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Notes and quotes from Twin Lakes Park

SARASOTA, Fla. - The fields are finally emptying at the minor league complex at Twin Lakes Park. Players are headed inside to eat, work out and attend meetings. Jake Arrieta and Jair Jurrjens each tossed five innings in the same minor league game. Zach Britton and Kevin Gausman pitched on another field. Freddy Garcia passed his physical and threw a bullpen session. Wei-Yin Chen also

Breaking away

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will break camp today and head to St. Petersburg, boarding their bus for the hour-long ride to the team hotel. The only news, and I'm using the term loosely, will come when they officially place Tsuyoshi Wada, Wilson Betemit and Steve Johnson on the disabled list and get down to the required 25 players. "We're ready," said manager Buck Showalter.

Showalter and Pearce talk about final roster spot

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter has chosen Steve Pearce over Conor Jackson for the final roster spot. Pearce will accompany the team to St. Petersburg on Sunday. Jackson has been reassigned to minor league camp and will begin the 2013 season at Triple-A Norfolk, where he could play first base, left field and right field, and serve as the designated hitter. He also

Pearce homers, Gonzalez talks (Pearce makes team)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Steve Pearce took another swing today at winning the last spot on the Orioles' 25-man roster. Pearce hit his seventh home run after striking out in his first two at-bats. He cleared the fence in left field to increase the Orioles' lead to 7-1. Pearce also has driven in 18 runs this spring. He's batting .340. Conor Jackson hasn't played today and

Game update and a little Showalter (McLouth homers twice, Davis once)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Consecutive singles by Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Nolan Reimold with one out in the second inning gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead over the Mets in their final spring training game. Nate McLouth led off the bottom of the third inning with his third home run, the ball hitting the batter's eye in center field. Manny Machado doubled and later scored

Roberts batting ninth again today

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is batting ninth again today against the New York Mets. Roberts will stay at the bottom of the lineup for Tuesday's opener against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Manager Buck Showalter hasn't settled on one leadoff hitter for the regular season. Today, it's Nate McLouth's turn. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth CF Manny Machado 3B

A few pregame notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles' last roster cut will be announced following today's game against the New York Mets. Adam Jones is out of today's lineup. Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to rest him. Jones has 62 plate appearances, including games in the World Baseball Classic, and Showalter wants to slow him down. That's all I can say about the lineup. I still haven't seen

Jackson and Pearce playing waiting game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Miguel Gonzalez is making his final start of the spring today in the Orioles' last exhibition game. They break camp on Sunday and head to St. Petersburg. Gonzalez has pitched in two Grapefruit League games, blanking the Phillies over two innings and allowing four runs (one earned) and four hits in two innings against the Pirates. Now he's facing the Mets, so

Are the Orioles almost done?

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are playing the New York Mets today in a noon game at Ed Smith Stadium that wraps up their exhibition schedule. They're also expected to make their final roster decision - Steve Pearce or Conor Jackson. Pearce would appear to be the favorite, and not just because he's taking home the Jake Fox trophy. It seemed as though the Orioles

McFarland on roster spot, Steve Johnson on DL (Garcia signed, Proctor acquired)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles pitcher T.J. McFarland was in the weight room doing shoulder exercises this afternoon when manager Buck Showalter approached him with the news. McFarland had made the club as a Rule 5 pick. "He came right up to me and said it straight up," McFarland said. "There was no messing around or nothing. I shook his hand and said, 'Thank you,' and

Tillman accepts DL assignment without complaint (McFarland in, S. Johnson to DL)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles defeated State College of Florida 6-1 today in a game that doesn't count in the Grapefruit League standings. T.J. McFarland tossed four perfect innings, striking out six. The left-hander will find out later today whether he made the club. Got to like his chances. Travis Adair, son of pitching coach Rick Adair, homered in the bottom of the eighth to

Arrieta named fourth starter, and other notes and quotes

SARASOTA, Fla. - The rotation is set. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has chosen Jake Arrieta as his No. 4 starter, allowing the right-hander to pitch the home opener for the third consecutive season. Arrieta will take the mound on April 5 against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards after Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez start the three games against the Tampa Bay Rays

Most of the cuts are coming today, Showalter talks about Roberts (roster updates)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles most likely will have all of their roster cuts done today with the exception of one. This includes injured players going on the disabled list. Nick Markakis led off today's game with a single off Chris Tillman, and a sacrifice fly gave State College of Florida a 1-0 lead. Markakis walked leading off the second inning. Tillman has allowed one

Jurrjens could pitch this weekend

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitcher Jair Jurrjens will play catch this morning and could appear in Saturday's game against the New York Mets if the discomfort in his ribcage continues to subside. Jurrjens woke up feeling much better today, in large part due to the anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers that were prescribed. Jurrjens had to leave Wednesday night's start against the New York Yankees in

Roberts prepared to bat ninth on opening day

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts met with manager Buck Showalter before last night's game and learned that he's going to bat ninth on opening day against the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price. The first hint came when Roberts hit ninth last night against Price. Showalter didn't post the lineup until he clued in Roberts, who has batted leadoff in 1,120 games and

Urrutia playing right field for Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. - Cuban defector Henry Urrutia is batting sixth and starting in right field for the Orioles today in their game against State College of Florida. The batch of minor leaguers summoned from Twin Lakes Park includes Lew Ford, Jason Pridie, Russ Canzler and Travis Ishikawa. For the Orioles: Lew Ford DH Jason Pridie CF Russ Canzler LF Travis Ishikawa 1B Chris Robinson C

A scout's take on Orioles' depth

SARASOTA, Fla. - We're down to the last two games on the exhibition schedule, and there used to be an open date on it today before manager Buck Showalter found a way to keep us busy. The Orioles are playing what's become their annual game against State College of Florida. If memory serves, they lost last spring and were subjected to ridicule from national media

Is Roberts lined up to bat ninth?

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's not completely safe to make assumptions about the opening day lineup when rosters don't have to be set until 3 p.m. on Sunday. There are... wait for it... a lot of moving parts as we near the end of spring training. Tonight's lineup created a bit of a buzz. First of all, we didn't receive it until less than an hour

Showalter talks about Tillman and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles may decide on Friday whether to place pitcher Steve Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle. Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia will be in the Orioles' lineup for Friday's game against the State College of Florida. Urrutia will join a bunch of other players being brought over from minor league

Beal update and roster speculation (game ends 4-4)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Minor league pitcher Jesse Beal lasted one inning tonight in his starting assignment against the Tampa Bay Rays - a team that's being picked by many "experts" to win the American League East. Beal allowed three runs and three hits, and walked a batter, in the top of the first inning. His fastball touched 93 mph. Beal threw 27 pitches, 15 for

Orioles lineup against Rays

SARASOTA, Fla. - Steve Pearce is serving as the designated hitter tonight against Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price, who also will face the Orioles on opening day. Should we read anything into it? Go right ahead. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF Manny Machado 3B Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy SS Nolan Reimold LF Steve Pearce DH Brian

Tillman placed on DL, Robinson reassigned (updated twice)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Chris Tillman situation just took an interesting turn. The Orioles placed Tillman on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22 with a left abdominal strain. Tillman remains eligible to return on April 6 and pitch the fifth game of the season against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. It's possible that he still could pitch Friday against the State College

Tillman slated to be fifth starter (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter has decided that Chris Tillman will pitch the fifth game of the season on April 6 against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. Doesn't matter whether Tillman goes on the disabled list or makes the 25-man roster out of spring training. Tillman is starting Friday afternoon against the State College of Florida. He had been shut down with

Jurrjens, Dickerson and Robinson talk about their injuries

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens sat at his locker as reporters approached him this afternoon, which was no small feat. Jurrjens is still sore after being nailed in the right ribcage last night by a line drive from the Yankees' Thomas Neal. X-rays were negative, but Jurrjens is positive that he's in pain. "I feel really sore and a little bit stiff," he said. "I'm

Chen pitches in minor league game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen made his final start today before taking the ball for the second game of the regular season at Tropicana Field. He faced the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Triple-A version. Chen threw 82 pitches in five innings and allowed a run on Brandon Guyer's homer to center field. He issued one walk. "This was a really good accomplishment," Chen said

Quick Jurrjens and Dickerson updates, and Rays lineup (Beal starting)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitcher Jair Jurrjens had X-rays taken on his right ribcage this morning and he's waiting for a team physician to review them and pass along the results. Jurrjens said he's still bothered by soreness and stiffness on his right side. He had difficulty sitting down at his locker. Update: Jurrjens' X-rays were negative. He will take today off and could pitch later

Orioles need more hits and fewer hurts

SARASOTA, Fla. - Let's see whether the Orioles can make it through tonight's game without an injury. Manager Buck Showalter may want to summon a bunch of poor unsuspecting souls from the minor league camp. Get the regulars out of there after the anthem. The pitchers may actually be wearing numbers in the 80s and 90s. The Orioles haven't listed a starter to replace injured

Dickerson update and postgame Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Dickerson has "a slight strain around his right Achilles" and is considered day-to-day, according to manager Buck Showalter. Dickerson tried to plant his foot in the soft grass to avoid running into Conor Jackson in the eighth inning and had to leave the game. Showalter said outfielder Trayvon Robinson is close to returning. Robinson felt more discomfort in his lower back

Jurrjens and game updates (O's lose 11-8)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens was making his final spring training start tonight. He didn't expect it to span only seven batters. "Yeah, that sucks," he said. To say the least. Jurrjens was nailed on the right ribcage by a line drive from New York Yankees designated hitter Thomas Neal in the top of the second inning. He will undergo precautionary X-rays on Thursday at

Jurrjens leaves game with injury (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter often says that the final week of spring training can be the most worrisome because of the risk of injuries. The idea is to get out of camp in good health. Two days ago, infielder Wilson Betemit suffered a Grade 2/3 tear of his right PCL. And tonight, starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens faced only seven batters before being

Orioles reassign Chris Robinson

SARASOTA, Fla. - The third shoe dropped today in Orioles camp. Besides pitcher Kevin Gausman and first baseman Travis Ishikawa, the Orioles also reassigned catcher Chris Robinson to minor league camp. Manager Buck Showalter met with him following batting practice. The moves leave the Orioles with 34 players in spring training, including six non-roster invitees. They must get down to 25 by 3 p.m. Sunday.

