Orioles on deck: Adam Jones out of lineup, what to watch Thursday vs. Twins

Josh Land
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
What to watch during tonight's Orioles-Twins game.

Orioles (2-0) vs. Twins (0-2)

Where: Camden Yards

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: MASN2/105.7 The Fan

Starting pitchers: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (12-10, 4.11 ERA in 2015) vs. Twins RHP Phil Hughes (11-9, 4.40 ERA in 2015)

Adam Jones out of lineup

After playing in just 137 games last season, his fewest since 2009, Adam Jones is missing the third game of the season with sore ribs. That might not seem significant, but the 30-year-old center fielder averaged 160 games played from 2012 to 2014. So before 2015, it had been a while since he sat with any regularity.

Jones appeared uncomfortable after striking out in the eighth Wednesday. With Jones not starting, Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard is starting in center field and leading off for the first time. Nolan Reimold makes his first start of the season, batting second and playing left field.

What to watch

1. BizzarO's. The Orioles are 2-0 in large part thanks to a .380 on-base percentage (third-best in the majors) and some aggressiveness on the base paths. Can't say either is expected of the club in 2016, but can the Orioles remain patient and combine their big bats with some healthy plate disipline?  

2. Ubaldo. Ubaldo Jimenez had a mixed spring, failing to last an inning in his first and last exhibition starts while squeezing one earned run in 6 1/3 innings in his middle two outings. Whch Jimenez will show up for his season debut?

3. K machine. In 2015, Orioles pitchers struck out 7.6 batters per game. In two games this season, they've fanned 23 (fifth-most in the American League) for an average of 11.5 per game. That has contributed to the team holding the Twins to an AL-low four runs. Will that mound dominance continue?  

Orioles lineup

CF Joey Rickard
LF Nolan Reimold
3B Manny Machado
1B Chris Davis
RF Mark Trumbo
SS J.J. Hardy
DH Pedro Alvarez
2B Jonathan Schoop
C Caleb Joseph

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