Orioles roster and schedule
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Baltimore Orioles Roster and Schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Baltimore Orioles roster and schedule:

Orioles ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Orioles roster to begin the season:

Catchers

Pedro Severino
Chance Sisco
Bryan Holaday

Infielders:

Chris Davis
Hanser Alberto
José Iglesias
Rio Ruiz
Renato Núñez
Pat Valaika
Stevie Wilkerson
Andrew Velázquez

Outfielders

Austin Hays
DJ Stewart
Dwight Smith Jr.
Mason Williams
Anthony Santander

Starters

John Means
Alex Cobb
Wade LeBlanc
Asher Wojciechowski
Kohl Stewart

Relievers

Mychal Givens
Richard Bleier
Hunter Harvey
Paul Fry
Miguel Castro
Shawn Armstrong
Tanner Scott
Tommy Milone
Hector Velázquez
Cody Carroll
Cole Sulser


BREAKDOWN:

Given where the Orioles are right now, a short season is an act of mercy. They have finished in last place in the American League East three seasons running, losing 115 games in 2018 and 108 last year. They will finish in last place this year and the only thing keeping them from losing 100 is that they’re only playing 60. The fact that their best player, Trey Mancini, was stricken with colon cancer makes the team’s competitive prospects even worse, but they also put the baseball side of all of this in perspective.

On offense, Mancini’s loss is incalculable. With him gone, the load falls on guys like Núñez, who hit a lot of homers but didn’t do much else and Hays who had a super duper cup of coffee late in the season. The O’s offense was 11th out of 15 in the AL last year. There’s not much reason to think it’ll be any better this year and, with the White Sox’ (13th) pretty massive improvements and the Blue Jays’ (12th) maturation, there’s a lot of reason to think the O’s will slip down a couple of slots and maybe lower.

On the pitching side of things, Means is the real deal and Hunter Harvey has stuff that shows that his future is bright, but otherwise it’s a lot of stopgap players who wouldn’t make most staffs. Cobb, who is coming back from hip and knee surgeries, could improve the staff if he’s 100%. If anyone besides Harvey shows much in the bullpen between Opening Day and the August 15 deadline, figure that they’ll be trading chits as opposed to building blocks in Baltimore.

I guess what I’m saying is, it’s bleak folks. But Orioles fans knew that already.

ORIOLES SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Orioles home stands will be July 29-August 5 (Marlins, Rays, Yankees), August 14-23 (Nationals, Blue Jays, Red Sox), September 1-6 (Mets, Yankees), and September 14-20 (Braves, Rays).

The entire Orioles roster and schedule can be seen here.

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.