Spring Training 3/23 news and notes (updated)
*The Orioles have flipped Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman for tomorrow, with Matusz pitching in the Grapefruit League game in Bradenton and Tillman throwing to the Orioles’ Minor League hitters at Twin Lakes Park. If Tillman has a setback, and there’s no reason to think he would, pitching there would allow the team to backdate his time on the disabled list. Again, there hasn’t been anything alarming and Tillman has said the abdominal soreness is behind him, but it’s another reason to make the switch just in case.
*Daniel McCutchen has been reassigned to Minor League camp and there will probably be a few more cuts sometime today.
*The plan is for Kevin Gausman and T.J. McFarland to each get another spring start. With the Orioles playing a lot of divisional opponents the final week, they’ve got a lot of guys going at the Minor League complex to get their work in.
*Tsuyoshi Wada (Tommy John) threw a side session yesterday and there’s no plans for him to progress to a simulated game. Some of his bullpens are better than others and he’s building up arm strength right now.
*Nick Markakis will hit off some soft toss today, his second day of full baseball activities, and the plan is for him to hit off the coaches in batting practice on Sunday and Monday.
*Reliever Pedro Strop will throw a “touch-and-go” side session today, which is essentially a light bullpen to see how he feels. The team will figure out Strop’s schedule –in returning from the World Baseball Classic– based off of that.
*Jason Hammel threw six innings, 86 pitches, in a Minor League game on Friday and Tommy Hunter threw 51 pitches after him. The pair faced the usual challenges of trying to get some work in against the always-anxious younger hitters, with the game being played against Class-A.
“You can’t really get deep enough in the counts with them to work on some of the things you want to work on – i.e. like striking people out,” Hammel said. “If you want to work on a slider back foot or a curveball in the dirt or something like that, you can’t get there because they swing at the first three pitches, no matter what. But you just get your work in, just treat it like that. There were some good at-bats where I was able to do some things that I wanted. And if we had short innings, you just stay out there and work on some other stuff. Whatever level you’re at, there’s still a batter in the box and you’ve still got to throw strikes.”
*Mark Hendrickson was back in the Orioles clubhouse this morning after leaving Wednesday morning for the birth of his third daughter, Sophia. Hendrickson missed the actual delivery, but was able to stay in contact with social media and got a picture from his wife with their new baby before his plane took off from Tampa. He has stayed on a pretty regular throwing schedule, playing catch at home in York, Pa. on Thursday.
*Jair Jurrjens threw five scoreless innings yesterday and manager Buck Showalter said it’s the best he’s seen him so far. Jurrjens said he feels like his mechanics are back to where they were before his knee injury and he’s felt more in sync his last two outings.
Ben Revere CF
Jimmy Rollins SS
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Michael Young 3B
Domonic Brown RF
John Mayberry LF
Steve Lerud C
Aaron Cook RHP
Nate McLouth LF
Brian Roberts 2B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Nolan Reimold RF
Manny Machado 3B
Steve Pearce DH
Wei-Yin CHen LHP