Leftovers for breakfast

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette fielded questions for about an hour last night at the Aberdeen IronBirds’ annual Hot Stove Banquet, which drew a crowd of roughly 100 fans at Ripken Stadium.

Duquette’s interest in the Blue Jays’ job was barely mentioned, and he responded by noting the lack of activity last winter before the Orioles reported to the Ed Smith Stadium complex in February. He joked that the club actually is “ahead of schedule” this year.

End of topic.

Duquette confirmed what I’ve written about the Orioles making a minor league offer to Nolan Reimold, who’s also drawing interest from other teams. Duquette said he can’t predict whether Reimold will return to the organization.

The Orioles were close to reaching an agreement on the final day of the Winter Meetings and again this week, but talks keep hitting a snag.

The Indians also have a minor league offer on the table, and I’ve heard that the Athletics tossed their hats into the ring. No offer yet, just checking on his availability.

duquette-pujols-tall.jpgLuis Pujols was introduced last night as Aberdeen’s eighth manager, ahead of the Orioles revealing their minor league staffs. As colleague Steve Melewski reported last month, Orlando Gomez is returning to Single-A Frederick after managing the Gulf Coast League team the past two seasons and former IronBirds manager Matt Merullo is taking Gomez’s place.

Switching back to the Delmarva Shorebirds’ Hot Stove Banquet, here’s a leftover from manager Buck Showalter on newly acquired outfielder Travis Snider:

“Travis Snider’s going to play right field, left field and maybe DH a little bit,” Showalter said. “He’s only 27 years old. He’s under control not only this year, but next year, so it’s like getting a player that’s very affordable, which allows us to do some other things. It’s also a great tribute to our farm system that develops players to the point where we can trade them.

“I think Travis will play as much as he lets me play him. In other words, if you play better, you play more. That’s how it works here.

“Somebody comes in and says, ‘Buck, boy, if you played me more, I’d play better.’ I say, ‘Son, if you played better, I’d play you more.’ “

Kevin-Gausman-ALCS-gray.jpgDuring his phone interview on “The Hot Stove Show” on 105.7, I asked Showalter whether Kevin Gausman would have an innings limit again this season. Gausman threw a combined 158 2/3 last year, including the minors.

“We’ll have one with him and we’re very proud, knock on wood, of the health of not only Gaus but all our pitchers that we take a lot of pride in monitoring,” Showalter said. “We feel like the inning total that he got to last year, we backed off some early in the season hoping to get to October when we’d have him, and if we need to back off at some point ... But I think we’re in a pretty good spot with him.

“I know exactly what the inning red light area is. Dave (Wallace) and Dom (Chiti) and I sat down at the minicamp and brought that all together with all of our pitchers that might impact us this year. Probably 30-35 deep, guys that we think have a chance to potentially impact us if we need them. You go into that and take it from there.

“We’re not going to use Gausman having options against him. If he’s one of our 12 best pitchers, he’s going north.”

Steve Johnson doesn’t figure to break camp with the team as he continues to rehab following shoulder surgery, but Showalter is glad the Orioles re-signed the St. Paul’s grad to a minor league deal with a spring invite.

“I think Stevie, a lot of people forget what a good prospect and good pitcher he potentially was and can be for us, and I think he made a wise decision because people respect and know what he can do when he’s right,” Showalter said.

“He has that late, come-again action late in the strike zone when he’s right physically and you could tell something was bothering him before he had the procedure because that wasn’t quite there. And he can spin the ball for a strike. He’s got a good feel for pitching. He’s one of those guys that when he’s healthy, guys just don’t center up his fastball a lot. I call him an ‘ambush pitcher.’ And he can slow them down enough with the breaking ball and changeup and pitch real well for us.

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