Ynoa out at least two weeks (and other notes, O’s lose 8-5)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Gabriel Ynoa will be out a minimum of two weeks with a “stress reaction” in his shins, likely eliminating him from consideration for a roster spot on opening day.

“It’s not a stress fracture, just some inflammation,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Luckily, they took the MRI and caught it. Could have turned into a stress fracture. But that’s probably going to be two weeks minimum with Ynoa.”

Ynoa was a longshot to win the fifth starter’s job, but the Orioles could have chosen to use him in a long relief role. He’s out of minor league options. The Orioles will decide whether Ynoa requires a trip to the disabled list.

“If you look at two weeks, there’s a chance that he’ll be back pitching,” Showalter said. “Talking to the doctors and the trainer today, they actually said two-to-four, but they think it will manage in two. Hopefully, in two weeks he’s on a mound pitching. Maybe not in a game.

Ynoa-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpg“He’s going to be able to do some throwing through it. We’re just going to let it quiet down. If he comes back too quick, it could turn into a problem.”

First baseman Chris Davis is nearing a return to the lineup as the discomfort subsides in his right forearm/elbow.

“Hope to get him going, baseball action, early next week,” Showalter said.

Showalter also said Mark Trumbo’s sore right quadriceps muscle has improved.

“That looks like that’s moving in the right direction,” he said.

Austin Hays (shoulder) is nearing a return to the outfield. However, it’s not likely to happen in Sunday’s split-squad games in Fort Myers and Sarasota.

“I don’t want this thing to turn into something that’s going to hamper his season,” Showalter said. “I expect him to be playing, if not Sunday, soon after.”

Kevin Gausman threw 65 pitches over four innings in today’s simulated game on Field 4.

“That went well,” Showalter said.

No more roster cuts today.

“I need a break,” Showalter quipped.

Miguel Castro’s making his first Grapefruit League start today, and while his fastball was clocked at 96-97 mph on the stadium gun in the opening inning, he gave up a leadoff double to Curtis Granderson and RBI single to Josh Donaldson.

Danny Valencia made a nice backhanded stop of Justin Smoak’s scorching grounder and started a 3-6-3 double play, and Castro retired the side in order in the second on three ground balls.

The Orioles tied the game in the top of the second inning on Craig Gentry’s two-out triple and Caleb Joseph’s single. Joseph is 7-for-14 with two doubles and three RBIs this spring.

Chris Tillman said this morning that he mostly was pleased with yesterday’s 61-pitch simulated game.

“I thought it went pretty well,” he said. “I’ve got some work to do out of the stretch, but other than that, for the most part everything was good. I felt like all my pitches were there. It was my first day throwing my cutter/slider, so I wasn’t expecting much out of that pitch, but got to 60. I think the goal was 45, but I got to 60, which is good.”

Tillman’s next outing also is expected to be a sim game. Showalter said he’d pass along Tillman’s schedule later this afternoon.

Only so much can be duplicated on a back field at the complex.

“Adrenaline, you definitely can’t, but you do your best,” Tillman said. “I think it’s more of a mindset of a pitcher than adrenaline. If you’re going at these guys like you want to get work in or if you’re going after them like you really want to get them out and you’re not getting work in, I think it all depends on the guy. I think you can get away from yourself in a game if you really focus on doing a certain thing. I think sim games are real good.

“I remember throwing in a lot of sim games two years ago and even prior to that. Maybe not this many, but I definitely did. It was probably over on the minor league side, but I definitely had some A games. I’m going to have some, two or three of them. I’m not worried. I’ve just got to get a feel. As long as the hitters are giving me a read and telling me what they see, I think it’s (good).”

Tillman seemed at his most effective yesterday while working up in the zone, the hitters unable to catch up to his fastball. When a reporter pointed it out to him, he smiled and replied, “I think you’re onto something.”

“Yeah, that’s me,” he said. “I think that’s something I got away from, even as far back as ‘16. A little later in the year, I think I got away from that spot of the strike zone. That’s somewhere I’ve always pitched and felt real comfortable pitching. I think it’s something you’ll see a little more of.”

Update: Castro threw 49 pitches, 28 for strikes, in three innings. He allowed one run and two hits, walked two and struck out one. Only ground balls before he induced a popup and fly ball from the last two batters following back-to-back one-out walks in the third.

Alec Asher replaced Castro in the fourth inning and was greeted by a Smoak single, Russell Martin double and Kendrys Morales RBI grounder to give Toronto a 2-1 lead. Randal Grichuk doubled to score Martin and increase the lead to 3-1.

Update II: Asher retired the side in order in the fifth and the Orioles scored a run in the sixth on Trey Mancini’s RBI grounder following Alex Presley’s leadoff double.

Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo replaced Asher in the bottom of the sixth and allowed two runs on a leadoff walk, Morales’ double, Grichuk’s sacrifice fly and Kevin Piillar’s double. Araujo had allowed only one hit in three scoreless innings before today.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2.

Here’s a sampling from Castro, with Ramon Martinez providing the translation:

On how he felt about outing: “It felt very good today. My knee was good. It didn’t bother me any. That means everything started the right way.”

On facing his former team in a familiar ballpark: “I was very excited that it was against my former team. I was ready for anybody. For them or anybody.”

On quality of slider and changeup as outing progressed: “The slider was a little bit inconsistent, but the changeup was coming along very, very good. I got the changeup working and the slider was better late, especially the last couple of innings.”

Update III: Devon Travis hit a two-run homer off Jhan Mariñez in the seventh to extend Toronto’s lead to 7-2.

Update IV: Morales turned around a 97 mph fastball from Tanner Scott on an 0-2 pitch for a leadoff home run in the eighth that expanded the Blue Jays lead to 8-2. Scott drilled the next batter and got a double play.

Update V: The Orioles got a two-run triple from Engelb Vielma and a sac fly from Andrew Susac in the top of the ninth, but lose to the Blue Jays 8-5. They are now 6-8-1 in Grapefruit League play.

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