Chen hones changeup in solid outing vs. Blue Jays

Southpaw allows one earned run in five innings; Young hits second spring homer

Chen hones changeup in solid outing vs. Blue Jays

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A pair of homers paved the way for Toronto on Wednesday, with Steve Tolleson and Kevin Pillar each going deep in the Blue Jays' 5-2 win over the Orioles.

After an early unearned run, Tolleson homered in the third off O's starter Wei-Yin Chen to push the Jays' lead to 2-0. Pillar went deep off Orioles righty Ryan Webb in the sixth, connecting for a two-run shot, and Toronto extended its lead with a sacrifice fly by Ezequiel Carrera in the eighth.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lough day to day, but back improving

Lough day to day, but back improving

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Outfielder David Lough, who was scratched from Tuesday's lineup, said his back is slowly improving and he's considered day to day right now.

"I'm not concerned," Lough said Wednesday morning of the injury. "It's a lot better today than it was yesterday so it's a good sign, knowing it's already healing."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schoop absent to undergo dental work

Schoop absent to undergo dental work

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jonathan Schoop was unavailable for Wednesday's game, as the O's second baseman was undergoing dental work.

"He needs all four wisdom teeth out, and he needs two teeth extracted," manager Buck Showalter said. "They're going to try and hold off on the wisdom teeth, but he's going to be down for a few days."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young working hard in preparation for season

Young working hard in preparation for season

SARASOTA, Fla. -- One of the first Orioles at the Ed Smith Stadium complex every morning is outfielder Delmon Young, who arrives around 6 a.m. ET to get in a workout before the sun comes up.

"I've been doing this since 2004 [as a Devil Ray] with Carl Crawford. It's just something I've always done," Young said of his early-morning habits. "He was the leader of the team when I first showed up at big league camp, so I followed him around everywhere. He would show up early, so I'd show up early."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wieters focuses on health, not Opening Day

Wieters focuses on health, not Opening Day

SARASOTA, Fla. -- With Opening Day all but officially out of the question for Matt Wieters, the Orioles' catcher has simply set his sights on a healthy return.

Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Wieters had been on track to be ready for Opening Day against the Rays until the O's shut him down last week, one day after his Spring Training debut behind the plate.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's offense, Jimenez lead way in win over Pirates

O's offense, Jimenez lead way in win over Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Steve Pearce ignited a five-run fourth inning with his fifth homer of the spring on Tuesday and the Orioles went on to defeat Pittsburgh, 9-2, in Grapefruit League play.

Pirates All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen played four innings in his return to the lineup after a 12-day layoff with "lower-body soreness." McCutchen went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and smoothly fielded several balls hit his way.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ubaldo's strong start has him in running for O's rotation spot

Ubaldo's strong start has him in running for O's rotation spot

BRADENTON, Fla. -- High walk totals have plagued Ubaldo Jimenez throughout his career, but especially last season, when he walked nearly 14 percent of the batters he faced.

But Jimenez has seemingly turned a corner this spring, walking only one batter over his last 13 innings spanning three Grapefruit League starts. He was at his best Tuesday, throwing five scoreless innings without issuing a free pass as the Orioles beat the Pirates, 9-2, at McKechnie Field on Tuesday.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lavarnway ready to step up and be O's backup catcher

Lavarnway ready to step up and be O's backup catcher

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The news about Matt Wieters' elbow likely pushes Caleb Joseph into the role of starting catcher for the Orioles come Opening Day. It also opens up the backup catcher competition until then.

Ryan Lavarnway is one of the players looking to seize the opportunity. Baltimore's other top internal options include Steve Clevenger, J.P. Arencibia and Brian Ward.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will catching situation shake out?

Beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers questions from fans

Inbox: How will catching situation shake out?

Without Matt Wieters, how do you see the Orioles' catching situation shaking out?
-- Bill F., Arlington, Va.

