SARASOTA, Fla. - And down the stretch we come.
The Orioles have 10 games remaining on their Grapefruit League schedule, including split-squad games March 26 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers and the Rays in Port Charlotte. They also play their Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, on March 29 at Harbor Park.
They’re home today against the Rays at 1:05 p.m., with Wei-Yin Chen making his fourth start. He’s allowed three runs and struck out six over nine innings.
Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t laid out the rest of his rotation beyond opening day starter Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez, but Chen figures to start the third game against the Red Sox on April 3 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles could make more cuts today. They intended to wait until after the split-squad games Monday that were rained out.
Suk-min Yoon eventually will be optioned to Norfolk, but he could pitch today. He rode the bus to Clearwater on Monday before the cancellation.
Alexi Casilla got some at-bats yesterday against a Twins minor league team at Ed Smith Stadium, and he should receive more today if his left knee doesn’t swell up.
Casilla could start at second base while Ryan Flaherty stays at third base, where he probably opens the season if Machado goes on the disabled list. Showalter isn’t ready to make that commitment publicly, but Flaherty has been receiving most of his innings at the hot corner.
The clubhouse opens to the media at 8 a.m. today, a little earlier than usual. I’ll pass along the lineup once it’s available.
By now, you must know the drill.