Spring Training news & notes Day 5 (updated)

Jair Jurrjens throwing his first bullpen as an Oriole.

Jair Jurrjens throwing his first bullpen as an Oriole.

Manager Buck Showalter watching Jurrjens and looking stealth.

Manager Buck Showalter watching Jurrjens and looking stealth.

*In case you missed it, Jair Jurrjens joined the Orioles yesterday and you can read more about that here. He’s pictured above warming up and than he went inside to finish up.

*The Orioles had pitchers throw with hitters in the batters box tracking (not swinging) today in the covered batting cage area. Those who threw: Jurrjens, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Todd Redmond, Dylan Bundy, Zach Clark, Mike Wright, Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Adam Russell, Steve Johnson and T.J. McFarland.

Jurrjens said he’s trying to back to his mechanics from before his right knee injury and he’s thrown a lot of bullpens this offseason to prove he’s healthy. He expects to be ready to pitch in spring games once they start next weekend.

“We’re at the point now where we’re seeing if he’s favoring the knee or whatever,” manager Buck Showalter said of Jurrjens. “Rick [Adair] and I were talking about getting some tape pulled up when he was right and when he was struggling and see what the difference is. See how the knee may have affected his mechanics.

“This guy at one time had outstanding command. Most of the problems he had can be traced to the issues he had with his knee. So, we’ll see.”

*Brian Roberts told reporters when he spoke to us last week that he wanted to play as much as possible this spring, and Showalter seems to agree.

“We’ve gone over the whole spring, we’ve sat down multiple times,” Showalter said. “He will have a pair of [road] gray pants in his locker, unlike some of our guys.

“He wants to play as much as I’m willing to play him, [we’re] going to emphasize the last seven to 10 days, I’m not going to beat him up, he’s still getting ready for the season. But he will get more at-bats than he normally does in the spring. ”

*Showalter also reiterated that he would like to get J.J. Hardy out of the second spot in the batting order, although he conceded it may not happen depending on injuries and other unforeseen things.

“I think his skill set serves him better and our team better somewhere else, but I’m not committed to that yet,” Showalter said. “Just like last year he was our best option there, he did a good job for us. But I think we could put him in a better position to do what he does best if I can get him down some. It’s one of the things I’m hoping we feel comfortable doing when we break here.”

*There’s still no word on whether Luis Ayala will pitch in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico, but here are the final days in camp for the guys who are definitely leaving: Adam Jones (March 2- Team USA), Pedro Strop and bullpen coach Billy Castro (March 3- Team Dominican Republic), Chris Robinson (March 2- Team Canada), Jonathan Schoop (February 23- Team Netherlands), Allan De San Miguel (Team Australia- February 22).

*Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Gausman, who has been given the nickname “Dunkin” by reliever Darren O’Day found a surprise at his locker this morning from centerfielder Adam Jones and you can see that picture here. The donuts are a tribute to Gausman’s habit of eating powdered donuts in between innings of his college starts.

It took about an hour to get the whole thing set up and Gausman got a text last night telling him to not come to the Ed Smith Stadium Complex until 8 a.m. because the veterans had something to do. How many donuts are there in total? More than 1500, with Gausman taking some good-natured ribbing for it and O’Day proudly holding up his “one-of-a-kind” bag autographed by Hostess.


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