PITTSBURGH - The Orioles will extend Dylan Bundy to two innings and around 30 pitches in his next extended spring training start Saturday against the Rays. He threw 18 pitches in one inning today against the Twins and allowed two home runs.
I’m told that a strong wind was blowing out to right-center field, carrying four balls over the fence in the game.
Edgmer Escalona threw one inning today at extended spring training and faced two extra batters to reach his pitch count.
Johan Santana will pitch Thursday, and Showalter said the left-hander has “a couple more starts at extended” before pitching for an affiliate. His opt-out clause can be exercised at the end of the month, but he could agree to move it back.
Nolan Reimold hasn’t played in any extended spring games, but he’s performing every baseball activity.
“There’s nothing he isn’t doing,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He’s played in some sim games.”
Showalter told pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Bud Norris to “keep their spikes nearby” in case they’re needed to pinch-hit late in the game. Perhaps lay down a bunt.
Zach Britton is 5-for-8 with a double and home run lifetime in the majors, but he’s probably going to be saved for the ninth inning in a possible save situation, which takes the bat out of his hands.
“Everybody talks about Britton, but am I going to pinch-hit him in the sixth inning and then he can’t pitch?” Showalter said. “That’s like a triple switch.”
Asked whether Britton’s ability to hit could change how he’s used in these two games, Showalter replied, “No.”
“I hope we have the lead in the ninth,” he added.
Showalter wants to pitch Britton and Darren O’Day tonight because they need the work.
“Of course, Miguel (Gonzalez) won’t cooperate and pitch a shutout,” Showalter said. “We’ll be all right with that.”
None of the other relievers are taking batting practice despite Britton’s new role in the bullpen.
“For two days right now, we didn’t think that was worth the risk,” Showalter said. “If it happens, it happens. We picked one reliever and it was Zach, and we picked two starters who weren’t pitching here, instead of putting everybody through that.”
The forecast for Wednesday calls for heavy rain throughout the day and night. A postponement would force the teams to find a mutual off-day later in the summer.