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Orioles GM Mike Elias expects full participation from players in 2020 season

Orioles GM Mike Elias expects full participation from players in 2020 season

Amidst a handful of players who determined they will sit out the 2020 Major League Baseball season, Orioles general manager Mike Elias expects full participation from the Orioles — at least for now.

On a conference call with reporters Monday evening, Elias said he expects the Orioles to be at full strength entering Summer Camp.

“We recognize that this will be fluid and everyone is having to make personal decisions and circumstances might not be fully understood until the season starts,” Elias said. “But so far, we are expecting full participation. But you see in the news around the league that that’s not the case everywhere. I wouldn’t be shocked if that ends up happening. But that’s going to be a part of this.”

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Monday, two Nationals players, Joe Ross and Ryan Zimmerman, announced they’d sit out the major league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I have a 3-week-old baby,” Zimmerman told the Associated Press before his decision came down. “My mother has multiple sclerosis and is super high-risk; if I end up playing, I can pretty much throw out the idea of seeing her until weeks after the season is over.”

Mike Leake, a pitcher for the Diamondbacks, also opted out of the 2020 season. 

Elias said anyone that is high risk and elects to opt out of the season will earn service time and be paid, as MLB rules state. If a player isn’t high risk, neither salary nor service time will accrue. 

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He added that while there was an incident with an international player earlier this offseason who showed symptoms of COVID-19, he never officially tested positive. Elias expects that to change when the season begins. 

The Orioles added 44 players to their 60-man player pool Sunday, leaving 16 slots open for potential additions moving forward. 

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Orioles complete rare feat of two series sweeps in less than 24 hours

Orioles complete rare feat of two series sweeps in less than 24 hours

The Orioles’ 2020 season has been remarkably weird. Friday, they added another unique feat to the pile.

After last Sunday’s game was postponed due to a tarp malfunction, the Orioles completed the game five days later with a 6-2 win over the Nationals at Camden Yards on Friday evening. 

With the Orioles leading 5-2 in the sixth inning last weekend, a brief but strong storm came over Nats Park in Washington, causing a brief delay. 

But the grounds crew had trouble handling the tarp, and the infield was soaked and the field became unplayable. Due to a section in the rulebook which allows for a mechanical malfunction the game was postponed and not called off, meaning both teams had to complete the game on Friday at Oriole Park.

The Orioles, for the third time in the 2020 season, were the road team at Camden Yards.

In another weird quirk, Stephen Strasburg started two games that were completed on Friday. He was given a loss in game one before his start in game two.

The win completed the sweep for the Orioles, who have now won six games in a row. If they’d lost, they’d have still been winners of three straight games. Earlier this week, the Orioles swept the Phillies on the road with some standout performances from their bats.

Now 11-7 with their regularly scheduled three-game series against the Nationals still to come, the Orioles are continuing to surprise the league as the season approaches one-third completion.

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Zack Greinke calls pitches out loud, still dominates Giants

Zack Greinke calls pitches out loud, still dominates Giants

Baseball during a pandemic has certainly been different adjusting to a lack of fans and ambient noise. Astros pitcher Zack Greinke filled that awkward silence on Wednesday by telling opposing hitters exactly what pitch was coming – and he got away with it!

With the Giants threatening with two runners on in the 7th inning, television microphones picked up Greinke and catcher Martin Maldonado discussing what pitch to throw next. It worked, as the former Cy Young award winner got Mauricio Dubon to fly out before being pulled.

“I don’t like taking a long time with a man on second base especially,” Greinke told MLB.com. “I’m trying to find a way to speed that up.”

Greinke also gave hand signals to his catcher during 6 shutout innings against the division-leading Athletics last week. Despite the recent unorthodox approach, his manager can only sit back in awe.

“You probably won’t see another Greinke in your lifetime or mine, either,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “This guy sure can pitch.”

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Greinke, who started Game 7 of last year’s World Series against the Nationals and left that game with a lead, improved to 14-3 with a 2.18 ERA in his career against the Giants. He might not want to get that cute against the Orioles though, seeing how he has a 5.32 ERA in 7 career starts versus Baltimore.

The Astros have remained in the spotlight for much of this shortened season, but this headline seemed to go Houston’s way. Greinke is slated to face Rockies and their Major League best .284 team batting average in his next start.

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