SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles held their workout today for pitchers and catchers in a steady drizzle. Electronic equipment set up behind the mounds - laptops and high-speed video cameras - were covered with towels.
“I think we got fortunate,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We had all kinds of Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, depending on the weather, and fortunate to get the bullpens in. Obviously, we couldn’t do a whole lot because the fields were so wet, but we feel good about getting the bullpens in and do it again tomorrow.”
Richard Bleier, recovered from lat surgery in June, threw off flat ground and a bullpen mound. The expecation remains that he’ll be ready for opening day.
“He looked great,” Hyde said. “Feels great. Great to see and obviously pulling big-time for him.”
Nate Karns threw his first ‘pen session as an Oriole. Hunter Harvey also threw today and no longer is bothered by soreness in his shoulder and forearm area. Optimism for a healthy season has reappeared.
“Obviously, we know what he’s dealt with for the last handful of years and we’re going to be careful,” Hyde said. “Our goal is for him to break camp healthy and we’re going to work together on that, devising the right plan and helping him out as much as possible.
“It’s great to see him out there throwing the ball today. He looks great, physically. The ball was coming out, so I think that we’re on the right track.”
Hyde won’t dismiss Harvey’s chances of pitching for the Orioles this season. Being on the opening day roster might be a reach, however, considering the limited innings that he’s accrued.
“That remains to be seen,” Hyde said when asked about Harvey pitching in the majors in 2019. “I think our No. 1 goal with Hunter is, when we break, that he’s fully healthy and ready to go and ready to start the season. He’s just dealt with a lot and I just want him to be in a good (frame) of mind and feel good about leaving camp.”
Bleier, Harvey, Andrew Cashner, David Hess and Evan Phillips threw in the first group. Karns, Dylan Bundy, Gabriel Ynoa, Cody Carroll and Dillon Tate were in the second group. Tanner Scott, Sean Gilmartin, Branden Kline, Jimmy Yacabonis and Luis Ortiz were in the third.
The row of bullpen mounds now includes six pitching rubbers.
Hyde confirmed that catcher Jesús Sucre is stuck in Venezuela due to a visa issue. He downplayed the impact on Sucre’s chances of making the club.
“We’re hoping that he’s going to be here soon. That’s kind of all I know at this point,” Hyde said.
“It’s happened before. We’ve all dealt with guys having trouble coming over here, so we’re looking forward to when he does get here to be in the mix.”
The Orioles will summon a catcher from minor league camp as a temporary replacement for Sucre. Hyde didn’t offer up a name.
“He’s going to be a big help for us,” Hyde said. “Get an extra body here.”
Laptops and high-speed video cameras - covered with towels to protect them from a steady Florida drizzle - track the work of Orioles pitchers during their first spring workout.
Dylan Bundy worked out with the group that included Gabriel Ynoa, Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and new teammate Nate Karns.
Andrew Cashner was in the group that included David Hess, Evan Phillips, Richard Bleier and Hunter Harvey.