Offensive locks (9): Matt Wieters, Chris Davis (pictured), J.J. Hardy, Ryan Flaherty, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, David Lough, Nelson Cruz, Steve Clevenger
The only one in this group who was ever on the bubble was Clevenger, the Mount St. Joseph alumnus who was fighting with Johnny Monell to be the backup to starting catcher Matt Wieters. Monell was optioned last week and then designated for assignment, leaving Clevenger in camp with Wieters and Caleb Joseph, who was sent back to the minors Sunday.
The only way Clevenger doesn't make the 25-man roster is if club executive vice president Dan Duquette claims a defense-first catcher with big league experience off waivers. Duquette surely will be keeping tabs on the wire, but Clevenger impressed with his improved work behind the plate and a scorching bat. He hit .500 in his first 24 spring at-bats. (Kim Klement, USA Today Sports /March 15, 2014)
It may not feel like spring is here just yet, but it could by that springtime rite of passage, Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Early forecasts call for seasonable warmth, or even slightly above-normal temperatures, and mostly clear skies.
The Weather Channel is calling for a high of 61 degrees and partly cloudy skies in Baltimore on March 31. AccuWeather.com predicts mostly sunny skies and a high of 66 degrees.
At just more than a week out, it's still a bit early for a reliable forecast. The National Weather Service doesn't provide precise forecasts more than about five days out because of that.
The weather service's Climate Prediction Center, meanwhile, predicts a warming trend across much of the southern half of the country, including Maryland, by the end of the month into early April. The center calls for a 40 percent chance of above-normal temperatures from March 30 through April 5.
Normal highs by the end of March in Baltimore are pushing 60 degrees.
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