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 in the middle of an international incident, Showalter replied, “And he was right.”
Apparently, Mexico’s manager, Rick Renteria, failed to explain the tie-breaker to his players until it was too late.
Robinson wasn’t injured in the brawl, much to the relief of Showalter.
“He’s a guy on our depth chart with our catching,” Showalter said. “First time I saw it, I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on. I was looking for Robinson.
“The Canadian guys, I’m sure they’ve all been exposed to hockey, which doesn’t bode well if you’re trying to keep one of your guys healthy. Not a lot of wolf calling going on there.
“That’s not good for baseball.”
Relievers Todd Redmond and T.J. McFarland were scheduled to pitch last night in Fort Myers, but they’ve been moved to today’s game. There are more innings to cover with Chris Tillman being scratched.
Jim Johnson, Darren O’Day and Mark Hendrickson also are scheduled to pitch.
Gerrit Cole, Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, Jonathan Sanchez and Kris Johnson will pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates today.
Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Luis Ayala and Adam Russell will make the trip to Bradenton on Monday for another game against the Pirates. Left-hander Jeff Locke, Phil Irwin, Duke Welker, Erik Cordier and Hunter Strickland are listed as Pittsburgh’s pitchers.
A reminder that Jason Hammel, Steve Johnson, Mike Wright, Jair Jurrjens, Eduardo Rodriguez, Troy Patton and Daniel Schlereth will pitch in Tuesday’s intrasquad game. Left-hander Brian Matusz will oppose the Minnesota Twins’ Kevin Correia on Wednesday night in Fort Myers.
Showalter remains hopeful that Tillman will only be shut down for “a couple of days.”
“During the season, we probably would have pitched him, but we don’t have that challenge right now. Just trying to err on the side of caution right now. Maybe when he throws again, it’s still a problem. We’ll see,” Showalter said.
“We thought we had resolved it the first time, but it kind of cropped up again in his work day. He was feeling it a little bit yesterday. But it works out good because we were going to pitch McFarland and Redmond yesterday, and now we get to kind of stretch them out a little bit today.
“That kind of changes the intrasquad game we’re doing on Tuesday. I’d rather see Mac and Redmond in this environment.”