The first exhibition game won’t be remembered for the three errors and the five walks issued by Orioles pitching in the first five innings. The high pitch counts that prompted manager Brandon Hyde to pull his team off the field before the last out.
Hyde wasn’t happy about any of it, but he didn’t lose his perspective while the Orioles lost to the Pirates.
Openers have a tendency to get ugly, and Trey Mancini’s return from colon cancer and his first at-bats in a year – in front of actual fans, no less – ruled the day.
What else was good?
Yusniel Diaz has big-time power and his home run off former Orioles pitcher Carson Fulmer threatened to take down the Boog’s Barbeque stand beyond the left field fence.
The wind can carry a baseball down in Florida. Diaz doesn’t collect many cheapies.
The Orioles will assign Diaz to Triple-A Norfolk after moving him around the outfield in spring training. He started in left yesterday, but is the right fit in right, with Ryan Mountcastle planted in left and Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays available in center.
Anthony Santander is the current right fielder. The Orioles must figure out how they’re going to create room for Diaz if he’s healthy and mashing Triple-A pitching.
The last three relievers – Marcos Diplán, Conner Greene and Spenser Watkins – combined to retire all nine batters in order.
Three longshots to…