On Monday, Baltimore Orioles had what should have been a rare day off in the 60-game 2020 season. But recently, the team has had a few more than they expected.
Today, the 5-3 Baltimore Orioles welcome the Miami Marlins (the cause of the O’s extra days off) for a four-game series that will eventually turn Camden Yards into a northern Marlins Park.
With the Orioles off to their impressive start, the Marlins visiting with their unconventional team could help the Orioles continue their winning ways.
Before the Marlins had their COVID-19 outbreak, they were 2-1. Of course, it is nearly impossible to compare win-loss records at this point in the season. And, their shortstop, Miguel Rojas, was batting .700 when the team was sidelined.
According to Joe Frisaro with MLB.com, the Marlins will have 18 players on the IL as they come to Baltimore. This means that they will have to dig into their reserved list. The Fish have also been busy adding players, like reliever Richard Bleier, who they traded for a PTBNL a few days ago.
However, several starting Marlins position players like Rojas, Harold Ramirez, and Jorge Alfaro are expected to return to the team by August 4. Their returns are dependent on the outcomes of their COVID-19 tests. Some players have been asymptomatic, but a few have had mild symptoms.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter addressed the rumors that the players caught the virus by visiting bars and strip clubs. He said: “We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel [in Atlanta]. In our review, we did have guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate’s house. There were no other guests on site. There was no salacious activity.”
With the Marlins bringing their B-team to Camden Yards, the Orioles still need to keep up their guard and play as if the A-team was in town. The Fish have been busy filling holes by signing as many warm bodies as they can.
Jeter also shared where the Marlins went wrong on their trip to Atlanta, and this is a good lesson for all of the teams. He said: “What it boiled down to on this particular trip was guys were around each other, they got relaxed, and they let their guard down … They weren’t wearing masks as much as they should have. They weren’t social distancing.”
The first game against the Marlins is scheduled for 7:35 ET. John Means will represent the Birds on the mound, and Pablo Lopez will toe the rubber for the Fish. Means struggled in his last outing, but he faced the Yankees not the substitute Marlins. Lopez and the rest of the Fish might give Means some cause to relax, especially as Lopez does significantly better at Marlins Park than he does on the road.
Unfortunately, most of the Orioles have not faced Lopez. But, the same goes for the Marlins who have very few players who have seen Means. Of course baseball is highly unpredictable, but with so few starters expected to represent the Marlins, this could be a fun game for Orioles fans (and for the team).