Spring Training news & notes Day 11 (Grapefruit opener)
*The Orioles will open the Spring Training season with a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium, with the game being broadcast on WBAL radio. You can also follow along on MLB.com’s Gameday.
*The Orioles, who will wear a patch on their uniforms in tribute to Earl Weaver this season, also had a No. 4 painted by the home dugout here at Ed Smith Stadium and there is slated to be a moment of silence and video tribute for Weaver, who died last month at age 82.
*In case you missed it, I wrote yesterday about Wei-Yin Chen’s goals for the season and his offseason emphasis on adding strength. You can read that here.
*Starter Zach Britton will be followed by Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Steve Johnson, Dylan Bundy, T.J. McFarland, Todd Redmond, Zach Clark and Adam Russell. Most of the team’s regulars are expected to start, with Brian Roberts getting one or two at-bats and then going to a wedding at night.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold will start tomorrow’s game in Dunedin, with Jair Jurrjens pitching and making his Orioles debut. The lineup is below, with Nick Markakis at designated hitter and Chris Dickerson in right-field. As manager Buck Showalter joked to reporters, he’s “got a real good feel” of Markakis can do in the field.
Showalter relayed a funny story today about Markakis making sure to call him, and others in the organization, this offseason during the World Series to tell everyone he would have been ready to play. He’s very locked-in to camp this year, with Showalter pointing out that having to sit on the sidelines with an injury during the postseason probably added some extra fire for Markakis.
There are seven pitchers throwing sides who won’t throw in the game, with one of those guys likely getting the start on Monday. Britton and Arrieta will both start the next time around, with the Orioles scheduled for two games on Wednesday: a 1:05 p.m. game in Tampa against the Yankees and a 7 p.m. contest at home against the Red Sox.
*Danny Valencia will see time at first base this spring, along with Steve Pearce, Conor Jackson, Travis Ishikawa and Russ Canzler. There’s a spot there to be won behind Chris Davis, with Ryan Flaherty also in the mix. Jackson, who has been slowed by a back injury, is doing better and he’s expected to play tomorrow.
*For those who have asked about televised games, MASN kicks off its Grapefruit League schedule with Monday’s game versus the Yankees. The next game will be March 7 versus Toronto and the other televised games are: March 14 (vs. Tampa Bay), March 17 (vs. Twins), March 23 (vs. Phillies) and March 27 (versus the Yankees).
*Showalter hinted that with spring being longer than usual, some guys who need to pitch will start off at the Minor League complex at Twin Lakes Park. I’d imagine guys like Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and relievers Jim Johnson, Luis Ayala and Darren O’Day could see some time there.
Monday’s starter for the home game against the Yankees is Brian Matusz with Mark Hendrickson, Pedro Strop and Daniel McCutchen. The Yankees will start lefty Vidal Nuno.
Darin Mastroianni CF
Eduardo Escobar 3B
Josh Willingham LF
Ryan Doumit DH
Chris Parmelee RF
Chris Colabello 1B
Brian Dozier 2B
Drew Butera C
Pedro Florimon SS
Kevin Correia RHP
Brian Roberts 2B
Nate McLouth LF
Nick Markakis DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Dickerson RF
Zach Britton LHP