CLEARWATER, Fla. - As they prepare to play the Phillies today at Spectrum Field, the Orioles are closing in on their first round of spring cuts. It will likely happen in the next day or two before the club heads for the east coast of Florida for two games starting Tuesday.
“It is starting to get around that time, so we’re starting to discuss (that),” manager Brandon Hyde said before the game in the visitor’s dugout. “We need to start paring down our numbers a little bit.”
Hyde said bullpen right-hander Hunter Harvey, who has yet to pitch in a spring game, will do so soon.
“He threw a simulated game yesterday morning,” he said. “Threw really well. He’s going to throw a side possibly tomorrow and we’ll figure it out from there. But it should be soon, in the next few days. I need to talk to Broc (pitching coach Doug Brocail) to finalize that.”
That discussion between Hyde and Brocail led to the decision that Harvey will pitch in tomorrow’s exhibition game as opposed to throwing the previously mentioned side session.
Hyde also took time to reflect on some things he has liked about his club since camp began Feb. 11.
“I am excited about, I think we have some of our bullpen guys that are really throwing the ball well,” he said. “I like the way (Eric) Hanhold has thrown. I like the way Cody Carroll has thrown. To see him pitch like that in the Fall League and then come back and pick up where he left in November, that was great to see. He’s throwing 95, 96 (mph) with good secondary stuff, so excited about that.
“I like the way we are swinging the bat. I’d like to continue to base run the way we’ve been running. I feel like we’ve played fairly well defensively, but we still need to clean up some things. So I feel good where we are right now, but we still have a long way to go.”
Means allowed two runs in an 1 1/3 innings on 39 pitches Tuesday versus Tampa Bay. He had good stuff, but a wind-blown triple cost him the two runs. Hyde is interested to see him face a Phillies lineup filled with starters, including Bryce Harper.
“I just want him execute pitches and if he feels like he’s where he needs to be hopefully go two or three innings. Yeah, it’s a nice test, they’re some big boy bats in there today. I like when we play against the other team’s guys and I know John does, too.”
Hyde said he wanted some of his young players to watch and take note of Harper and others today.
“No doubt. I think, especially for some of these guys that haven’t been in the big leagues or not for very long. To watch some of these guys in there today against us. It’s good to see what other good players look like on the other side. If you don’t pay attention, you’re crazy. J.T. Realmuto is one of the top five catchers in the game.”
The Orioles have brought over four pitchers from minors camp: lefty Zach Muckenhirn and right-handers Luis Ortiz, Cesar Valdez and Francisco Jimenez. Also here from minors camp are outfielders T.J. Nichting and Zach Jarrett, infielder Andrew Daschbach and catcher Maverick Handley. They have a roster of 30 for this game.
The Orioles beat Miami 12-6 Saturday. They’ve won four games in a row to get 5-4 and have scored double figure runs for three straight games. They’ve scored 13, 11 and 12 the last three days.
After the recent offensive surge, the Orioles lead the Grapefruit League in hits (96) and total bases (156) and they are tied for first in the league with 12 home runs. Their .296 average is second best and they’re 11-for-11 in stolen bases attempts.