and the guy eases up on the bat just enough to dump it right in front of you. There’s no rhyme or reason to how or why it happens. It just does. And it happens a lot to the Orioles.

The Birds will welcome the Texas Rangers into Camden Yards tomorrow night for a weekend series – the final set before the all-star break. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Texas’ Cole Hamels. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: A much-needed win and a possible loss

The Baltimore Orioles can’t catch a break. I bet you didn’t expect to see that sentence leading off a story about the Birds snapping a six-game losing streak. And quite frankly, I didn’t expect to have to write it. However the fact is that as grateful as the O’s were to have won that game last night, they may have lost Trey Mancini for today or possibly longer. More on that later.

Dylan Bundy was his normal solid self, putting the O’s in a spot to win. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K. That one run shouldn’t have happened, although it was earned. With Kipnis (the second hitter of the game) at the plate and one out, Chance Sisco misplayed a foul pop. That would have been a sure out, however Kipnis stayed alive and ended up getting on base – which given the Orioles’ propensity for being held accountable for all of their mistakes isn’t overly surprising.

The bases would end up being loaded later in the inning, and Bundy grazed Encarnacion’s jersey with a pitch. And when I say grazed, I mean that the ball may not have even touched hard enough to brush lint off of the jersey. But it still goes as a HBP, and in that case it forced in a run to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

That aside, Cleveland did the normal routine for Oriole opponents in terms of getting guys on base with seeing-eye singles and by finding holes in the shift. But Bundy never allowed any of those runners to score. The Orioles’ first hit of the game came in the last of the fourth, when Manny Machado went deep and tied the game at one.

One inning later the Birds had two on with nobody out, and Trey Mancini plated those runs with an RBI-double to the gap in left center. That gave the O’s a 3-1 lead, which the bullpen was able to hold. But unfortunately for the Orioles, the news wasn’t all good.

Mancini chased down a foul pop towards the left field line in the eighth, and crashed into the wall. He immediately rolled over in obvious pain, and was lifted from the game. The Orioles announced after the game that he was undergoing an MRI, and his status for today’s game is up in the air. Manager Buck Showalter addressed Mancini’s injury with the media after the game (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli, mlb.com):

X-rays, he’s got a puncture in there, too. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. They’re contemplating a couple of sutures, but we’ll see. For him to come out of the game, he got pretty stiff.

Mancini’s listed as day-to-day, but I wouldn’t expect to see him in today’s game, unless he magically wakes up this morning and everything is healed. He’s not a guy that the Orioles can afford to lose for any extended period of time. As a lead off guy, the offense has really flowed through him of late.

The win snaps the Orioles’ aforementioned six-game losing streak. So the Mancini injury aside, that’s a good thing for this club. Now that the pressure of trying to win one is behind them, for their sake they’re hoping that they’re able to relax just a bit more. Because obviously there’s still a full season ahead, minus about three weeks.

The series continues this afternoon at Camden Yards. Chris Tillman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini finishes third in rookie of the year vote

Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles finished in third place in the AL rookie of the year voting. NY’s Judge was the unanimous victor, with 30 first place votes. Boston’s Benintendi finished second.

The vote didn’t come as a surprise to nary anyone, as Judge had been talked about as a shoo-in for the award as far back as the all-star break. From Mancini’s standpoint it was an honor to be considered. And an even bigger honor to be a finalist.

Mancini of course made his mark on the Orioles this year. There was no guarantee that he was going to be on the opening day roster. However he played his way onto it in spring training. Furthermore the quality of his play came somewhat of a surprise given that he moved from his traditional spot at first base into the outfield.

The sky’s the limit for Mancini moving forward. Obviously this was his one shot at ROY, however the Orioles certainly hope he’s on his way to dazzling for years to come.

Baltimore Orioles: That aside Mrs. Lincoln how was the play?

Something along the lines of that aside Mrs. Lincoln how was the play is probably not what the Baltimore Orioles would have wanted to ask Boston fans after last night’s game. Because in the immediate aftermath of paying top dollar to see the home team get bludgeoned by a division rival, many of those folks probably could have sympathized with Mary Todd Lincoln on the night of April 14, 1865. But I digress in a way.

Jeremy Hellickson set the tone in a sense, but the fact is this night wasn’t about pitching – even Orioles’ pitching, which was strong. It was about the bats. Yet Hellickson turned in a quality start for the Orioles in a winning effort. Hellickson’s line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 earned), 0 BB, 2 K.

