CLEARWATER, Fla. - Today’s rainout cancellation here at Bright House Field has the Orioles again trying to set their pitching plans for the next couple of days.
Brian Matusz and Kevin Gausman were to pitch in this game. It’s possible they will pitch tonight in Sarasota if they get that game in, but when reporters talked to manager Buck Showalter earlier it sounded more likely they’ll work in minor league games tomorrow at Twin Lakes Park.
“I don’t like the idea of Brian and Gausman getting back on the bus and then trying to pitch tonight,” Showalter said. “I may do it. But maybe we let them have a clean start tomorrow with the Double-A and Triple-A teams playing home at noon. But don’t hold me to it. Dave (Wallace) is contemplating it.”
Some players that were scheduled to play here today could play in Sarasota tonight. One is Alexi Casilla, limited to five at-bats this spring by hamstring and left knee injuries.
“I’d probably use Casi tonight, depending how the bus ride does with his knee going back,” Showalter said.
Nick Markakis was scheduled to play in right field this afternoon and Showalter will talk with him to decide if he plays in tonight’s game.
Showalter said David Lough will take the next 48 hours off from all activities to try and completely resolve the issue with his stiff neck.
“He feels better today, but there was a strong suggestion from our doctors, so to speak, that he take 48 hours and hopefully that might clear everything up,” Showalter said.
“Not necessarily,” Showalter said. “You guys will be right more times than not with speculation, but I’m not going to say anything when we have other people competing for that job. Because then second base becomes a whole different dynamic.
“We have other people that can play over there including (Michael) Almanzar. (Alex) Gonzalez has handled himself well over there defensively. (Jonathan) Schoop could play over there if he had to.”
Showalter said Gonzalez was having something checked on by a doctor today, but he thought Gonzalez would be available tonight.
Showalter said thanks to getting several at-bats in minor league camp, that Nolan Reimold now leads his club with 53 spring plate appearances. Other players could also be sent to Twin Lakes to get at-bats in the last two weeks before opening day.
“We could get Manny (up to speed with at-bats) in four days,” Showalter said of Machado potentially taking part in minor league camp games when he is cleared to play.
Showalter said the O’s will have a staff meeting Thursday at noon to discuss the roster and also, that some cuts are possible tomorrow.
Pitcher Suk-min Yoon was scheduled to pitch this afternoon, after throwing a scoreless inning in his O’s debut Saturday. At some point shortly, the Orioles could send him to the minors to build up his innings. Yoon is expected to begin the year in Triple-A where he would likely pitch as a starter.
The players from minor league camp that came to Clearwater will be available as extra players tonight, weather permitting. That list includes Julio Borbon, Buck Britton, Mike Yastrzemski, Cord Phelps, Dariel Alvarez, Ivan DeJesus Jr., David Frietas, Jack Cust, Wynston Sawyer, Christian Walker, Jesse Beal and Oliver Drake.
Update: Matusz and Gausman will pitch Tuesday against the Orioles’ Triple-A and Double-A players at Ed Smith Stadium complex.