As I said previously, the Baltimore Orioles recently finished with potentially the most important part of their schedule by winning six of ten on the west coast. However we can also look at the next six games as an extension of that, as Anaheim and Seattle come to town to play the O’s at Camden Yards. (Heck, if you want to throw next Monday’s makeup game in Washington into that mix as well, call it seven games; Washington is obviously a team that’s of equal capability to the Orioles.)
The O’s adapted to the west coast style of play last week in taking those six games, and their bullpen once again proved to be clutch. Whether or not the reverse ends up being true (with Anaheim and Seattle having to adjust to the Orioles’ homer-happy style of baseball) remains to be seen. However keep in mind that while good pitching will generally shut down good hitting, the Orioles will be in homer-friendly Camden Yards as opposed to Oakland or Seattle. That can often make a difference in a sense.
The series with Anaheim opens tonight with the Baltimore Orioles returning to Tillman Island, as Chris Tillman takes the ball against Jared Weaver. The Birds will be without reliever TJ McFarland, as he’ll be put on the Bereavement List later today to tend to the funeral of his grandmother.
Former Orioles’ farmhand Nick Delmonico was suspended 50 games yesterday for testing positive for a banned substance. The Orioles as you’ll remember traded Delmonico to the Milwaukee Brewers last season for reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who ended up re-signing with Milwaukee in the off season.
According to various sources, the O’s are also in trade talks with Boston regarding starting pitcher Jon Lester. Speaking for myself, I’d be nervous to trade within the AL East. However Boston certainly appears to be having a fire sale in a sense, so perhaps my antiquated mentality is worth reconsidering. I suspect that the Orioles would have to pay a large price for Lester; more than just a farmhand. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens on that front.
I continue to say that I don’t see the Birds trading for Minnesota catcher Kurt Suzuki. While there are plenty of rumors out there to that effect, it wouldn’t make sense in my view for the O’s to waste a prospect when both Minnesota, the Orioles, and Suzuki know that Matt Wieters will be back next year. If they could legally steal him I suppose it might be worth considering, but teams like Minnesota are in a position of power because they don’t have to sell. The same is true of Boston. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see who’s where at 4 PM eastern time on Thursday.