Showalter on Hammel and Steve Johnson (Yankees lineup)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The decision came easily for manager Buck Showalter. He just needed confirmation that Jason Hammel was healthy. If Hammel's knee cooperated, he would take the ball on opening day at Tropicana Field for the Orioles. "Just a health thing," Showalter said today after confirming Hammel's assignment. "We look at it as one of the five starters. He will be the first guy

Hammel talks about the opening day assignment

SARASOTA, Fla. - So how's that for a flurry of activity today? Just wait until the Orioles actually play a game tonight. Jason Hammel finally had the freedom to talk about his opening day assignment on April 2. Manager Buck Showalter was impressed that the right-hander waited until reporters already had been notified before discussing it. It's also the little things that get noticed around

Hammel named opening day starter, Gausman reassigned (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jason Hammel was officially named the Orioles' opening day starter today by manager Buck Showalter. He will take the ball April 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Wei-Yi Chen will pitch the second game against the Rays and Miguel Gonzalez will be the third starter in the series at Tropicana Field. Chris Tillman will pitch the home opener April 5 if he

Steve Johnson shut down with sore lat muscle

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jason Hammel has been told about his next start and where he fits in the Orioles rotation, but he asked reporters to get the information from manager Buck Showalter. Hammel clearly has been chosen as the opening day starter on April 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Official word is pending. Wei-Yin Chen is lined up to pitch the

Orioles lineup against Yankees

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis is leading off and playing right field for tonight's game against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. Brian Roberts is at second base and Alexi Casilla is at shortstop. J.J. Hardy will serve as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Nick Markakis RF Brian Roberts 2B Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy DH

Hammel throws five innings in minor league game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel allowed three runs and three hits over five innings today in a game against Tampa Bay's high Single-A team on the Camden Yards field at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Hammel walked three batters and struck out six before heading to the clubhouse. He threw 76 pitches, 47 for strikes. The assumption is that Hammel was making his

Urrutia expected to play for Orioles on Friday

SARASOTA, Fla. - Unless there's a late change in plans, the Orioles intend to summon Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia from minor league camp and give him some at-bats in Friday afternoon's game against State College of Florida at Ed Smith Stadium. Urrutia has one more paper to sign, according to a team official, before he's allowed to play in the game. Hopefully, it's not in

Orioles have few games remaining and some interesting decisions

SARASOTA, Fla. - And down the stretch we come, with no more road trips left before the Orioles break camp and only three Grapefruit League games remaining on the schedule. The Orioles will play back-to-back night games against the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Two division rivals. Quick, hide the starters! Jair Jurrens takes the ball tonight after moving up to replace Steve

Markakis expected to start in right field Wednesday (and note)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter plans on starting Nick Markakis in right field Wednesday night against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. "We'll see how he feels," Showalter said. Markakis served as the designated hitter today and went 1-for-5, singling on the first pitch thrown to him since March 1. "It was good. He didn't want to walk the last

Gausman on Gausman (Orioles lose 9-5)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Minnesota Twins have scored twice off Orioles minor league pitcher Tyler Wilson to build a 9-4 lead in the ninth inning. Kevin Gausman never imagined that he would stay in major league camp for more than a week or two, but he made today's start with less than a week remaining before the 25-man roster must be set. "Right after

Gausman's line and more from Showalter (game update)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Kevin Gausman left today's game after 3 2/3 innings with his pitch count at 69, including 50 for strikes. Gausman allowed three runs and six hits, with no walks and three strikeouts. Pedro Florimon reached on an infield single with two outs, bringing manager Buck Showalter from the dugout. First baseman Chris Davis bobbled the ball and threw late to Gausman

Game update and Showalter quotes

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Kevin Gausman tossed two scoreless innings today against the Minnesota Twins before allowing two runs in the third. His fastball has topped out at 97 mph and reached 96 mph multiple times. Wilkin Ramirez doubled leading off the third inning for the Twins' first hit. Gausman responded by striking out former Orioles farmhand Pedro Florimon on a 96 mph fastball, but

Ford reassigned, and a batch of other notes (game update)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles have reassigned outfielder Lew Ford to minor league camp. Ford was 15-for-37 (.405) with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs in 17 games. "Lew has a chance to help us," said manager Buck Showalter. The Orioles have 37 players in camp, including nine non-roster invitees. The Orioles could make one or two more cuts Wednesday. Showalter told reporters

Checking on Gonzalez

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Miguel Gonzalez, expected to settle into the middle of the Orioles rotation, threw about 85 pitches over six-plus innings yesterday at Twin Lakes Park. Gonzalez, facing the Boston Red Sox's Triple-A team, stayed on the mound to record an extra out in the first and sixth innings to increase his pitch count. "I felt good," he said. "Expo (Luis Exposito) did

Betemit optimistic he can avoid surgery

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wilson Betemit hobbled into the Orioles' clubhouse this morning on crutches and wearing a large brace on his right knee. He also wore a look of extreme disappointment on his face, though his words were tinged with optimism. Betemit said he will be reevaluated in six-to-eight weeks after suffering a Grade 2/3 tear in his right PCL during yesterday's game against the

Markakis among regulars traveling to Fort Myers

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are hitting the road today for the last time this spring. Or, as manager Buck Showalter called them yesterday, the Griswolds. The regulars are on this trip, including designated hitter Nick Markakis, center fielder Adam Jones, shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Matt Wieters, who hadn't traveled this spring until today. But it's no vacation and there's no wood paneling on

Today's game and yesterday's bunts

SARASOTA, Fla. - Apparently, it's not safe to turn away from the Orioles for a few minutes without players being cut from the camp roster or minor league trades being consummated. Wilson Betemit's knee injury and MRI result just added to the frenzy. My morning will include a status update on Betemit, a quick check with Miguel Gonzalez on his start yesterday against Boston Red

Orioles acquire Asencio from Brewers (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles made another minor league deal tonight, acquiring reliever Jairo Asencio from the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later or cash. Asencio, 28, is 1-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 39 major league games spread over three seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs. He signed with the Brewers as a minor league free agent

Betemit diagnosed with Grade 2/3 PCL tear

SARASOTA, Fla. - A magnetic resonance imaging on Wilson Betemit's right knee this afternoon has revealed a Grade 2/3 posterior cruciate ligament tear and "associated injuries," according to a team spokesman. Betemit collapsed in the dirt near second base in the bottom of the fifth inning as he ran to the bag on Manny Machado's fly ball to left field. He rolled from side to

Strop pitches through distraction of Betemit injury

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pedro Strop sat in the Orioles' bullpen during today's game and tried to get an update on his teammate and close friend, Wilson Betemit, who was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee. Strop asked a reporter who was walking past him. He kept hoping for good news. Then he had to pitch. "It was hard for me,

Showalter: "I've got a heavy heart with Wilson"

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter walked off the field during the late innings of today's game against the Boston Red Sox, heading straight to the trainers room to console Wilson Betemit. Betemit was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee that's been diagnosed initially as a sprained ligament. He's undergoing an MRI this afternoon and the team hopes to

More thoughts on Betemit injury and McFarland quotes (O's win 12-9)

SARASOTA, Fla. - At the risk of getting too far ahead of ourselves, today's injury to Wilson Betemit would seem to increase the chances that Ryan Flaherty makes the team. Flaherty already had placed himself in a favorable position, and his left-handed bat would be a good replacement for Betemit, who isn't nearly as productive from the right side of the plate. If Betemit is

Betemit carted off field with injury (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The result of today's game between the Orioles and Red Sox no longer will matter in the home clubhouse. The big concern centers around Wilson Betemit, who left the field on a cart after appearing to injure his right knee in the fifth inning. He had a brace on his right leg while being assisted inside the clubhouse. Betemit fell between first

Good and bad from McFarland (O's have four home runs)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Making his first spring start today, left-hander T.J. McFarland struck out four of the first eight batters who stepped to the plate. That's the good. McFarland gave up three runs and four hits over the first two innings, including a long two-run homer to Boston's No. 9 hitter, Christian Vazquez. He surrendered three consecutive singles to open the third that moved the

Orioles remove Canzler and Pridie from camp roster

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles made two more roster cuts today, optioning infielder Russ Canzler to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigning outfielder Jason Pridie to minor league camp. The moves leave the Orioles with 38 players in major league camp. Canzler was 9-for-34 (.265) with two RBIs in 23 games. Pridie was 13-for-42 (.310) with four doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in 19 games. Canzler

More from Showalter before today's game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter provided updates on a few injured players and heaped some serious praise on Steve Pearce as part of his pregame session with the media, which took place behind the cage while his club finished up batting practice. On Travyon Robinson: "He feels good. He feels good. We'll give him another day. He's having spasms, cramps. Richie (Bancells) feels

Markakis could DH on Tuesday

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis took another round of batting practice today at Ed Smith Stadium and is expected to serve as the designated hitter for Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers. Markakis hasn't played since March 1 because of a herniated disc in his neck. His progression has taken him from hitting off a tee to soft toss

More from Tillman

SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Tillman said his four-inning, 62-pitch outing yesterday at Twin Lakes Park was "really good" and he remains confident that he will avoid a trip to the disabled list. Tillman faced a group of Orioles minor leaguers in an 11 a.m. start, with pitching coach Rick Adair staying back to watch before joining manager Buck Showalter in Bradenton. "It went well," Tillman

Orioles and Red Sox lineups (with notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Ryan Flaherty is playing right field today and left-hander T.J. McFarland is making his first start this spring, as the Orioles host the Boston Red Sox. Rule 5 rules. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nate McLouth LF Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy SS Wilson Betemit DH Manny Machado 3B Ryan Flaherty RF T.J. McFarland LHP

