NORFOLK, Va. - After today’s game was called due to rain with the Orioles winning 4-3 over Norfolk in six innings, manager Buck Showalter touched on a variety of topics in the manager’s office at Harbor Park.
He said he let the position coaches tell players that they had made the opening day roster. So infield coach Bobby Dickerson got to tell Jonathan Schoop he’d be on the roster come Monday.
“He’s been with him a long time too,” Showalter said of the Dickerson-Schoop relationship. “I told him, ‘Don’t forget anything when you tell me how it went.’ (Wayne) Kirby talks to the outfielders and John (Russell) talks to the catchers. I’m jealous. Bobby said he had something in his eye (on Schoop getting emotional when he heard the news).
“He earned it. But there is no finality about this 25. We have a 75-man team between three levels,” Showalter said.
So is the O’s roster now pretty much set or is there the possibility of any last-minute additions?
“Before opening day? Not that I’ve been made aware,” Showalter said. “I think we kind of exhausted all the ... I shouldn’t say that. You have to understand between now and opening day some people won’t set the roster until about 2:30 (p.m.) Sunday.”
Showalter talked about the club’s decision to option Kevin Gausman to Triple-A to start the season.
“For the Orioles and for Kevin, all things considered, it’s the right thing to do at this time. He’s one of those when, not if guys. His time will come,” Showalter said.
Although the order has not been set, Showalter said the Norfolk rotation of Gausman, T.J. McFarland, Steve Johnson, Mike Wright and Suk-min Yoon looks real strong.
“Probably the best Triple-A rotation we’ve had since I’ve been here. We’ve got five guys there that could impact us this year,” Showalter said.
Showalter said his last cut was to send infielder Jemile Weeks to Triple-A.
“That was tough. He had a good spring,” Showalter said. “He’ll impact us this year, he will. He’ll play a little outfield there too (at Norfolk) and I want him to get some right-handed at-bats. Just wasn’t any room at the Inn right now. Nothing he did wrong.”
The Orioles will have to take two players off their current 40-man roster to get Delmon Young and Evan Meek officially on the 25-man big league roster sometime on Sunday. He said he did not expect the O’s to put any player on the 60-day DL which would clear a 40-man spot.
Right-hander Meek makes the O’s bullpen after a spring where he gave up just two hits and one run over nine innings with no walks, 10 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.00 and three saves.
“Great spring,” Showalter said of Meek. “The last piece was (pitching) the back-to-back days. He had as good of stuff the next day. I don’t think anyone has thrown the ball better than he has. Brady (Anderson) had a lot to do with that signing and so did John Russell. He’s not scared.”
Young made this team after a spring where he hit .280 (14-for-50) with four doubles, a homer and five RBIs and so did Steve Pearce after batting .275 (14-for-51) with five doubles, a homer and five RBIs.
“He knew exactly what was going to be required of him to come into camp and make this club and he did it from the first day he walked in the door,” Showalter said of Young. “Nobody has played with more effort. He was the first guy to the ballpark and last guy to leave. After he found out today, he played the game just as hard.
“Steve, I don’t know if anyone squared the ball up more this spring than Pearce. He’s a professional hitter. Give you a good at-bat anytime and can also play in the outfield and at first base.”
As for today’s game, Showalter was happy that these clubs could entertain the 10,156 fans here at least until the steady rain made it impossible to keep playing after five and half innings.
He was also pleased that his major league players showed some on field togetherness and respect to the Norfolk team.
“Most people wouldn’t have played five and half innings, right? We might be the only organization,” Showalter said. “I was telling Dave (Wallace) in the dugout I’m so proud of our guys every day. There was not one complaint (about playing in poor weather).
“You don’t see Triple-A teams and major league teams this time of year mixing and mingling like that. They were having fun with it. I’m proud of everybody. They came in and put on a good representation of our organization.”