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Oliver Drake gets final roster spot, plus more after O’s-Tides tie

NORFOLK, Va. - The one remaining roster spot that was an Orioles mystery no longer is. Right-hander Oliver Drake will be the eighth member of the Orioles bullpen on opening day. Manager Buck Showalter announced that after today’s 3-3 tie at Harbor Park with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, concluding the exhibition season. Showalter also provided more clarity on right-hander Chris Tillman’s upcoming schedule. It is

Orioles get early lead in Norfolk (O’s and Tides tie 3-3)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Orioles 3, Tides 3 Recap: The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on J.J. Hardy’s second spring homer. He hit one out to left off right-handed starter Brandon Barker, who will likely start for Double-A Bowie this season. Barker allowed two hits and one run over four innings. ... The Tides took a 2-1 lead on

Pregame notes on Chris Tillman, the roster and more

NORFOLK, Va. - The very cloudy and rainy skies we saw here for most of this morning have brightened a bit, and the Orioles and Triple-A Norfolk Tides are going to play their exhibition game here today as scheduled. It is starting just a few minutes later than the original scheduled start. First pitch is set for 3:15 p.m. Orioles reliever Darren O’Day is not

Projecting the minor league rotations and a look at today’s game

NORFOLK, Va. - The minor league seasons for the Orioles’ four full-seaon affiliates at Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie, Single-A Frederick and Single-A Delmarva begin next Thursday, April 6. It should not be too long before the break-camp rosters are announced. For now, we can speculate on what the rotations could look like starting next Thursday, so let’s take some (hopefully) educated guesses: Norfolk: With right-hander

A look at minor league outfielder Austin Hays, plus other notes

As a first season in professional baseball goes, it could not have gone too much better in 2016 for right-handed hitting outfielder Austin Hays. The 21-year-old Hays, the Orioles’ third-round selection (No. 91 overall) last June out of Jacksonville University, made a strong debut. Over 38 games and 140 at-bats at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, Hays batted .336/.386/.514 with nine doubles, two triples, four homers, 21

Their time is now: Gausman, Bundy begin year atop rotation

Former Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail might approve. He said to “grow the arms.” Starting next week, minus Chris Tillman right now, two Orioles first-round draft picks will head up their starting rotation. The Orioles made Dylan Bundy the fourth-overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. A year later, they selected Kevin Gausman, also with the fourth pick. With Gausman under team control through

For his latest trick, Cedric Mullins homered off Craig Kimbrel

Outfielder Cedric Mullins is the little guy with a little pop in his bat. Just ask Boston closer Craig Kimbrel. This spring, Mullins has made a very big impression on Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Even though he is officially not even a non-roster player on the major league roster, 22-year-old Mulins has been called over often from minor league camp by Showalter. The skipper has

A look at a big outlier among Mark Trumbo’s 2016 stats

During a season where he hit 47 home runs (four more than anyone else in the majors), made the All-Star team and won a Silver Slugger Award, there was one line on the stat sheet that was very unimpressive for Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo. You would think a right-handed power hitter might mash against left-handed pitching. But in 2016, Trumbo hit just .173/.223/.385 against lefties

Britton on predictions, more on fifth starter and a player impressing on farm

For the Orioles, the players can change from year to year, but the predictions that the team won’t do well seem to be the same. Different year, same predictions. That topic didn’t come up with too many players when I was at spring training in Florida the last nine days, but it did with pitcher Zach Britton. It seems this topic is very individual to

MLB.com’s Richard Justice talks Orioles

Hey, look, a national writer that doesn’t always predict doom and gloom for the Orioles. Of course, they all do not do that, but MLB.com columnist Richard Justice has often written eloquently about the Orioles’ resurgence since it began in 2012. A former Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Sun from 1984-1989, Justice has written about the Orioles also as a columnist at The Sun

Showalter on Wright’s struggles and more after tie with Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The candidates for the Orioles’ fifth starter’s job are not exactly setting the world on fire lately. Lefty Chris Lee allowed two runs and five hits in two innings on Wednesday. Tonight against the Twins, right-hander Mike Wright allowed seven hits and five runs over two innings, raising his spring ERA to 8.38. No one is grabbing the ball and running