Interestingly enough, this game wasn’t all just the Orioles laying wood on the ball. Boston committed five errors in the game. Now in fairness, the Orioles committed three as well – but those are in essence forgotten because of the final score. For once, the O’s held a team accountable for their mistakes. And similarly, for once the Birds didn’t seem to have to pay the piper ten fold for theirs.

With the Orioles already leading 2-0 in the second inning, Mark Trumbo smacked a solo homer. However that was only a harbinger of what was to come. Manny Machado added an RBI-single, and an additional run later scored on a throwing error. However keep in mind that a 5-0 lead in the early innings at Fenway is hardly safe. And in fact, Boston closed to within 5-2 in the last of the second with a two-run homer.

And many Orioles fans probably figured that it was a foregone conclusion that Boston might come back at that point. But the Orioles continued along in the third, as Davis smacked a solo homer as well. But after that, Hellickson settled in and seemingly shut Boston down for the majority of the rest of his outing. Then came the fifth inning.

The O’s put up a seven-spot in the fifth. Yes folks, seven runs on top of what they already had. That included RBI-singles by Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop, and Adam Jones, and two-RBI singles by both Beckham and Smith. Again, this was a game in which the Orioles finally seemed to hold the opponent accountable for their mistakes. Whereas in past games if the Birds loaded the bases they might score a run on a sac fly and only net one in the inning. In this case the hits just kept on coming, putting two across at various points in the inning.

Mancini would triple home a couple of runs in the seventh as well, and at the end of the day the final score was 16-3 in favor of the Birds. Buck Showalter basically “offered up and excuse” after the game as to why it got so out of hand, almost blaming Boston’s schedule (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

It looks like Chris and Trum are getting ready to … We caught Porcello on a down night. He’s been pitching well. And we also had the benefit of them having a night game in Cleveland. We’ve had that a lot, it seems like, where we’re playing a game and the other team’s already in the hotel. It’s just part of the schedule you don’t like to see, so I felt fortunate we caught them in a tough travel day. We know they’ll be back again tomorrow. They’re a good club and we just caught them on a down night. They’re a really good defensive team. We made a couple errors, too.

And that’s one of the reasons why Showalter is a good leader. He doesn’t make excuses for any loss or malady regarding his own team. But publicly at least he kind of winks at people when they win a game like that by finding a way to actually call out his opponent in a positive manner. Basically, it wasn’t really because the Orioles were good, it was because they caught Boston after a tough travel day.

The series continues this afternoon at Fenway Park. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 4 PM.

 

Baltimore Orioles’ mistakes starting to snowball

The Baltimore Orioles were looking to be in the driver’s seat for awhile last night. Dylan Bundy seemed to be dealing, and they actually had an early lead. However one faux pas was seeingly all it took to reverse all of that momentum and had the Orioles another loss. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

The O’s got on the board first on a two-run homer by Mark Trumbo in the second inning. You kind of saw that as a trend-setter at the time, because perhaps it would set the tone for the game. And as I said, Bundy seemed to be pitching well, and the outlook was bright for the Birds in this game. Then the third inning happened.

For starters, the O’s had the bases loaded (with two outs) in that third inning, and Trumbo ended it by grounding out. It seems that leaving the bases loaded angers the baseball God’s these days, and they quickly took their wrath out on the Orioles. As is usually the case, it started innocently enough…with a hit batsman to start the last of the third.

But after a base hit and a strikeout, Minnesota had two on and one out. That brought Grossman to the plate, and he rolled over on a pitch and sent a grounder to Trey Mancini at first. And while this doesn’t go as an error, Mancini did commit an unforced rookie mistake. He tried to throw to second base to either nail the lead runner or hopefully start a double-play which would have ended the inning.

However Buxton (who was previously on first) is a fast runner, and he was safe at second base. There just wasn’t time to relay the throw back to first to nail the runner, and the bases were suddenly loaded with one down. Now mind you, had Mancini just taken the out at first there still would have been two runners in scoring position. However there would have been two outs.

Subsequently, Minnesota took advantage of the Orioles’ mistake – because of course they did. Sano’s RBI-single cut the lead to 2-1, and a moment later Kepler’s two-RBI single gave Minnesota a 3-2 lead. Escobar then smacked a two-RBI triple, that almost became an inside-the-park home run with the strange way it bounced off the wall and rolled around in the outfield. And in that sense on that play the O’s were victims of circumstance; when you’re going poorly those are the things that happen.

Polanco would later ground into a force out which scored Escobar, running Minnesota’s lead to 6-2. It’s important to note that all things being equal, most of these runs would have scored had Mancini taken that out at first base. While that mistake seemed to spook Bundy a bit, he also needed to pitch out of that jam. And he couldn’t do it.

