This, that and the other

As the Orioles continue making their final preparations for this weekend’s FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center, they’re also nearing the announcements on their major league and minor league coaching staffs and their non-roster invitees to spring training.

One domino falls and others will tumble.

Diaz-Smiles-Throws-Orange-Bowie-Sidebar.jpgThe list of invitees could include infielders Ryan Mountcastle, Jace Peterson, Engelb Vielma, Sean Miller and Zach Vincej, outfielders Ryan McKenna, Yusniel Díaz and Christopher Bostick, catchers Carlos Pérez, Martin Cervenka and Andrew Susac, and pitchers Keegan Akin, Chris Lee, Sean Gilmartin, Gabriel Ynoa, Dean Kremer, Taylor Grover, Luis Gonzalez, Zach Pop, Gregory Infante and Josh Lucas.

I’m just tossing out names here. Don’t write them all in ink.

If you guessed pitcher Austin Brice and infielder Hanser Alberto, they’re on the 40-man roster and assured of having a locker at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

The Orioles appear to have made their decisions on the major league staff. I’d expect an announcement to come soon, especially with FanFest being held on Saturday.

* If anyone is wondering what happened to outfielder Colby Rasmus, which has nothing to do with spring invites or coaches, he’s listed on Major League Baseball’s transactions page as retiring on Dec. 10.

No free agency, no attempted comebacks. He’s done after leaving the Orioles on July 3 and returning home.

* In case you missed it last night, former Orioles ace Mike Mussina was elected to the Hall of Fame with 76.7 percent of the votes. Candidates need to appear on 75 percent of the ballots.

Mariano Rivera was the first unanimous selection, appearing on all 425 ballots. Roy Halladay (85.4 percent) and Edgar Martínez (85.4) also made it to Cooperstown.

Placido Polanco received two votes. I didn’t know that he had relatives in the BBWAA.

Three inductees have ties to the Orioles, including Harold Baines and Lee Smith, who were elected in December by the Today’s Game Era committee.

Mussina holds the best all-time winning percentage by a qualifying Orioles pitcher with a minimum of 140 decisions at .645 and ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in strikeouts (second, 1,535), wins (third, 147), ERA (fifth, 3.53), starts (fifth, 288), innings pitched (sixth, 2,009 2/3), shutouts (eighth, 15) and complete games (10th, 45).

“I am so excited for Moose and his family,” Cal Ripken Jr. said in a statement. “Having played with Mike for 10 seasons, I have always believed he was a Hall of Fame pitcher. He had some of the best stuff I had ever seen and he was a true number one starter for a very long time. His consistency and his ability to pitch so well in big games always amazed me.

“Mike was a great teammate and I look forward to seeing him in Cooperstown in July.”

* The Orioles are projected to win 60 1/2 games this season, according to Betonline (www.BetOnline.ag).

You can round up or down.

The Marlins are the next-lowest with 65 1/2. The Astros are projected to have the highest win total with 96 1/2, followed by the Red Sox and Yankees with 95 1/2.

* Scott Proefrock, an assistant general manager with the Phillies and a former Orioles executive, will be the featured guest at Zion Lutheran Church’s ninth annual “Hot Stove Baseball Talk” on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary at 2215 Brandywine Lane in York, Pa.

Proefrock has been with the Phillies for the past 10 years, joining the organization for its second consecutive World Series appearance in 2009 and staying with it through the current rebuilding effort. He had served as the Orioles’ director of baseball administration.

Other speakers include MASN’s Mel Antonen and The Athletic’s Dan Connolly, who will share their thoughts on Major League Baseball and accept questions from the audience. There also will be plenty of good-natured ribbing.

There is no admission fee for the event, but a free-will offering will be taken to assist the church’s youth ministry. Call 717-767-4673 for more information.



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