Some impressions on the series with Tampa Bay and other notes

So the Orioles are 0-1 in one-run games so far, but they are plus-5 in run differential. So there is that.

It wasn’t completely a one-man show - sure, it was close - but the Orioles offense just put up seven, seven and six runs over three games against a pretty good pitching staff.

The Rays led the American League in ERA easily last year at 3.19 and they finished second in the league in ERA the two years before that. Anytime you can score 20 runs in a series against that staff, that’s a strong offensive series that featured a team average of .300 with 10 doubles and five homers.

By the way, Chris Davis had a decent April last year for the Orioles, but he almost matched some of his stats from that entire month in one series. Last season - in 21 April games - he hit .310 with four homers and 12 RBIs. The past three games he hit .636 with three homers and 11 RBIs.

Adam Jones went 7-for-14 against Tampa Bay and hit several balls hard that were turned into outs, and it was difficult for him to stand out amidst Davis’ remarkable show at bat.

Starting today, we may begin to find out how the Orioles will do without Brian Roberts. We don’t yet know the extent of his injury but it sure looks like he is going to at least miss some games.

If he is out for an extended stretch, I will guess that we see both Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casilla get starts at second base. Flaherty brings more pop in his bat and improving defense, while Casilla brings the ability to switch hit, play plus defense and a career 89 percent stolen base success rate.

I would not expect Jonathan Schoop to be an option yet at second base. He has never even played a game at Triple-A yet, but is now with Norfolk. I think he still needs some minor league time and experience.

Speaking of infielders, Pedro Florimon is off to a good start at shortstop for the 2-1 Twins team that will be Camden Yards today. All credit to Florimon, who was signed by the Orioles out of the Dominican and played on the O’s farm from 2004-2011 reaching Double-A Bowie but never making it to Triple-A.

When I saw Florimon play in the O’s minors, I must admit, I didn’t see too many major league skills the few games I did see him. But I give the young man all the credit for getting into 43 games last season with the Twins and he is off to a 3-for-8 start at bat this year.

The Orioles have produced very few players out of the Dominican that ever made the majors but Florimon - who got eight O’s at-bats in 2011 - is now there, but with Minnesota.

Bowie lost a late lead and its season opener 4-3 last night at Harrisburg. Lew Ford had a double, homer and two RBIs, and Aaron Baker added a solo homer.

Triple-A Norfolk was rained out at home against Durham and will try again to open its season tonight at Harbor Park and then makeup the rainout as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.

Finally, I know some fans like to bust on Matt Hobgood around here. But I am happy the kid is back pitching and so far things look to be going well for him this year after he missed all of last season. In fact, Hobgood pitched two shutout innings to get the win last night in Single-A Delmarva’s season opener. After a winless 2011, and with being out all last year, this was Hobgood’s first win since May 29, 2010 and that was for Delmarva against Lakewood. I give the kid credit for getting back to this point and would like to see what he could do with a full season of health.

What is your take?: What are your impressions from the Tampa Bay series? Who should get the playing time if Roberts misses some games? What concerns do you have after the first series? What do you like most about opening day at Camden Yards?

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