Monday Florida weather forces O's to change some pitching plans

DUNEDIN, Fla. - With the threat of heavy rain tomorrow in parts of Florida, the Orioles are changing some of their scheduled pitching plans for Monday.

Ubaldo Jimenez was scheduled to make his third O's spring start Monday night in Sarasota against the Twins. But with the chance of a rainout of both of the O's split-squad games on Monday, Jimenez will be sent to a more southern part of the state to try and get his outing in.

Jimenez will pitch in the Orioles' Triple-A game at 11 a.m. Monday in Ft. Myers against the Red Sox. In fact all O's four minor league teams will play at Ft. Myers Monday. The Double-A and Triple-A teams were originally set to play Monday at home at Twin Lakes park. But again, moving the games more to the south provides a lesser rain chance and better chance of getting the games in.

Jimenez is expected to try and complete four innings and throw around 60-65 pitches in that outing. Manager Buck Showalter said Jimenez is still on track to be able to pitch at least seven innings once the season starts. Jimenez pitched two perfect innings in his first O's start March 7 against Philadelphia, but he gave up four runs and four hits on Wednesday against the Phillies.

Brian Matusz and Kevin Gausman are scheduled to pitch in Monday's first split-squad game at 1:05 in Clearwater against Philadelphia. If that game gets rained out, but the O's do get in their night game at home tomorrow, Matusz and Gausman would pitch in that night game.

If Matusz and Gausman do pitch as planned in the afternoon, Steve Johnson will start the game on Monday night and the O's may add some Triple-A pitchers to throw in that game.

Showalter also said today the club hopes Manny Machado's next doctor's appointment will come sometime between March 20 and 24. At that appointment the hope is Machado will then be cleared to play in spring games.

Hope you got all that. First pitch is about to come here in Dunedin and check back here all afternoon for updates.

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