The opt-out date on Sucre’s minor league deal arrives Friday and manager Brandon Hyde said the veteran has “a good shot to make the team.”
“I’ve been playing him every other day,” Hyde said this morning before heading to Bradenton. “He went down and took a bunch of minor league at-bats a couple days ago to try to catch up on the at-bats. He’s catching great, he throws great, does a really nice job behind the plate. He’s a major league veteran. So, yeah, he’s doing a nice job.
“I just think we still haven’t solidified ... (Austin) Wynns being out, we’d like to see him play and see what his schedule’s going to be like. (Chance) Sisco obviously played well. So I think we still have a bunch of things to sort through.”
The camp roster still includes five catchers. Wynns is coming back from an oblique injury and hit soft toss this morning, with live batting practice slated for Friday. Sisco, Andrew Susac and Carlos Pérez also remain on the major league side.
The Orioles will have to make room on the 40-man roster for Sucre.
Meanwhile, third baseman Renato Núñez did some throwing this morning, still unable to play due to soreness in his right biceps. He’s scheduled to come off the bench Friday night as the designated hitter after Mark Trumbo leaves the game in Dunedin.
Núñez and Rio Ruiz are engaged in a spirited competition for the third base job. Hyde hasn’t settle on the composition of his roster, including bench spots, but suggested that both players could head north.
“I’m hoping in the next couple of days we can get him on the field,” Hyde said.
“I’d like to see Nunie play, to be honest with you, and it’s just unfortunate, the timing. He’s got a little biceps soreness, so that’s unfortunate. We have a lot of tight races. If he’s healthy we might carry both of them, so we’ll see. I’m not even sure yet.”
Rio has outplayed Núñez at the plate and in the field, but he has two minor league options. Núñez has none and slashed .275/.336/.445 with 13 doubles and seven home runs last year in 220 plate appearances.
Hyde doesn’t know whether Trumbo can avoid the injured list following September knee surgery.
“He’s going to DH tomorrow,” Hyde said. “We’re still kind of going on how he feels day to day and that’s probably going to be an end of the camp. We’d like for him to be comfortable and for him to feel like he’s fully healthy and his legs are underneath him to break, so it’s a wait and see because the injury is so tricky and the recovery ... he’s done so well in that tough surgery, so credit goes to him for coming back.
“It’s six months right now. He’s ahead of schedule. So I just think it’s a wait and see right now. We still haven’t made a decision on it.”
Trumbo mostly has been held to two plate appearances while easing back into competition. He’s 2-for-10 with a walk.
The plan for the final week is crafted by Hyde, Trumbo and head athletic trainer Brian Ebel. “And then we kind of readjust after games played,” Hyde said.
“We played yesterday, going to give him a blow today because of the night game last night, DH tomorrow, get a couple more at-bats tomorrow, reevaluate a little bit. We’re not going to play him a day game after a night game. Let him heal.
“We just want to do what’s best for him and I want him to be healthy. I want him for the long run and not the short sprint of the start of the season. I want the best Mark Trumbo, so if that’s him breaking, then it is. If it’s not and he waits a few weeks or whatever his timetable is, then it’ll be then. That’s why we’re not in any hurry to make any decision on it.”
Reinheimer was 11-for-28 (.393) with two doubles and a home run. He made one start and otherwise was a late substitute.
“I thought Jack played well,” Hyde said. “Like a lot of our guys he’s very versatile and I moved him around a lot. He’s just a solid infielder. I feel like he’s really good depth for us and we expressed that to him this morning. He just did a great job in camp.
“I wish that I could have gotten him a few more starts. There are so many infielders. But he performed well. He showed that he can play defense at multiple positions, can handle the bat, so I thought he had a really good camp.”
Lucas allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. He pitched in a simulated game yesterday morning.
“I thought he threw the ball great,” Hyde said. “I think he’s definitely an option for us going forward. We expressed that to him this morning. He’s got some big league time, he’s got a lot of experience, he’s got a couple really nice breaking balls that are going to be good against right-handers.
“It was just a numbers thing with him but we expect him to perform well in Triple-A and be an option for us.”
Update: Jonah Davis, a late addition to the Pirates’ lineup after Starling Marte was scratched, homered to center field off David Hess in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
Update II: Francisco Cervelli led off the second inning with a home run to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
Update III: Trey Mancini hit his first spring home run leading off the fourth inning and doubles by Ruiz and Rickard tied the game.
Update IV: Hanser Alberto’s sacrifice fly after Sisco walked gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Update V: Davis homered again, this time off Nate Karns in the sixth to tie the game 3-3.
Update VI: Drew Jackson broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run single in the ninth off Montana DuRapau. The inning began with Andrew Susac placed on second base and he moved up on Hanser Alberto’s single.