Manager Buck Showalter made it pretty clear it's safe to speculate that Caleb Joseph will be the primary starter, and defense will continue to be the deciding factor in who earns the backup job. The Orioles' best defensive catching prospect is Brian Ward, whom the club already sent out to Minor League camp. Internal options currently in camp are J.P. Arencibia, Steve Clevenger and Ryan Lavarnway, with Clevenger the only one on the 40-man roster. That's not necessarily an advantage, as the O's have been willing under executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and Showalter to make the roster moves necessary to field the best club. If camp ended today, Showalter said he could make a decision on the catching race. But he hasn't tipped his hand early.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Day takes part in fantasy mock draft

O'Day takes part in fantasy mock draft

Here at MLB.com, we have plenty of fantasy baseball expertise. But no one can dispute that the Major League players whom we analyze have their own level of knowledge. Knowing this, we decided to solicit advice from them about how to build the perfect fantasy team. The result is the first ever -- that we know of -- players-only fantasy mock draft.

Ten players with an interest in fantasy baseball agreed to take part in a three-round mock draft with the help of MLB.com reporters, who relayed picks across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. Reporting done by Adam McCalvy, Rhett Bollinger, Alden Gonzalez, Mark Bowman, Jane Lee, Brittany Ghiroli, Steve Gilbert, Brian McTaggart and Joe Frisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jones' two-homer game powers O's at plate

Center fielder goes deep in consecutive innings in loss to Cards

Jones' two-homer game powers O's at plate

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Adam Jones homered twice and drove in four runs, but the Orioles fell to the Cardinals, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

Randal Grichuk's two-run homer off Orioles pitcher Chaz Roe in the top of the ninth inning gave the Cardinals a 7-6 lead, and they added one more.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey out with right fibula fracture

Harvey out with right fibula fracture

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey is out 4-6 weeks with a slight fracture of his right fibula.

Harvey had a CT scan on the area Sunday after X-rays came back negative. He was hit by a comebacker in a Minor League game Saturday. Harvey was in big league camp this spring and reassigned on March 16.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's emphasize defense in choosing catchers

With Wieters unlikely for Opening Day, Joseph could be starter

O's emphasize defense in choosing catchers

SARASOTA, Fla. -- With All-Star catcher Matt Wieters unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, the Orioles will have Caleb Joseph as their likely starter. The team will also continue to place defense as the top priority in evaluating who to have as their second backstop to start the season.

The O's internal options are Steve Clevenger, Ryan Lavarnway, J.P. Arencibia and Brian Ward, who is at Minor League camp.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Showalter watching Connaughton with O's in mind

Showalter watching Connaughton with O's in mind

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter knows who he isn't rooting for during the NCAA men's basketball tournament: Notre Dame.

"I want to see [Orioles prospect Pat Connaughton] get eliminated as soon as possible," Showalter said with a grin. "I'm just being frank. Not in a bad way.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Showalter on Wieters: Opening Day unlikely

Showalter on Wieters: Opening Day unlikely

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, on his way back from Tommy John surgery, is "unlikely" to be ready for Opening Day, manager Buck Showalter said on Saturday.

Wieters has been dealing with tendinitis in his right elbow, but Showalter remains optimistic about the recovery process. Still, Wieters appears likely to begin the season on the disabled list, which would make him eligible to debut April 11 against the Blue Jays, in the second game of Baltimore's first homestand. He likely would not make the roster as a designated hitter if he isn't able to catch.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pearce out to show last year was no 'fluke'

Orioles slugger looks to build on breakout 2014, continues torrid spring with fourth homer

Pearce out to show last year was no 'fluke'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Steve Pearce enjoyed a breakout 2014 season, but he feels like he still has something to prove this spring.

Pearce ripped a three-run homer in the Orioles' 5-3 win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon at Hammond Stadium, going deep for the fourth time in his last five games. He entered the day tied for third in homers this spring, behind only the Cubs' Kris Bryant and the Mets' Michael Cuddyer, and he called getting off to a good start this year "very important."

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pearce, Young power O's to win vs. Twins

Pearce, Young power O's to win vs. Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Steve Pearce and Delmon Young homered to help lead the Orioles to a 5-3 win over the split-squad Twins on Saturday at Hammond Stadium.

