SARSOTA, Fla. --It’s split-squad day!
Today marks the first of two Orioles’ split-squad dates but this is the only day-night split-squad day-night double header.
The Orioles travel team will board the bus from Sarasota at 8:45 a.m. and head to Tampa to face the Yankees. I’ll be providing updates from Steinbrenner Field as right-hander Jake Arrieta starts for the Orioles. Columnist Peter Schmuck will be covering the Orioles nightcap home game against the Red Sox here at Ed Smith Stadium. Chris Tillman will start that game and be followed by Zach Britton.
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Tillman seems to be a strong candidate for the starting rotation, but if you include him you will have three starters – with Arrieta and Britton – who are competing for rotation spots. Each will likely go two innings unless their pitch county doesn’t allow.
The Orioles playing in tonight’s game, as well as those remaining who didn’t play in the day game, will report to Sarasota in the early afternoon for pregame workouts and batting practice.
Rest assured that Orioles manager Buck Showalter will be at both games. The SUV he travels in to road games – driven by bullpen catcher Ronnie Deck – might have to turn into a hovercraft to beat rush hour traffic in Tampa, but the skipper always seems to be there in time for the first pitch.
Yesterday’s rainout will end up pushing some pitchers a day back to accommodate the pitchers who didn’t get to throw yesterday in Bradenton. We’ll keep you posted with those changes when we get them.
Here are the lineups for today’s afternoon day game at Steinbrenner Field. It’s a 1:05 p.m. start.
On a side non-baseball note, the Sun lost its leader yesterday, editor Mary J. Corey, who lost her fight with breast cancer at the age of 49.
Mary was a terrific editor and a tremendous person. I’ve only been at the Sun for 14 months, but she was the most welcoming top-level editor I’ve ever met.
As a baseball writer, you’re not in the office very often. Your office is the ballpark. But every time I stopped into our main office on Calvert Street, she asked me how I was getting adjusted to the beat, how my wife was handling moving to Baltimore and how my family was doing.
I’ve never been so welcomed in a newsroom during my career – which spans four different newspapers -- and Mary was a big part of it. In my first few months at the Sun, the paper welcomed a group of new hires – myself included – with gifts. She found out somehow my infatuation with Old Bay seasoned potato chips and I had two bags on my desk.
She will be greatly missed.