One big concern going into today’s doubleheader with Pittsburgh is that the Baltimore Orioles literally haven’t played a game since Sunday afternoon. Monday was an off day, and of course Tuesday and Wednesday were rained out. That type of hiatus is nearly unheard of in MLB, however Mother Nature often does as she likes. In terms of playing competitive baseball today, Pittsburgh’s in the same boat (yes folks, the pun was intended) in that they’ve been idle since Sunday. So in that sense the two teams will work through whatever rust might have collected together, as they play the entire series as a doubleheader today.
This will be a “traditional doubleheader” in the sense that it’s a single admission event with game one beginning at 4 PM this afternoon and featuring Bud Norris of the Baltimore Orioles against Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton on the mound. Game two will commence approximately 20-25 minutes after the completion of the first game, and we’ll see the Orioles’ Chris Tillman against Pittsburgh’s Brandon Cumpton. I’ll be honest; I’m a big fan of this format, even though it’s being done in an emergency type of situation due to rain outs. Doubleheaders used to be scheduled a few times a year by every team, and while it makes for a long day at the park for everyone involved it’s certainly a throwback to a different era.
There are a barrage of roster moves and situations that are involved in today’s games from the Orioles’ standpoint. First and foremost,
Manny Machado will be officially activated prior to game one this afternoon. So you can bet he’ll be starting at third base. In between games the O’s will also activate Troy Patton, who’s suspension for PED’s will be over. They won’t have to make a corresponding roster move until after game two, as when teams have to play doubleheaders they’re granted the “right” to call up an extra player and thus play both games with a 26-man roster. So presumably after the second game someone will be optioned to Norfolk. (Pittsburgh will also have the option of calling up a 26th player for their roster.)
The Orioles also re-signed Steve Pearce onto the team, after releasing him last week. Pearce was claimed off of waivers (allegedly by Toronto) but declined to sign. So the Orioles re-signed him this week given the need for an extra infielder due to Chris Davis’ injury. They were allowed to do this by virtue of the fact that they didn’t make a corresponding roster move following Davis going to the DL – which now feels like ions ago!