Spring Training news & notes Day 24 (updated)
*Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis reaggravated his neck on Thursday and will not play in any of the team’s games through Sunday.
“He was playing with his kids yesterday and had it flare up again,” manager Buck Showalter said of Markakis, who came in last Sunday with a neck spasm and hasn’t played since. “He was back, by the time I left [Ed Smith Stadium complex], he was back to where he was before yesterday.
So, he’s still close but I wouldn’t say Sunday. I’ll probably wait a little bit on that one just to be sure.”
Nolan Reimold, who has been dealing with a sore right shoulder, was throwing at the team’s complex on Friday although there are no immediate plans for him to get back in the field.
Reimold exited last Friday’s game after two innings and Showalter said he’s available right now as a designated hitter only as the team is also erring on the slower side with that injury.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden (lower back) said Friday he is feeling better and Showalter said he could return to spring games on Monday if all goes well up until then.
“I was pretty much a full participant in yesterday’s workout and I’m going to do it again today,” Teagarden said. “Make sure that the back feels good. It’s responding well and I’m not waking up feeling stiff and achy. I feel all right today. I’m going to go out there and hit BP again and run around and do all my stuff, catch bullpens, and I suspect that I’ll feel pretty good tomorrow morning.
Hopefully, and at some point I’ll get in a game. Soon, I believe. The way things are going, I’m progressing. We’ll just see what happens this weekend, and I assume I’ll get in a game soon if everything goes all right.”
*Tsuyoshi Wada threw a bullpen session today and will go back-to-back for the first time in his rehab tomorrow. Wada isn’t throwing full bore, but he is working on getting his mechanics back to where they need to be.
“I’m finding a lot of things out about my mechanics right now,” Wada said through interpreter Seob Yoon. “I think I’m getting closer than what I was at, and it’s going to gradually get better and better day-by-day. I’m not sure how it’s going to look next week, too. But I think it’s going to be gradually getting better.”
Manager Buck Showalter said earlier this week Wada will not get in a big league spring game, and the target date for him to return is May or June.
*Some members of the organization were surprised right-handed reliever Pedro Strop was used for multiple innings for Team Dominican Republic on Thursday night. Strop did only throw 20 pitches and it wasn’t under a lot of stress, but he still recorded five outs.
*Showalter got his first glimpse of Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia in the batting cages at the Minor League facility on Friday morning and was impressed with his swing, noting his solid wrist action.
*In case you missed it, Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop had a three-run home run in the sixth early Friday morning and finished a triple away from hitting for the cycle to help bring Team Netherlands to the brink of a berth in the semifinals with a 6-2 win over Cuba in the first game of the second round at Tokyo Dome. You can read more about that game here, but Schoop is certainly turning heads.
“I think with Jonathan, it’s nothing but good,” Showalter said of the World Baseball Classic exposure. “And from an organizational standpoint, a lot of people are seeing what a good player and prospect he is.”
Schoop has been playing second base, although his future position in the big leagues is still up for debate. Showalter said Friday he thinks Schoop can play shortstop or third base as well.
“He’s going to be able to play infield in the big leagues,” said Showalter, who dismissed the notion of Schoop projecting as a potential corner outfielder. “He’s got plenty of arm strength, he’s got good hands, he’s got good habits. You put him in a foot race, I can tell you five or six infielders in the big leagues that he’s a comparable runner with. But they are not going to hit potentially the home runs he’s going to hit.”
When Schoop returns from the Classic, he will remain in Major League camp for a while.
“He will get some reps here,” Showalter said. “I think as much for our sake as his. We miss him here. There’s a lot of times I’d love to play him….Nothing wrong with him going right from here into the season. Make sure his knees feel good and everything. I don’t know what [the organization's] plan is for him, whether they are going to put him in Double-A or Triple-A, they will figure it out.”
* The Orioles today announced that they have agreed to terms with 17 players on one-year contracts, completing agreements with all players on the 40-man roster. It just a formality of spring.
Here are the agreements:
RHP: JAKE ARRIETA, ZACH CLARK, MIGUEL GONZALEZ, STEVE JOHNSON, PEDRO STROP and CHRIS TILLMAN LHP: MIKE BELFIORE, ZACH BRITTON and T.J. McFARLAND
CA: LUIS EXPOSITO
INF: RYAN FLAHERTY, MANNY MACHADO, YAMAICO NAVARRO, JONATHAN SCHOOP and DANNY VALENCIA
OF: XAVIER AVERY and L.J. HOES
Alexi Casilla SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Wilson Betemit 3B
Jason Pridie DH
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Trayvon Robinson LF
Chris Dickerson RF
Jose Gil C
Xavier Avery CF
Wei-Yin Chen LHP
Also scheduled to pitch for the Orioles tonight: Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter, Daniel Schlereth and Troy Patton.
Sterling Marte CF
Jose Tabata LF
Neil Walker 2B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Gaby Sanchez 1B
Brandon Inge DH
Jerry Sands RF
Michael McKenry C
Clint Barmes SS
Kyle McPherson RHP