SARASOTA, Fla. - Third baseman Manny Machado flew back into Sarasota late last night and has been excused from camp this morning.
Machado no longer has any physical restrictions after Dr. Neal ElAttrache re-examined his left knee yesterday in Los Angeles. However, the Orioles still haven’t provided a firm date for his spring debut.
“I have to talk to the ESPN people to find out what the next step is,” manager Buck Showalter quipped.
Reliever Luis Ayala is taking the rest of his physical at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. He stopped by Showalter’s office this morning.
Ayala has agreed to a minor league deal - it’s a split contract - and apparently will report to the minor league complex at Twin Lakes Park despite receiving an invitation to spring training.
Ayala has no shot of heading north with the team. His arrival doesn’t impact the makeup of the bullpen.
Dylan Bundy threw off a flat mound again today and did a better job of keeping the ball down. He’s had to make an adjustment. He also was popping the catcher’s mitt.
Johan Santana will throw again Saturday, supposedly off a flat mound before moving to a half mound.
Chris Tillman is dealing with a 24-hour virus that’s been circulating through the clubhouse.
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Showalter said.
The rotation has been tweaked with Tillman being scratched. The game notes list Ubaldo Jimenez as starting Saturday against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Kevin Gausman Sunday against the Pirates at home and Brian Matusz Monday against the Red Sox at home.
Showalter will make certain that Tillman starts five days before the March 31 opener at Camden Yards.
Showalter still hasn’t revealed the rest of his rotation beyond Tillman and Jimenez. He joked that he will give reporters one name per day when the news is slow.
The Orioles aren’t expected to make roster cuts today.
Showalter noted that Nolan Reimold had his best at-bats of the spring last night in Bradenton.
“He looked hitterish,” Showalter said.
Showalter put up a brief argument on Quintin Berry’s triple last night, insisting that the ball cleared the center field fence and bounced back into play. It automatically would have been reviewed during the regular season.
“When (the umpire) told me that he saw yellow paint pop up, I said to him, ‘You know, I’m going back to the dugout. If you can see yellow paint from 200 feet, I can’t talk to you.’ How do you argue with that?”
Game update: David Lough led off the bottom of the first inning with a double, took third on Adam Jones’ fly ball to right and scored on Chris Davis’ sacrifice fly.
Davis leads the Orioles with 10 RBIs.
I like Lough in the leadoff spot. Not that my vote counts.