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Here's when Orioles fans can see top prospect Adley Rutschman in Spring Training

Here's when Orioles fans can see top prospect Adley Rutschman in Spring Training

Orioles fans haven't had much to cheer about the last three seasons, but Adley Rutschman could be the player to rejuvenate the franchise and get them back into the mix in the AL East. 

The Orioles took Rutschman with the first pick in the 2019 MLB Draft and the catching prospect was formally invited to Spring Training, according to Jon Morosi.

There isn't an expectation Rutschman plays in the majors in 2020 since Baltimore probably doesn't want to lose a year of service time on Rutschman in another rebuilding year. So unless O's fans have plans to go to any minor-league games, Spring Training is their best chance to see the prized prospect in person. 

*SS = Split-squad

Feb. 23: vs. Red Sox
Feb. 25: SS vs. Rays
Feb. 26: vs. Braves

Feb. 27: vs. Pirates
Feb. 29 vs. Marlins

Spring Training lineups game-to-game consist of major-league players and a few minor-league guys so the team can see how its depth shakes out. There are some days where teams have two games in one day and go split-squad. Those are the games where O's fans will most likely see Rutschman in action, though there's a chance he could travel for most of those since its common practice for veterans to play the home half of the split-squad games. 

The good news for O's fans, in this case, is that their team doesn't have many established veterans. So here's a layout of the Orioles' home schedule for Spring Training for anyone planning to go down to Sarasota to see Rutschman in action. 

Mar. 2: vs. Rays
Mar. 5: vs. Twins
Mar. 8: SS vs. Yankees
Mar. 10: SS vs. Braves
Mar. 13: vs. Blue Jays
Mar. 14: SS vs. Pirates
Mar. 16: vs. Phillies
Mar. 17: SS vs. Nationals
Mar. 20: SS vs. Red Sox
Mar. 21: SS vs. Twins
Mar. 22: vs. Phillies
Mar. 23: vs. Mets

If you hadn't noticed already, the Orioles have a lot of home games at the end of March right before the start of the regular season. If they decide to rest their major-league players in preparation for the home opener against the Yankees, there's a good chance we see Rutschman get some consistent time behind the plate. 

In what could be another long year ahead for the Orioles, it might be worth getting a glimpse at the future of the franchise when you can. 

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Chris Davis foresees Astros players' getting disciplined 'between the lines'

Chris Davis foresees Astros players' getting disciplined 'between the lines'

Earlier this week, Tim Kurkjian told NBC Sports Washington the Astros cheating scandal, "has gotten bigger than I thought it was going to be." And boy was he right. 

Players across the league have chimed in with firey comments directed at Rob Manfred for his handling of the Houston situation, but also haven't held back when it comes to Astros players. 

Nick Markakis has said the players, "deserve a beating," Howie Kendrick explained how he has no sympathy for Houston while players like Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge and Max Scherzer have all made it known how angry everyone is at the Astros.

Most of the anger stems from the fact that, along with the blatant cheating of course, Major League Baseball granted every Astros player immunity for their cooperation in the investigation, and how their 2017 World Series championship was not taken away. On Friday, Orioles slugger and player representative Chris Davis offered his thoughts on the lack of discipline and how opposing players could take matters into their own hands during the regular season. 

“I think the discipline that the players are going to get this year is going to be very interesting, and I say that meaning that a lot of that is going to be handed out between the lines,” Davis said, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko.

Davis didn't specify how exactly the discipline "in between the lines" would be doled out. Teams will surely get up for their games against the Astros all year and try to hand them as many losses as possible. But then there's the possibility of pitchers throwing at the Houston hitters. 

So far through five spring training games, Astros hitters have been plunked seven times, though it's important to note not all of them were on purpose. Five of the seven occurrences came on offspeed pitches. 

However, Las Vegas gave Houston the highest over/under total for the number of times a batter will be hit by a pitch (83.5). Last season, the league average was 66, and the Yankees were the only team to surpass the 83.5 number the Astros have this year (86). 

The Astros have affirmed us they are not concerned with getting thrown at all year, though judging on the comments by a multitude of players, they may want to at least think about it. 

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Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle's monster batting practice translated directly to the game

Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle's monster batting practice translated directly to the game

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle had quite at the plate Thursday. 

Something had to have clicked during batting practice, when the young slugger launched a monster shot to left field that hit the light pole and scared a bunch of unsuspecting birds. 

Then during the Orioles' spring training matchup with the Pirates, Mountcastle went on to go 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. 

Through four games now this spring the 23-year-old first baseman is hitting .417, which is a promising sign for both Mountcastle and the Orioles. Baltimore needs players like him to blossom into bonafide major-league starters if they're going to turn around and contend at some point over the next five years. 

Whether the Orioles decide to start Mountcastle's season in the majors or minors has yet to be seen. However, he probably starts the season in the minor league's given Chris Davis, Trey Mancini or Renato Nunez are the club's options at first, while there are also service time incentives for Baltimore to keep him off the major league roster right away. 

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