FORT MYERS, Fla. - About 30 Orioles, including manager Buck Showalter, are leaving Friday afternoon’s game against the Phillies at 3 p.m. and taking a charter to the Virginia area to attend a memorial service for Monica Pence Barlow, who passed away Friday morning after a long battle with Stage IV lung cancer. The group will return to Sarasota later that night.
Bench coach John Russell will manage the rest of the game in Showalter’s absence.
Players attending the service include Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy.
Owner Peter Angelos is providing a charter for the team, originally a 10-seater that needed to be expanded as more players asked to make the trip.
Updated: “Our plan is to play about four or five innings and hop on a plane that Mr. Angelos is providing for us to fly to Baltimore and pay our respects to the family,” Showalter said. “Go up Friday. I think we plan on leaving about 4 o’clock. Should be back hopefully by 10:30, Lord willing.
“First of all, say you had 10 seats on a plane? How do you pick who goes? Everybody wants to go. We had that problem and Mr. Angelos expanded the plane. He’ll be pissed for me bringing it up, but it’s a hell of a gesture. I think we can cover everybody who wants to go. It’s going to be a good contingent. I’m real proud of them. I said something to them about it and the first response was, ‘Can I go? Is there room?’ So we made room.”
David Lough was hit on top of the right foot during an outfield drill this morning and didn’t travel to Fort Myers. X-rays were negative, but Showalter kept him back in camp as a precaution. He wanted to play.
Third baseman Manny Machado had a mole removed from his back today. He didn’t need a specialist in Philadelphia.
Machado has been cleared to move side to side in infield drills.
Dylan Bundy is scheduled to throw off a flat mound on March 19 after six more long-toss sessions in the outfield.
Outfielder Henry Urrutia will be full-go on Thursday after being bothered by inflammation in his right shoulder.
Showalter confirmed that Suk-min Yoon will leave the team on March 10 to obtain his work visa in Ottawa. Yoon, who will be gone for a few days, is expected to throw a simulated game before heading out.
Yoon can’t pitch in any game with paid attendance until receiving his visa.
First baseman Chris Marrero took 10 dry swings today and still felt pain in his oblique area.
“Not much better,” Showalter said. “That’s not going as we had hoped.”
Bud Norris will start Saturday’s 1:05 p.m. split squad game against the Red Sox in Sarasota, which will air on MASH HD. Kevin Gausman will start the 7:05 p.m. game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers.
The first cuts are expected to be made Sunday or Monday. Showalter first wants to get through the split-squad games.
Showalter is hoping that Alexi Casilla will be available to play in one of Saturday’s split-squad games after taking live batting practice today. Casilla’s hamstring is improving.