Pitching in with ways to keep McFarland

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles' pitching picture begins to clear up, then it gets hazy again. It begins to clears up, then it gets hazy again. It's pretty obvious that the Orioles are trying to find a way to keep left-hander T.J. McFarland, who won 16 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus last season before the Cleveland Indians left him exposed in the Rule

Notes and quotes following Orioles' 12-10 victory

BRADENTON, Fla. - Zech Zinicola gave up a pair of two-out singles in the bottom of the ninth inning, the last one to Felix Pie, before recording a strikeout to complete the Orioles' 12-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. The game lasted 3:37, not counting the 16-minute rain delay. The first inning dragged along as the Orioles scored eight runs in the

Matusz: "It's disappointing having an outing like this regardless of the situation"

BRADENTON, Fla. - It hasn't been a good day for left-handers on the Orioles' pitching staff. Brian Matusz allowed five runs and nine hits in four innings, and he was clearly upset with his performance while talking to reporters outside the visiting clubhouse at McKechnie Field. Luis Ayala retired the side in order in the fifth, but lefty Troy Patton was charged with five runs

Robinson injured and Dickerson hits grand slam (Matusz done)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Outfielder Trayvon Robinson appeared to suffer a back injury today after lining a run-scoring single into center field in the top of the first inning, and Lew Ford pinch-ran for him. Robinson crouched down in foul territory as head athletic trainer Richie Bancells came out of the dugout. Robinson kept reaching for his lower back with his left hand as he slowly

Orioles acquire Rodriguez from Phillies

BRADENTON, Fla. - The Orioles made a minor league trade today, acquiring 22-year-old pitcher Julio Rodriguez from the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Ronnie Welty. Rodriguez is a 6-foot-4 right-hander from Puerto Rico and a former eighth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He spent last season with Double-A Reading, going 7-7 with a 4.23 ERA in 29 games (22 starts) and 136 strikeouts in

Showalter remains noncommital about Arrieta

BRADENTON, Fla. - While Jake Arrieta appears to be the choice as the Orioles' fifth starter, manager Buck Showalter continues to list five candidates. Arrieta was removed from Tuesday's starting assignment against the Minnesota Twins, with Kevin Gausman taking his place. Arrieta will pitch at Twin Lakes Park. Asked if we could conclude that Arrieta is the fifth starter, Showalte replied, "No." "We just haven't

McFarland talks about his starting assignment

BRADENTON, Fla. - Already trying to calm his nerves before his first spring training start, left-hander T.J. McFarland didn't need to know that Monday's game would air on ESPN. "Well, thanks for reminding me," he quipped. "No pressure there." McFarland's first seven appearances had come in relief, but the Orioles needed a starter to replace Zach Britton, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, and

Orioles and Pirates lineups (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Alexi Casilla is getting another start at shortstop today, with Ryan Flaherty playing second base for the Orioles' game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Brandenton. Nolan Reimold will serve as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla SS Ryan Flaherty 2B Nolan Reimold DH Wilson Betemit 3B Jason Pridie RF Trayvon Robinson LF Travis Ishikawa 1B Taylor Teagarden C Chris Dickerson

More thoughts on the rotation

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's not a reach to consider today's start an extremely important one for Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz. Zach Britton has been weeded out of the fifth starter competition. He noted how Jake Arrieta and "B-Matt" have both done "really well." Steve Johnson was cruising along Friday in Port Charlotte before walking the bases loaded with two outs in the third inning and

Notes and quotes following today's 13-4 loss

SARASOTA, Fla. - Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland will make his first start of the spring on Monday against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium. Zach Britton was listed as the starter before being optioned today. With Jake Arrieta going from being Tuesday's starter against the Minnesota Twins to pitching at minor league camp, it's probably safe to assume he's going to be

Chen on Chen (O's lose 13-4)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen was handed a couple of excuses for his poor outing today, and he politely declined them. The wind? Didn't aid the three home runs that he surrendered. The limited starts in Grapefruit League games? Doesn't matter. "I felt OK today, but delivery-wise, they got my timing really well today," Chen said through his interpreter after allowing six earned runs (seven

Chen and pitching updates (O's down 10-2)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen may not recognize Grapefruit League hitters today. Maybe that's why he's struggling through three innings. Chen has allowed five runs and seven hits, with two walks, two strikeouts and a hit batter. He's served up back-to-back home runs to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and the Philadelphia Phillies have taken a 5-0 lead. Chen has thrown 69 pitches, 44 for

O's option Britton, Schoop, Navarro to Norfolk (updated)

In addition to reassigning pitcher Daniel McCutchen to minor league camp earlier this morning, the Orioles have made three more cuts today. The club optioned left-hander Zach Britton and infielders Jonathan Schoop and Yamaico Navarro to Triple-A Norfolk. While Schoop and Navarro weren't expected to make the 25-man roster, Britton was in the thick of the competition for the fifth starter's job. Sending the 25-year-old

Hunter gets in his work at Twin Lakes Park

SARASOTA, Fla. - You can include Tommy Hunter on your list of pitchers who are amused and challenged by the free-swinging minor leaguers who stand in the box against them at Twin Lakes Park. Hunter threw 51 pitches yesterday against a group of Tampa Bay Rays Single-A hitters while the Orioles were playing in Port Charlotte. "I felt pretty good," he said. "Got my work

McCutchen reassigned, and other notes (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles reassigned pitcher Daniel McCutchen to minor league camp this morning, reducing their roster to 43 players. More cuts are expected later today. McCutchen allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings this spring, all of them coming in a March 7 game against the Toronto Blue Jays. He lowered his arm slot after that outing, at the suggestion of manager Buck

Orioles lineup and Hendrickson note (and pitching note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold is starting in right field for the Orioles in today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Ed Smith Stadium. Nate McLouth is starting in left field. Maybe they'll change positions every inning. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth LF Brian Roberts 2B Chris Davis 1B Adam Jones CF Matt Wieters C J.J. Hardy SS Nolan Reimold RF Manny Machado 3B Steve

Phillies lineup and Hammel update

SARASOTA, Fla. - Antonio Bastardo is arriving in Sarasota later today with the Philadelphia Phillies, so you know it's going to be a good day. Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen gets to pitch in a Grapefruit League game, which hasn't happened since March 8. He's only done it twice this spring. Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day also are scheduled to pitch today. For the Phillies: Ben

Showalter speaks after 6-3 win

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens tossed five scoreless innings today in relief of Steve Johnson, allowing two hits, walking none and striking out three in the Orioles' 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. "That's as good as I've seen him," said manager Buck Showalter. "Regardless of which hitter he was against, all that other stuff, he was in command. That's pretty solid right

Steve Johnson: "It's just very frustrating" (O's win 6-3)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Steve Johnson lost home plate today. Now, he must hope that he didn't lose his chance to break camp with the Orioles. Johnson walked three straight batters and gave up a three-run double to Evan Longoria in the bottom of the third inning. He had retired eight in a row and was cruising along until his start unraveled. "I'm not real

O's, MLB unable to move Sept. 5 game for Ravens

The Orioles have issued a statement regarding the Sept. 5 night game against the Chicago White Sox, which is blocking the Ravens from playing the NFL season opener at home that night. The team and league were unable to find a way to move the game to allow for the Thursday night contest usually awarded to the Super Bowl champions. Here's the full statement: "The

Redmond claimed off waivers (Schoop homers)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Orioles have lost pitcher Todd Redmond on waivers to the Toronto Blue Jays, an industry source confirmed this afternoon. The Blue Jays later announced the claim. They optioned Redmond to Triple-A Buffalo. Redmond, claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds in February, had been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after allowing five runs and eight hits in eight innings this spring.

Pregame nuggets from Showalter

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Nick Markakis hit off a tee, threw and ran this morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, and it went extremely well, according to manager Buck Showalter. Markakis will hit soft toss on Saturday and also run and throw again as he nears a return to the Orioles' lineup. "He's got that grin on his face on his face where you

Orioles lineup against Rays (and notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jonathan Schoop, back from the World Baseball Classic, will start at shortstop today for the Orioles in their 1:05 p.m. game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Ryan Flaherty is starting at third base. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla 2B Trayvon Robinson LF Ryan Flaherty 3B Wilson Betemit 1B Conor Jackson DH Jason Pridie RF Taylor Teagarden C Chris Dickerson CF Jonathan Schoop

Markakis, Tillman and the Rays' lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis stood at his locker this morning, held a bat and took a couple of swings. He didn't have an ice pack on his neck. So far, so good. Markakis, cleared yesterday to begin baseball activities, will hit off a tee and do some light throwing as part of a three- or four-day progression. "That's what I was hoping for," he

Rotating the fifth starter candidates

SARASOTA, Fla. - Let's see if Steve Johnson can counterpunch Jake Arrieta's outing last night. Arrieta didn't allow a run in six innings last night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, striking out nine batters. He hasn't been scored upon in his last 14 2/3 innings. He's struck out 16. Johnson will try to stay in the fifth starter race today against the Tampa Bay Rays in

Markakis cleared for baseball activities (and more from Showalter)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis has been cleared to begin baseball activities after consulting earlier today with spine specialist Dr. Lee Riley. Markakis will hit off a tee and do some light throwing on Friday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex as part of a three- to four-day offensive progression that will lead to his first games since March 1. Manager Buck

Arrieta keeps his scoreless streak alive (game ends 0-0)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta made another strong argument for being named the No. 5 starter. Arrieta blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates on six hits over six innings tonight, walking two batters and striking out nine. He threw 88 pitches, 64 for strikes. Arrieta hasn't allowed a run in his last three starts covering 14 2/3 innings. He's permitted 11 hits and fanned 16

Valencia optioned to Norfolk (Arrieta update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - So much for the Orioles not making any cuts tonight. The club announced that infielder Danny Valencia has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, leaving 44 players in camp, including 12 non-roster invitees. Valencia went 10-for-31 in 17 games this spring. His only home run came in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, breaking a

Showalter "feels good" about Reimold being ready opening day (and notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's been a light news day at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Nobody is complaining. Nolan Reimold is making another start in left field, and manager Buck Showalter remains optimistic that he will be on the 25-man roster on opening day. Reimold had been shut down with soreness in his right shoulder and later was restricted to serving as the designated hitter.