Early exit for Mike Wright tonight (O’s, Twins tie at 5-5)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Twins 5, Orioles 5 Recap: Mike Wright’s fifth outing of the spring (counting a B game) was his worst. He had a 4.70 ERA in Grapefruit League games coming into this outing and exits with an ERA of 8.38. He allowed six hits and five runs in the second inning. He gave up four straight two-out run-scoring hits. ... Vidal Nuño,

O’s pregame notes on returning WBC players and more

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A few notes from manager Buck Showalter’s pregame session with reporters before tonight’s game with the Twins at CenturyLink Field. * A couple of the club’s returning World Baseball Classic players - Manny Machado and Welington Castillo - are expected to play for the Orioles at home tomorrow night in Sarasota. Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop will likely not play yet

Schoop on returning to team, Flaherty on returning to lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. - With the end of the World Baseball Classic, the Orioles now have the whole band back together at their spring training camp. Outfielder Adam Jones was at Ed Smith Stadium earlier today, second baseman Jonathan Schoop met with reporters in the clubhouse this afternoon and pitcher Mychal Givens is at minor league camp this afternoon at Twin Lakes Park. Third baseman Manny

Spring training notes on Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini and Jesus Liranzo

SARASOTA, Fla. - It happened on a back field at the Ed Smith Stadium complex and in a B game with the Orioles playing the Pirates. A young man from minor league camp standing just 5-foot-8 got into the box. He got a pitch to drive and didn’t miss it. He crushed a homer off the batter’s eye in center field to tie the game.

Dariel Álvarez: Now a hitter and a pitcher

SARASOTA, Fla. - He’s been an outfielder since the Orioles signed the Cuban native to an $800,000 bonus on July 26, 2013. But this season, Dariel Álvarez will be a pitcher and designated hitter when he plays in games in the O’s minor leagues. Long-known for his big-time right arm, Álvarez clearly fell behind a host of others on the Orioles’ major league depth chart

Chris Lee on outing: “I need to be more efficient than that”

SARASOTA, Fla. - It was just a spring training game. It won’t count for much once the regular season starts. But for 24-year-old left-hander Chris Lee, tonight probably felt like a lot more. With the days left on the spring schedule dwindling, it was his latest chance to audition for the Orioles’ fifth starter job. Lee entered his fifth spring appearance and second start with

Welington Castillo returns to team, feels ready to start the season

SARASOTA, Fla. - New Orioles catcher Welington Castillo rejoined the team today from the World Baseball Classic. He pretty much has pronounced himself ready to start the season and said manager Buck Showalter agrees. Castillo caught many innings over six high-level games, giving him a much different experience than he’d get in a normal spring training. He said it left him feeling ready to go.

Mark Trumbo on spring struggles and getting WBC players back

SARASOTA, Fla. - If you are a veteran player and your spot in the lineup is secured, you are probably not too worried about having poor stats in spring training. That pretty much describes Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo. A year after batting .256/.316/.533 and career highs with 47 homers (which led the majors) and 108 RBIs, he has struggled during spring training. Trumbo described his

Dylan Bundy has dealt with injuries, but Bobby Bundy has been through more

SARASOTA, Fla. - If you think pitcher Dylan Bundy has been through a lot with elbow and shoulder issues over the years, his older brother, Orioles minor league pitcher Bobby Bundy, has been through more. Bobby Bundy has had not one, but two major right knee ACL surgeries. He had bone spurs removed from his right elbow twice and, like Dylan, he also had Tommy

Minor league notes on Branden Kline, Mike Yastrzemski and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have dealt with a series of injuries this year at major league camp. And, over at Twin Lakes Park, the O’s minor league staff is dealing with a few as well. Right-handed pitcher Branden Kline, who had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 8, 2015, needed a follow-up arthroscopic procedure last week. The Orioles’ second-round pick in 2012 out of the

Notes on Ryan Mountcastle, David Hess and more from minor league camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - A few notes from the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park. This is the home of the Orioles’ minor league camp, where today at 1 p.m. teams representing Single-A Frederick and Single-A Delmarva will play the Boston Red Sox. At the same, teams representing Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie are on the road playing Boston in Fort Myers. O’s minor

