SARASOTA, Fla. -- Zach Britton says that he's not worried about the soreness in his oblique. The Orioles left-hander, who converted all 47 of his save attempts in 2016, was scheduled to throw in an intrasquad game on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said the day before that Britton would not pitch.
"It felt a little bit better today. It was a few days ago, just kind of normal soreness," Britton said.
Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Sarasota. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Left-handers Nuno, Bleier arrive at camp
By Rich Dubroff
Special to MLB.com |
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles added two left-handers this week, and both reported to the team on Wednesday. Vidal Nuno, who was acquired from the Dodgers, and Richard Bleier, picked up from the Yankees, were on hand.
Nuno and Bleier, who will both turn 30 this year, will give the Orioles additional options. Manager Buck Showalter said that he could foresee the team carrying three left-handers, with perhaps Nuno or Bleier coming north with Zach Britton and Donnie Hart.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Eleven-year-old Nicole Parker, of Ellicott City, Md., had a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Tuesday, as the aspiring sportswriter -- who started an Orioles blog of her own about a month ago -- got to visit O's camp and meet some of her heroes.
Parker, who came down with her father, Alex, to take in a little Spring Training action, wore a Manny Machado Orioles jersey and was surprised when the All-Star third baseman paid a visit to the media workroom to do an interview.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters agreed to a two-year contract with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday morning, Nationals manager Dusty Baker confirmed. The contract is pending a team physical.
Wieters, who could make up to $21 million according to MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal, will reportedly make $10 million in 2017 and has an $11 million opt-out for the following season. The Baltimore Orioles have not yet confirmed the transaction.
SARASOTA -- With Presidents Day and the start of Spring Training so close together, MLB.com decided to take a look at the state of the Orioles in 2017. And who better for that than executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette?
Duquette, a two-time Sporting News Executive of the Year -- including in 2014 with the Orioles -- has been with Baltimore since November 2011.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Robert Andino had always kept it in the back of his mind the possibility of returning to the city that -- outside of his hometown in Miami -- still holds a special place in his heart: Baltimore.
"You never know in this game," said Andino, who signed a Minor League deal earlier this month and is trying to make the club as a reserve. "It's real exciting, and it's a blessing to be back. It took long enough, but I'm just happy to be back."
12 of Baltimore's Top 30 Prospects are expected to arrive in 2017
By Mike Rosenbaum
It was another successful year for the Orioles, who rattled off 89 wins, good for fourth in the American League, to reach the postseason for the third time in five years. But they were unable to advance past the Blue Jays in the AL Wild Card Game, as Edwin Encarnacion hit a dramatic walk-off home run off of Ubaldo Jimenez in the 11th inning to seal the O's fate. But while the playoff loss may have been difficult to swallow for fans, how Baltimore got there offers plenty of optimism for the future.
After three injury-plagued seasons, Dylan Bundy emerged as a key part of the Orioles' rotation after beginning the season in the bullpen. Though he did wear down late in the year, Bundy showed the promise that had made him the No. 4 overall Draft pick in 2011, as well as the organization's top prospect in subsequent years.
SARASOTA -- The Orioles added to their pitching depth on Sunday night, trading for left-hander Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for Minor League right-hander Ryan Moseley.
The move, which saw the O's designate lefty T.J. McFarland for assignment to open up a 40-man roster spot, gives Baltimore another potential starting or relief option. Nuno, 29, went 1-1 with a 3.53 ERA and a 4.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 55 games, including one start, with the Mariners last season.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Hyun Soo Kim sat quietly by his locker on Sunday morning. The Orioles' outfielder -- whose very presence last spring was a noteworthy event -- is enjoying being out of the limelight and being just another guy at the O's full-squad practice.
"I don't want to go back," Kim joked, in perfect English, of where things were this past year.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Manny Machado's World Baseball Classic positioning outlook is a lot like his long-term positioning outlook. Third base? Shortstop? We don't know where Machado will play for certain.
But what can be said for certain is that one of the game's great hot-corner defenders is still interested in a full-time return to his native position -- not just in the Classic, but in the Majors. And that's something to keep in mind as Machado's post-2018 free-agent eligibility looms.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
SARASOTA -- Orioles outfielder Seth Smith said earlier this week he's looking forward to being a part of Baltimore's powerful lineup.
"It is fun," said Smith, who was acquired from Seattle in the offseason trade that sent Yovani Gallardo to the Mariners. "I've enjoy watching the Orioles kind of do their thing for a while now, and to be a part of it is going to be fun."
SARASOTA -- Adam Jones took the field on Friday for the team's first full-squad practice and jogged all the way back to the warning track, a cheeky ode to the headlines earlier in the week after executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette noted that perhaps Jones -- who had been critical of the team's defensive outfield upgrades -- could help the defense by playing deeper.
Jones said Saturday morning that his trip out to deep center field wasn't really a message to anyone and, when asked if he had a reaction to Duquette's comments, simply said: "We're all entitled to an opinion, correct?"
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles got good news on Saturday, as J.J. Hardy's bone scan test came back negative, keeping the shortstop in line to resume baseball activities March 4 or 5.
"You can tell just being around him he's pretty upbeat about it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy, who has been sidelined with back spasms the past three weeks. "I think we talked about dates yesterday. I expect him to be playing [in games], if we don't have any setbacks, March 10."
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles signed outfielder Craig Gentry to a Minor League contract with an invitation to big league camp on Saturday morning, a move that could help boost their defense and gives them another potential backup option in center field.
"He's a guy who, for a couple years, was considered probably one of the premier fourth outfielders. Plus runner. Plus defender. Wore out left-hand pitching. Last two years [have been harder], because of some injuries, some of it concussion stuff," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gentry, who works out with Baltimore hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh every winter.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- It took a few weeks for the swelling to go away and when Chris Davis finally picked up a bat this offseason -- his left thumb injury behind him -- it was an eye opener.
"Because I hadn't realized the impact that it really had on me," said Davis, who suffered the initial injury at the start of the 2016 season and played through it. "I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be 100 percent and be able to swing with both hands. It was really a big relief to not have any pain, and I'm looking forward to getting started again."
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brad Brach, who made his first All-Star team last season, prevailed in his arbitration hearing and will make $3.05 million in 2017.
The Orioles countered his camp's figure with $2.525 million. The news, delivered Friday morning while the team was stretching, is just the second time in 13 arbitration hearings that an O's player has won.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Infielder Chris Johnson, who was signed to a Minor League deal on Monday, was part of a large group of position players that filtered into the big league clubhouse for the full-squad report date on Thursday.
Johnson, the son of Triple-A manager Ron Johnson, joked "Who?" when his father was brought up and acknowledged it would be weird to play for Norfolk this season.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, who received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder in late December, said Wednesday morning that he's fairly confident he won't miss much regular-season time.
"It's feeling strong, it's feeling better, but you've got to do it right," said Tillman, who was plagued by the same inflammation in the second half of last season. "I don't want to do it wrong and just say, 'I'm going to go out there. I'm feeling better.' I want to do it the right way and get it behind us. That way, it's not an issue going forward."