Spring training news & notes 3/29 (w/ Roberts update)
*Orioles manager Buck Showalter discussed it with Brian Roberts before hitting him ninth against Rays ace David Price last night and Roberts said he will hit there on Opening Day. It could be more of a permanent move this season, and Roberts said he’s fine with it and is just glad he’s back playing baseball again.
Asked if he would alter his approach hitting ninth versus leadoff, Roberts joked he’d try to hit more home runs.
“No,” he said. “I am who I am…nothing changes.”
Except, he joked again, he’ll have to wait an hour to hit.
*No news on the final roster decisions with Jake Arrieta and Ryan Flaherty –who are both assumed to be on the team– awaiting official word from the club. Steve Pearce, who started last night against Price, also hasn’t been told anything and he’s considered a front-runner for the team’s final bench spot.
*Henry Urrutia is starting his first spring game at Ed Smith Stadium and the Cuban outfielder –who was signed earlier this spring– will bat sixth and play right field.
*Nick Markakis will bat leadoff for the State College of Florida so that he can get some at-bats against Major League pitching. Chris Tillman, who was placed on the disabled list yesterday, will get the start and he’s expected to pitch April 6 for Baltimore assuming all goes well today.
*MLB.com columnist Richard Justice wrote about the Orioles’ confidence this spring and how the club is eying a deeper run into October and you can read that here.
*In case you missed it, I previewed the Orioles’ season and mindset entering 2013 here.
Lew Ford DH
Jason Pridie CF
Russ Canzler LF
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Chris Robinson C
Henry Urrutia RF
Niuman Romero SS
Buck Britton 3B
Tucker Nathans 2B
Chris Tillman RHP