The Baltimore Orioles will begin a road swing next week through some hitter-friendly ballparks.
I for one am happy that it’s finally Wednesday for the Baltimore Orioles. While I certainly understand the necessity for it, I loathe the token off day after Opening Day; it feels like an eternity! Plus it’s incredibly disruptive for players who aren’t used to having a day off smack in the middle of the week as such.
But the good news is that the Birds are back on the grid as of tonight when Yovani Gallardo will make his Orioles’ debut against Minnesota. Incidentally, there’s precipitation in the forecast both tomorrow as well as Saturday evening. It’s unclear if games will be affected, however it’s something to watch. I suppose however that if Saturday’s game against Tampa is canceled it could just be made up the next time the Orioles go to Tropicana Field – with the O’s as the home team.
Speaking of the schedule, next week’s is worth mentioning. After Sunday afternoon’s series finale against Tampa, the Orioles will board their team charter and head out on the first road trip of the season. They’ll go first to Boston, where they’ll play an afternoon game on Monday – Boston’s home opener. After the series finale on Wednesday night they’ll head down to Texas for a four-game set.
Call to the Pen
So that means that the Birds will go through Fenway, and then onto Rangers Ballpark. Those are two parks that are incredibly hitter-friendly. In theory that should mean good things for the Orioles, right?
Yes – in a sense. The O’s already have a potent offense so hitter-friendly dimensions will only add to that. But what about the flip side of the coin? We know that their pitching could be somewhat suspect. So does the fact that they’re going to be playing in sandboxes for a week help or hurt?
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The answer of course is that it matters how the games shake down. Specifically, it matters how they are allowed to shake down. Showalter and staff are going to need to toe the line very well in terms of not allowing a starter to let a game get out of hand, and not burning through the bullpen. That type of thing can often be a problem in those parks.
The good news is that you have to like the Orioles in slugfests if they find themselves in games like that. Furthermore if guys are as sharp as Tillman was shaping up to be on Monday before the delay, they’ll be in good shape. For what it’s worth, the cold that’s expected in Boston next week will be an equalizer in terms of the bats. But Texas as always will be good hitting weather.
The Orioles’ roster might be different by the time they leave home, as they’ll nee a fifth starter at that time. It could be someone on the roster now in the bullpen, or it could be someone in the minors. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a bullpen reliever, because if not they’ll have to make a roster move – and then make another roster move after another week plus when Gausman returns.