Opening Day lineups & pregame tidbits

*How relaxed is Opening Day starter Jake Arrieta? He was on the field pregame with socks and sandals and a camera strapped around his neck. “I’m testing out my photography skills,” said Arrieta, who was taking in the moment like a fan, snapping shots of his teammates during batting practice. Arrieta has 12 people here for his first Opening Day starter, and second consecutive home opener.

*Manager Buck Showalter confirmed the obvious in naming Jim Johnson closer. As for Kevin Gregg, Showalter said he could be used in a variety of roles. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Here’s what Gregg had to say..

“I knew that [Johnson would be the closer],” said Gregg, who said he spoke with Showalter this spring about it. “I’m going to be political; I’m here to help the team. I’ll pitch whenever Buck needs me to pitch.”

Pressed further on if he’s OK with not closing, Gregg said : “Do I have a choice? It’s not like I dictate when I’ll pitch.”

Gregg said Friday’s official announcement wasn’t a shock and he’s not sure how he will be used going forward. With relievers like Matt Lindstrom, Pedro Strop and Luis Ayala, Showalter has some options to bridge to Johnson.

“The strength of our bullpen depends on the strength of our starters and if they are solid they will allow us to be even better,” Gregg said. “We’ve got a great group of arms down there, but you have to have a solid rotation to be able to maintain that.”

*Given that it’s the 20th anniversary of the Opening of Camden Yards at Oriole Park, the team is showing the first game on Jumbo Tron here, along with the sound from the broadcast. Pretty neat. The new, lower out-of-town scoreboard also allows fans to lean over the railing in right field and get a better view of the game and batting practice.

*Here’s a fun fact: Os pitching coach Rick Adair started his major league coaching career as pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians in 1992. So his first game as a Major League coach was here on the day Camden Yards opened.

*Second baseman Brian Roberts (pictured above) was taking infield work with a coaches helmet on. Roberts did not run out on the orange carpet, but was going to try to watch some of the game from the dugout.

Here are your lineups….

ORIOLES LINEUP

Nolan Reimold LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit DH
Mark Reynolds 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Robert Andino 2B

Jake Arrieta RHP

TWINS LINEUP

Denard Span, CF
Jamey Carroll, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, DH
Josh Willingham, LF
Ryan Doumit, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Chris Parmelee, 1B
Alexi Casilla, 2B

Carl Pavano RHP

5 Comments

Gotta ask you, Britt, why would Showalter stick Hardy in the second spot and Markakis in the third? Hardy seems to fit better in the third with his power and lack of speed, while Markakis appears ideal for the second slot. Just wondering if you had any insight as to why they’re batting where they are?

I agree. I actually asked Showalter if he’d consider flipping those two and he said he would. I think if Markakis struggles out of the gate, or Hardy comes on strong you can see that change.

Wouldn’t you know after I said that, Markakis goes yard and looks like he belongs in the 3 spot…

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