Should the Baltimore Orioles bring Adam Jones and other veterans on the road for games during Grapefruit League play?
Well here we are folks; today is the last day that we won’t see the Baltimore Orioles in action. Tomorrow they’ll head to Orlando to open Grapefruit League play against the Atlanta Braves at their spring training complex. Atlanta of course will return the favor the following day (Wednesday) when they’ll travel to Sarasota for the Orioles’ spring home opener.
First off, fans can follow me on Twitter, @DomenicVadala, for in-game updates, and of course the lineup once it’s released. However with that said it brings up an interesting point. I wouldn’t expect the likes of Adam Jones, among other veterans, to be making the trip to Orlando tomorrow. As spring training goes on, the veterans will likely play games on the road here and there, but most probably not here early on.
Is that something that’s really smart on the part of MLB teams? If the idea behind spring training is to get the cobwebs out, get your timing back, etc, would it not stand to reason that by playing more games you’ll do that quicker? This is where you get into the concept of the “A team” and the “B team,” with the reserves generally being on the travel rosters for away games.
Speaking for myself, I think it would be advisable to flip the script if anything. Perhaps in the early part of spring training have the veterans see action in some of the road games, and in the waning days of camp perhaps ease up a bit. Granted it’s a different sport and it’s tough to compare, but we see this in the NFL. Come week three of the preseason the starting players normally play into the third quarter. Week four is…week four. It’s all but reserves only.
I suppose my point is that the quicker guys get back into the swing of things, the better off they’ll be. In fairness however, if someone’s nicked up a bit or needs some rest, by all means he shouldn’t play that day – home or road. And it’s also tough to say any of this with absolutism given the fact that many teams have positions that are up for grabs. Those managers are most likely just trying to give the two or three guys competing for one job each a fair look.
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At the end of the day, the very loose “rule” is that a bare minimum of three “regulars” have to be on your travel roster for road games. One of those is normally that day’s starting pitcher, but in many cases this rule is something that’s easily worked around because managers may not know for sure who’s going to be a “regular.”
The Orioles held Chris Tillman out of yesterday’s intersquad scrimmage due to a “core muscle injury” that has bothered him for a few days. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious at this point, however holding him back was merely a precaution. The Birds also announced that Mike Wright would start tomorrow’s Grapefruit League opener in Orlando against Atlanta.