SARASOTA, Fla. - A.J. Burnett returns to Ed Smith Stadium today, where the Orioles battered him for six runs and seven hits in three innings on Friday.
It’s like Michael Spinks asking for a rematch with Mike Tyson.
Of course, it’s only an exhibition game. And the Orioles have moved on from their failed negotiations with Burnett over the winter.
Not that they’re done trying to sign another starter. They still have that one-year offer on the table for Ervin Santana that’s in the $13 million range.
Fans keep asking for updates and I keep disappointing them because nothing has changed. The Orioles talked to Santana’s rep about a three-year deal worth around $30 million. He wanted a fourth year. Talks stalled. Then, Santana decided that a one-year deal would work better for him.
It’s a waiting game. I still think the Braves could emerge as a favorite, but we’ll see.
Update: The Braves will announce this morning that they’ve signed Santana, according to multiple reports.
While the Orioles play the Phillies today, Nolan Reimold will be collecting at-bats as the designated hitter at Twin Lakes Park.
He’s not hurt. It’s not a punishment. It’s just a way to get him more trips to the plate and knock off the rust.
“He’s at the point physically where he’s going to go down to minor league camp and take at-bats,” Showalter explained yesterday. “Might get 10 at-bats some days - Double-A, Triple-A. If he wants to go on the road or he can do the Single-A at-bats and go field to field and lead off every inning until he’s had enough.
“We’re really going to step up his at-bats right now. We talked. I’ve got 12 outfielders. Just want him to get his at-bats. I think that will be good for him. He was excited about it, as you can be.”
How long will Reimold remain at the minor league camp?
“Until he feels comfortable,” Showalter said.
“I’m talking about just baseball friendly. He feels like now it’s just a matter of getting his timing back. He feels pretty good physically. He was sore a little bit early, especially when he played the outfield a couple times. But he feels, like he said, light years different than last year, so that’s good.”
The number of at-bats haven’t been set in stone. Reimold, who’s 3-for-14 this spring, is calling the shots.
“That’s up to him completely,” Showalter said. “When he’s had enough. It might be five, it might be four. I don’t know. It’s going to be up to him.
“They could come rapid fire, where he doesn’t sit around for 20 to 30 minutes between at-bats.”
There’s a reason why Reimold will be a DH over there.
“He can’t go field to field if he’s playing the outfield for somebody,” Showalter explained.
“I’ll tell you, he looked good in the outfield. He’s done well. I thought he had a really good game in the outfield the other day. He made some tough plays. Nolan’s always been a good outfielder.”
Showalter repeated that he’s not going to hide his starters at the minor league camp to avoid having them pitch against division opponents.
“When it’s their turn to pitch, they’re going to pitch,” he said. “The last week, we might look at it a little differently. But there aren’t many secrets in the American League East. We see each other so much. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t be playing them down here, but we don’t want to go over to Jupiter or wherever everybody else is.”