Roberts remains in the lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts will play in his third consecutive game tonight, as the Orioles host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberts fouled a ball off his right ankle in the sixth inning yesterday, but he feels fine and will start at second base. Nolan Reimold is starting in left field. Adam Jones is in center and Lew Ford is in right. For the

Strop talks about his WBC experience (notes added)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Pedro Strop flew from San Francisco to Orlando last night, slept until around noon and raced to the Ed Smith Stadium complex. "I wanted to be here so bad," he said with a big grin. Strop tossed eight scoreless innings for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic and stranded two runners in the championship game. He was clutch. "It

Hearing from Markakis and Gonzalez

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis sat at his locker again today with an ice pack on the back of his neck and his T-shirt pulled over it, giving him a hunched look that is becoming quite familiar. "I'm getting tired of icing," he said. What's worse, the icing or having to talk to reporters every day? "Talking to you guys," he deadpanned.

Markakis and Strop notes, and Pirates lineup (and Roberts update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis, sitting at his locker with another ice pack wrapped on the back of his neck, will speak with spine specialist Dr. Lee Riley later today and hopes to be cleared for baseball activities within the next day or two. Markakis said he has full range of motion in his neck and no pain. Reliever Pedro Strop is back in camp

This, that and the other

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have another home game on the agenda, and it's going to be played under the lights The Pittsburgh Pirates are traveling to Ed Smith Stadium, which means the lights will be bright. Go to their home ballpark and it's like each dugout is given a candle and a box of matches to illuminate the field. Jake Arrieta, Luis Ayala, Tommy

Showalter on Roberts, Britton and McFarland

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he already planned to remove Brian Roberts from today's game in the top of the seventh inning. It wasn't done after the second baseman fouled a ball off his right ankle. Roberts completed his at-bat before Yamaico Navarro replaced him in the field. "Everybody was getting their fourth at-bat," Showalter said. "We'll see. It was a pretty

Roberts fouls ball off ankle, Britton talks about outing (O's win 6-5)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts fouled a ball of his right ankle in the bottom of the sixth inning, bringing head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter out of the dugout. Roberts crouched down in obvious pain, then tried to walk it off. He stayed in the game and struck out, then was replaced by Yamaico Navarro in the top of

Disappointing start for Britton (Roberts gives O's lead)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles wanted to stretch out left-hander Zach Britton to five or six innings today. He didn't make it out of the second. Britton allowed five runs and seven hits, including a homer by Emilio Bonifacio, in 1 2/3 innings. He walked two of the first three batters he faced and struck out one before manager Buck Showalter removed him from the

Orioles make three more roster cuts

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have optioned catcher Luis Exposito to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned pitchers Daniel Schlereth and Adam Russell to minor league camp. Exposito is on the 40-man roster, which is why he's been optioned rather than reassigned. Exposito was 8-for-21 in 14 games, with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs. His work behind the plate was shaky, however, and included

A few pregame notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter may allow infielder Jonathan Schoop to play today instead of waiting until later this week. Showalter talked about giving Schoop the day off, but he could be persuaded to change his mind. Schoop told reporters this morning that he was ready to play after flying back to Florida early this morning from the World Baseball Classic. "If he

McLouth and Robinson switch places in interview

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nate McLouth told me this morning that today's plan calls for him to move back and forth from right field to a fifth-infielder position. Me: "Really??" McLouth: "No." Yeah, he got me. McLouth and Trayvon Robinson switched places in left and center field yesterday through the first six innings of the Orioles' 8-7 win over the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers.

Schoop back in camp and ready to play

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter expected Jonathan Schoop to arrive in camp at 8 a.m. this morning following the infielder's stint in the World Baseball Classic. Instead, Schoop arrived in a cab shortly before 7:30 a.m. Slightly rested, and definitely ready. Schoop said he slept on the plane - his flight arrived in Orlando early this morning - and could play today if

Reimold in left field today

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold has returned to left field and Adam Jones is in center for the Orioles' game against the Toronto Blue Jays today at Ed Smith Stadium. Brian Roberts is playing in back-to-back games, and he's also scheduled to start on Thursday. J.J. Hardy is serving as the designated hitter. The weather could be a factor. There's rain in the forecast. For

This, that and the other

SARASOTA, Fla. The Orioles are home today to play the Toronto Blue Jays, and it's Zach Britton's latest chance to make a push for the last spot in the rotation. Britton allowed only one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings in his last outing against the Boston Red Sox. Brian Matusz went five innings yesterday in Fort Myers. Jake Arrieta went 4 2/3 innings in

Showalter speaks after 8-7 win

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles could make their next round of cuts on Thursday after conducting a noon meeting at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Kevin Gausman will be discussed, along with many others in camp. Gausman struck out three batters, including Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltlamacchia to begin the sixth, in two scoreless innings. "He was good again," said manager Buck Showalter. "You

Game update and latest from Roberts and Matusz (O's win 8-7)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Red Sox scored twice off Daniel Schlereth and had the bases loaded with one out when Adam Russell replaced him. Russell let all three inherited runners score, and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to tie the game 7-7. Schlereth was charged with five runs. He's been scored upon in his last five appearances, allowing nine runs in five innings. Danny Valencia

Robinson switches positions and homers (Matusz and game updates)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Trayvon Robinson started today's game in left field, with Nate McLouth playing in center, but they switched positions in the bottom of the second inning. Robinson led off the top of the third inning with a home run. Coincidence? You be the judge. Robinson went back to left field and McLouth returned to center in the third inning. Now I'm convinced

Notes on Reimold, Jones, Roberts, Schoop and Wada (with quotes)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter has made out his lineup for Wednesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, and it includes Nolan Reimold in left field. Reimold is throwing to the bases today in a drill back in Sarasota. If his right shoulder is fine, he will finally get a start in left. Adam Jones, back from the World Baseball Classic, is listed

Markakis quotes and upcoming pitching schedule

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nick Markakis finished his medicine pack a few days ago, spoke with a team physician yesterday and plans on resuming baseball activities later this week. All positive developments after Markakis was diagnosed with a small herniation in his neck. "He said to check back with him Thursday or Friday and hopefully they'll release me to do some baseball stuff," Markakis said

Roberts on the road (Tillman update and Red Sox lineup)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts will make his first road trip of the spring today when the Orioles travel to Fort Myers to play the Boston Red Sox. Nate McLouth and Chris Davis also are traveling. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Ryan Flaherty SS Nate McLouth CF Chris Davis 1B Wilson Betemit DH Manny Machado 3B Trayvon Robinson LF Taylor Teagarden C

The last cuts are the deepest

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles dive back into their Grapefruit League schedule today, and they're heading down I-75 south toward Fort Myers for the third time in nine games. Brian Matusz gets the start against the Boston Red Sox, who are sending Ryan Dempster to the mound. Matusz's last start also came in Fort Myers, though he faced the Minnesota Twins. He tossed four scoreless

Chen throws five innings at the minor league complex

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles provided Wei-Yin Chen with five innings today and a lesson in facing low-level minor league hitters. Chen took on a lineup filled with Tampa Bay Rays Single-A players in a light, steady rain at Twin Lakes Park. He allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits, with one walk, two strikeouts and one hit batter. The Orioles kept him on

A take on Givens

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are off today, which means something is going on someplace else. The Ed Smith Stadium complex is closed, but the real action will take place over at Twin Lake Park, where Wei-Yin Chen is scheduled to pitch five innings in a Single-A game. I'll try to control my breathing. Chen is tucked away at the minor league complex again so

The McFarland debate

SARASOTA, Fla. - Before the Orioles decide whether to keep Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland, they must figure out where to pitch him during these final weeks in camp. "There's two thoughts," explained manager Buck Showalter. "Do you pitch him against teams up here and let scouts see him so they claim him? Do you hide him out, but not get a proper evaluation and

Orioles option Hoes after game in Clearwater (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles optioned outfielder LJ Hoes to Triple-A Norfolk today after he collected a hit and an RBI against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. Hoes, 23, was 8-for-25 this spring. The cut leaves the Orioles with 48 players in their major league camp. "I'll tell you the thing I was most impressed with was how far he's come defensively," said manager Buck

Game update and quotes from Steve Johnson (O's win 7-1)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving him two more hits on the spring, and Lew Ford drove in two runs with a single in the sixth. Orioles 7, Twins 0. Two of the club's hottest hitters have stepped up again today. Wieters is 12-for-24 with three homers and 12 RBIs. Ford

Wieters keeps swinging a hot bat (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Matt Wieters seems to get most of the attention for his work behind the plate, but has anyone noticed what he's doing beside it? Wieters singled leading off the bottom of the second inning today and later scored the game's first run on Chris Dickerson's infield hit. Wieters is 11-for-22 with two doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs and six runs scored

Reimold's return to left field delayed few more days (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold won't return to left field until Wednesday or Thursday, according to manager Buck Showalter. Reimold will continue to work out in the field. "He's really going to let it go and see how he responds," Showalter said. Adam Jones will return to the lineup on Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays in Sarasota. Brian Roberts, Chris Davis and Nate McLouth

Notes on Tillman, Reimold and Valencia

SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Tillman threw 36 pitches in two innings yesterday at Twin Lakes Park and said he "felt great." No more discomfort in his abdomen. "Physically, I felt great. No problems pitching at all. Good to go," he said. The rest of his schedule remains unclear. "I don't know where we're going from here," he said. "I haven't talked to anybody yet." Nolan

Bundy views time in camp as "another step for me"

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy is sitting at his locker this morning. He's still in camp, but not for long. The Orioles optioned Bundy to Double-A Bowie yesterday, which requires him to report to Twin Lakes Park and prepare to pitch for the Baysox. "Obviously, I didn't break camp, so I need to go down there and get more innings in and hopefully build up

Orioles lineups for split-squad games

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are posting two lineups today because they're playing two games. They're home against the Minnesota Twins - a game that will air on MASN - and in Clearwater to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. For the Orioles at home: Brian Roberts 2B Manny Machado 3B Nate McLouth CF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy SS Conor Jackson DH

Now it's Steve Johnson's turn

SARASOTA, Fla. - Now that Jake Arrieta has thrown 8 2/3 scoreless innings in his last two starts, Steve Johnson gets his chance today to complicate manager Buck Showalter's decision regarding the back end of the rotation. Arrieta most likely has become the favorite for the job, though he's still prone to falling behind in the count. The Orioles need him to throw more strikes.

