Rejoice, Orioles fans. The Baltimore Orioles are playing baseball now. The Orioles open their Grapefruit League action against the Minnesota Twins at the spring training home of the Orioles in Sarasota, Florida. Here's a preview of what's going down in the spring opener.
First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET against the Twins, who are traveling from Fort Myers. As far as I've seen, the game will not be televised, but you can catch the Orioles radio broadcast for this one.
On Thursday, Brandon Hyde announced that Drew Rom will get the start. Rom spent 2022 with Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, recording a 4.43 ERA and 1.475 WHIP in 120 innings pitched, starting 25 games and appearing in one out of the bullpen across both levels. Hyde also announced that Dean Kremer is starting on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.
Behind Rom, we'll see Wandisson Charles, Chris Vallimont, Ofreidy Gómez, Eduard Bazardo, Cole Uvila, and Morgan McSweeney get on the mound. Bazardo is the most interesting name on this list as he fights for a bullpen spot as a non-roster invite in big league camp.
On the hitting side, there won't be a heavy major league presence in the spring opener, although, to be fair, that's pretty common. Outfielders Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander will be in the lineup, and the plan is to play them every other day before Mullins plays for Team USA and Santander suits up for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Additionally, Adley Rutschman will be the DH and Adam Frazier will start at second base.
In addition to the four major leaguers in the order, we'll be seeing some notable prospects in action as well. Joey Ortiz will start at shortstop alongside Frazier in the middle infield. Coby Mayo will also get some game action along with top outfield prospects Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad.
So, basically, it's a typical first spring training game feel. Some, but not a lot of major league presence, and in the case of this year, most of the big leaguers we're seeing are about to head off to the World Baseball Classic. So while the game doesn't matter much in the grand scheme, it's a refreshing thing to talk about. Baseball is back folks. Let's enjoy it.