Tampa Bay’s rotation unfolds as follows: James Shields, Matt Garza, Jeff Niemann, David Price and Wade Davis. That means the Orioles will face three right-handers in the opening series at Tropicana Field.
Ty Wigginton used to be Julio Lugo’s teammate in Tampa, and they became good friends.
“Everybody came to appreciate him,” Wigginton said. “He’s definitely an exciting ballplayer. It’s going to be fun to have him around. I probably saw him play every position on the field except catcher.’‘
Well, the Orioles might need another backup...
I started my day by meeting outfielder Joey Gathright, who finally reported to camp.
“It’s been a long spring training for me,” said Gathright, who signed a minor league contract after the Blue Jays released him. “It’s kind of weird to be back, but I’m happy to be somewhere.”
Gathright knows the deck is stacked against him again, with the Orioles deep in outfielders, but he jumped at the chance to return.
“I like this team,” he said. “I’ll probably end up in Triple-A, but I know the manager there (Gary Allenson). It’s more of a comfortable thing, being back with guys that I know. And you never know what could happen in the big leagues. It was more comfortable than going to another team, where I might only know a few guys.”
Gathright didn’t expect to be released by the Blue Jays, saying that he was “shocked” despite hitting .167 in 42 at-bats.
“I didn’t have a good spring at all. At all,” he added. “I can understand going to Triple-A, but not being released. I’m always honest with myself and other people. After that spring training, I wouldn’t have put me on the team. But I did think it was still a good opporunity to go to Triple-A and still make that club at some point.”
It will take an injury or two for Gathright to crack the Orioles’ roster.
“It’s going to be tough to make this team at any point,” he said, “but I’m just going to go like I did last year and do my job, and hopefully something works out.”
Jake Arrieta retired the side in order in the second inning, striking out Kelly Shoppach for the final out. He threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
Brandon Waring singled to lead off the third and Robert Andino reached on an error with one out, but the Orioles couldn’t score.
Update: Arrieta has tossed three scoreless innings since allowing two runs in the first. He’s given up five hits and struck out two. Steve Johnson is warming up.
The Orioles have two hits - singles by Brandon Waring and Nolan Reimold.