Bundy move expected and unexpected

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today's announcement that that Orioles optioned Dylan Bundy to Double-A Bowie was inevitable. It just didn't appear to be imminent. The Orioles weren't going to plug Bundy into their rotation or bullpen coming out of spring training. He's been projected to begin the 2013 season with the Baysox. It's been written here all winter and before the open of camp. The rotation

More on Gonzalez's outing, McFarland's improvement and Wada's recovery

SARASOTA, Fla. - No sign of Adam Jones in the clubhouse this morning following Team USA's elimination last night in the World Baseball Classic. Manager Buck Showalter had indicated that he would give Jones a few days off. Chris Tillman will throw two innings today at Twin Lakes Park, his first game action since being scratched from his last start because of abdominal soreness. He

Reimold at DH, Martinez making trip

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold will serve as the designated hitter again today, as the Orioles travel to Dunedin for a third time this spring to play the Toronto Blue Jays. Catcher Luis Martinez, who had been sidelined by a strained left oblique, is making the trip. Manager Buck Showalter wants to give him some innings and evaluate him. Taylor Teagarden is starting behind the

Now it's Arrieta's turn

SARASOTA, Fla. - The competition for the last spot in the Orioles rotation heats up again today with Jake Arrieta taking the mound against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Everyone here would appreciate a little heat. We're enduring another chilly morning, which brings little sympathy from my friends up north. Arrieta was fantastic in his last start, blanking the Pittsburgh Pirates on two hits,

Orioles trade Michael Flacco, more from today's game

SARASOTA, Fla. - You can't keep the Flaccos out of the news these days. The Orioles announced this afternoon that they traded minor league infielder Michael Flacco to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations or a player to be named later. His brother, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco recently signed a six-year contract worth $120.6 million that made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

More on Roberts and Britton (Flaherty homers for 3-3 tie)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts was thrown out trying to steal second base after his RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. He went into the bag feet-first. Let that be a lesson. Roberts' single tied the game, 1-1, and followed Bryce Brentz's home run off Luis Ayala that briefly gave Boston the lead. Ayala struck out one batter. Roberts is 2-for-3 today

Roberts takes a dive (Britton update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts doesn't think about how he's going to approach second base on a steal attempt. It just happens. Roberts dived into the bag in the bottom of the first inning, as he normally does, for his first stolen base of the spring. He had singled with one out, his ninth hit in 25 at-bats. The Orioles need to find out whether

Showalter still undecided on leadoff hitter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nate McLouth is leading off and playing center field today, with Brian Roberts batting second. In other games, Roberts has hit first and McLouth has batted second or lower. Roberts has been the Orioles' leadoff hitter when healthy, but manager Buck Showalter claims that he hasn't made a decision for this season. It could be Roberts, McLouth or Nick Markakis. Nolan Reimold

Looking ahead at the pitching schedule

SARASOTA, Fla. - Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to throw four innings today at the minor league complex at Twin Lakes Park. Manager Buck Showalter prefers to keep his projected starters away from the Orioles' division rivals, though there's plenty of video floating around these days. Zach Britton, T.J. McFarland, Luis Ayala and Mark Hendrickson will pitch today against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith

Orioles lineup against the Red Sox and Tillman update (and more)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nate McLouth will lead off and play center field today against the Boston Red Sox. Brian Roberts is batting second. Wilson Betemit, who started at third base yesterday, is the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Nate McLouth CF Brian Roberts 2B Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy SS Wilson Betemit DH Manny Machado 3B Chris Dickerson RF Lew Ford LF

Spring training leftovers for breakfast

SARASOTA, Fla. - Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro is one of the many connections made by executive vice president Dan Duquette that may pay off for the Orioles. Niekro is working for the Orioles as a consultant of sorts, as he mentors knuckleballer Zach Staniewicz at the Twin Lakes Park complex. Long story short: The Orioles signed Staniewicz, 26, after Niekro recommended him to

More on Clayton Tanner signing

SARASOTA, Fla. - Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed that the Orioles signed Clayton Tanner to a minor league deal and will assign him to Twin Lakes Park, where he will attempt to land a job at Double-A Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk. "He should be in town soon," Duquette said. Tanner, 25, signed the deal on Sunday, after the Orioles received permission from the Australian

Showalter speaks after 4-3 loss

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter didn't dispute the call from home plate umpire John Hirschbeck that allowed Tampa Bay's Wil Myers to score in the ninth inning and break a 3-3 tie. Catcher Luis Exposito was charged with interference, and an error, for using his mask to corral the ball. The issue for Showalter is the lack of intent. Exposito wasn't gaining an advantage

Orioles sign Clayton Tanner to minor league deal, O's lose 4-3

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have signed left-hander Clayton Tanner to a minor league deal after scouting him with Australia in the World Baseball Classic. Tanner, 25, is a former third-round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. He was 0-2 with an 8.40 ERA and 50 hits allowed in 30 innings over 12 games, including four starts, with Triple-A

Game update and Gausman on his outing (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer off Tampa Bay's Juan Sandoval in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game 3-3. Nolan Reimold singled and Nate McLouth drew his second walk before Wieters launched a ball over the center field fence. Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day each tossed a scoreless inning. Johnson allowed a leadoff single and O'Day gave up

Gausman charged with two runs (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Kevin Gausman couldn't build on his impressive outing in Fort Myers. Gausman was charged with two runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays in his first start of the spring. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out two. Manager Buck Showalter took the ball from Gausman after Evan Longoria's RBI double with two outs in the

Orioles reassign Romero and Gil

SARASOTA, Fla. - Now I can finally say it. Goodbye, Niuman. The Orioles have reassigned infielder Niuman Romero and catcher Jose Gil to their minor league camp, two cuts that manager Buck Showalter alluded to earlier today while meeting with reporters during batting practice. The moves leave the Orioles with 51 players in major league camp, including 14 non-roster invitees. Romero was 4-for-11 this spring.

Wada ready to increase his baseball activity

SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada threw in the bullpen today and is ready to take the next significant step in his quest to join the Orioles' staff. He's no longer throwing only to prove that he's recovered from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow. The focus is shifting in a positive direction. It's about pitching now, not his recovery. "The rehab part of it is

McCutchen giving hitters a new look

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Daniel McCutchen was startled when he turned around at his locker this morning and found three reporters waiting to interview him. He probably wondered whether he had been cut. McCutchen has flown under the media radar this spring as a non-roster pitcher invited to camp, but he's gaining attention after the Orioles convinced him to lower his arm slot. Factor in

Orioles lineup against Rays

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado is out of the lineup today after making the trip to Fort Myers for last night's 9-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Wilson Betemit is starting at third base today against Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays. Nolan Reimold is batting second and serving as the designated hitter. Conor Jackson is in right field while Nick Markakis continues to

While waiting for the lineup...

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles haven't posted their lineup and the players who made the trip to Fort Myers yesterday aren't required to report until 11 a.m. Nick Markakis has an ice pack on the back of his neck with his T-shirt over it, giving him a hunchback look. It's menacing. Tsuyoshi Wada will throw off a regular mound again today. His left arm continues

Orioles are up in arms

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's a shame that cell phone cameras aren't permitted inside the clubhouse, because Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman provided a great photo opportunity for the media before yesterday's workout at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The two top pitching prospects in the organization, back-to-back fourth overall picks in the First-Year Player Draft, stood at opposite ends of the bumper billiards table, bent

Recapping the Orioles' 9-4 victory

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Well, that was an interesting ninth inning. The Orioles scored six runs in the top half, and Chris Petrini survived two walks in the bottom half to finally put this game to bed. Orioles 9, Twins 4. Niuman Romero's single tied the game 4-4, and Kyle Hudson's single put the Orioles in front. Steve Pearce had a sacrifice fly, Yamaico Navarro

Matusz almost perfect in four innings (O's win 9-4)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter stretched out Brian Matusz to four innings tonight, and the left-hander responded by allowing only one baserunner and causing the Minnesota Twins to mostly swing at air. Matusz struck out seven of the 13 batters that he faced. He walked one - Josh Willingham with two outs in the fourth - and didn't allow a ball out

Gausman starts Thursday, Matusz a strikeout machine, Robinson on WBC (updated)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Kevin Gausman will start Thursday afternoon's game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium, with Dylan Bundy pitching in relief. It's the reverse of how they were used against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers. Chris Tillman will throw a bullpen session on Thursday and batting practice on Saturday. Miguel Gonzalez will make his next start on Friday

Pregame quotes from Showalter

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter still hasn't revealed whether Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman will start Thursday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays in Sarasota. Showalter will check with pitching coach Rick Adair and let us know following tonight's game against the Minnesota Twins. Showalter noticed that Nick Markakis was feeling much better today, easily turning his head from side to side