Q&A with new Orioles pitching coach Roger McDowell

SARASOTA, Fla. - When the Orioles hired Roger McDowell as pitching coach in November, they got a man with a strong resume in the position. McDowell, who replaces Dave Wallace, spent the last 11 seasons as the Atlanta Braves pitching coach. During that run, the Braves ranked fourth in the majors with a 3.88 ERA, including a 3.58 ERA from a bullpen that ranked second

Showalter on Álvarez’s hot bat and Drake’s struggles

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Orioles could be adding two of their regular players soon. Third baseman Manny Machado and catcher Welington Castillo fly into Florida tonight. O’s manager Buck Showalter said he would give them tomorrow off and they should be back at spring training camp on Wednesday. Both played for the Dominican Republic, which was eliminated Saturday night in the World Baseball Classic.

Álvarez hits another homer, but pitching struggles (O’s lose 7-4)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Red Sox 7, Orioles 4 Recap: The Orioles pitching struggled today. First, the scheduled starter Wade Miley was scratched due to flu-like symptoms. That made Vidal Nuño the starter. He allowed three runs and four hits over 1 2/3, with two runs scoring after he left the game. ... Right-hander Oliver Drake followed him and allowed three consecutive run-scoring hits during

Showalter updates Wade Miley’s status, plus other notes

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Left-hander Vidal Nuño is starting today’s game here for the Orioles against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park. The scheduled starter, left-hander Wade Miley, was scratched due to illness. He has flu-like symptoms. Miley has pitched just nine innings over four spring starts, but manager Buck Showalter doesn’t feel his status to begin the year in the rotation is an issue

Mancini on pushing for roster spot, Britton on staying healthy

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Trey Mancini is back in the lineup here today for the Orioles, batting fifth and playing first base against the Red Sox. He is having a spring, just as he had hoped. He’s hitting well and wants to force the Orioles to make a hard decision on him when mapping out their opening day roster. He’s doing all he can to

A look at Ubaldo Jiménez and the pitching instructor that helped him

SARASOTA, Fla. - Inconsistent and erratic would be two words to describe right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez and his three years with the Orioles. But when he is good, he can be really good and we’ve seen that, too. Late last season, for instance. From Aug. 25 on, Jiménez pitched to an ERA of 2.45 in his last seven regular season starts with a WHIP of 0.86.

Caleb Joseph on Kevin Gausman: “He was in complete control”

SARASOTA, Fla. - Kevin Gausman was facing a Detroit Tigers lineup that featured just one everyday player. But the man who had the best seat to watch the Orioles right-hander pitch today said his stuff was so good, that he would have had a dominant outing if this had been a regular season game. Gausman brought his A game and catcher Caleb Joseph said this

Gausman: “Physically and mentally, I feel just about there” (O’s lose)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Tigers 7, Orioles 1 Recap: Right-hander Kevin Gausman had a strong outing against a lineup not filled with regulars. But he was good: five innings, allowing just two singles, with one walk and eight strikeouts. Gausman fanned five the first time through the order and said he had three pitches he could throw in any count. ... The Orioles’ lone run

A conversation with an Oriole with mixed loyalties last night

SARASOTA, Fla. - Of all the players in the Orioles clubhouse, maybe the most nervous and emotional about last night’s Team USA game versus the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic was catcher Francisco Peña. He had two teammates on one team, with Adam Jones and Mychal Givens playing for the USA. He had his father, Tony Peña, managing in the other dugout. The

Sisco gains valuable experience, Jones robs Machado in WBC

SARASOTA, Fla. - It must be satisfying and quite encouraging for any young player at Orioles spring training to get props from manager Buck Showalter. For catcher Chance Sisco, the club’s No. 1-rated prospect, those words came after Friday’s game in Bradenton. Sisco got the start against the Pirates, had an RBI single in a win and caught the first five innings. Showalter was particularly

Wrapping up the Orioles’ 5-4 win over the Yankees

TAMPA - Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy pitched his longest spring outing and once again used his cutter/slider. Lefty Jayson Aquino continued his solid spring. Pedro Álvarez made a catch of a routine fly ball in his Grapefruit League outfield debut and the Orioles beat the Yankees 5-4 today in front of a sellout crowd of 10,393. The game was tied at 4-4 in the top

