The Baltimore Orioles Spring Training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday was postponed due to some pretty heavy rain and neither team wanting to risk player injury. The game will likely not be made up down the road, and Baltimore is set to play two split squad games today, with one against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
One downside for Baltimore in regards to the rainout is that it causes a massive scheduling shuffle in regards to the pitching staff as Chris Tillman was scheduled to start yesterday's game, but with the rain out Tillman will now start tonight's game against the Red Sox, thus pushing Zach Britton out of the start, but he will follow Tillman in relief. Tillman will be making his appearance of the spring, and is considered to be a lock in the starting rotation, which is why his first appearance has come much later than others.
Dylan Bundy and Steve Johnson were also scheduled to pitch yesterday, but they have now been slated to pitch in the split squad game this afternoon against the Yankees, as both will follow starter Jake Arrieta in the game. This will be an interesting game as all three of the pitchers mentioned are considered to be battling for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, so it will have a nice competitive atmosphere. It should be stated that Bundy is likely to start the season in Bowie, along with Kevin Gausman, to get some more professional starts under their belt and a more effective way of monitoring their innings in order to be available at the end of the season as both pitchers will be on a strict innings limit this season, much like the Washington Nationals did with Stephen Strasburg last season.
The beauty of split squad games are that twice as many hitters get the opportunity for some at bats, so some guys to watch today will be the hot Trayvon Robinson, who has a hit in every Spring Training game thus far, Brian Roberts who had two doubles in his last game, Nolan Reimold who is hitless in five at bats thus far this spring and guys like Danny Valencia, Alexi Casilla, Ryan Flaherty, Russ Canzler, Steve Pearce, and Conor Jackson who are is battles for roster spots with the big league club.
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