Pitching notes and Twins lineup (updated)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Minnesota Twins are taking batting practice now while the Orioles gather in the visiting clubhouse at Hammond Stadium for their last road night game of the spring. The Orioles still haven't named a starter for Thursday afternoon's game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Sarasota. It's Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman. I bet we can pry the answer out of

Markakis "optimistic" about opening day

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is back in camp today and pain-free after being examined yesterday by spine specialist Dr. Lee Riley at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Markakis is taking a medicine pack for another six days to alleviate the discomfort in his neck caused by a small herniated disc, and is hopeful that he'll be on the field in a week or

Orioles lineup against Twins

SARASOTA, Fla. - Taylor Teagarden gets the start behind the plate, as expected, for tonight's game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers. Ryan Flaherty will get another look at shortstop, with Alexi Casilla playing second base. Manny Machado is making another trip, getting the start at third base. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla 2B Ryan Flaherty SS Manny Machado 3B Jason Pridie LF Taylor

Today's game and yesterday's news on Markakis

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's back to Fort Myers and back under the lights tonight, as the Orioles visit the Minnesota Twins for a 7:05 p.m. game at Hammond Stadium. Brian Matusz will make the start after three two-inning appearances. He's allowed three runs - all against the Tampa Bay Rays on March 2 - and six hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. Tommy Hunter

Notes off today's intrasquad game

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles continue to dodge the raindrops in today's intrasquad game on the Camden Yards field. Jason Hammel went four innings, allowing two runs and five hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. Jair Jurrjens went three innings, allowing one run and two hits, with no walks and eight strikeouts. He stayed on the mound in the second inning to record a

Markakis has small disc herniation (with quotes and note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis has been diagnosed with a small disc herniation in his neck. He flew to Baltimore today to be examined by spine specialist Dr. Lee Riley at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is expected to return to camp Wednesday. The slight tear, discovered yesterday after he underwent an MRI, is located in C4-C5, according to manager Buck Showalter. The

Interested in intrasquad?

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today is technically an off-day for the Orioles, which means that manager Buck Showalter scheduled something for them to do. Not all of them. Most of the position players can hit the links or the beach. But Jason Hammel and Jair Jurrjens will start in the 10:30 a.m. intrasquad game that Showalter arranged on the Camden Yards field. Steve Johnson, Troy Patton,

Markakis update and postgame quotes

BRADENTON, Fla. - Well, it's not much of an update, but Nick Markakis had an MRI on his neck this afternoon and the Orioles will examine the results later tonight. The club isn't expected to pass along the results until Tuesday morning. Also, Zach Britton will take off three days and make Friday's start against the Boston Red Sox in Sarasota. Britton only went two

Arrieta reflects on outing (O's lose 4-3)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Left-hander Zach Britton gave up an RBI double to Josh Harrison in the bottom of the seventh inning to reduce the Orioles' lead to 3-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jake Arrieta stepped outside the clubhouse while icing his right arm and met with reporters. Here's a sampling: On how he felt about his start: "Overall, I liked the outing. I started out

Ford cruising in Grapefruit League (Arrieta update)

BRADENTON, Fla. - You can't stop Lew Ford. You can only hope to contain him. Ford is 2-for-2 today with a single and home run, and the Orioles have taken a 2-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. Ford, re-signed to a minor league deal over the winter, is now 11-for-19 with two home runs this spring. The Orioles scored in the second

Roberts remains confident that he will play on opening day

BRADENTON, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts remains convinced that he will be in the opening day lineup on April 2, his body holding up under every test this spring. "Everything's been great," he said this morning. "It's been nice to get out, play and just kind of be normal again and be like everybody else. We're having a good time and everybody seems to

Notes on tomorrow's intrasquad game and more (with quotes)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Jason Hammel and Jair Jurrjens will be the starters for Tuesday morning's intrasquad game on the Camden Yards field at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The game will last eight to 10 innings, weather permitting. Rain is in the forecast, which would force some pitchers to throw indoors. Nolan Reimold, Wilson Betemit and Taylor Teagarden will bat each inning. Betemit, who's 1-for-17

Avery, Clark and Belfiore optioned to Triple-A Norfolk (and note)

BRADENTON, Fla. - The Orioles made three roster moves before today's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, optioning outfielder Xavier Avery and pitchers Zach Clark and Mike Belfiore to Triple-A Norfolk. They will report to the Twin Lakes Park complex until the Tides' season starts. Avery went 2-for-11 with two RBIs in 12 games. He never had a chance to make the 25-man roster with an

Orioles lineup against the Pirates (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are keeping their regulars at the Ed Smith Stadium complex while they travel to Bradenton to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. Alexi Casilla is leading off again and playing shortstop, with Yamaico Navarro getting the start at second base. Conor Jackson will play first base instead of the outfield. Steve Pearce is the designated hitter. Taylor Teagarden originally was supposed to

Looking ahead to the Pirates and back at McFarland

SARASOTA, Fla. - I've gotten out of bed the last two mornings, it's been dark and chilly, and I've felt as though I should be walking to the bus stop. I need that hour back. The Orioles should want their lives back. They're making a third trip to Bradenton, where they'll pretend that they haven't memorized the Pittsburgh Pirates' entire camp roster. They'll get another

Hearing from Showalter and Flaherty after 5-2 loss

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter took the windy conditions into account today while critiquing starter Miguel Gonzalez. "We counted five outs he got that the conditions changed," Showalter said following a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. "Five outs - you know, a couple foul balls that would have been caught that were blown out." Gonzalez was victimized by Nate McLouth's error in

Teagarden replaces Wieters behind the plate (O's lose 5-2)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden is off the injury list and back on the field. Teagarden replaced Matt Wieters behind the plate in the top of the seventh inning, his first appearance since being shut down with tightness in his lower back. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters a few days ago that Teagarden most likely would return to the lineup on Monday. Teagarden

Rough second inning for Gonzalez (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The box score shows Miguel Gonzalez with one earned run allowed in two innings this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The scoreboard has the Orioles trailing 4-0. Gonzalez labored in the second inning, facing eight batters and allowing all four of his hits, along with a walk. Nate McLouth lost his footing on a fly ball down the left field line for

Pregame Showalter and pitching notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter offered his support of minor league catcher Chris Robinson, who was directly involved in yesterday's brawl between Canada and Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Robinson drew the ire of Mexico's players for bunting in the ninth inning with his team ahead 9-3, but run differential is a tie-breaker in the WBC. When someone joked about Robinson being

Orioles lineup against the Pirates (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado has returned to the Orioles lineup for today's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium. Brian Roberts is leading off. Ryan Flaherty is starting in right field. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nate McLouth LF Matt Wieters C Chris Davis 1B Wilson Betemit DH J.J. Hardy SS Chris Dickerson CF Manny Machado 3B Ryan Flaherty RF Miguel

Markakis and Tillman updates

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis confirmed that he will undergo an MRI on his neck Monday morning, saying that it's being done as a precaution and his condition isn't believed to be serious. Chris Tillman confirmed that he was scratched from today's start because of soreness on his left side that doesn't involve his oblique. Let's start with Markakis. "I think it's probably more of

The good and the bad from Saturday

SARASOTA, Fla. - Kevin Gausman dazzled the Orioles and Tsuyoshi Wada encouraged them. Glass half-full. Nick Markakis will undergo an MRI on his neck, Dylan Bundy's velocity is down and Chris Tillman has been scratched from today's start with abdominal soreness. Glass half-empty. We had lots to discuss and debate yesterday. Who knew a trip to Fort Myers could bring so much information and angst?

Tillman scratched from Sunday start (and more from Showalter)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The nagging injuries in Orioles camp have claimed another victim. Chris Tillman was scratched from Sunday's start against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Sarasota because of abdominal soreness, according to manager Buck Showalter, who met with reporters following tonight's 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Miguel Gonzalez, who was supposed to follow Tillman to the mound, will make the start. Tillman,

Bundy and Gausman reflect on their outings (O's win 5-2)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Dylan Bundy returned to the ballpark tonight where he debuted in the Grapefruit League last spring. He won't leave here feeling all warm and fuzzy. Bundy wasn't pleased with his performance for the Orioles tonight. The two walks in two innings. Only 18 strikes among his 35 pitches. The drop in velocity. "Two walks. I'm never happy with that," he said.

Bundy completes his start (with Gausman update)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Dylan Bundy was tagged with an unearned run tonight in his two innings against the Boston Red Sox. Bundy allowed one hit, a two-out double by Mitch Maier in the second, walked two and struck out one. His fastball was mostly 90-92 mph, according to the NESN radar gun readings. The run scored when right fielder Conor Jackson had trouble picking

The WBC brawl, Machado, Canzler, Wada and the intrasquad game

FORT MYERS, Fla. - So, anything interesting happen today in the World Baseball Classic? Reporters here were glued to the press box televisions as the brawl unfolded between Canada and Mexico, and Orioles farmhand Chris Robinson was directly involved in it. Robinson bunted for a hit with Canada leading 9-3 in the ninth. I'm pretty sure that's a violation of baseball's unwritten rule. Also, Robinson

Markakis to undergo MRI on Monday

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles have scheduled an MRI on Monday for right fielder Nick Markakis to determine the cause of his neck stiffness. Markakis didn't show much improvement today - he wakes up each morning with the same discomfort - and the Orioles have arranged an examination. "Just to be on the safe side," said manager Buck Showalter. Markakis hasn't played since March

A few more notes before batting practice

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles are in the market for a catcher to improve their depth in the minor league system. Matt Wieters is entrenched as the starter, of course, and a healthy Taylor Teagarden will serve as his backup. But there are some concerns beyond those two backstops. That's one reason why manager Buck Showalter is eager to take a look at Luis

Orioles will play intrasquad game on Tuesday

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter has filled one of the open dates on the Grapefruit League schedule by arranging an intrasquad game Tuesday. The club hasn't announced a time or whether it will be played at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, but it will provide innings for a handful of pitchers. Jason Hammel, Steve Johnson, Mike Wright, Jair Jurrjens, Eduardo Rodriguez, Troy

