Today Edwin Rodriguez addressed his team for the first time this season. And since is the first time he’s been the manager at the outset of spring training, it’s the first time he’s ever gotten to do that whole set-the-tone thing. And according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the tone he set was optimistic:
“I can feel it. We’re going to be the last team standing come October.”
They’re actually probably not going to be the last team standing in October. The odds simply don’t favor most teams over “the field” when it comes to such matters. But I don’t say that criticize Rodriguez for unwarranted optimism. I merely offer it to ask what, given what we know about any one team’s chances, is a manager is supposed to say in such instances?
Does the rah-rah thing work in baseball? I’m skeptical. But is it any worse than soberly saying “I want us to play hard and, if we get the breaks, we could possibly win”? That may have the benefit of being true, but it’s also not the way to kick off a season.
I guess what I’m saying is that managing looks hard. How you get your team ready, especially when you don’t have years of experience behind you or on your roster, has to be one of the more difficult things in the business.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.