WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Over the next two days during this east coast trip, the Orioles will get every position player, except Trey Mancini, into the game either today against the Washington Nationals or tomorrow versus the Miami Marlins.
Mancini came out of yesterday’s game not feeling well after two at-bats.
“He’s just not feeling great,” manager Brandon Hyde said before today’s game. “The right thing to do was leave him back there and not come on an overnight spring training trip. Be on a bus for three hours.”
Lefty Tommy Milone, who was scheduled to start this game, instead stayed back in Sarasota to throw.
“Yesterday something with his (trapezius muscle) was a little tender, so we decided to leave him back. He’s feeling fine today and pitching three innings (in a simulated game). So we kept him back also. We have plenty of pitching.”
Speaking of pitching, Hyde is encouraged by how some of the starting rotation candidates are going right now.
“I like how some of the guys are throwing,” he said. “I like how (Bruce) Zimmermann threw yesterday. (Wade) LeBlanc and Milone both had good outings early. Yeah, I think we’ve been pitching pretty well. We had that one really bad split-squad day and we were shaky (throwing) strikes-wise early, but we’ve been better at that lately also. I think there is some nice competition going for rotation spots.”
Hyde is impressed early on by right-hander reliever Cody Carroll, who missed all of the 2019 major league season due to back surgery. He threw well in the Arizona Fall League and has thrown three scoreless innings in spring games.
“Cody is definitely someone that is on the radar for potentially making our club,” Hyde said. “He threw well in the Arizona Fall League. He’s carried that over here. Sits in the mid 90s with good secondary stuff. Really like what we’ve seen so far.”
Right-hander Eric Hanhold, a non-roster invitee claimed off waivers in September from the Mets, has also garnered Hyde’s attention. He’s thrown three scoreless innings and fanned five.
“Trying to get more talent in here, and Eric is 6-6 and throws 96, 97 (mph) with a really good changeup,” Hyde said. “I like the ride on his fastball. It’s 96 and plays up. It’s a funky, real tall (arm) slot that gives hitters trouble. It’s still really early but he’s another one like Cody in the mix.”
The Orioles will face three-time Cy Young Winner Max Scherzer today when they face the Nationals.
“I like seeing other team’s better players to face in spring training,” Hyde said. “To face a guy like Scherzer, it’s a huge test for our guys. He is the ultimate competitor but we’re still in the first week of March. Who knows what is going to happen, but I like seeing other team’s top players.
You can hear today’s game on Orioles.com and MLB At-Bat beginning at 1 p.m. Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias will be a guest in the early innings.
Update: Ty Blach retired the side in order in the first inning, then a double play helped him out of a jam in the second. The third was the charm for the Nationals, who erupted for five runs off Blach. César Valdez came in to get the last two outs of the inning. The Orioles had scored one in the top of the third when Chris Davis’ sacrifice fly plated Hanser Alberto.
Final update: Both offenses went pretty much silent for the second half of the game, and the O’s took their first loss in a week. Michael Rucker pitched two scoreless innings and Cody Carroll, Miguel Castro and Paul Fry each worked one inning. Final score: Nationals 5, Orioles 3.