Orioles and Red Sox lineups

SARASOTA, Fla. - Russ Canzler is getting a start at third base tonight, as the Orioles travel to Fort Myers to play the Boston Red Sox. Danny Valencia moves over to first base. Nolan Reimold is again serving as the designated hitter, batting third tonight ahead of Conor Jackson. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla SS Lew Ford CF Nolan Reimold DH Conor Jackson RF Steve

Bundy and Gausman on display tonight

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will be playing under the lights again. They love the night life, they've got to boogie. It's worth the trek to Fort Myers to watch Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman pitch against the Boston Red Sox. This will be the first time they've appeared in the same game this spring. Gausman has been a day behind. Manager Buck Showalter decided

Wrapping up a 6-3 victory

BRADENTON, Fla. - Troy Patton threw two scoreless innings to pick up the save tonight in the Orioles' 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Patton hadn't gone more than 1 1/3 innings in his first three outings. "He feels good physically," said manager Buck Showalter. "Tonight was a good opportunity." Brian Matusz also tossed two scoreless innings against the Pirates and did more throwing in

Chen leaves with lead after 2 1/3 innings (O's win 6-3)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen was charged with his first earned run this spring while he sat on the bench. Tommy Hunter let an inherited runner score on Pedro Alvarez's single with two outs in the third, cutting the Orioles' lead to 4-2. Chen also permitted an unearned run in his 2 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. He allowed one hit,

Markakis won't play Sunday

BRADENTON, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis won't be in Sunday's lineup against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium because of continuing stiffness in his neck. Markakis' neck tightened up again yesterday while he played with his kids, according to manager Buck Showalter. He's better today - basically back to where he was two days ago - but the Orioles aren't taking any

Updates on Wada, Machado, Teagarden (pitching and contract notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada threw on one of the back fields today. Manny Machado is getting dressed for the workout, no evidence of swelling in his face after yesterday's root canal. Taylor Teagarden is preparing to take batting practice and catch bullpen sessions, the discomfort in his lower back fading. Never hurts to check. "I was pretty much a full participant in yesterday's workout

Orioles lineup against Pirates and injury notes (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Xavier Avery gets the start in center field tonight, as the Orioles travel to Bradenton to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wilson Betemit will start at third base, with Manny Machado skipping the trip. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla SS Ryan Flaherty 2B Wilson Betemit 3B Jason Pridie DH Travis Ishikawa 1B Trayvon Robinson LF Chris Dickerson RF Jose Gil C Xavier Avery

Tonight's game, McFarland and Ripken

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are heading back to Bradenton tonight, where their first attempt to play the Pirates was washed away by rain. I drove there, set up in the press box, met with manager Buck Showalter in his office, watched him examine the outfield with the umpires, and drove back to my hotel. I still tingle over the memory. We have a night

Orioles make four cuts with one more pending (de San Miguel also cut)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have reassigned pitchers Mike Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez and Zach Braddock, and catcher Luis Martinez to minor league camp. One more player will be cut today, but manager Buck Showalter hadn't informed him. Wright allowed one run and three hits today. Braddock still hasn't pitched after undergoing surgery last summer to repair a torn labrum, but he's finally been cleared to

Hammel and more from Ripken (Flaherty with walk-off homer)

SARASOTA, Fla. - There's a strong wind blowing out to left field, which makes it a typical day here at Ed Smith Stadium. And pretty much every ballpark in the state of Florida. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but I've witnessed the same thing in Dunedin, Bradenton, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers ... you name it. Mike Wright surrendered a run in the fifth

Game update and (more) Ripken quotes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jason Hammel didn't complete the third inning today, leaving after 2 1/3 with the score tied 1-1. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out four. Mark Hendrickson replaced Hammel with two runners on base, issued a two-out walk and escaped the jam. The Orioles scored five runs in the bottom of the third to take a 6-1 lead. Toronto committed

Orioles continue to scout Dodgers pitchers (Reimold homers)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have been scouting Los Angels Dodgers pitchers Aaron Harang, Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano, figuring that at least one of them will become available in a trade. The Dodgers' rotation is overflowing and the Orioles haven't closed the door on acquiring another veteran starter, though there's no shortage of arms in their camp. Harang, 34, went 10-10 with a 3.61

Notes on Machado, Reimold, Bundy, Wada and more (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado is starting at third base again today, but he will have a root canal later this afternoon. Manager Buck Showalter will remove him from the game after a few at-bats. Getting Machado out of the lineup this spring has been like pulling teeth, so it seems appropriate. Machado won't make the trip to Bradenton on Friday, but he will likely

O'Day reflects on yesterday

SARASOTA, Fla. - The next time reliever Darren O'Day pitches in a spring training game, he doesn't expect the Orioles to hold a 13-run lead against a largely anonymous opponent in winds that could lift a house off its foundation. O'Day made his spring debut yesterday against Team Spain and allowed two runs and three hits in the seventh inning. "The goal yesterday was to

Orioles' lineup against the Blue Jays (and Toronto lineup)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles' outfield for today's game against the Toronto Blue Jays will consist of Steve Pearce in left field, Nate McLouth in center and Conor Jackson in right. Nolan Reimold is batting leadoff and again serving as the designated hitter. He may return to the outfield on Sunday. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold DH Brian Roberts 2B Conor Jackson RF Matt Wieters

Game, cuts and Cal

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles' regulars go back to work today. They've basically been given a three-day reprieve. No game on Monday, a road game on Tuesday, a minor league workout yesterday disguised as a game against Team Spain. The Orioles remain in Sarasota today, and they're playing the Toronto Blue Jays for the third time this spring - and the first away from Dunedin.

Jim Johnson on his first outing of 2013

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today's game between the Orioles and Team Spain lasted 3 hours, 40 minutes. Jim Johnson was only responsible for part of it. Johnson, making his first appearance this spring, allowed an unearned run and one hit in the eighth inning. His appearance was brief compared to many others on this blustery day. "I got a couple fastballs up," he said. "Other than

More from today's game and Urrutia (O's win 19-7)

SARASOTA, Fla. - This game is moving too quickly for me to track. Seriously though, Niuman Romero had an RBI single in the fifth and Zach Britton gave up another run in the sixth - his third of the day in two innings. Adrian Marin bounced an RBI single into left field with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the sixth,

Hearing from Arrieta and Urrutia

SARASOTA, Fla. - Zach Britton allowed two runs and two hits, with one walk, in the top of the fifth inning. The good news: He won't face Team Spain during the regular season. The Orioles lead 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jake Arrieta said he took a step forward today after allowing one unearned run in three innings. "Sometimes throughout the week

Game update and Showalter quotes (Canzler homers again)

SARASOTA, Fla. - We're going to be here a while. The Orioles sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning and took a 3-0 lead over Team Spain, which removed its starter, former Orioles farmhand, Richard Salazar, with one out in the second. Russ Canzler belted a three-run homer after Yamaico Navarro singled and Steve Pearce walked. Danny Valencia had

A few quick hits before the first pitch (with Duquette quotes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles made Cuban defector Henry Urrutia available to the media today, and I'll pass along his quotes later this afternoon. Urrutia actually attended the Orioles' game in Cuba back in 1999. He sat in the stands as a 12-year-old. Urrutia's childhood hero was Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams, and he would like to wear No. 51 with the Orioles. Fred Ferreira also

Pearce welcomes the competition (with Spain's lineup and note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Steve Pearce is back in the lineup today, starting at first base against Team Spain. Conor Jackson most likely will come off the bench. Yes, they're being paired up again in this blog entry. Pearce homered twice yesterday, giving him three this spring to go with nine RBIs. He's collected six hits in 11 at-bats. "I feel great at the plate, having

Injury updates

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis isn't in the lineup again today, which comes as no surprise, and he told a couple of reporters this morning that he will "probably rule out tomorrow." Markakis was scratched from Sunday's lineup because of stiffness in his neck. The Orioles are home again on Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays. They have back-to-back road night games Friday against the

Orioles lineup versus Team Spain

SARASOTA, Fla. - As expected, manager Buck Showalter is sitting most of his regulars for today's game against Team Spain. Nolan Reimold is leading off and serving as the Orioles' designated hitter. Steve Pearce is in the lineup, but Conor Jackson is not. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold DH Yamaico Navarro SS Steve Pearce 1B Russ Canzler RF Danny Valencia 3B Trayvon Robinson LF LJ

Can Jackson and Pearce co-exist on 25-man roster?

