Notes on illnesses, Rodgers and Milone before today’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Hunter Harvey and Mychal Givens, who didn’t throw yesterday due to illness, aren’t scheduled for bullpen sessions this morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

Manager Brandon Hyde sent Harvey and Givens back home yesterday after they reported to the complex. They weren’t in the clubhouse this morning during the media availability.

Catcher Pedro Severino, who also has been under the weather, reappeared at his locker today without the surgical mask and appeared ready to work out.

David-Hess-Fires-vs-SF-Orange-Sidebar.jpgSeventeen pitchers are throwing today: Paul Fry, Tanner Scott, Alex Cobb, Chandler Shepherd, Miguel Castro, Branden Kline, Bruce Zimmermann, Rob Zastryzny, Kohl Stewart, David Hess, Cody Carroll, Ty Blach, Hunter Cervenka, Tom Eshelman, Marcos Diplán, Dillon Tate and Cristian Alvarado.

Brady Rodgers also was listed this morning, but he’s going to wait until Sunday while recovering from soreness in his right arm.

“I played catch just the other day, still felt a little something,” he said. “Just kind of taking it easy so early in the spring.”

Rodgers, a candidate for the rotation, said the discomfort surfaced after he reported to camp.

“Just something that flared up a little bit,” he said, “but like I said, it’s early in the spring, so there’s no need to try to throw through anything.

“Tomorrow we’ll throw. It feels a lot better than it did a few days ago, so headed in the right direction. You never want these things to happen at the end, so just taking it easy. The training staff is doing a great job here and feeling better every day.”

Tommy Milone has reported to camp - assigned uniform No. 69 - after passing his physical yesterday and signing a minor league deal.

“Just going through the whole offseason trying to figure out what’s the right place for me,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of opportunity here and I think that’s why we chose to come here. Some open spots, and I think if I can come in here and pitch well and show my old self, I think I have a good opportunity.”

Milone, who turns 33 tomorrow, has to be a guy who likes competition in a camp that’s holding 36 pitchers.

“Just like last year being in Seattle, there’s a lot of young guys and the competition kind of brings out the best in everyone,” he said. “You kind of play up, I feel like, when you’re competing for a spot like that and it’s something I’ve had to do pretty much every spring training, so it’s nothing new for me. But it will be nice to have some fun and see the young guys and, maybe (like) back in the day when I played with some older guys, they would help me out being a young guy, so return the favor and pay it forward a little bit.”

The Orioles signed Milone to give them another starting option, though he’s also worked out of the bullpen while pitching for six teams in nine seasons. There are no assurances with a non-roster invite beyond the chance to win a job.

“At some point I’ve got to go out there and control what I can control,” he said. “When they give me the ball and I can go out between the lines and pitch, then all that goes away and I just have to do a job. That’s kind of the focus. When you step between those lines you have one thing to do as a pitcher and that’s to get guys out. That’s the plan.”

Milone made only six starts last year among 23 appearances with the Mariners, but he was used in a bulk role that brought him into games within the first three innings.

“I still consider that almost as being a starter just because I still knew the day that I was going to pitch,” he said. “That wasn’t really much of a change because they still allowed me to get ample time to warm up just in case something happened in the first inning. Most of the time they would get somebody else up if the other guy was in trouble, so I still had a lot of time to warm up as if I were a starter. So not much adjustment there.

“I didn’t mind it. It was OK.”

Milone is reunited with Wade LeBlanc, his teammate in Seattle who carries a similar pitching profile. They spoke over the winter.

“Just kind of figuring out where things stand and how we’re doing and stuff,” Milone said. “I was aware when he signed and then I think it was a month or so before I signed. It is what it is. I had to do what was the best opportunity for me and that was the ultimate goal, to get somewhere where I have a chance to make the team and make the rotation out of camp, and ultimately we picked here.

“It was something that I hadn’t done. Usually I had picked somewhere like December sometime, so waiting all the way up to February and after camp starts was difficult. When I started throwing bullpens at home and started to get ready, I started to get that anxious feeling of getting back into it and get going. So it was definitely difficult, but happy to do it, to end up in the right place.”

“Tommy is a guy who can help out anywhere,” LeBlanc said.

“Similar to me, a guy who’s just going to go out, he’s going to make his pitches, keep the ball in the zone, let the defense work and give the team a chance. Anytime you can get a guy like that it’s definitely a bonus for your squad.”

Funny how their career paths are crossing again in the same offseason.

“It’s crazy. This game is crazy, man. You never know, you never know,” LeBlanc said.

“If there’s one piece of advice I can give any young player, don’t burn any bridges because you never know.”

Milone had other minor league offers before reaching agreement with the Orioles.

“I think we were just trying to weigh the options,” he said, “and see what was the best fit.”

blog comments powered by Disqus