And the sad thing is that Minnesota managed to score only in that third inning. The Orioles dropped this game after giving up runs in only one inning of the game. However they did battle back, which is a good sign. Janish’s RBI-groundout in the fourth cut the lead to 6-3, and Kim’s sac fly-RBI in the sixth cut it to 6-4 – the eventual final. And perhaps they also had an opportunity to take the lead in the seventh, but they once again left the bases loaded.

I don’t want to beat Mancini up too badly over that one mistake, because in fact it was a rookie mistake. He had a lapse in judgement as a result of trying to make a play that would have helped his team. And I’ll be honest; when the ball was first hit I thought it would be a double-play to end the inning. So while I’m not a big league first baseman, I would have made the same mistake had I been there.

As I said, Bundy still was tasked with pitching out of that, and he couldn’t do it. However this shows you one of the areas in which the Orioles miss Chris Davis. I suspect that had he been there he probably would have made the veteran move and taken the out. But you have to play the hand you’re dealt; and the O’s are doing their best to do just that.

The series continues tonight at Target Field. Kevin Gausman will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Felix Jorge. Game time is set for just after 8 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini made something magic happen

Trey Mancini would visit Maryland every summer to visit his grandparents when he was a kid – his grandfather was a Baltimore Orioles’ season ticket holder. His mother was a Maryland native, giving Trey Maryland roots. So he probably followed the Orioles a bit, and perhaps even went to a game with his grandfather once or twice. Needless to say, he was probably familiar with what’s known in these parts as Orioles Magic.

What he didn’t know at the time was that he would end up being a part of that very magic of which I speak. However first the O’s had to get to the end of last night’s game, which in fact was largely dominated by Pittsburgh. Wade Miley was ineffective, evidenced by his early exit. Miley’s line: 2.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

In essence, Miley was getting too much of the plate – evidenced if anything by his four strikeouts. Many of his pitches were hanging right over the meat of the plate, which can be a recipie for disaster. Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead on Moroff’s two-RBI double in the second inning. The Birds cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on Kim’s sac fly-RBI.

Pittsburgh extended their lead to 4-1 an inning later on an RBI-double by Diaz, and then they got what they thought were two insurance runs on a two-run homer by Osuna in the seventh. In general, I’m the first one to tell you that comes across as a safe lead. But as Lee Corso says on ESPN’s College Gameday, “…not so fast!”

Adam Jones began the comeback bid in the last of the eighth with a solo homer that cut the lead to 6-2. As the game progressed to the last of the ninth, the Birds trailed by four. From Pittsburgh’s perspective they needed three outs before the O’s could score four runs. In general, I’ll take those odds every time – but not last night.

Rickard cut the lead to 6-3 with a sac fly-RBI, and Hardy drove in a fourth run with an RBI-double. That brought Mancini to the plate as a pinch hitter with two down, one on, and the O’s trailing by two. And that’s where the early strains of Orioles Magic began to resonate throughout Camden Yards.

Mancini’s two-run home run was perhaps the most improbable thing that could have happened. But it did, and it tied the score at six. And if you want something even more improbable, look at his next at-bat. Mancini came up with two on and two out in the last of the eleventh. A base hit would have won the game; instead, Mancini turned the Orioles Magic song on full blast and won the game with a walk off three-run homer to left field.

It’s moments like this which make baseball great. Not only did he save the day with his pinch hit homer previously, but he won it with a walk off shot. Good times for the Orioles, and good times for Trey Mancini.

The news wasn’t all good for the Birds however, as Manny Machado was forced out of the game with a gash on his wrist after being accidentally spiked on a stolen base attempt. X-rays were negative, however the Orioles are trying to get an MRI set up for today. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to play tonight in Washington, or when he’ll be available. If I were a betting man, I would expect to see him tonight.

When one player does so much to win one game like Mancini did last night, other contributions can often be overlooked. Mike Wright played a huge role in this game, keeping the score right where it was in the middle innings. Wright gave up one hit and struck out three over 3.1 innings of work. That kept Pittsburgh from extending their lead, and set the tone for the comeback later in the game.

The Orioles will now head down the pike to DC for a makeup game this evening. Alec Asher will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Joe Ross. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Big wheels keep on turning

As late as last year, Rogers Centre was a house of horrors for the Baltimore Orioles. And I’m not just talking about the 2016 AL Wild Card Game, but also regular season series’. So an early season four-game set north of the border may well have been met with some angst in the Orioles’ clubhouse.

