BALTIMORE, Md. — After five days of batting practice, workouts and drills it’s finally time for a game... against each other.
"We’re going to play a 7-and-a-half inning, controlled environment intrasquad tomorrow evening," said Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde.
Hyde added that pitcher Tommy Milone will start for one team on Wednesday. Thomas Eshelman will start for the other.
It will be some meaningful meaningless baseball at Camden Yards.
"They’re really ready to go. These guys are itching to intrasquad tomorrow," said Hyde. "I think they’re getting tired of going through the daily workout."
One of those guys itching to get out there is outfielder DJ Stewart, who was hampered by injuries last year.
"For me to get back out there and get in a competitive atmosphere, obviously it’s against our teammates but, we’re trying to get each other better," he said. "We’re all going to treat it as a competitive atmosphere to get ready for game one and the rest of the season."
When it comes to the safety and health of Stewart and the rest of his teammates, Hyde said the O’s are strictly following the procedures and protocols to protect against COVID-19.
"We’re reminding each other constantly about masks and masks in the clubhouse and keeping our distancing. It’s starting to become a little bit more normal now. I think it was really strange the first couple days."
If the Birds, along with the rest of Major League Baseball, can keep it up, they’ll be opening up the regular season in Boston on July 24. General Manager Mike Elias is confident we will see the O’s at Fenway in a couple weeks.
"I feel great about it," he said. "We feel like we’ve got a good plan in place to execute the season. I feel better about it than when we started."
Elias added that going forward the club won’t be revealing names of players who potentially test positive for COVID. He cited, among other things, the possibility of false positives. He called it a private health matter for the player.