A few more notes and thoughts on the Orioles - and, yes, we are still waiting for the first spring training win.
* After Friday’s 7-1 loss to the Yankees, the Orioles are 0-10-2. According to STATS, the last team with a longer winless streak to start spring training was the 2009 Astros at 0-16-3. That Houston team went 74-88.
After Thursday’s loss left the Orioles at 0-9-2, they were the first team to go winless in their first 11 spring games since the 2012 Nationals, who were 0-10-1. That Nats team went 98-64.
The Orioles have allowed seven or more runs seven times in 12 games. They have scored seven or more just one time and have scored only 10 runs over their last five games.
All of this could mean something or nothing, and who knows for sure? The 2012 Nats showed a team can win a lot of games after a poor spring start. I’m sure most fans are not too concerned and realize the players are “getting their work in.” But a few wins would be nice to see for the fans, even if nothing counts right now.
* Former Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez of the Boston Red Sox is expected to miss opening day due to a right knee injury. He has been able to long toss, but has yet to throw off a mound this spring. Rodriguez was injured Feb. 27 when his spikes caught in the grass, causing a momentary dislocation of his kneecap.
Traded by the Orioles to Boston on July 31, 2014 for reliever Andrew Miller, the left-hander went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA for Boston last season. He went 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA in three starts against the Orioles.
While in the O’s organization, Rodriguez missed some time with a knee injury during the 2014 season when he went 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA for the Baysox before the trade. Rodriguez suffered the injury that April, although in this story, my crack reporting at the time doesn’t mention whether it was his left or right knee.
* The online sportsbook Bovada lists the Orioles’ Manny Machado as the third betting favorite to win the American League MVP award this year. Machado is listed at 7/1 odds. Machado finished ninth in the MVP vote in 2013 and fourth last year.
Odds to Win American League MVP:
2/1 - Mike Trout
4/1 - Josh Donaldson
7/1 - Manny Machado
12/1 - Miguel Cabera
20/1 - Justin Upton
25/1 - Chris Davis, Jose Abreu, Jose Altuve, Lorenzo Cain, Robinson Cano
28/1 - Jose Bautista
33/1 - Adrian Beltre, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Troy Tulowitzki
40/1 - Edwin Encarnacion, Todd Frazier
50/1 - Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, Prince Fielder
* According to this list of the most homer-friendly MLB parks in 2015, Pedro Alvarez will move from No. 11 to No. 2 now that he signed with the Orioles. Last year over 150 games with Pittsburgh, Alvarez hit .243/.318/.469 with 18 doubles, 27 homers, 77 RBIs, 131 strikeouts and a .787 OPS. His 111 homers over the last four seasons ranks 11th in the majors.
When the Orioles announced the signing on Thursday, Dan Duquette said of Alvarez: “I believe Pedro will be comfortable in Baltimore when he hits one out to left-center field that would have been caught in Pittsburgh. That’s when he’ll feel at home at Camden Yards. He’s got the power to hit a lot of balls to left field. The park is a lot more hitter-friendly than the park, the home park he’s been playing at. So I think it’s a good fit for everybody and we are looking forward to having him on the club.”
This FanGraphs chart on Alvarez certainly shows his power to all fields and that he can be expected to hit homers to left and left-center.