Dylan Bundy on his outing and using the cutter (O’s win 5-4)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Orioles 5, Yankees 4 Recap: Right-hander Dylan Bundy went four innings in his longest outing of the spring. But he gave up four hits and three runs to raise his spring ERA to 7.36. ... Bundy said he threw eight or nine cutter/sliders today and plans to use the pitch during the regular season. ... Pedro Álvarez made his Grapefruit League

Chris Tillman will resume throwing next week

TAMPA - The Orioles got some potentially encouraging news on right-hander Chris Tillman today, who is dealing with shoulder discomfort. He will resume throwing next week, but at the same time, manager Buck Showalter acknowledged that Tillman is not expected to pitch in the majors in April. Tillman, who got a cortisone injection in that shoulder on Wednesday, will take part in two throwing sessions

Gausman talks Tillman, Bundy, expectations and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - In some respects, Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman has been where right-hander Chris Tillman wants to go. It was about one year ago when Gausman got a cortisone injection for a right shoulder strain. He missed the beginning of the 2016 season, but he returned to start for the Orioles on April 25, pitched 180 innings, had a very strong year and did

Showalter on Ynoa, Mancini and more after O’s beat Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. - They are not the only two candidates competing for a potential rotation opening with the Orioles, just the last two to pitch. Left-hander Chris Lee worked three scoreless innings last night and Gabriel Ynoa took the mound today here at LECOM Park. During a 56-pitch outing, the 23-year-old right-hander went 2 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two runs. The second run

Ynoa on his outing, Britton with scoreless inning (O’s win 8-6)

ORIOLES QUICK WRAP Score: Orioles 8, Pirates 6 Recap: Gabriel Ynoa got the start and a chance to make his pitch for a rotation job. He fared probably a little better than his line looked. He allowed five hits and two runs over 2 2/3 innings. But he gave up a bloop RBI single and a second run scored on Michael Zouzalik’s balk. ... Trey

Ynoa on the mound, Mancini homers for O’s in Bradenton (updated)

BRADENTON, Fla. - The latest Orioles pitcher to audition for a potential spot in the season-opening rotation is Gabriel Ynoa. The 23-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic got the start here this afternoon against the Pirates at LECOM Park. Ynoa has made three previous spring outings, each time going two innings. Over six frames, he had allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) with

Prospect profile: Keegan Akin made a strong pro debut

As a highly drafted pitcher, there were some high expectations on left-hander Keegan Akin before he even threw one pitch as a professional. But he produced such good numbers last summer at short-season Single-A Aberdeen that Akin met those expectations in his debut season and has quickly become one of the Orioles’ top pitching propsects. Drafted in the second round (54th overall) last June out

Some Tillman talk and a WBC update

Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman got a cortisone injection yesterday for his shoulder discomfort. While cautious optimism seems to be the current mood about Tillman, with any pitching injury, we don’t know until we know. That sounds like a wiseguy response, but even if Tillman can return to pitch in April and looks good, we won’t know if he can stay healthy and pitch well all

Minor league rosters and schedules, plus the word on Wasdin

While the Orioles’ spring training camp has been very busy at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla., the minor league camp has been humming along across town at the Twin Lakes Park complex. Dozens of minor league players are preparing for their own seasons - many, of course, with hopes of reaching the major leagues. Some have already been there. Today, minor league

The bullpen shuttle: Orioles have a lot of optionable pitchers

As opening day approaches, we know that the Orioles will be relying heavily on their bullpen during the 2017 season. The Orioles bullpen pitchers posted an ERA of 3.40 last year and that led the American League. For most games this season, the Orioles will feature a seven-man bullpen. And we know that five of those spots will likely be filled by Zach Britton, Darren

Taking another look at the Orioles’ rotation depth

The news on right-hander Chris Tillman from Sunday was concerning. He never even made it to his planned bullpen session, shut down after about 10 long-toss throws before he was planning to take the mound. So Tillman, who was on the disabled list from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11 last season with right shoulder bursitis, continues to have shoulder discomfort. He got a platelet-rich plasma

