Although Mychal Givens’ past four outings have ended in saves, three of them of at least four outs, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has emphasized this week that Givens’ responsibility is not the ninth inning, but the game’s biggest outs.
In an Orioles bullpen that has faced plenty of turnover one month into the 2019 campaign, Sunday marked perhaps a record day of change. Excluding the three position players manager Brandon Hyde has sent to the mound, the Orioles have deployed 18 relief pitchers this season, the most in baseball.
Sunday, the Orioles recalled catcher Austin Wynns and right-handers Branden Kline and Luis Ortiz from Triple-A Norfolk. Right-hander Alex Cobb was placed on the injured list, right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis was optioned to Norfolk, and catcher Jesús Sucre was designated for assignment.
Jonathan Villar reached base three times and scored two runs and Alcides Escobar had an RBI double as the Orioles' middle infield situation came into focus during an 8-5 Grapefruit League loss to Phillies.
Orioles pitcher Alex Cobb threw just 23 pitches in the first inning of his 2019 spring debut and left without recording the third out. He allowed four runs, including a long homer to Guillermo Heredia.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde discussed the possibility of using an opener the way the Tampa Bay Rays did, with plenty to weigh in terms of the team's ultimate ambitions this season and the staff they can put together before making that decision.
Versatile infielder Jonathan Villar played both shortstop and second base after the Orioles acquired him last summer. He probably will be slotted at second now that former All-Star shortstop Alcides Escobar is in camp.
Every February in Sarasota, young pitchers arrive at Orioles camp for spring training with the idea that a big league rotation spot is there to win — until a late-signing free-agent pitcher snatches it up and consigns them to the minors. This year, that isn't expected to be the case.
Orioles right-hander Luis Ortiz didn't make a good first impression when he was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jonathan Schoop deal. He was overweight and out of shape, but arrived at training camp this spring with a new body and a new lease on his baseball life.
The Orioles have spent most of the little time dedicated to the major league roster this offseason remaking what their infield depth chart looks like, from Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson to waiver claims Rio Ruiz, Hanser Alberto and Jack Reinheimer.
What's proved to be a year of seismic changes for the Orioles on and off the field still packed in plenty of actual baseball over the required 162 games, even if it might have been nice for them to mercifully end by about halfway through.
Considering the type of candidates the Orioles went after in 2011 — young, analytics-minded executives who have vast experience in the baseball world — here are a handful of people who fit that mold now.
Just a handful of Astros who won last year's World Series were with the team when their rebuild began, a signal to the Orioles and their fans that they might not see the current players around when the winning returns.