A few more post-game notes
*Orioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed with his exit conversation with top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy. Bundy, who was one of the team’s roster cuts yesterday, said he didn’t care where he started the season but he had an idea in his head of where he wanted to finish it. Showalter joked that the tone of that conversation would have gone differently if he told Bundy he was starting in extending spring.
The 19-year-old Bundy was optioned to Class-A Delmarva, and while it’s not a given that where he starts the year, it’s a logical landing spot to get him acclimated to pro baseball and get a few starts under his belt.
“I do think it’s important he starts the year with a [full season] team,” Showalter said. “Pitch every fifth day and if you need to decrease his inning-outings that’s easy. He needs to pitch in August, he needs to do things he hasn’t done.”
*Ryan Flaherty drove in the Orioles’ lone run on Monday. He also committed his second error at shortstop and was late on covering second base on a stolen base attempt in the first inning. Flaherty is a Rule-5 pick and is competing for a utility infielder role, a position which right now looks to be his to lose. Matt Antonelli and Steve Tolleson are also in the mix and it’s possible two of those three are on the Opening Day roster.
Showalter had originally said that one of the deciding factors would be being able to play shortstop, but he softened his stance slightly on Monday when asked how important that was for Flaherty.
“I feel pretty comfortable he will be able to play third and corner in the outfield and second base somewhat. Shortstop’s kind of new for him,” Showalter said. “He’s going to get as many reps as we can give him there. and see if we can get him comfortable there, if that’s an option for us. He can play first base. I think so can the other guys. We got a lot of games left. A lot of innings to be played. Especially when we start paring down. I think you will see those three guys hang with us for quite a while.”
*Because of those three utility players, and the addition of Wilson Betemit, infielder Ryan Adams and Josh Bell made early exits in the first round of cuts.
“We knew at this point Josh and Ryan were not going to make the club and the [Minor League] games are starting on the 14th,” Showalter said. “There’s no reason to keep them here for their well being.”
Showalter said he had good conversations with both guys yesterday.
“But, [they] walk in you ask them whether they thought they were going to make this club coming in, between Betemit and three infielders that can play multiple places,” he said. “It’s a big upgrade for us from last year. The fact that we could keep all three of them in the organization if we so choose.”
*The Orioles currently have nine of 29 pitchers with some sort of injury in camp. While obviously the extent of those injuries are varied, it will start to become more of a separator as we get deeper into spring.
*Pat Neshek threw a scoreless inning on Monday and hasn’t allowed a run in his first three appearances. He’s an interesting guy, particularly to Showalter.
“He always has been, that’s why he’s here,” Showalter said of the sidearmer. “His presentation you don’t see a whole lot, I think everybody knows what he’s capable of when he’s healthy. There’s probably not anybody in camp who has had a better statistical year from start to finish in his career. Just like a lot of guys, we hope we are catching them when they are healthy.”