SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are playing under the lights at McKechnie Field tonight, which is basically like playing in candlelight, except without the dripping wax and the romance.
And honestly, you can't have romance without dripping wax.
OK, I've said too much.
Manager Buck Showalter would prefer playing day games against the Pirates in Bradenton, but we always end up with at least one nighttime affair. Perhaps his fielders could wear miners helmets with the lights on the front.
Glow sticks, anyone?
Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar will probably be in the lineup against Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano. The Orioles need to continue evaluating him before deciding whether to place him on waivers and offer him back to the Red Sox.
Almanzar is batting .207/.303/.414 with three doubles, one home run and seven RBIs in 16 games.
"There's no doubt about why he was selected and about why we thought he was worth a look," Showalter said.
The issue, as I've pointed out, is that the Orioles don't seem real comfortable playing him at third base and they have an abundance of candidates to serve as a right-handed designated hitter. Plus, Almanzar has no track record in the majors, making it tough to give him that responsibility.
Nelson Cruz will get at-bats at DH and in left field. Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce are out of options, which could leave Showalter with some difficult decisions.
Pearce singled and scored a run in the ninth inning his only at-bat yesterday, making him 10-for-37 with a bunch of loud outs. He's squaring up everything thrown to him.
Too bad about Francisco Peguero's wrist injury. The Orioles were intrigued by his skill set and wanted to give him a shot to make the club as an extra outfielder. He's out of options, but most likely will begin the season on the disabled list.
We didn't get much of a look at reliever Edgmer Escalona. One appearance, five runs allowed and the revelation that he had right shoulder tendinitis.