Leftovers from Elias

SARASOTA, Fla. - No matter what happened last night in Tampa, the Orioles were keeping their exhibition record above .500.

A 5-1 win over the Yankees left them with an 8-5-2 mark heading into today’s game against the Rays in Port Charlotte.

Does it really matter?

Absolutely not, except that winning is more enjoyable than losing, and a team going through the painful steps of a rebuild shouldn’t have to apologize for feeling good.

“I think it’s just fun for the atmosphere,” said executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias. “Putting any kind of stock into the score in spring training games, I think, is dangerous ... but I think our guys look good and the at-bats have been good. The defense has been solid, and that’s more what we’re looking at. But it’s definitely more fun to score some runs and win some games in spring training than not, so at least I think it helps us enjoy ourselves, and it’s been just a nice atmosphere so far this year.”

The second camp under Elias and manager Brandon Hyde has run smoothly other than the bug that keeps taking down players. Trey Mancini, for instance, thought he had it beat and again was felled by flu-like symptoms.

He’s still day-to-day.

There’s also the arm soreness that’s prevented Kohl Stewart and Brady Rodgers from making their bids for starting jobs. Stewart finally is getting into a game Sunday in Sarasota. Rodgers was reassigned to minor league camp yesterday.

Tommy Milone couldn’t make his last start or pitch in simulated games due to tightness in his trapezius/neck region. He threw a bullpen session yesterday and must pass another test before getting into an exhibition game.

Can never have enough pitching. It’s more than just a catchy phrase.

Put aside the illnesses and aches, and Elias is pleased with what he’s observed at the complex.

“I was talking about this with Brandon,” he said. “I feel like we’re more talented and the guys that we’re really counting on in our farm system are getting closer. Everything feels like it’s moving in the right direction and we’re on course and headed toward where we need to go.

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done and we’re going to have to bring in more players over the next couple of years, but I like the way this group looks so far. The position players in particular, it seems like everyone looks as good or better than they did last year. And we’ve had some bright spots on the pitching side. It’s been a little bit more inconsistent, but I think that’s to be expected early in camp.”

Davis-C-w-Bat-Bag-ST-sidebar.jpgChris Davis had an RBI single Thursday off Twins starter Homer Bailey and is 6-for-12 with three home runs, eight RBIs, six walks, only two strikeouts and six runs scored.

“I think he looks better this spring than he did last spring,” Elias said.

“I think he’s swinging with more confidence, I think he’s carrying himself with more confidence, I think he looks better physically. I think his BPs have been better and the at-bats have been better. But we’re also talking about a handful of spring training games and it’s early March, so none of us are getting carried away with the results. But I do like the fact that he put in work in some areas that we had asked him to over the winter and I think it’s brought him in here in a better mindset and in a better readiness to go out and tangle with some pitchers early in spring training.”

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