Yeah, the road trip sucked. But there was some positive news this weekend…
2-7 was not how I was hoping for the outcome of the beginning of the 2nd half of the season. My hope was 4-5 (with 2 out of 3 in Chicago the most likely scenario), with 3-6 (winning 1 game in each city) being more likely to me. The pitching was okay (for the most part), but the hitting failed miserably (the one game versus Chicago notwithstanding). But amidst all the doom and gloom of losing, there was a bit of sunshine that shone through. A bit of Florida sunshine.
The Orioles agreed to a 30 year lease to move the Spring Training for the major league roster from Ft. Lauderdale to Sarasota. Why is that such good news? Because for the last 15 years the major league team has been as much as 3 hours away from the minor league spring training. That kind of discord is not conducive to teaching your youngsters the major league routines, and it is not conducive to the coaches (and the major leaguers who might need a bit of a push from a young, hungry player) seeing all that the minor leaguers can do. A team needs synergy between the big league and the players trying to get to “The Show”. When they are three hours apart, it doesn't work. That discord leads to confusion when the team needs to bring someone up.
And speaking of bringing someone up, it is the worst kept secret in town that Chris Tillman is going to start Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals (according to the team's official site, he is now listed as thestarter for Wednesday night. Up to now, they were not saying his name. Trembley had been having some fun in his press conferences with all of this). Although his last start was a little shaky, Tillman has been overpowering in AAA (to the tune of an 8-6 record with a 2.70 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 96.2 innings), and has earned a chance to come show what he can do. There was originally talk of him starting today (Monday), but there are three reasons I can see for his being pushed back. One is to give Rich Hill one more chance to keep his spot in the rotation. Reports say that when he is in the bullpen throwing his side sessions he looks REAL GOOD. He just can't seem to bring it out to the diamond. The hope is that it is a mantal thing that he can get through. And while he is not pitching well, he certainly hasn't looked like Adam Eaton or anything out there. But he has even said that if he doesn't get his act together, he will probably not be with the team much longer. Another reason is to avoid having him face the Red Sox in his second major league start ever (I'm not saying that starting on the road against the Tigers is ideal, but it cannot be worse than the Red Sox, even if that game would be at home). Finally, it gives the team a couple more days to try and pull off a trade so that they don't have to make any roster moves when they bring him up.
The youth movement continues apace, and once again we get a glimpse of (what is hopefully) the brighter future. Keep your heads up and we will see how this all shakes out.
About the Author
Written by Ron Burr
Ron is a lifelong resident of Maryland and has been a passionate player and fan of sports for as long as he can remember. When he is not watching the games or explaining to his lovely wife why he is cursing at the television, he runs an improv/sketch comedy troupe, Drop Three. He can't hit a curveball or run a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, but he knows the games and loves talking about it with anyone. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged!