Orioles/Royals lineups and pregame tidbits
*Catcher Craig Tatum is here in the Orioles clubhouse and is expected to be activated for Thursday afternoon’s game. Tatum will likely take the spot of one of the team’s additional infielders with Brandon Snyder or Ryan Adams the most logical choices. Given that Adams can play second base and is the lone backup for Robert Andino, it would make more sense to option Snyder since both Luke Scott and Jake Fox can play first base,
*Speaking of Andino, his bunt last night was ordered by manager Buck Showalter. However, it was Andino who made the decision to try to bunt Danny Duffy’s high fastball, which ended up being a pivotal pop-up and double play. Andino said today he was frustrated with how poorly he executed and –as luck would have it — he had already scheduled extra bunting work with first base coach Wayne Kirby on Wednesday afternoon.
“You got to get that down in that situation in the game,” said Andino, who came to bat with no outs in the fifth inning and runners on first and second. “You got to get it down. I just picked a bad pitch to bunt, [and] hit the ball up.”
Andino said the sign was to bunt, and it wasn’t to bunt the first pitch at all costs.
“It was bunt a strike, and I think that’s what he should be and was frustrated with,” Showalter said of Andino. “I think the good thing is he understands that’s what he’s supposed to bring, one of the things. We should be able to assume certain things. It’s not easy to go up there and the whole idea, a pitcher’s going to throw a high fastball there, especially throwing 94-96 like that guy. It’s hard to do. It’s also hard to hit.
Showalter was happy to hear that Andino was still angry with himself on Wednesday and noted how far the infielder has come in maturing.
“Maybe in years past, Robby would’ve felt differently [about the failed bunt," Showalter said. "It’s been well defined from Willie [Randolph] and everybody what he needs to bring, and for the most part, he’s been bringing it. Last night was an exception.”
*Brian Roberts is here and said while he’s getting better, he is still experiencing symptoms that are best described as motion sickness. Roberts will not do any baseball activity for two weeks and be reevaluated from there. More on that situation is here.
In Roberts’ absence the Orioles will use Felix Pie and Andino in the leadoff role. While J.J. Hardy is another option, for now Showalter wants to keep Hardy in the bottom of the order. As for Pie, he had some dental issues but Showalter said they were able to get them worked out in time to start him tonight.
*LHP Troy Patton cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Norfolk.
*Top prospect Manny Machado (dislocated left knee cap) has been hitting in the cages and taking batting practice at extended spring training. The shortstop also started light running on Monday and is expected to remain in Sarasota for at least a few more days.
*Finally, if you haven’t already see this, please take a second to read about the Diamonds and Dreams project and visit the page or retweet my link. Your help is much appreciated.
Felix Pie LF
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Luke Scott 1B
Mark Reynolds 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Adams 2B
Jake Arrieta RHP
Alex Gordon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Billy Butler DH
Wilson Betemit 3B
Matt Treanor C
Chris Getz 2B
Alcides Escobar SS
Luke Hochevar RHP