Orioles pregame notes, thoughts

The Orioles haven't yet appeared on the Harbor Park Field yet for their game against their Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides.

The Tides are in the outfield stretching. Game starts at 3:05 p.m.


A couple, quick notes and observations before we get into the lineups.

First of all, Texas Rangers writer Gerry Fraley unearthed this beauty and sent it to me. The Orioles and the Rangers are the only teams in baseball that will not face major-league pitching on four consecutive days before Opening Day.

The Orioles faced two college teams on Monday and Tuesday, the Tides on Wednesday and have an off day Thursday before Friday's opener against the Minnesota Twins.

The Rangers played Triple-A Round Rock, the Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican League on Tuesday, Double-A Frisco on Wednesday and a Thursday workout before opening against the Chicago White Sox.

According to Fraley, 23 big-league teams face major-league competition either the day before or two days before their openers.

We are waiting for the Orioles to officially set their 25-man roster. Not a lot of drama here. Brian Matusz will be named the fifth starter, Taylor Teagarden will be placed on the DL, Nick Johnson and Ronny Paulino will officially be Orioles. The only question is what they do with three relievers for two spots. But it is expected that Darren O'Day will be sent to Triple-A and lefties Zach Phillips and Troy Patton will make the big club.

The Orioles-Tides program cover for today features Robert Andino, Jake Arrieta and Matt Wieters in Orioles and Tides uniforms.

When I entered the park today, there was a guy wearing a Julio Lugo Orioles' uniform outside the players' entrance looking for autographs. I'm not even sure that jersey is prevalent in the Lugo family home.

Here's a thought: The Boston Red Sox have lost closer Andrew Bailey for the first half of the season due to a thumb injury. The Red Sox have money and need bullpen help. The Orioles have Kevin Gregg making $5.8 million and he won't be the closer.

Not saying this will happen – in fact, I am sure it won't – but wouldn't it be something if the Orioles dealt Gregg to Boston. Remember, Gregg and Boston's David Ortiz brawled last year. That would be an interesting clubhouse development.

The lineups:

Orioles: Chavez 7, Hardy 6, Markakis 9, Jones 8, Johnson DH, Wieters 2, Reynolds 5, Davis 3, Andino 4. Matusz P.

Tides: Avery 8, Tolleson 6, Adams 4, Bell DH, Hoffman 7, Mahoney 3, Beerer 9, Wheeler 5, Hester 2. Berken P.