Valencia was in the clubhouse this morning. He hit a two-run homer yesterday and is 6-for-29 (.207) with three doubles, two home runs and six RBIs in 11 games after signing a minor league deal on March 2.
Gabriel Ynoa no longer is wearing a protective boot after being diagnosed with shin splints, but the Orioles are expected to place him on the 10-day disabled list to open the season.
“It is disappointing,” Ynoa said via translator Ramón Alarcón. “I had my mind set to compete, to try to win a job, an opportunity with the big league club. But I have to take it day by day and just get healthy.
“Right now, the limitation, I can’t run, but I feel very well right now. Very well.”
The Orioles haven’t set a timeline for Ynoa’s return to the mound and he isn’t certain whether he’s staying back at extended spring training.
“I don’t have any specific day right now,” said Ynoa, who allowed seven runs and nine hits over four innings in his two starts. “Right now, just making sure nothing bothers me, that everything keeps improving day by day.”
The spring is going much better for Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, who fully expects to occupy a spot in the Orioles bullpen.
Asked whether he believes that he has a chance to head north with the team, Araujo waited for the translation with a grin on his face and said, “Yes.”
“Nobody has said anything to me specifically, but I feel very confident. I think I have a good shot and hopefully it happens,” he said.
“I think it’s going very well. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I received right now. I feel very proud of the work that I’ve been doing out there so far.”
Araujo has emerged as the most likely of the three Rule 5 pitchers to stick with the club. He’s allowed two runs and four hits over six innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. Opponents are batting .190.
“I feel very well, 100 percent,” he said. “Just trying to get the trust of the manager and continuing to work on my command.”
One of the more impressive aspects of Araujo’s presentation in camp is the calm he exudes, which belies his inexperience in the profession. The Orioles selected him from the Cubs organization after he appeared in 44 games at Single-A Myrtle Beach. The extent of his work at a higher level consists of one relief outing last summer at Double-A Tennessee.
Nervous? You’d never know it.
“No, not really,” he said. “I enjoy what I do. This is my passion, so I’m having fun here.”
Seeing major league hitters for the first time hasn’t rattled him.
“It’s a challenge,” he said. “Whenever I see one of those guys with a lot of experience, I just say to myself, I know I can get this guy out. I believe in myself. I am very confident, so I try to attack them.
“The trust is the main thing, having the trust that I can make the pitch that I can get guys out. The more experience I have, the more confident I feel that I can attack them.”
For the Tigers
Leonys Martin CF
Jeimer Candelario 3B
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Nicholas Castellanos RF
Victor Martinez DH
James McCann C
Robbie Mahtook LF
José Iglesias SS
Dixon Machado 2B
Michael Fulmer RHP