Orioles vs Rays lineups and pregame tidbits (updated)
*Reliever Matt Lindstrom recorded four outs against the Orioles’ Triple-A game this morning, recording two strikeouts, a flyout and a groundout. He had been dealing with a right leg cramp but said he didn’t feel it pushing off and the outing was “quick and easy”. Lindstrom said his velocity was good and called the morning assignment a “good test” for the season because he didn’t know he was pitching in the 10 a.m. game until about an hour before. Lindstrom retweaked his hamstring Tuesday, after pitching in the Minor League game the day before, and threw a bullpen session on Friday.
*In case you missed it, the Orioles optioned Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, which makes the 25-man roster pretty clear. Tillman will throw in a Minor League game today, along with right-hander Tommy Hunter and Alfredo Simon.
*Bullpen hopeful Pat Neshek has had a really impressive spring, and Jim Johnson hit 94 mph on the radar gun in yesterday’s game. You can read those notes here.
*There’s some confusion about what’s going on the next few days so to review. Monday’s game is against Florida Southern and the Orioles–who will provide pitching for both sides — will use all of their relievers to pitch for both sides. That game will be paid admittance. Tuesday’s game will be started by Tsuyoshi Wada and Jason Hammel, which removes either one of them from contention for Friday’s Opening Day starter. That game, against State College of Florida, will be free to enter but donations for the school’s baseball program will be accepted. Since it’s not a paid game, if Wada has a physical setback he can be placed on the disabled list retroactive to March 24.
Brian Matusz is slated to pitch Wednesday in a game against Triple-A Norfolk, with Jason Berken also scheduled to pitch. Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t positive who was starting for which side, but that is Matusz’s day to throw, setting him up to be the club’s fifth starter. Matusz, like the rest of the Orioles’ pitchers, are still in the dark in regards to the rotation and its order.
The Opening Day starter still hasn’t been announced and while it’s heavily speculated to be Jake Arrieta, Showalter said Sunday that there are two candidates the club has in mind. Right now, they are just waiting to see where everyone is physically and the other candidate would be Hunter. Asked if he could name anything, Showalter said Arrieta was going to make the club and Hammel is in the rotation. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff.
“I should be able to let you all know by Tuesday,” Showalter said, when asked again by reporters about Opening Day. “Potential things change. We’ll see how everything goes with Tommy today. Everybody’s got a little tweak here, a little tweak there. I’m a big believer in not having something come out from me verbally to the players here without hearing from me first, and two, being able to count on it 100 percent…There are other variables that might come into play this time of year.”
Rosters have to be set by 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday for all 30 Major League clubs. Showalter has said several times that the Orioles’ decisions for their 25-man team could come down to the wire.
*In case you missed it last night, I mentioned on Twitter that the Orioles have set their Minor League roster. It’s still tentative and could change depending on what happens with the Orioles, but top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will start the season in Low-A Delmarva and top infield prospects Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop were assigned to Double-A Bowie.
Here are your lineups for the Orioles final Grapefruit League game…
Endy Chavez LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Reynolds 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Robert Andino 2B
Wei-Yin Chen LHP
Desmond Jennings CF
Carlos Pena 1B
Evan Longoria 3B
Jeff Keppinger DH
Sean Rodriguez SS
Jose Molina C
Matt Joyce LF
Elliot Johnson RF
Reid Brignac 2B
James Shields RHP