Welcome back to the Tap Room.
The Orioles are headed onto the road again – so I figured you might need a drink or nine. Heading into today’s opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park, the Orioles have lost 16 of 19 away from Camden Yards in 2018.
This is no surprise: That’s the worst road record in baseball – by far.
This is a long trip, too. Four at Boston, four at the Chicago White Sox and three more at the Tampa Bay Rays before heading back to Camden Yards for Memorial Day, May 28.
Besides wins, one of the hopes for this road trip is that the Orioles discover a fifth starter – now that Chris Tillman is on the disabled list with a lower back strain and an inflated ERA.
There are really two choices, as I detailed Wednesday.
Miguel Castro, 23, who has done a nice job in the bullpen for the Orioles in the past year-plus, but he has also looked good in extended relief outings – a hint he could handle starting.
And David Hess, 24, who acquitted himself well in a quality start Saturday against Tampa Bay in his big league debut and is currently back with Triple-A Norfolk.
There are other candidates, I suppose. Top prospect Hunter Harvey is on the 40-man roster, but he’s also learning his way — and staying healthy — at Double-A Bowie.
And Mike Wright is in the Orioles’ bullpen and has been the perennial spot start guy over the years. Hey, he has to be mentioned.
I think I’d lean toward Castro, but I’m good with Hess, too.
We’ll know soon because someone has to pitch Sunday at Boston.
This is your time to play manager. Who do you tab for that start – and going forward?
Tap-In Question: Who is your fifth starter?