SARASOTA, Fla. - As the Orioles file into the Ed Smith Stadium complex this morning and head to the dining area for breakfast, I fully expect Conor Jackson and Steve Pearce to arm wrestle for the last Pop-Tart. Two out of three falls to determine who gets turkey bacon and who gets the regular stuff. Jackson and Pearce aren't the only players in camp competing

Orioles postgame chatter following 6-6 tie

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Conor Jackson singled, doubled and homered today. Steve Pearce homered twice and drove in three runs. Those two performances stood out the most in the Orioles' 6-6, 10-inning tie with the Toronto Blue Jays. "I feel good," Jackson said. "I'm swinging at strikes and getting ahead in counts and not getting behind and getting good pitches to hit and taking advantage of

Hearing from Johnson and Jurrjens (game ends in 6-6 tie)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - The wind is blowing out to left field, and the Orioles are taking full advantage of it. Conor Jackson's home run didn't need much help. He crushed the ball. The Orioles have 14 hits in seven innings, three more than the Toronto Blue Jays, and they continue to lead, 6-5. Kevin Gausman's fastball was hitting 97 mph in the bottom of the

Jackson and Pearce continue to rake (updated twice)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Conor Jackson and Steve Pearce basically are competing for the same job this spring, along with a handful of other players who fit a similar profile - right-handed bat off the bench who can play first base, left field and serve as the designated hitter. Jackson reached on an infield hit in the top of the second inning today and scored on

Orioles to honor Earl Weaver on April 20 (updated)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - The Orioles announced this morning that they will host a public celebration of life for Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. at Camden Yards. The program, "A Celebration of Earl," will include a video tribute and a collection of notable guest speakers, including manager Buck Showalter, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Rick Dempsey, Hall of Fame

Reimold serving as designated hitter today (and Bundy update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold is back in the Orioles' lineup today, batting third and serving as the designated hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Reimold has been receiving treatment for a sore right shoulder. He homered in his last at-bat before being shut down. Conor Jackson, who homered twice Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies, is batting fourth and playing first base. For

Not done with Dunedin (and Schoop video)

SARASOTA, Fla. - On the road again. The Orioles are making their second trip to Dunedin to play the Toronto Blue Jays, who apparently can't find their way to Sarasota. Actually, they'll be here Thursday, but I'm on a roll, so don't stop me. Steve Johnson gets today's start, with manager Buck Showalter deciding to slot him ahead of Jair Jurrjens. Johnson originally was supposed

Orioles replacing warning track at Camden Yards

SARASOTA, Fla. - You may notice something different about Camden Yards when the Orioles play their home opener against the Minnesota Twins on April 5. Check out the warning track, which no longer will be made of a synthetic material. The track is being replaced with a natural surface made out of a crushed stone. The color has been designed to match the brick throughout

Hobgood throws off mound and other scenes from minor league camp (and note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Ed Smith Stadium complex is closed today, but there's plenty of action at Twin Lakes Park, where minor league pitchers and catchers are working out. Position players who reported to the early camp also took the field today - guys that manager Buck Showalter wanted to be ready in case they were needed in Grapefruit League games. Matt Hobgood, the fifth

Conor Jackson's trying to add another chapter to his comeback story

SARASOTA, Fla. - It seems like only yesterday that Conor Jackson was stressing over the amount of days he remained idle in camp because of a sore lower back. He's signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Guys like him can't afford to spend the bulk of their time on the injury report instead of in the lineup. "You can't

Postgame notes and quotes following 12-3 victory

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy was scheduled to pitch today, but he was held out of the game because of "groin spasms," according to manager Buck Showalter. It's nothing serious. Showalter said it wasn't anything that Bundy couldn't have pitched with if the club needed him on the mound, but again, it's spring training and there's no reason to push anyone. Bundy probably won't pitch

Gonzalez on his outing, game update and leftover notes (O's win 12-3)

SARASOTA, Fla. - No wonder today had a special feel for Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez. He reminded reporters that he hadn't thrown in a major league exhibition game since 2007, when the Angels summoned him from minor league camp. Gonzalez didn't make it to the Ed Smith Stadium complex last spring, and he didn't join an affiliate when the minor league season began in April.

Gonzalez with successful debut, Tillman talks about outing (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Making his first appearance of the spring today, Miguel Gonzalez tossed two scoreless innings while facing only six batters. Gonzalez struck out the first two batters on a total of six pitches. Cesar Hernandez walked with two outs, but he was thrown out trying to steal. Gonzalez made short work of the Phillies in the fifth inning, getting a bouncer in front

Roberts stays hot, Orioles hit back-to-back home runs (Tillman update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts followed his 3-for-3 game on Friday with a single today in the bottom of the first inning. That's four straight hits for Roberts, the latest being a line drive into right field off Philadelphia's Kyle Kendrick. Chris Davis also singled, and Matt Wieters launched an opposite-field three-run homer to left, the wind definitely providing an assist as

Markakis out of lineup because of neck spasms

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis woke up this morning with spasms in his neck, causing manager Buck Showalter to adjust his lineup for today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Markakis apparently "slept wrong," according to Showalter, and had difficulty turning his head. The Orioles examined Markakis this morning to make sure there was nothing structurally wrong. "We checked him out and it's

Reimold expected back in lineup Tuesday (with quotes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Outfielder Nolan Reimiold, who left Friday's game in the second inning with a sore right shoulder after hitting a home run, is scheduled to serve as the Orioles' designated hitter Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Reimold said the soreness only surfaces when he attempts to throw - mostly on his follow-through - and he hasn't been doing any upper-body

Orioles and Phillies lineups (and note on today's meeting)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nate McLouth is leading off and playing center field in Adam Jones' absence, and Brian Roberts is batting second for today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Conor Jackson is serving as the designated hitter. He's getting extended playing time and manager Buck Showalter has been impressed by him. Nolan Reimold remains out of the lineup while dealing with a sore right shoulder.

Today's game and Tuesday's intrigue

SARASOTA, Fla. - Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, is making the rounds again this spring, and he's scheduled to stop by the Ed Smith Stadium complex this morning. This is an annual visit, which closes the clubhouse to the media. Players won't be available until after today's 1:05 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Chris Tillman will make

News and notes following a 4-1 loss to the Rays (and quotes)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Orioles lost their second exhibition game of 2013, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 at Charlotte Sports Park. The Orioles brought only one projected starter, third baseman Manny Machado. Don't judge them too harshly. Tommy Hunter recovered from the Sean Rodriguez home run and Ben Zobrist single to retire the last six batters he faced. Left-hander Troy Patton retired

Chen on Chen (updated)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Tommy Hunter entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the first batter he faced, Sean Rodriguez, lined a home run to right field. Tampa Bay 4, Orioles 0. Rodriguez was 0-for-12 this spring before the homer. Alexi Casilla reached on an infield hit in the top of the sixth, but he was thrown out trying to steal

Chen impressive in debut (Matusz gives up back-to-back home runs)

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Wei-Yin Chen worked two scoreless innings today in his Grapefruit League debut, allowing two singles on ground balls up the middle. Chen threw 23 pitches, 17 for strikes. Left-hander Brian Matusz began to warm in the Orioles' bullpen as Chen took the mound for the second inning. Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist singled to center field leading off the bottom of the

Orioles and Rays lineups (Reimold and Schoop updates)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado is making another road trip today, batting third against Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb. Jason Pridie is playing right field and batting cleanup. Xavier Avery is starting in left field and batting ninth. Yes, most of the regulars are staying in Sarasota. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla 2B Ryan Flaherty SS Manny Machado 3B Jason Pridie RF Chris Dickerson

Quick hits on Reimold, Wada and McFarland

SARASOTA, Fla. - Who's up for another road trip? The Orioles are heading to Port Charlotte this morning to play the Tampa Bay Rays. It's a nice facility with a press box that seats about three reporters from the visiting media - with two obstructed views. But everything else about the place is fairly impressive. Wei-Yin Chen makes his 2013 Grapefruit League debut today, followed

Reimold will take a few days off from throwing

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold made the decision to remove himself from today's game before he batted in the bottom of the second inning. As it turned out, he was allowed to hit and responded with a long home run. The at-bat easily was the best part of his brief day. Reimold said he's going to take a "day or two off from throwing" because

Roberts talks about his 3-for-3 day

SARASOTA, Fla. - Did Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts have fun today? "Every day's a fun day on the field," Roberts replied with a smile. Roberts is just happy to be playing again, and going 3-for-3 with a home run today simply added to his joy. "It's been too many days in the training room. Baseball's fun when you can get out there and play.

Reimold has sore right shoulder

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today's game ended with Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce throwing out the Pirates' Jordy Mercer at the plate on an infield hit. Orioles 6, Pirates 5. The news on Nolan Reimold is fairly encouraging. Reimold was removed from today's game after hitting a home run in the second inning because of a sore right shoulder, according to manager Buck Showalter. Reimold apparently

Hammel: "Nice to be out there with two good knees" (O's win 6-5)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Pirates scored a run in the third, fourth and fifth innings off right-hander Mike Wright, reducing the Orioles' lead to 4-3. Matt Wieters delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, but Gaby Sanchez hit his second home run of the day leading off the top of the sixth, this one off left-hander Mark Hendrickson. Wright is the first

Hammel goes two, Orioles going deep (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jason Hammel's first spring start of 2013 resulted in two scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hammel gave up one hit, a double to Chase d'Arnaud in the first inning. The ball cleared Adam Jones' head in center field and hopped the fence. He struck out two batters, and his fastball was mostly 91-92 mph. Hammel threw 39 pitches, 27 for strikes.

Teagarden confident back issue is minor

SARASOTA, Fla. - There isn't much competition for the backup catching job in Baltimore. If Taylor Teagarden is healthy, he figures to break camp with the team. Teagarden woke up this morning with lower-back spasms, again bringing his health into question. He didn't debut for the Orioles last season until July 14, when he hit a walk-off home run against the Detroit Tigers at Camden

Notes on Teagarden, Urrutia and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Catcher Taylor Teagarden woke up this morning with spasms in his lower back and will take off the next few days, according to manager Buck Showalter. Teagarden was sidelined last spring with lower-back discomfort. We're not certain if it's a similar condition. The clubhouse is closed to the media during batting practice, but we hope to meet with Teagarden later and get

Jones preparing to leave camp for the WBC (Pirates lineup and notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles center fielder Adam Jones stood at his locker this morning wearing a bright yellow T-shirt with "Hulkamania" in red letters across his chest, a nod to former pro wrestling champion Hulk Hogan. Yes, Jones is a real American. Need more proof? He's leaving camp Saturday to join Team USA in Phoenix for the World Baseball Classic. "Get to play for your

Roberts leading off today

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts is leading off for the Orioles today against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium. Nick Markakis is batting second and playing right field. Nolan Reimold is in left field and Nate McLouth is serving as the designated hitter. Manny Machado isn't in the lineup after making yesterday's trip to Fort Myers. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B Nick Markakis

Hammel on the hump

SARASOTA, Fla. - Finally. Jason Hammel will make his first Grapefruit League start of 2013 today when the Pittsburgh Pirates visit Ed Smith Stadium. Call off the search. The last time we checked, he was throwing in the indoor batting cage Tuesday while high winds swirled around the complex, with "hitters" tracking pitches. It was like batting practice, except without any real batting. Today, opposing

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