TAMPA - Nelson Cruz is fine.
Cruz will attend Sunday’s workout at Camden Yards and remains available for opening day. He’s expected to start in left field against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester. He probably will serve as the designated hitter in the second game against right-hander John Lackey, with David Lough playing left field.
Cruz was hit on the batting helmet last night by an Alex Cobb curveball and exited the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. He underwent a precautionary CT scan at a Sarasota hospital and the results came back clean.
Cruz didn’t immediately leave the Ed Smith Stadium complex. He hung out in the clubhouse for a while before getting the scan, which is pretty much required by Major League Baseball.
The delay in Cruz’s departure indicated that the club wasn’t overly concerned about his condition. Cruz rose quickly after dropping to his knees, his helmet flying off, and he walked off the field without exhibiting any signs of a concussion.
Luckily for Cruz, he was hit by a curveball.
The helmet split anyway, according to manager Buck Showalter. How comforting for players ducking high heaters.
Still no word on whether the Orioles will play their exhibition game Saturday afternoon in Norfolk, but it doesn’t look promising. They could choose to fly directly to Baltimore after being off today.
They won’t rush into a decision.
I’ll meet back up with the team on Sunday. Turns out, I got a flight out of Tampa this afternoon, so I’m currently at the airport.
Yes, I’m leaving Sarasota - the little-known Nicolas Cage sequel.
Update: Catcher Johnny Monell cleared waivers this afternoon and has been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Monell was designated for assignment to create room for Steve Lombardozzi on the 40-man roster.
Cleared waivers— Johnny Monell Jr. (@JMoE220) March 28, 2014
FYI Norfolk will be stacked with talent.— Johnny Monell Jr. (@JMoE220) March 28, 2014
Update II: The Yankees signed Alfredo Aceves to a minor league deal, according to various reports.
Aceves opted out of his contract with the Orioles last night after being told that he hadn’t made the team.