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Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Baseball isn’t quite in full swing yet. But it’s close enough. 

The Orioles will open up their spring slate of games on Saturday against the Braves in North Port, Fla. It’s both the first game of spring training for both teams. 

The game can be listened to on Orioles.com or on the MLB At-Bat app. 

So here are three things to pay attention to during the first game of the spring: 

1. The starting pitching

The pitching was, to be frank, atrocious last season for the Orioles. 2020 doesn’t figure to showcase a large jump, either. 

Baltimore will start Chandler Shepherd against the Braves, a pitcher who started three games last season in Baltimore. He allowed 23 hits and 14 earned runs in 19 innings pitched and posted a 6.63 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Ty Blach will pitch in relief of Shepherd. Blach pitched in five games last season for the Orioles and threw 20 ⅓ innings with an ERA 11.32. 

While neither will likely make the Opening Day roster, it’ll give an interesting look at what could be in store for the rest of spring training in Sarasota. 

2. How much the prospects play

For most major league clubs, there’s not much to get excited about for the first few games of spring training. The Orioles, though, are in a bit of a unique circumstance. 

In the second year of a rebuild, the Orioles are placing their future in the hands of younger prospects, meaning there’s always a chance for a few players to stand out in the first weeks of camp. 

While the lineups aren’t known yet, both for Saturday’s game and for the immediate future, getting a glimpse at some of the younger prospects like Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, Gunnar Henderson, and DL Hall is what fans have been clamoring for. 

3. The return of baseball

It’s not the return of baseball in the truest sense of the phrase.  

The Orioles aren’t going to play their top of the line prospects, or their major league club. But the first game of the spring means that baseball, officially, is back for Baltimore. 

Even though the 2020 season almost assuredly won’t be one that resembles any kind of contention, the Orioles hitting the field once again is always an exciting time.

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Orioles' Chris Davis discusses parenting during the quarantine and what he and his family have been doing to avoid cabin fever

Orioles' Chris Davis discusses parenting during the quarantine and what he and his family have been doing to avoid cabin fever

Chris Davis has been watching a show about tigers during quarantine, except it’s not the popular Tiger King documentary from Netflix as one might suspect.

"The one voice that just haunts me in my dreams is Daniel Tiger. He is a staple in our household and has been for every one of our girls," Davis said in an interview on MLB Network Radio.

The Baltimore Orioles first baseman has not only been spending time with his kids watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, but Davis discussed how he and his family have been trying to avoid getting cabin fever by getting creative with his three daughters.

"Right now the thing to do is just run. That's literally what they're doing," Davis said. "They're running in circles and laughing, 'Daddy come chase us,' and I'm like, 'Daddy's a little tired right now,' but I do what I can. And Ella, being our oldest, has figured out how to ride a bike without any training wheels, so we're doing a lot of bike riding." 

Davis went on to say that despite the unfortunate circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, “we understand as a family and just as a baseball family that the best thing for our game, the best thing for our fans and for the safety of everyone is to try and distance ourselves from people.” In the meantime, it seems that Davis is enjoying his time with his family and is looking forward to getting back to baseball.

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Orioles prospect Grayson Rodriguez clears a lake during insane long toss session

Orioles prospect Grayson Rodriguez clears a lake during insane long toss session

With the MLB season on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, players are forced to keep in shape in unique ways. From home workouts to pitching machines in the backyard, there have been plenty of different methods to get training sessions in.

For Orioles top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez, he decided to long toss in potentially a never before seen way: throwing over an entire lake.

Yes, you read that right.

In a truly mesmerizing moment, Rodriguez cleared the lake and then some. As some of the replies to the video stated, it's easy to start feeling your shoulder and arm get sore just watching the toss.

The arm talent of Rodriguez is impressive, as is his work in the Orioles system. At just 20 years old, the 2018 first-round pick has quickly risen to be the No. 2 prospect for the club and the No. 36 overall prospect in all of baseball.

In 28 combined starts in Rookie-level and Class A, Rodriguez put up 2.46 ERA. The right-hander also made an appearance in last season's All-Star Futures Game.

With numbers like that and an arm that can throw over a lake, the future looks bright for Rodriguez.

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