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 Sox minor leaguers at Twin Lakes Park and confirmation that Nick Markakis is really traveling to Fort Myers for this afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
This is the Orioles’ last spring training road trip. Can you believe it?
Kevin Gausman gets one more start today before his expected reassignment to minor league camp. Not that the Orioles are in a rush to send him away. Quite the opposite. He remains a huge temptation for them. Not in the rotation, where he’ll eventually make his living, but in the bullpen.
They discuss it. They joke about it. And then they try to shove the idea to the side and go about their business.
The Twins are starting Liam Hendriks today, in case you want to jump in your car and speed down Interstate 75.
So much was happening yesterday, with Betemit’s injury and T.J. McFarland’s first start and the 4,000 home runs, that I didn’t give the proper attention to back-to-back bunt singles by Matt Wieters and Chris Davis in the third inning that followed Adam Jones’ first home run.
Wieters and Davis both scored, on J.J. Hardy’s double and Betemit’s sacrifice fly.
Davis bunted for a hit earlier this spring, and I’ve written how he worked on it during the first intrasquad game, just in case the opposing defense went into an exaggerated shift. He can hit the ball 500 feet with one hand, but he’s willing to dribble it five feet.
“We worked on it last year, we talked about it last year,” said manager Buck Showalter. “If I was Boston, I would ... It just creates a nice karma that something good’s going to happen afterward, when you work on something and you’re able to execute it.
“Matt’s was real impressive because he did it on the second strike. But I know what Boston’s going to do. They’re going to see whether we do it during the season.”
Davis’ ability to lay down a bunt doesn’t come by accident. He’s been working on it.
“He’s gotten to know Field 4 real well this spring,” Showalter said.
Showalter has noticed that some teams also are shifting on Nate McLouth. He strikes me as more of a bunter.