SARASOTA, Fla. - With Manny Machado’s arrival this afternoon, every player on the Orioles’ 40-man roster is in camp.
I’m still not certain about non-roster outfielder Alfredo Marte. I really need to meet this guy and memorize his face.
The first full-squad workout will be held on Wednesday.
Manager Buck Showalter watched 15 pitchers throw their bullpen sessions today before meeting with the media behind the backstop. The group included top prospects Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, who threw in the last two groups.
Does Showalter allow himself to forget about their past physical issues?
“No. I just don’t talk about it. I don’t tell them,” he replied.
“We know the history on all these guys, whether it be a (Todd) Redmond, (Ashur) Tolliver, (Odisamer) Despaigne. You look at all of that. You don’t get bogged down on it.”
Bundy has progressed from flat ground and half-mound sessions at minicamp to regular bullpen work in the early days of spring training. There’s no radar gun to track his velocity, but everything looks good.
“That was encouraging,” Showalter said. “You can tell by his face. Both of these guys are really looking forward to being just another guy instead of a guy on rehab. Just about everybody here has had similar issues in their pitching career. Some of it’s a distant memory. Some of it is not.”
Bundy threw to the strings that run across the plate as a way to work on his command.
“You don’t make them,” Showalter said. “Most of them are because they want to. The option is given to all of them.”
Showalter already likes what he’s seen from Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard.
“I was watching Rickard run around in the outfield yesterday during BP,” Showalter said. “He can go get the ball. Got a David Lough look to him as a defender.”
The Orioles kept three of their last four Rule 5 picks - Ryan Flaherty, T.J. McFarland and Jason Garcia - and they re-signed Michael Almanzar to a minor league deal. Rickard will be challenged to make the club if it signs Dexter Fowler or another outfielder.
“There’s a spot potentially,” Showalter said. “I wouldn’t close that door. See what happens in the next couple days.
“I know Dan (Duquette) and I have been beating around some things. I know Dan’s gathering opinions on our roster and the potentials, even if we have to do another one.”
Gallardo is taking his physical this afternoon and the Orioles expect to have him in uniform Tuesday or Wednesday. I’d bet on the latter, but you never know.
“They’ve got all the equipment and all the things they need to get done down here,” Showalter said. “We brought the doctors to him. They were already down here for the physicals.”
Jimmy Paredes reported to camp earlier today and fielded ground balls at third base. He played the outfield in winter ball as the Orioles attempt to find a position for him.
“I kept trying to work in the outfield this year because I have a chance to play there,” he said. “I took a couple grounders to get warm and try to get in the infield to (work) on my hands.
“I think I have the chance to play outfield here. I had to work in the outfield (in winter ball). I thought if I’ve worked in the outfield, maybe they will give me the chance to play there.”
Paredes made the club in spring training by going 20-for-55 (.364) with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 12 RBIs in 24 games. He batted .299/.332/.475 with 10 home runs and 39 RBIs in the first half and .216/.252/.265 no home runs and three RBIs after the break.
“Maybe the pitcher made new adjustments,” said Paredes, who began last season on the disabled list with a lower back strain. “I was a little late sometimes. I don’t know. Maybe my swing was low. I don’t know what happened in the second half. I’m working hard this year to get better in the second half, having a good start and then from the second half to the finish (playing) the best I can.
“If I got a good pitch to hit, I have to get on time. I tried to do too much. I have to use my hands. That’s what I have to do, see the ball and hit it good.”
Paredes’ chances of making the team again increase if he’s not viewed as a liability in the field. There could be a bench spot for him.
“I’m bringing the (idea) that I’m not going to try to do too much,” he said. “I’m going to try to do the best I can. I’ll play as hard as I can. I’m coming to do my job. I’m going to try to make the team again and put a good spring together and we’ll see what happens later.”
Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and Vance Worley throw in a bullpen session.
Brian Matusz gives a thumbs up to his dad back at home.
Brad Brach, Kevin Gausman and Todd Redmond simultaneously throw in their bullpen session.