Making an impression: Chris Lee is throwing well in camp

The Orioles felt that if left-hander Chris Lee could prove to be healthy this year, that he could impact their 2017 pitching staff. He probably would have gotten his first callup to the majors last season, but he didn’t pitch after May 23 when he had a start where he went eight innings and gave up just one run for Double-A Bowie. Lat and shoulder

Adam Jones with walk-off hit; showdown with DR is tonight

Well, perhaps that win for Team USA last night gained the World Baseball Classic more fans in this country. If it didn’t, tonight’s heavyweight bout between the United States and the Dominican Republic figures to do that. The Orioles sure factored significantly in the United States’ 3-2 victory in 10 innings over Colombia. O’s right-hander Mychal Givens allowed both runs that Colombia scored and Adam

Will this be the year for Team USA?

The World Baseball Classic has proven to be a force and very popular around the world, creating interest and great television ratings in many countries. But for the event to gain more interest here, Team USA probably needs to win this event - or least get deep into the competition. As Team USA - with two Orioles on the roster - begins Pool C play

After big years in 2013 and 2015, can Chris Davis add 2017 to list?

A player that has hit 47 homers or more twice in his Orioles career and one that signed a huge contract 14 months ago is bound to be a focal point for opponent pitchers and under a huge spotlight with his own fans. That is life for Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Recently, I wrote here how center fielder Adam Jones could produce better stats

The ongoing tale of three once highly ranked O’s prospects

Non-roster outfielders Logan Schafer, David Washington and Chris Dickerson are still with the Orioles at major league spring training. So are Rule 5 pick outfielders Anthony Santander and Aneury Tavárez. But Dariel Álvarez is not. He was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday. It appears that Álvarez has fallen well down the depth chart in the outfield. He was sent to minor league camp after going

The pressure could be on at the front of the Orioles rotation

It starts with the starting pitchers. That we know. Starting pitching will have a lot to say about how the Orioles and just about every other team fares in 2017. The pitchers may change from year to year, but that adage does not. Some readers have expressed concerns that the Orioles will be in trouble counting on Ubaldo Jiménez and Wade Miley to produce solid

Taking an early guess at the 25-man roster

A lot can change, and we still have four weeks to go before opening day, but here is my shot at projecting the Orioles’ 25-man roster. I should point out I went with the roster as if no one starts the year on the disabled list and as if the Orioles don’t have three early off-days. Kind of a roster once they settle into the

More WBC talk and Statcast technology continues to grow

The World Baseball Classic begins Monday. And while there have been rumors this could be the last WBC, that seems unlikely. Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he is committed to the event for future competitions. While the WBC seems to have strong interest around the world, it’s been lacking in the United States. One reason is that Team USA has not fared well in this

Will we see more big-dollar free agent pitchers? (plus other notes)

Over the last couple of years, three pitchers have signed contracts worth more than $200 million through free agency. This winter, no pitcher got a deal worth more than $48 million. But that had much more to do with the quality of the free agent class of pitchers, it seems, than any change in or scaling back of the mega-contract that an elite pitcher can

A possible setback for the Red Sox, plus other notes

The news from Boston Red Sox camp yesterday seemed ominous. Left-hander David Price was experiencing elbow and forearm discomfort/soreness. He underwent an MRI exam and now is headed to seek additional medical opinions. No one is saying that will result in a surgery, but Price is heading to Indianapolis (at the NFL scouting combine) to see two of the game’s foremost Tommy John experts -

After slight stats drop, is Adam Jones poised to return to previous form?

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will soon leave the team to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He might take a hot bat into that competition. After going 2-for-3 with a home run against Boston Wednesday, Jones is 5-for-11 this spring (.455) with two homers and four RBIs. When you look at players who can improve on their 2016 statistics as the

Notes on Jayson Aquino, the WBC and the passing of Dave Rosenfield

Jayson Aquino, a 24-year-old left-hander, quietly put up some decent numbers on the Orioles farm last year and he also pitched 2 1/3 innings in three games for the Orioles, one in July and two in September. In that small sample, he held major league hitters to one hit over eight at-bats. After he threw two scoreless innings with four strikeouts yesterday in Clearwater against

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