Mar 31, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) is presented with his Gold Glove and Platinum Glove before an opening day baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles are activating Manny Machado today, taking the roster spot of Chris Davis, even as they watch the rain wash away all immediate hopes of actually playing the game of baseball anytime soon.
Manny Machado certainly appears to be plenty ready to resume full baseball activity by pounding out eight hits in 12 appearances for the Frederick Keys over the weekend. Even though we need to rightly remind ourselves that this is level “A” baseball, it is still impressive and worthy of encouragement.
There are other pending roster moves for the Orioles. With a record of 12-12, the next game will be #25 on the season which takes Troy Patton off the restricted list. So, either tonight, or tomorrow, or Thursday, or sometime in the next couple weeks when the rain finally stops, he will presumably be back on the 25-man roster. Some relief pitcher will have to come off. My guess is that it would be Evan Meek … or possibly Josh Stinson? Neither has looked especially effective lately.
Beyond that, there is the possibly of the Baltimore Orioles re-signing Steve Pearce if he makes it successfully through the waiver process, which ends today I do believe. Who would he replace? I would suppose it would be Jemile Weeks, though I would send down Ryan Flaherty and see if someone at AAA can get his swing to stop resembling a golf blast out of a deep sand trap. There is nothing level about it these days; he looks like he is spelling the letter “U” with his swing.
Even as I look out the window here mid afternoon on Tuesday and see a total deluge taking place, there is still a scheduled game for this evening. It is the first of two with Pittsburgh – the only trip to Baltimore for the Pirates this season. I’m wondering if I can re-arrange life in such a way as to see a doubleheader in Baltimore on Thursday?
The Pirates are not off to a very good start on the season. Their record is 10-16 and the offense ranks next to last in the NL at .221, while the team pitching ERA of 3.65 places them 10th in the NL. By contrast, the Baltimore Orioles are 4th in the AL in hitting at .265 and 12th in pitching at 4.49.
Morton has pitched once in his career against the Orioles on June 20, 2011 in Pittsburgh. It was not a happy experience for the big right-hander. He gave up six earned runs on eight hits, as just about everyone in the lineup got a single or double – including Jake Arrieta, the winning pitcher, who singled in the top of the first before even getting to throw a pitch.
This will be start #6 for Morton, who has a current ERA of 4.35 over 31 innings. Actually, three of his five games have been quality starts. His most recent outing was against the Reds where he allowed three runs on four hits over six innings; however he also gave up five walks.
Chris Tillman will likewise be making his sixth start of the season for the Baltimore Orioles. After throwing four consecutive quality starts that had his ERA at 1.71, Tillman was lit up a bit at Toronto last Wednesday – giving up seven runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings.
Here are Tillman’s season and career stats up to this date …
Somewhat surprisingly, Tillman has never pitched against the Pirates – a statement that may be true for as much as another 48 hours!