News and notes Day 14 (updated twice)
The Orioles held their first intrasquad game on the main field at Ed Smith Stadium complex, which lasted 6 1/2 innings and included homers from Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis and Delmon Young.
They’re planning on having Thursday’s intrasquad game start around 11 a.m. ET. on the back fields, weather permitting.
*Nelson Cruz took infield on Wednesday morning and manager Buck Showalter talked to Cruz today, with the plan being for him to play in Saturday’s home opener.
*Ubaldo Jimenez will make his debut on March 7, which had also been the original plan for Suk-min Yoon. But given that Yoon has to leave on the 4th to go to Canada and secure his work visa, the O’s will have to wait. Yoon won’t be ready to go before that, so his spring debut is uncertain right now.
*The tentative date for Manny Machado to has his knee re-evaluated is March 18, although Showalter wasn’t sure if that meant Machado couldn’t play in games until then or not. It’s also unclear whether Machado would have to travel out to California –where he had his last appointment– to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
*Alfredo Aceves is expected be back and workout with the team on Friday, with plans for the reliever to fly in from Mexico the night prior.
*Schoop’s homer brought up a few questions about the Orioles top position player prospect, who seems much more comfortable than a year ago.
“He is with his teammates,” Showalter said. “I’m not picking on him, but I seem to always go with him for questions during drills and stuff. I think he likes it. He knows how much we like him. He’s a real likable kid. People miss he’s got some toughness about him. He’s going to be a good player. It’s just a matter of when.”
Schoop has filled out nicely, coming into spring one of his goals was to add strength. He’s around 230 now, according to Showalter, although he doesn’t look like it.
“Jon’s got a lot of ability,” he said. “He’s kind of got through that baby fat stage. this is a big strong man..he’s carrying it well. He can really turn a double play, too.”
*Are the Orioles done making moves? I don’t think so and you can read more on that here.
*With Showalter’s homework assignment for prospect Josh Hart making national headlines, the young outfielder will get some time at big league camp this spring.
“He’s definitely going to be now. So, I can apologize,” Showalter said, laughing. “Heck, he might play the whole year.”
Hart came over from Minor League camp Monday as an extra guy for Miguel Gonzalez’s live bullpen session and became a big name when Showalter told reporters he had assigned the prospect a paper for not knowing who Frank Robinson was. Robinson visited Orioles camp and spoke to the team on a personal invitation from executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and he was walking with Showalter past Hart before the Oriole skipper decided to test the youngster.
When Hart didn’t know who Robinson was, Showalter assigned him a one-page paper on the Hall of Famer, due on his desk the following day.
“I called [director of player development] Brian [Graham] yesterday about something else, I said ‘This kid’s not ruined for life or embarrassed?’ and he said, ‘No, he loves it. I just got through taking to him.’ He said he didn’t realize what a great player [Robinson] was and he really needed more than one page to get everything on it. And he hopes to get a chance to see Mr. Robinson again one day. Said he knew he was somebody famous.
I actually feel bad now. I do. I got a good feeling we will be talking about something else concerning Josh Hart than that at some point. He’s a talented kid.”
Hart, last year’s sandwich pick in the Draft, discussed his report with Showalter on Tuesday night and will bring the actual report in the next time he’s at Ed Smith Stadium complex.
“That’s what I get for telling anybody,” Showalter said of the national attention the story received. “You are never too old to learn a lesson.”
*Miguel Gonzalez remains on track to start Saturday’s game and the Orioles are planning on having Ubaldo Jimenez make his spring debut on March 7.
*One prospect who doesn’t figure to get any playing time in big league camp is top draft pick Hunter Harvey, who was selected out of high school last season. Showalter said he may bring Harvey over to see how things are run, but he wants him concentrating on getting ready for the Minor League season.
*The Orioles have a board with question marks for position battles this spring, one for backup catcher and second base and three or four in the bullpen. One potential candidate is non-roster invitee Evan Meek.
“Evan has got a chance to make our bullpen, that was an exciting late add for me personally,” Showalter said. “I think he’s got a chance. Especially if he’s back physically all the way. two years ago, he was about as good as there in the National League. I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch, seeing where he is physically.
Meek was getting ready to tryout for a bunch of clubs before Baltimore got something done. “I think we can out-opportunity people,” Showalter said.
*Alexi Casilla, who strained his hamstring during yesterday’s practice, still has some soreness and won’t play today. He’s day-to-day right now.
*Quintin Berry (back) is progressing and Monday is the latest for him to get into a game right now.
*MLB Network will air its “30 Clubs in 30 Days” segment against this year and it comes to Orioles camp on March 24. The show will air at 10 p.m. ET that night.
Here are your lineups (in alphabetical order). Showalter joked this bought him at least three days of no lineup questions from the media…
Michael Almanzar 3B
Steve Clevenger C
Ivan DeJesus Jr. SS
Xavier Paul LF
Steve Pearce 1B
Francisco Peguero CF
Nolan Reimold DH
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Henry Urrutia RF
Brian Matusz LHP
Chris Davis 1B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Alex Gonzalez 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
David Lough LF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Delmon Young DH
Kevin Gausman RHP
Eduardo Rodriguez, Brad Brach, Ryan Webb, Edgmer Escalona, Fabio Castillo and Tim Alderson are on the list to pitch for the away team.
Nick Additon, Steve Johnson, Brock Huntzinger, Mike Wright and Eddie Gamboa are also slated to pitch for the home team.