Orioles acquire outfielder Eric Thames from Mariners

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From FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi comes word that the Orioles have acquired outfielder Eric Thames from the Mariners in exchange for minor league infielder Ty Kelly. Thames has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, where he will function as organizational outfield depth for Baltimore.

Thames was designated for assignment by Seattle on May 22 to clear a 40-man roster spot for the return of Franklin Gutierrez, who is already back on the disabled list. Thames, a 26-year-old California native, was batting .295/.382/.479 with seven home runs and 33 RBI in 57 games at Triple-A Tacoma when the M’s waived him.

Kelly, a 13th-round pick of the Orioles in 2009, has a .759 career OPS in the minor leagues.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.