Ynoa has sights set on O's 5th rotation spot

Baltimore's No. 12 prospect strikes out three in 2 2/3 innings vs. Pirates

Ynoa has sights set on O's 5th rotation spot

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Gabriel Ynoa is one of five contenders manager Buck Showalter has mentioned to replace Chris Tillman in the Orioles' starting rotation while Tillman is unavailable to pitch.

Ynoa, the 23-year-old right-hander acquired from the New York Mets for cash considerations on Feb. 10, made just his second Grapefruit League appearance since March 1 and gave up two runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings in an 8-6 win over the Pirates. He is the Orioles' No. 12 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

"I think I was throwing a good game. Unfortunately, some things happen in the game, but that is just part of the game," Ynoa said through an interpreter. "My slider was working. Also my sinker to both sides of the plate. And the changeup as well."

Besides Ynoa, Showalter listed left-hander Chris Lee, who pitched three scoreless innings against the Phillies on Thursday night, right-hander Mike Wright, who threw four innings in a "B" game against the Pirates earlier in the day, lefty Jayson Aquino and righty Tyler Wilson as candidates to step in for Tillman.

Top Prospects: Ynoa, BAL

Showalter isn't close to making a decision, he said.

"You're talking about the possibility of three more starts for anybody. Keep in mind we're in the middle of a normal spring training. There's a lot of time left. We're talking about over two weeks," Showalter said.

"I feel that I am definitely making improvements every day, working hard, trying to earn a spot in the rotation," Ynoa said.

With just two weeks left before the season, there isn't much time for Ynoa to make an impression.

"All of my games are very important, but as Spring Training winds down and the season comes closer and closer, I know the intensity level becomes higher and higher, and it's just more important as the games go on," Ynoa said.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.