More cuts on Tuesday, Orioles could break camp with 13 pitchers

BRADENTON, Fla. - The Orioles will make two or three more cuts on Tuesday, according to manager Buck Showalter.

Showalter said he’s toying with the idea of taking 13 pitchers north when the Orioles break camp. The alternative, of course, is going with a four-man bench.

“I haven’t ruled any of that out,” he said. “There’s a lot of different matchups here. This time of year, I’m considering anything.

“There’s a part of you, I’d say 20 or 30 percent, that goes, ‘What really impacts your team when you’ve got seven or eight guys who play every day? The 13th pitcher or the fourth position player who doesn’t play much?’”

Showalter said he doesn’t necessarily need another bench player who can back up first baseman Chris Davis.

“That’s another thing that (Ryan) Flaherty brings,” Showalter said. “This guy doesn’t have to play first base. We have other people where he could play their position and that guy could play first base, whether it’s Nick (Markakis), whether it’s Flaherty or somebody we could move to first base. We look at them as the backup first baseman. We could look at it that way if we so chose.

“I haven’t gotten too deep in that mentality yet. I think in about another seven or 10 days, we’ll start kind of backing up and saying, ‘Here’s where we are and what we’ve got.’”

Ubaldo Jimenez will start Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Phillies in Sarasota. Bud Norris and Kevin Gausman will pitch Thursday afternoon against the Yankees in Tampa.

Showalter said infielder Alexi Casilla is “real close” to playing.

“We’ll see how he feels in the morning,” Showalter added. “Richie (Bancells) is working with him back there. He stayed back. I think tomorrow is a possibility.”

Center fielder Adam Jones could play on Tuesday before leaving camp and attending the birth of his first child. Doctors are inducing labor on Wednesday.

Left-hander Tim Berry, optioned to Double-A Bowie this morning, made a favorable impression at his first major league camp.

Berry, a 50th-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, allowed one run and two hits in three innings, with no walks and three strikeouts.

“Impressive,” Showalter said. “I’m glad we protected him. And it carried over a good fall league. He’ll be one of the five starters in Bowie.

“I was kidding him. I said, ‘You’re leaving here on a real bad outing, so hang in there. You’ll figure it out.’ He was real sharp his last time out. He leaves here confident and he’s throwing the ball well. He’s very intriguing, for what the future may hold for him.”

Berry went 11-7 with a 3.85 ERA in 27 games last year with Single-A Frederick and has thrust himself into the organization’s prospect picture. He fell in the draft only because he underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.

“He’s always had a good work ethic and he understands what’s expected,” Showalter said. “I think this is going to be a big year for Berry. He’s got a chance to really pop. He’s got a good arm. First time he’s completely physically sound. No voices in the back going, ‘I wonder if this is going to hold up?’ He’s been through too much. Fall league was good for him.

“It’s got a chance to be a pretty good looking rotation in Bowie and Norfolk. That’s exciting.”

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