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Because you asked for it – Transformania

The Orioles reached their first day of rest since leaving Sarasota. No games or practices. An early reset before the Yankees arrive and return to division play.

The only way to reset a mailbag is to empty its contents. Sort the pile. I wonder how many questions got lost along the way.

They’re probably scattered in a back room. Save tracking numbers.

This is the latest sequel to the original hit. You ask, I answer, we promise never to talk about it again. And then we do.

There’s no editing here unless someone catches a typo. Bring your length and style. Don’t worry about clarity. And this is the house of brevity.

Plus, my mailbag rolls out the tarp just as your mailbag walks through the door.

How do players react to the wall?
Bigger and more room than they imagined. Lucky for the pitchers. Not so happy for hitters. “This is my first experience with a loose fence,” manager Brandon Hyde said, “so I think we’re all going through this together.” Hyde hopes the feelings of frustration don’t linger or impact the way they take the bats. Don’t let the wall get into your head. Trey Mancini’s fly ball on Tuesday night would have been a home run in recent years. “Yeah,” he said, “that ball has to go.” Sounds like the times I was asked to leave a party.

The Orioles debut their new left-field wall, and Pink Floyd releases genuine new music for the first time in nearly 30 years, all within days of each other. Coincidence?
I’m almost certain. Now, if a popup is lost in the dark side of the moon, I’ll be really scared.

I still haven’t seen the few dimensions in person.
Wish you were Here. And that’s not a question.

It’s also the 30th anniversary of “A Few Good Men.” “You WANT me on this wall!” You NEED me on that wall!”
We have to move on to another topic.

Do you think serving time is going to keep Adley Rutschman from staying longer once he heals his triceps?
I don’t know that would matter. He is only allowed to follow the coaches’ batting practice and make light pitches in a progression. He hasn’t played a game for a long time. He’ll have to get some real drummers before he makes his majors debut.

What prospects begin in 2022 apart from Rutschman?
There are so many factors that could prevent it from happening, such as injuries and poor performance. But we anticipate pitchers Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall and possibly Kevin Smith, as well as outfielder Kyle Stowers and possibly outfielder Robert Neustrom and infielder Terrin Vavra. Outfielder Yusniel Diaz was heading for him until he injured his right hamstring on Tuesday night.

Who is closest?
I would say Jorge López is a safe choice due to his early use and warm-up. But you should expect, again, to have multiple relievers with backups based on availability, matches, etc.

Who is the fifth starter?
What day is it? The spot is open again and the Orioles won’t need it until, by my reckoning, the 19th.and in Oakland. Maybe Spenser Watkins will get another chance after giving up an earned run and four overall in three innings. Maybe Alexander Wells gets picked if he’s still on the roster. Hyde likes Keegan Akin and Mike Baumann in the bullpen, but maybe that changes depending on rotation needs. And hey, there’s Bradish at Triple-A. Too early?

How inept can a team be with RISP? It’s hard to be so bad, even on purpose.
I can only say that they don’t do it on purpose. I checked with all 13 batters. Hyde thinks the guys are pushing, they’re facing some really good arms and the swing-and-miss tendencies are resurfacing. He also expects better production in the future. And yeah, I know, it can’t get much worse.

Did the Maryland Stadium Authority consider my request for “child-free” sections at Camden Yards?
My old brother-in-law used to make this request in restaurants. Funny guy. I am not aware of any child-free sections included in the renovations and modifications to the ballpark. And before you suggest it, kids won’t be confined to seats that have been removed to left field.

Did anything interesting happen to you just before Cedric Mullins’ grand slam?
You mean besides the foul ball that jumped into a dark empty MASN booth next to the press box which caused me to rush out of my seat and look for him to answer a request for a young boy in the front row with a catcher’s glove? And how did Mullins circuit the next pitch, forcing me to run to my laptop and tweet it before returning to the pits, where I found the ball and handed it over? No, nothing interesting.

Do pitchers and catchers love the pitch-caller’s electronic doohickey? It looks really boring and never seems to work.
I propose that it now be called “pitch-caller doohickey” instead of the unimaginable “PitchCom”. They like it and it worked out well except for Monday’s glitch with the Brewers, which banned the Orioles from using it. Like a coach’s helmet going out to football. We’ll see how much it speeds up the game, but the Orioles have voiced their approval.

