Game postponed and doubleheader set for Wednesday (plus other notes)

The Orioles will close out the 2022 season by playing a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Tonight’s game with the Blue Jays was postponed due to rain. A traditional, single-admission doubleheader has been announced, with the opener set for 12:35 p.m. Game 2 begins approximately 30 minutes after the final out.

Just one more oddity after the lockout delayed spring training and opening day and forced an adjustment to the schedule, which tagged this series at the end of it.

Mike Baumann starts Game 1 and Spenser Watkins starts Game 2.

The Blue Jays are sending Mitch White to the mound for Game 1. Game 2 is undecided.

Veteran Jordan Lyles’ next turn fell on Wednesday, but the Orioles are shutting him down. He made a career-best 32 starts, and his 179 innings are one short of his highest total.

Manager Brandon Hyde withheld announcing Wednesday’s starter earlier today, knowing that the weather could influence it.

Gates will open at noon. Tickets for Wednesday’s game will be valid for both games.

Fans can exchange the value of their ticket for tonight toward the doubleheader or any 2023 regular season April home game, excluding the opener, after 2023 single-game tickets have become available for purchase.

This is the fifth postponement for the Orioles.

The Blue Jays were resting most of their regulars tonight after clinching the top wild card seed.

Baumann was supposed to start tonight, allowing the Orioles to keep evaluating him and which role he could fill in 2023.

“Mike’s got an opportunity to make a few starts for us and pitch in some bulk innings,” Hyde said. “I thought he threw the ball good in Boston last time out. Just gave up a couple runs there in the fourth. He’s a big prospect for us that we’re still kind of figuring out who he is, and he’s made some nice adjustments this year. Excited about him going forward.”

Hyde has called a few players into his office for the traditional exit meeting.

“Doing it a little different this year, not doing as many,” Hyde said. “We’re talking to some guys individually. Really happy with how a lot of these guys are, and I feel like our coaches communicate a lot with our players about things going into next year. Pitching guys are talking to our pitchers. Me and Mike (Elias) have had some individual conversations with some guys. But not as much of the sitdown, rehash that we’ve done in the past.

“I just think we’re in a better place, but we are having some conversations with players. I’m not saying we aren’t. We are. I think our players are understanding now what it takes and the offseason, as our players have gotten older.”

The Orioles brought three of their minor league award winners to Camden Yards: infielder Jordan Westburg, pitcher Ryan Watson and High-A Aberdeen manager Roberto Mercado. The group met with the media but missed out on the opportunity to be introduced to fans.

Mercado received the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award in his first professional season after 17 years in the high school ranks in Connecticut. He led the IronBirds to their first playoff appearance as a High-A team and first overall since 2013.

Aberdeen finished with a 78-54 record and advanced to the championship series.

“It’s been a blessing just learning from a lot of different people, and this organization has been like a family,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect in my first year and it’s been outstanding. Couldn’t ask for a better first year.

The organization’s emphasis on player development and its importance to the rebuild makes the award that much more meaningful.

“Absolutely, and it’s not about me, it’s about our entire staff and all of our players who work hard every single day,” Mercado said. “We try to set up an elite learning environment, and the guys did really well. My opinion of an elite team or an elite organization is your preparation and the way they perform on the field and elite teammates, and we’ve done that all throughout the year.

“A lot of guys have come and gone. We promoted a ton of guys who moved up to Double-A, which, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s about. And we still found ways to compete and guys got better. It was truly an honor to be part of that.”

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