News & notes Orioles Grapefruit league finale (updated)
Greetings from Sarasota, where the Orioles lineup today looks like it could be their regular lineup, at least against right-handed starters.
Manager Buck Showalter said again today David Lough will probably not start against lefties, with Nelson Cruz shifting to left field and Delmon Young at designated hitter a likely scenario. As for who will bat second in Manny Machado’s place, Showalter said J.J. Hardy is probably not an option. Young could be a possibility against righties, with Nick Markakis against right-handers given that David Lough would be back in the lineup to lead off.
*The Orioles are not expected to make any cuts today. The team is still deciding between Jonathan Schoop and Jemile Weeks. Alfredo Aceves and Evan Meek are still fighting for that last bullpen spot, although the clear edge goes to Meek.
Zach Britton and Josh Stinson look like sure bets in the bullpen. T.J. McFarland and Kevin Gausman are also still in camp.
Young and Steve Pearce appear to be locks with yesterday’s news that Nolan Reimold will be on the disabled list to start the season.
Of course, there’s always the potential for the Orioles to make a move. Showalter said they pondered a waiver claim on Wednesday but decided not to and it wouldn’t be surprising if they made a late addition before rosters have to be set 3 p.m. on Sunday.
*Reimold just came into the media room to talk about going on the DL to start the season. He stressed that it’s not a new injury, but his neck still isn’t 100 percent and he wants to be able to play the outfield and be fully healthy before he comes back.
“I guess [it's] kind a mutual decision,” Reimold said of Wednesday’s news. “It’s best for me, best for the team. I think it’s best for everybody. From my point of view, it’s important for me when I play to play well and to finish strong rather than go out there and be in pain or uncomfortable early on. I think it’s the right decision from everyone’s point of view.”
Reimold is coming off back-to-back neck surgeries, including a corrective fusion surgery after he was cleared too early from the first one.
“I don’t have a problem swinging,” he said. “Obviously, I DHed and everything. It’s playing the field early on, got pretty uncomfortable. But where I’m at right now, I’ve progressed very well and I’m far ahead of schedule for anybody who’s had this kind of surgery before. But it’s not side to side. It’s more like extension and the constant grind and pounding that a baseball season would take on you. What we do is make sure I can play the field every day before I come back, just to make sure it’s OK. I have to be certain that I can play.”
Reimold is well aware of the injury-prone label he’s been tagged with and the general fan reaction that went with the news of him going on the DL.
“I’m more tired about talking about it than anybody,” Reimold said. “I’m ready for these neck issues to be over and done with. If I look at it from where I’m at right now, I’ve progressed a lot from the beginning of spring training to now. So I will keep progressing and I’ll be 100 percent in the near future.”
*Machado will travel with the team to Baltimore to get his Gold Glove and Platinum Glove awards and then he will return to Sarasota, Fla. to continue his rehab.
*There’s some really bad weather expected in Norfolk on Saturday, where the Orioles are slated to play an exhibition game. It’s very possible that game doesn’t happen.
*Johan Santana threw off a full mound for the first time today and Showalter indicated he could be pitching in an extended spring game sooner than expected. Santana will throw again on Tuesday and then three days after that do the same thing he did today.
“If we feel good and everything is coming along we are going to start facing hitters and building it up,” Santana said of the plan following next week’s mound session. “After that’s its just a matter of time. We don’t know how long or how many times we are going to do that until we start getting into games and hopefully able to compete.”
Here are your lineups for the Orioles finale spring game in Sarasota…
Nick Markakis RF
David Lough LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Matt Wieters C
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ubaldo Jimenez RHP
Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist SS
David DeJesus LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings CF
Logan Forsythe 2B
Ryan Hanigan C
Yunel Escobar DH
Alex Cobb RHP