On the final day of Birdland Caravan and at the final event of the three-day run, reporters caught up with four pitchers who will look to break north with the Orioles in April by winning roster spots in spring training. That group included lefties Bruce Zimmermann, Keegan Akin and Nick Vespi, and right-hander Mike Baumann.
All four spent some, or in one case, a lot of time in Baltimore during the 2023 American League East championship season, but Zimmermann and Akin are coming off injuries. They pronounced themselves to be healthy and a full go when spring training starts in a couple of weeks.
Zimmermann, who had a 4.73 ERA in seven O’s games last year while pitching most of the season in Triple-A, had core muscle surgery Oct. 19 in Philadelphia.
That was about three weeks after he pitched two scoreless innings versus Boston for the O’s in Game 161 at Oriole Park.
“The surgery went real well,” the Baltimore-area native said of the October procedure. “Really grateful I had one of the top doctors that has worked on a few other guys on the team. Rehab went really well. Been down in Florida for about two weeks now to get an early start and get in front of the training staff and that has been going really well. I should be full go when pitchers and catchers report.