Vavra scratched from lineup, plus updates on Vespi, Bautista, Givens and more

SARASOTA, Fla. – Terrin Vavra was supposed to play left field and lead off today against the Phillies. However, he's been scratched from the lineup and replaced by Colton Cowser.

Third baseman Gunnar Henderson is leading off. Cowser is batting eighth.

No reason provided at this time.

Orioles reliever Nick Vespi had his fifth bullpen session yesterday morning, using all of his pitches and totaling 35. He advances next week to one or two live bullpen sessions and should be ready to start appearing in games.

Vespi, who underwent hernia surgery on Jan. 5, remains confident that he’ll be ready for Opening Day if he makes the club.

“I’m right where I need to be,” he said. “Everything feels great. My arm feels great, my body feels great. I’m ready to go.”

The Orioles will carry at least two lefties in their bullpen, with Cionel Pérez being a certainty.

Vespi remains in play for the 26-man roster.

“I think if there’s no setbacks, he’ll have a chance to get into enough games that we can make a decision on breaking with him or not,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

Félix Bautista is having his latest bullpen session this morning. He said again that his knee and shoulder feel good.

“It’s all positive, he feels great,” Hyde said.

“It’s all gone extremely well. Hoping it goes well right now. But he’s been right on track with everything.”

Mychal Givens finally makes his debut the middle of next week. Hyde explained why he’s slow-playing the veteran reliever.

“He’s thrown quite a few back field sim games,” Hyde said. “Trying to schedule out his month and he’s going to have plenty of appearances before we break.”

Listed pitchers behind Tyler Wells today include Bruce Zimmermann, Cade Povich, Pérez and Logan Gillaspie.

The club brought over Kevin Smith, Blaine Knight, Nick Richmond, Jensen Elliott and Ryan Conroy from the minor league side.

Kyle Bradish starts Sunday afternoon against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Other pitchers listed are Mike Baumann, Rule 5 pick Andrew Politi, Wandisson Charles and Nolan Hoffman.

The Rays are starting Yonny Chirinos.

The 25-year-old Hoffman, chosen in the Triple-A phase of the 2021 Rule 5 draft, is coming over again from the minor league side. He’s struck out two batters in two-thirds of an inning as the replacement for a reliever who’s unable to finish a frame.

“He did a nice job coming in and throwing strikes,” Hyde said. "It's a little bit of a different look than what we have. It's also not a really young guy. He pitched in the Fall League and Double-A. It's somebody that kind of worked out where we needed an inning there and like what he's done so far, and we're going to take a look."

Left-hander Cole Irvin starts Monday afternoon against the Phillies in Sarasota.

Hyde rapped his fist on the wood dugout bench when a media member noted how the Orioles are enjoying a drama-free camp. Soon after, the club announced the lineup change.

“It’s gone extremely smooth up to this point,” he said. “It’s a great character group, guys have come to work every day and they work extremely well. I think our effort in games has been great. And right now, I haven’t had a whole lot of issues come across my desk, which … let’s keep it that way.”

New Orioles lineup:
Gunnar Henderson 3B
Adley Rutschman C
Kyle Stowers RF
Jordan Westburg 2B
Ryan O'Hearn DH
Franchy Cordero 1B
Ryan McKenna CF
Colton Cowser LF
Joey Ortiz SS

Tyler Wells RHP

Wells makes spring debut, Zimmermann tosses three ...
Orioles and Braves lineups

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