Were the Yankees supposed to play the Orioles in Baltimore tonight? Nope. But with the Marlins’ outbreak shaking everything up, the Yankees shuttled from Philly to Baltimore on Tuesday and will begin a quick two-game series at Camden Yards tonight.
Brian Cashman is on a Zoom call with the reporters right now. “I’ve got Camden Yards in my background for a reason – it’s off to Baltimore.” pic.twitter.com/u0j6CaxyMR
I talked to Connor Newcomb of the Locked On Orioles podcast to preview Baltimore’s season. Check that out below!
There is no reason to think the Yankees can’t go undefeated (10 games are on the schedule) against Baltimore this season. Last year the Yankees finished 17-2 against them after dropping two in the first weekend of the season. As a team they hit like prime Ken Griffey Jr., which is laughably good.
2019 Yankees vs Orioles: 17-2 Active 16-game win streak (NYY 3rd-longest ever vs 1 team)
A good chunk of that damage came from Gleyber Torres, who seemingly hit all of his home runs off Orioles’ pitching last year (it was actually 13 of his 38 homers). His season batting line against them was .394/.467/1.045, which is stupid with two “o’s” (get it?). Perhaps the best part of his ownership over the O’s was Gary Thorne’s reactions every time he hit another bomb. Unfortunatley Thorne will not be on the broadcast this season due to COVID risk, which I talk to Connor about in the podcast.
Who to watch for
Baltimore is rebuilding, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few players to keep an eye on. The player Connor is most looking forward to watching is Austin Hays, who had a really productive September last year when he posted a .947 OPS. The 25-year old is the starting center fielder and a player Baltimore hopes they can build around.
Alex Cobb is another players to watch for, but for a different reason. He’s in the last year of his deal and might be a trade piece should he get off to a good start on the mound. Anyone who isn’t under long-term team control is on the trade block for Baltimore.
More Cole, less opener
If you’re looking for a silver lining in this craziness it’s that Gerrit Cole will start the first game, meaning he will have started two of the Yankees’ first four games. Obviously that is not how they drew it up, but every Yankees fan will be happy to send Cole to the mound once again.
Tonight, Cole will pitch against Asher Wojciechowski (who?) and on Thursday it will be JA Happ vs John Means, who had an All-Star season in 2019 posting a 3.60 ERA in 155 innings pitched.
The shake-up this week has left scheduling questions unanswered. The Yankees’ first series against Baltimore was supposed to start August 3, but since they’re playing two against them this week, those games next week are off the calendar. It is still unclear who — if anyone — the Yankees will play those days.