But that would have ended up being unnecessary, as the Birds took three-of-four from Toronto, putting them in a great spot going into today’s off day before opening a series in Cincinnatti tomorrow. Dylan Bundy was fairly dominant for the Orioles yesterday, shutting Toronto bats down all day – just as Toronto bats had basically been shut down all series long. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K.

Throughout the first part of the afternoon it appeared as if we were going to see another pitcher’s duel. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that anyone scored, which was when Adam Jones‘ RBI-single gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. One inning later Trey Mancini smacked a three-run homer, and the Birds were off to the races.

The O’s would add additional runs in that fourth inning on Hardy’s RBI-double, and Gentry’s sac fly-RBI. Toronto also mounted a threat in the seventh, but the O’s got out of it surrendering only one run. But one inning later Mancini spouted off again with a solo homer. But wait…there’s more.

The O’s ended up with three home runs in that eighth inning, as Gentry and Machado each added two-run shots. Toronto would put three runs on the board before all was said and done, however that was too little too late. The O’s ended up with an 11-4 victory in the series finale, again giving them a series win at three games out of four.

This has the feel of a series to which one might look back as one that was instrumental in setting the tone for the season. The Orioles found different ways to win in different types of games at each spot along the way. They also leave Rogers Centre with five consecutive quality starts, dating back to last week in Boston. The pitching has really stepped up and come a long way.

However that pitching took a bit of a hit before the game, as we found out that Zach Britton was being sent to the 20-day DL with forearm soreness. He apparently felt a twinge while throwing a breaking ball on Friday night; the DL assignment is back-dated to Saturday.

Adam Jones also smacked into the Rogers Centre wall chasing down a triple late in yesterday’s game. He stayed down for awhile, but was able to stay in the game. He was lifted in the ninth inning, but it certainly gave the Orioles a scare.

Needless to say, the Orioles may well have exorcized any old demons which existed at Rogers Centre. Timely hitting, offensive power, and quality pitching all played a role in this big divisional series win. Big wheels keep on turning!

Baltimore Orioles: Gentry, Mancini, Asher, et al

The Baltimore Orioles made a trade yesterday with Philadelphia, acquiring minor league pitcher Alec Asher in return for a PTBNL or cash. Asher has a career record of 32-33 in the minor leagues, with a 3.39 ERA. He also made five starts for Philadelphia last year at the big league level, going 2-1 with an ERA of 2.28.

Asher comes with two minor league options. This is a move that adds some pitching depth to the organization, and the Orioles are thinking that Asher’s a guy who could help them out in the big league’s this year. And that’s a great thing about being traded to the Orioles; they use the entire 40-man roster unlike any other team in the majors. If you get traded here, there’s a good chance you’re going to have an opportunity to play in “the show.”

The Orioles also have some big decisions looming in terms of the Opening Day roster regarding several players. We know that Mike Wright won’t be there, as he was optioned to Norfolk before yesterday’s 5-4 win over Atlanta. However while nobody will make a commitment to this, it appears that Wade Miley will begin the season in the rotation after yesterday’s outing. Miley’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Again, nothing’s set in stone as of yet. However Miley looked pretty good yesterday in what shapes up as his penultimate spring outing. But with that said the only thing we know thus far is that Tillman will start the season on the DL, and that Gausman and Bundy are in the rotation. Anything else is technically still up in the air.

One guy who’s had a great camp has been Craig Gentry. He got some extended playing time due to the WBC, and he really took advantage of it. In my mind the Orioles have to find a way to bring Gentry north with them – if they’re going to bring the best 25 guys to Baltimore, that is. Gentry earned a spot on this team; hopefully he gets it.

Trey Mancini is another guy to watch. Similar to Gentry, he’s earned a spot on the roster. However you have to hope that the fact that he has options and is still young doesn’t work against him. The Orioles are very happy with the progress he’s made in terms of converting to the outfield in camp, and again in my mind he’s earned a spot on the roster.

The urgency of some of these decisions may be waned in the immediate future if the O’s decide to play a “roster game” or two. And quite frankly I would recommend that. As I’ve said several times previously, they don’t need a fifth starter until mid-April. In fact, they have three off days in the first seven days of the season. Could they even come north with just three starters?

Point being that a Mancini or a Gentry could start the season with the Orioles in the absence of the necessity of a full rotation. Obviously that means that they might get sent down at some point, and that’s certainly a shame. But there are worse places to be than on a big league roster on Opening Day.

The Orioles will play their final road game of the Grapefruit League season this afternoon in Port Charlotte against Tampa. Opening Day starter Kevin Gausman will get the nod on the bump today, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Erasmo Ramirez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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