It was the fourth homer in the past week for Pearce, who connected on the three-run blast in the second inning off left-hander Tommy Milone, who is competing for the final spot in Minnesota's rotation. Pearce's shot to left field with two outs scored Caleb Joseph and Paul Janish. Joseph brought home the first run of the inning for Baltimore with a one-out double to center field.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Janish debuts for O's, while Webb returns

Janish debuts for O's, while Webb returns

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shortstop Paul Janish finally made his Grapefruit League debut for the Orioles on Saturday, while right-hander Ryan Webb returned after about a two-week absence.

Janish, who had bone chips removed from his right elbow last month, started and played six innings in the field against the Twins at Hammond Stadium. He went 1-for-3 at the plate, singling up the middle in his first at-bat.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's option Urrutia, send Johnson to Minors camp

O's option Urrutia, send Johnson to Minors camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned outfielder Henry Urrutia to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned right-hander Steve Johnson to Minor League camp before Saturday afternoon's game against the Twins. The moves left the club with 41 players in big league camp.

Urrutia played in 15 Grapefruit League games, going 8-for-25 (.320) with two doubles, a home run, seven RBIs and three walks. His most recent appearance came on Friday against the Red Sox, when he went 0-for-3.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matusz not focusing on trade rumors

Matusz not focusing on trade rumors

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brian Matusz pitched four scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Friday afternoon in the Orioles' 11-5 win, and admitted that it's hard to get away from the trade talks that have been swirling around him this spring.

"I mean, it's no secret. I'm well aware of talks and things going on," said Matusz. "But for me all I can control is what I can control. To be able to go out and pitch and get extended and throw all four pitches and mix. [Being] able to pitch my game is really what it's all about."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's offense erupts late as Matusz has good outing

O's offense erupts late as Matusz has good outing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brian Matusz pitched well in his second spring start and the offense came alive in the eighth inning as the Orioles defeated the Red Sox, 11-5, on Friday at JetBlue Park.

Matusz, who is expected to be in the bullpen for the Orioles, looked solid as a starter. He allowed two hits and no walks over four innings, notching two strikeouts.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tillman to throw in Minor League game on Tuesday

Tillman to throw in Minor League game on Tuesday

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles will pitch Chris Tillman in a Minor League game on Tuesday, as the O's continue to use the Twin Lakes Park facility to help prepare their starters for the big league season, manager Buck Showalter said.

Wei-Yin Chen and Kevin Gausman each threw in separate Minors games on Friday. The O's have also had a "B" game and a contest against Puerto Rico to help create extra innings.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright, Berry optioned to Minors

Wright, Berry optioned to Minors

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned right-hander Mike Wright and left-hander Tim Berry to Triple-A Norfolk and are expected to make a few more moves Saturday.

Wright allowed two runs on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. He had four spring appearances, including one start against Toronto.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jones goes deep for first time as Tillman has a solid outing

Jones goes deep for first time as Tillman has a solid outing

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Adam Jones hit his first home run of the spring and Henry Urrutia's first-pitch homer in the eighth inning was just enough to give Baltimore a 6-4 win over the Pirates on Thursday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

It marked Urrutia's first homer of the Grapefruit League season and gave the O's back-to-back wins. Urrutia is now 8-for-22 with two doubles and a homer.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

X-ray on Wieters' right elbow comes back clean

X-ray on Wieters' right elbow comes back clean

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Matt Wieters' X-ray on his right elbow on Thursday came back clean and the Orioles catcher will continue to rest for at least the next few days in hopes of clearing up his elbow tendinitis.

"There's no reason to have any other tests," manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters, who had some soreness on Wednesday morning and was shut down from catching for a week.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Let's track O's Pat Connaughton during March Madness

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Let's track O's Pat Connaughton during March Madness

Orioles prospect Pat Connaughton has a mid-90s fastball. He also has a pretty good three-point shot for Notre Dame's men's basketball team.

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De Aza takes break from camp for family matters

De Aza takes break from camp for family matters

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles outfielder Alejandro De Aza left camp on Wednesday for his grandfather's 99th birthday in the Dominican Republic. It was also his daughter's birthday and De Aza received permission from manager Buck Showalter to make the trip.

De Aza is expected to be back on Thursday night

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.