Infielder Tim Beckham was back in the Orioles clubhouse Friday, little more than a day after he underwent core muscle surgery on both sides of his abdomen. He was walking gingerly, but said he felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
The Yankees' home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays was rescheduled for Tuesday after a snowstorm hit New York Monday. No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery remains the scheduled pitcher for the Yankees. The Rays will shift to ace Chris Archer in place of Austin Pruitt.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has long been renowned for his involvement in the Baltimore community, and during this past season, the five-time All-Star partnered with the #MLBmemorybank program to go undercover at a local school.
Joey Rickard quickly went from Rule 5 pick to starting left fielder to fan favorite, ascending to the leadoff position just three games into the season. But Rickard entered Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays — the organization the Orioles selected him from in the Rule 5 draft — in the midst of a 1-for-16 drought over the past four games, dropping his batting average 61 points from .350 to .291.
The Orioles batting order was built to be in attack mode, designed to send balls over the fence at Camden Yards in a flurry. And in Friday night's series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, that blueprint was on full display against one of the best pitchers in the American League.
The Orioles ended up traveling to Charlotte Sports Park, but their Grapefruit League game against the Rays lasted just six pitches before a sudden downpour led to the cancellation of Saturday's contest with two outs in the top of the first inning.
The losses continue to pile up for the Orioles as September arrives. Their 6-3 loss to the Rays on Monday had its moments. The Orioles showed patience against Rays ace Chris Archer early, despite being unable to score on him. They rallied in the middle innings against the Tampa Bay bullpen, a sign of the fight these players insist they still have. But the result was the same, the Orioles¿ fifth straight loss and 11th in their last 12 games against a Tampa Bay team just as desperate in clinging to their postseason hopes.
Don¿t act so surprised. The Orioles seldom do well against unfamiliar pitchers, particularly the ones who no one expects to shut them down. Chris Bassitt pitched very well and finally got a little offensive support. He deserved to have a game like this after going 0-4 in his other five starts without ever giving up more than three runs.
A set of hot streaks catapulted some long-gone teams back into the rankings this week, including a pair of American League East teams. Were the Orioles one of them? As always, these rankings are completely subjectively, yet still objectively correct.
When at its best, Orioles manager Buck Showalter¿s roster is full of flexibility. There are lots of interchangeable parts, players who can play all around the diamond and a coupe du jour of hitters who can fill the designated hitter spot.