Gulf Coast League Orioles Set to Open Season Today, Extra-Inning Rule to be Tested

The final Baltimore Orioles affiliate to get their season underway will happen today as the Gulf Coast League Orioles open their 2017 season today.

The Gulf Coast League, which is Rookie-ball, hosts 17 teams and is where a lot of recently drafted and signed players get their first taste of professional baseball.

The GCL Orioles are obviously the O's affiliate in the league and play their home games at Ed Smith Stadium, the O's spring training home. The great news about the GCL is that the games are open to the public at NO COST. In addition, fans can enjoy free parking in the East Lot as well, so if you are in the Sarasota area, be sure to check out the GCL Orioles.

The GCL Orioles start their season today on the road at the GCL Twins, and will play their first home game tomorrow, Tuesday June 27 as they host the GCL Twins.

The GCL season provides teams a 56 or 60 game schedule (depending on its division) and the GCL Orioles will play 30 home games at Ed Smith Stadium this year.

One thing to keep an eye on this year in the Gulf Coast League (and the Arizona League) is that Major League Baseball is going to experiment with putting a runner at second base at some point in extra innings.

Fans are likely familiar with this in seeing it in the World Baseball Classic, and the biggest question will be at which inning this will take effect.

It's always interesting to watch players develop in the GCL and it can produce quite a bit of talent. Remember outfielder Jake Ring played for the GCL Orioles last summer and is now a South Atlantic League All-Star for Delmarva this season.

With the GCL getting underway, all seven of the Orioles' minor league affiliates are now in action, and we here at Baby Birdland will keep you updated on all O's minor league news.


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