Marrero reassigned, Duquette addresses Santana speculation

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have reassigned first baseman Chris Marrero to minor league camp due to an oblique injury that has kept him out of workouts and games.

Marrero could return once he’s finally healthy and get some at-bats in Grapefruit League games, but he’s off the camp roster.

More cuts are coming later today.

Center fielder Adam Jones will leave camp on Tuesday for the birth of his first child, which will take place the following day.

Suk-min Yoon threw a bullpen session today before flying to Ottawa to get his work visa. He pitched live batting practice on Feb. 28 and a simulated game on March 2. He should be ready to pitch in an exhibition game after returning to the club later this week.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette wouldn’t comment specifically on Ervin Santana today while surrounded by reporters during batting practice.

“The club said all winter we were going to try to sign some veteran starting pitchers for our team,” he said. “We went out and we got Yoon, we got (Ubaldo) Jimenez and we got Johan Santana. Johan Santana is for later during the season. And then Yoon we hope to get to see sometime next week. Once he comes back, we can put him in competitive games.

“The other thing we said over the winter was that some of our young pitching, we thought, would show pretty well in spring training. And so far, that’s been the case. It looks like we have some young guys who are on the horizon who could help us during the season. That’s the update on our pitching.”

Oh, there was more. Reporters weren’t done grilling him.

Does he think Santana will sign soon?

“I don’t really know. I really don’t,” he said. “I don’t know what’s real and what’s not real in that case.”

Is there room in the budget and on the staff for another veteran arm?

“I would say that we’re going to weed through the guys we have and see where that takes us,” he said. “I guess ‘weed’ isn’t a good word. I would say that we’re going to continue to evaluate the pitchers we have in camp.

“We do have a little bit more pitching depth with starting pitching going into this season, and some of the young pitchers that we have high hopes for are continuing to develop their skills. (Kevin) Gausman looked pretty good last night. (Dylan) Bundy is on track. We still have T.J. McFarland, Zach Britton to take a look at.”

Is another starting pitcher not on the horizon?

“Well, pitching depth is important to any ballclub,” he said. “We’ve got to look and see where we can add where it makes sense. That’s what we’ve done. We’ve added some veterans and we’re continuing to develop the players we have. Dave Wallace is having a real positive impact on our pitching already.”

Are the Orioles moving forward without Santana?

“I think we have the starting pitchers and the veteran people in camp and they look good and they’re doing well and we like what we’ve seen from our young pitching so far,” he said.

Is the reported interest in Santana due more to his price coming down than need?

“We made a conscious choice to sign Ubaldo Jimenez and give him a four-year deal,” Duquette said. “We liked what he brings to the table, and so far, so good.”

Has Santana’s change in agents impacted how the Orioles are approaching him?

“Yeah, I can’t really speak to that directly, but I can tell you that we’re happy with the pitching that we have in camp,” Duquette said.

If the Orioles don’t sign a pitcher, could they go after another hitter?

“Our roster construction goes on all year,” Duquette said. “We have some more resources that we can invest in our team and we’ll take a look at each case as it comes up.”

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