SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will break camp today and head to St. Petersburg, boarding their bus for the hour-long ride to the team hotel. The only news, and I’m using the term loosely, will come when they officially place Tsuyoshi Wada, Wilson Betemit and Steve Johnson on the disabled list and get down to the required 25 players.
“We’re ready,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I feel good about where we are.”
Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold are healthy and on the 25-man roster. Showalter feels like the Orioles went 3-for-3 and scored a big win.
Showalter did joke about someone tripping in the shower. He may have knocked on wood yesterday as he left the interview room.
The media has no access to the players today. It’s a mandated day off for them. Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette were going to be made available to reporters late this afternoon, but that’s no longer necessary with final cuts already done.
Oh, sure, there’s always Twin Lakes Park, where Jake Arrieta and Jair Jurrjens will pitch in minor league games at the same time on different fields. Showalter wants to get at least five innings out of them.
Jurrjens has avoided the disabled list after taking a line drive off his right ribcage.
Freddy Garcia will throw at 11 a.m. at the minor league complex, with pitching coach Rick Adair paying close attention.
Jurrjens and Garcia will be part of a four-man rotation at Triple-A Norfolk until Johnson comes off the disabled list. Early rumblings, and they need to be confirmed, have Zach Clark pitching the opener, with Jurrjens, Zach Britton and Garcia following in that order.
The Orioles will be announcing their affiliate rosters within the next few days, and I’m curious how Norfolk will be able to find room for all those players. Maybe the International League has approved 45-man rosters.
Jason Pridie sent out this tweet yesteday afternoon (@MrPriddles):
“I’d put our @NorfolkTides team up against any team in the bigs. Most talented team I’ve ever been on. Big league caliber players up and down”
The major league roster includes Tommy Hunter and T.J. McFarland in the bullpen, potentially giving Showalter two long relievers on any given night. The Orioles broke camp last spring with exactly zero.
“Gives us some length that we didn’t have last year,” Showalter said. “And with four right-handed starters, the third left-hander plays well. Now, if we had two or three left-handers (in the rotation), I might have looked at it differently.”
Bovada places the odds of the Orioles willing the World Series at 30/1. They were 40/1 on Feb. 20.
Bovada places the following odds for teams to win the American League East:
Toronto Blue Jays 8/5
Tampa Bay Rays 5/2
New York Yankees 15/4
Boston Red Sox 11/2
Baltimore Orioles 13/2
The Orioles’ projected win total is 78.5.