Baltimore Orioles Spring Training: Are Early Results a Reason to Panic?

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Mike Wright Jr.
SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Mike Wright Jr. /

The Baltimore Orioles are struggling in the win-loss column so far in spring training, but should that give fans a reason to panic?

The Baltimore Orioles are 1-5-1 so far this spring, one of the worst records so far in spring training. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees both only have one loss.

Is that a reason to panic? Absolutely not, as I’m sure you know. But, let’s look at why not.

Of the losses, the only pitchers guaranteed (and likely expected) to make the roster to lose are Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

More from Baltimore Orioles

Both had particularly ugly outings, each allowing five runs. The other losses are by Mike Wright Jr. (allowed one run in the first inning), Jose Mesa Jr. and Stefan Crichton.

Several Orioles have already hit home runs, despite limited appearances. Trey Mancini has hit two home runs this spring. Chris Davis hit a three-run home run on Wednesday. Manny Machado hit a grand slam Wednesday. Jonathan Schoop also has a home run.

Machado is hitting near .500 so far this spring, with five hits.

Orioles spring training is about gaining experience for players, and looking at roster battles, and the Orioles have plenty of those.

Gausman and Bundy are both in the rotation, as are Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who both have not appeared in games to this point.

The other options include Wright, Nestor Cortes, Gabriel Ynoa, Pedro Araujo, Jose Mesa and Miguel Castro. Castro has not pitched yet, but will soon after a minor injury setback.

Cortes, Wright and Ynoa all left up one run in two innings in their first outings, with Wright allowing zero runs in two innings in his second outing.

Araujo and Mesa are both options for starters but are not being used that way so far this spring. Araujo has looked very good and has the Orioles’ lone win.

Mesa got a pass from Buck Showalter for his outing that resulted in a loss.

Most of the regulars in the Orioles bullpen have pitched sparingly. Brad Brach and Mychal Givens have not thrown yet. Darren O’Day had his first appearance yesterday. Richard Bleier has pitched twice, with two innings pitched and one strikeout, with no runs allowed.

Competition among the reliever options includes Donnie Hart, who has struggled to a 9.00 ERA, Wright, Ynoa, Cortes, Mesa, Castro and Araujo out of the starters mix. Jimmy Yacabonis, Stefan Crichton and others are included.

But, remember, the back end of the bullpen continues to look good, and it is expected that will remain. As for the positional competitions, the biggest ones are a starting outfield spot, a backup catcher, outfield bench spots and also the utility infielder.

While trying to pull out individual statistics is a bit difficult with the limited sample size, there have been some excellent signs.

Chance Sisco is hitting, which is a shock to no one. Austin Wynns has looked quite good behind the plate and also has a home run.

Outstanding infield play has been shown by Erick Salcedo and Luis Sardinas, who also is one of the leading hitters for the Orioles.

As for the outfield contenders, many of those options have yet to see many at-bats, with Colby Rasmus just starting to see at-bats, Jaycob Brugman seeing his first time yesterday, and Alex Presley still getting his feet wet.

Other options here include Anthony Santander, Joey Rickard and Craig Gentry, who is dealing with a minor injury. The Orioles have only played seven games so far, and the likely starters have not seen a lot of at-bats.

Next: Orioles Pitching Prospect Out For Four Weeks

Pitchers pitching in games are not all going to be in camp in a few weeks as cuts start to happen, let alone the start of the season. Don’t be alarmed by the 1-5-1 record.

If the Orioles continue to lose as March moves ahead, then we can have a conversation about panic. For now, just enjoy the baseball, and hope for no serious injuries.