SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will withhold making more roster cuts until Sunday morning. They still have 42 players in camp.
Left-hander Tanner Scott worked another inning in relief today in a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays before a sellout crowd of 7,409 at Ed Smith Stadium, but he’s still slated to start at Triple-A Norfolk.
Scott walked only his second batter of the spring and it cost him a run in the ninth inning on a stolen base and two ground balls.
“We think he really benefits from being here as much as we can and that’s kind of the idea as long as he was able to defend himself and throw it over and he’s been able to do that for the most part,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Breaking ball’s been good, his command’s been pretty good. Been real happy with his spring so far.
“You kind of ask yourself would you rather him pitch two or three innings an outing here and sit three days or would you rather pitch him every other day and keep the ball in his hand? So that’s kind of what we’re doing is just trying to keep him on the mound and keep him around a lot of people, a lot of things that he needs to be exposed to. He’s got a chance to be pretty good.”
Scott’s fastball was touching the mid-to-upper 90s without climbing into triple digits, and he’s found it easier to locate the plate.
“He’s pitching a lot more and you can see it in velocities,” Showalter said. “He’s not tripping that 100 or anything. It’s more about trying to control himself as much as the baseball.
“The breaking ball’s come a long way. They’ve done a great job and he’s done a great job with that. It’s a weapon for him. It’s a good one, too. If you remember, Andrew Miller didn’t take off until the breaking ball came and then the whole world opened up to him.”
The Orioles are 13-9-2 following a rally in the ninth inning that produced an RBI triple by Alex Presley after Cedric Mullins’ bunt single. They hadn’t lost since March 9 against the Jays in Dunedin, going 7-0-1 during the stretch.
Mike Wright Jr. was charged with four runs and nine hits today in 4 2/3 innings.
“Should have probably had four shutout there,” Showalter said. “Should have thrown that guy (Roemon Fields) out at the plate. But it got away from him a little bit in the fifth. Got tired a little bit. But he was supposed to go around 80 (pitches) today.
“The balk didn’t help. They give him an error on the 3-1? That didn’t help. But he pitched pretty well. He had pretty good stuff. Fastball command was pretty good. During the season he’d give us a good chance to win there, especially when he gets some more outings under his belt with the arm strength and everything. It looked like he was going to have about a 50-pitch five-inning outing.”
Chance Sisco stayed in the game and singled after being hit in the throat by a Wright pitch in the dirt in the first inning.
“I know it got him in the neck. It hit him good,” Showalter said.
“It usually happens on that real short breaking ball where you kind of bounce up and the angle of the ball’s coming up. That was pretty flush.”