Notes on Sucre debut, injuries, starters and more (O’s up 3-2)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Jesús Sucre will make his Orioles debut by catching the first three innings of Friday afternoon’s game against the Red Sox in Sarasota.

Sucre, a late arrival due in camp to issues obtaining his work visa, also will catch Sunday against the Phillies in Sarasota.

Sucre-in-Shades-and-Mask-on-Head-sidebar.jpg“I’ll progress him as we go along, for sure,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He’ll be in there.”

Austin Wynns was encouraged this morning by his MRI results after experiencing discomfort in his left oblique while taking batting practice. Hyde considers him day-to-day and issued the usual warnings about the injury.

“I also think with an oblique you’ve got to be really careful, so we’re not going to push him in any way,” Hyde said. “We’re going to make sure he’s 100 percent, that that side’s cleared up, and then maybe do a couple days just to make sure from there.

“Obliques are such a tricky thing. You can re-do it quickly, so I just want to make sure he’s 100 percent.”

Nothing new on first baseman Chris Davis beyond some mild improvement in his left hip. He hasn’t undergone any tests on it.

“It sounds like it felt a little bit better today,” Hyde said, “but he’s still day-to-day and in the training room right now still getting treatment.”

Hyde has flip-flopped his starters for Saturday’s split-squad games. Dylan Bundy will pitch against the Rays in Port Charlotte and David Hess will face the Yankees in the night half at Ed Smith Stadium.

Left-hander Josh Rogers is starting Sunday against the Phillies.

What about Nate Karns, who’s been slow-played to protect his right elbow? He’s slated to work in relief Friday along with Gabriel Ynoa, Sean Gilmartin and Josh Lucas.

Richard Bleier makes his spring debut Saturday night after throwing two innings yesterday in a simulated game.

The outfield competition has become a fascination in camp, and today’s lineup includes candidates Eric Young Jr., Austin Hays and Joey Rickard. Hyde also must consider Anthony Santander, DJ Stewart and Yusniel Diaz, and he hasn’t confirmed that Cedric Mullins is the center fielder.

What’s the separator if the overall level of play remains elevated?

“Well, maybe we carry 10,” Hyde quipped.

“We still have 2 1/2 weeks. There’s obviously some guys that were here last year that put up good numbers in the big leagues. There’s also some young up-and-coming guys that we’re getting long looks at. I think we’re still a ways away from figuring out what our outfield situation is.

“I think these next 2 1/2 weeks are really going to help. Guys are going to start to get more at-bats, start playing back-to-back a little bit more. It’s going to be a good competition the rest of camp.”

Mullins hit a two-run homer yesterday in Port Charlotte but is 4-for-23 this spring. Assumptions shouldn’t be made that he’s already won a job.

“I think it’s fair to say he’s going to get every opportunity to be the center fielder or to get a lot of playing time,” Hyde said. “He’s going to get a big opportunity to win a big league job. I can’t say in cement he’s going to be our opening day center fielder, just like a lot of our guys. But he’s going to get every opportunity to win that job and to be on the club and be a big part of our lineup.”

Hyde isn’t ready to name a leadoff hitter or opening day starter.

“I think a week from now I’ll start putting lineups together as our numbers start to trickle down and we start to kind of figure out where pieces fit,” Hyde said. “I just know that I’m going to put our best four hitters in the top four spots in the lineup and whoever that is, I guess the matchup that we have against us that night, that’s how it’s going to wind up.”

The aggression that the club has displayed in spring training will be encouraged in the regular season based on how it’s built.

“I think this is the time to learn from our mistakes and then as the season goes along, then we become smart baserunners and we make smart decisions,” Hyde said. “We’re not running into outs. Understanding when to push the envelope. First to third is going to be a big part of our game. We’re just not going to have a lineup full of 30-home run guys up and down the order, so to be able to run the bases correctly and aggressively is something that’s going to be real important for us and for their individual success.

“So things we talked about - how important a really good primary lead is, how to understand how good a secondary lead is, understand why it’s important to go first to third, dirt ball reads. All these types of things that kind of get overlooked a little bit, we’re making them important, and I think our guys have really taken to it.”

The Orioles have brought pitchers Luis Gonzalez, Diogenes Almengo, Tanner Chleborad and Matt Wotherspoon, infielders Adam Hall and Jean Carlos Encarnacion and outfielder Robert Neustrom from minor league camp.

Update: Two-out run-scoring singles by Alcides Escobar in the second inning and Rio Ruiz in the third have given the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

Update II: Stevie Wilkerson led off the fifth with a home run to center field and the Orioles lead 3-0.

Update III: Erik Gonzalez homered off Yefry Ramirez in the fifth to reduce the lead to 3-1 after Josh Osich tossed a scoreless fourth.

Update IV: Adam Frazier also homered off Ramirez in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2.

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