Would you choose an education and a career in technology instead of journalism?
There are times when I wish I had chosen to wash the elephants at the circus.

When do you expect to see Kyle Brnovich, Kevin Smith, Isaac Mattson and Nick Vespi here? We all know why GRod and Hall will be retained.
It’s so hard to predict. Again, a lot of it is performance and need based. For example, if the Orioles need a left-handed reliever and Vespi is posting solid numbers. Kyle Brnovich is a good call, though. He belongs to the list of prospects who could make their debut. Mattson didn’t appear in an exhibition match, so he’s behind the others.

Why aren’t GRod and Hall here?
OK, so not everyone knows why they’ll be held up. Rodriguez has just arrived in Triple-A. Give it some time. Hall is in Sarasota building his arm before starting in Double-A and progressing – perhaps quickly.

Why isn’t Kyle Bradish here?
Bradish also stayed behind, but not as long as Hall. He made his first start Tuesday night with Norfolk and went four scoreless innings with two hits and six strikeouts. Didn’t walk a batter. I don’t know how many starts he gets with the tides, but he’s doing whatever it takes – including at camp – to be the next man.

Which players on the active roster have no options left?
In alphabetical order: Anthony Bemboom, Robinson Chirinos, Kelvin Gutiérrez, Jordan Lyles, Jorge López, Trey Mancini, Jorge Mateo, Rougned Odor, Chris Owings, Cionel Pérez and Ramón Urías.

Where is Anthony Servideo?
It’s popular. He should be flattered. Servideo is in extended spring training to get bats he lost last summer after having sports hernia surgery in July and showing up late to camp. He appeared in just 20 matches at Low Single-A Delmarva. He did not play in 2020 with the cancellation of the minor league season. Servideo is fine now. He’ll be at Ball A later.

Why Matt Harvey?
Short and precise. A deep signing, with the Orioles only judging him on what they’ve been through with him at the clubhouse. A leader, a guy who continued to take the ball despite a knee injury. A player for them.

Any word on a Rutschman expansion?
I haven’t heard anything to suggest there’s one going on or that it’s a topic that’s come up at this point in his professional career. May be later.

Why does the MASN app not support Xfinity for streaming? Is it still under construction?
I get a lot of questions about the app. Here is what I know and understand about it:


So I should ask someone else?
I mean, you’d probably have a better answer. Or any answer. It’s not in my “department”, just like the guy who slices the lunch meat behind the deli counter might not be able to recite profit margins. But I should know more and promise to be a better news source in 2022. Guess covering the team leaves little time for other areas, if that’s any excuse. More explanation. I feel like I let you down.

What is it about the Rays that is giving Paul Fry so much trouble?
Fry told me about it after the season – before the lockout – and suggested he could switch his pitches. Of course, you wonder why other teams wouldn’t notice. The Rays are really good, but so are the other teams he manages.

Is Yusniel Diaz the most injured player of all time?
In my limited research, which just had me tilting my head back for a few seconds, I don’t believe he’s the most injured player of all time. But man, stuff happens to him. Ankle, shoulder, quadriceps, hamstrings, toe. I hear the children’s song “head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes” and instinctively rush to my laptop. Being on the seven-day injured list might suggest that hamstring strain isn’t too bad, but we’ve seen in the past how seven days turns into a whole lot more. A most unfortunate situation anyway, given his past and his good looks in spring training and at the start of the season.

Do you have any idea what kinds of improvements are planned with the $600 million planned for Camden Yards?
The Orioles did not share any other information and I would only speculate and suggest. You hear stuff. It wouldn’t bother the media if the PA system allowed us to hear everything in the press box. Unfortunately, the ground ceremonies get lost on the way up here. Maybe a new dashboard. Maybe a chocolate fountain next to every seat in the press box.

Do you think the organization is likely to take a different approach to free agency next offseason?
Giving starter Jordan Lyles $7 million with a chance to make $17 million with the option felt different to me. I think more money is being spent the further the Orioles get away from rebuilding. But they really want to put themselves in a position where they have a surplus of leads that can be moved in exchange for a few missing pieces. It is the vision. Also, give Carlos Correa $350 million.

We’re done here, aren’t we?
I think so.