Pregame notes from Bradenton
*Zach Britton and Kevin Gausman are among those who will pitch in the “B” game this morning. Matt Wieters is catching for the first time going back-to-back this spring. For more on Wieters, click here.
*Paul Janish made his unofficial spring debut in yesterday’s game against the Puerto Rican development team and he is serving at designated hitter in the B game. Janish is still targeting around March 20 to get into a Grapefruit League contest.
“Hopefully I’ll throw across the infield in the next few days, take some ground balls, that kind of stuff,” said Janish, who had bone chips removed from his right elbow last month. “And if I actually throw across the infield, realistically I’d like to play by the end of the week or the weekend. So, we will see what transpires.”
*Manny Machado is among the numerous regulars who made the short road trip to Bradenton. With the team being on the road three of the next four days, plenty of O’s opted to play in Bradenton over Clearwater on Monday. Machado, who stole his first base this spring in the first inning of Wednesday’s game, said he hopes to steal more bases this season.
“My legs feel great. Every day they feel better,” said Machado, who is coming off season-ending right knee surgery. “I just wanted to test it out and see if I was able to do that. I felt a little weird, but I guess it was just the first one of the year, the first one in a while, actually. I got picked off a lot last year, so that’s one of the main things I want to improve. I want to be a better, not basestealer, but baserunner. I’ve been trying to work on that with [Wayne] Kirby this spring and get better at it.”
Machado said he’s past the point where there’s any hesitation with running.
“It’s more of whether I’m doing it right, if I’m taking the right first step, looking in at the catcher,” he said. “I’m not really thinking about my knee anymore. It’s more about if I’m doing it right or not.”
Machado is batting .300 (6-for-20) this spring and said he feels like he’s right where he needs to be. Manager Buck Showalter has singled out Machado’s defense several times already in camp.
“It’s been fun,” Machado said of getting back to his Gold Glove self in the field. “We’ve been working at it. I still have a little ways to go, but I’m definitely feeling good. I’m seeing the ball well off the bat, and I’m just doing me. I’m just going out there trying to catch the ball and make the outs and get ready for the season.”