SARASOTA, Fla. - I'm heading over to Kissimmee today for the game against the Astros. I'm told it's not the end of the earth, but you can see it from there.
The Sun's Dan Connolly will handle the driving and the choice of music. It's a small price to pay for the thrill of another exhibition game at a faraway place with the Orioles' lineup expected to be filled by reserves and minor leaguers.
We know that Matt Wieters is serving as the designated hitter today. He could use the at-bats. He's hitting .238 with no home runs. Time to crank it up.
Cesar Izturis is making the trip because, well, he makes every trip. And without complaint. In fact, he wanted to go to Kissimmee so he could start today.
Ryan Adams will start at second base, according to manager Buck Showalter.
Zach Britton is starting, with Chris Tillman pitching in relief. The original schedule had Tillman going first, but don't read too much into it.
They'll provide the most interesting subplot of the game. Or maybe it's more than that, since I can't think of any other reason to make this trip besides watching them pitch. They're both competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, along with Brad Bergesen and a few others.
I gave Britton no chance to make the club over the winter, and I still think he'll be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, but he's giving Showalter plenty to consider right now. He hasn't allowed a run in five innings, and he blanked the Yankees over three on Monday night. He also looked a lot more composed.
Four quality innings from Britton today would really amp up the competition. And we could use a distraction from all the injury updates.