Spring Training Primer: Cashner begins Grapefruit League action Sunday; Wright's direction; Wynn's winning attitude - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Spring Training Primer: Cashner begins Grapefruit League action Sunday; Wright’s direction; Wynn’s winning attitude

Photo credit: Baltimore Orioles

What’s happening? – Andrew Cashner, who has thrown two simulated games, will make his official Grapefruit League debut Sunday when the Orioles host the Phillies.

Manager Buck Showalter has tried to keep his starting pitchers and a few of his top relievers away from American League East opponents as well as the Minnesota Twins, whom the Orioles open the season against.

Besides Cashner, Chris Tillman has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game, and Dylan Bundy threw a four-inning simulated game on the back fields of the Ed Smith Stadium complex Wednesday.

Bundy’s turn would have come against the Rays, but Mike Wright Jr., started instead.

It doesn’t bother Cashner, who didn’t sign until Feb. 15 — two days after spring training began –that Showalter is employing this strategy.

“No, cause this is by design. I think this has been a thought-out schedule,” Cashner said. “I sat down with them and went over it. For me, it’s, ‘Give the opportunity to those young guys and let me work on stuff that I need to work on for the season. And let me get ready.’”

** Chris Davis, who hasn’t played since last Friday with a sore right elbow, remains out for the time being. “It will be a little while,” Showalter said.

** Zach Britton is making good progress in his rehabilitation from his late December surgery for a torn right Achilles tendon.

Britton, who is on the 60-day disabled list, was originally forecast to be out for six months, but he hopes to return sooner. Showalter insists the Orioles must get his rehab correct.

“The setbacks for this are not a two- or three-day setback,” Showalter said. “That’s what we can’t have. …That’s a month longer. We can’t have that.”

What’s happened? – Wright allowed one run on two hits in the Orioles’ 7-2 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday. He walked one and struck out three. In his three starts, Wright has allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings for a 2.57 ERA.

Two years ago, Wright made the Orioles’ starting rotation, and he’s trying to do it again.

“I definitely feel a very similar vibe,” Wright said. “I’ve put a lot of work in. I’m sure that offseason was the hardest offseason I’ve worked, and this one was even harder. I came into camp feeling good, and, so far, the results are pretty solid, and that’s what I’m going to continue to try and do.”

The Orioles’ only roster move of the day was optioning right-hander Jesus Liranzo to Double-A Bowie. There are 52 players in camp, and Showalter expects additional roster moves in the next few days.

What’s up with? – Austin Wynns. Wynns got a start behind the plate Wednesday as he jockeys with fellow rookie Chance Sisco and Andrew Susac for the backup spot to Caleb Joseph.

Wynns was 1-for-2 and is hitting .222 with a home run.

“All of us have a shot, a great shot,” Wynns said. “What makes me stand out is being who I am. What I try to do is lead with defense, that’s win the game, win the day, and I have to do that every day. That’s my job. I have to bring the same mentality every day and not change.”

What’s what? – The Orioles still have 27 pitchers in camp. They began with 37, and 10 of the 14 squad cuts have been pitchers.

What’s the word? – “Through the years we’ve had so much familiarity with it, I’m not going lend any more to it — if I can help it. With the people we have and their experience level, the games that are being played. … they’ll be getting a lot of reps. Most of them will have three “A” games under their belt, so it will work out.” — Buck Showalter on his shielding strategy.

What’s the number? — .444. That’s Danny Valencia’s spring average. Since the Orioles signed him to a minor league contract on Saturday, Valencia is 4-for-9 with a home run and four RBIs. Valencia was 2-for-3 on Wednesday with two doubles and three RBIs.

“He’s showing he has a track record of doing things,” Showalter said. “He’s more than just a guy against left-handers and he gives you some options around the infield and the outfield. He’s a veteran proven hitter.”

What’s the record? — 6-6-1. The Orioles are at home today to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Nestor Cortes Jr., pitches against Aaron Sanchez.



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 8, 2018 at 8:01 am

    You’re not fooling anybody Mike Wright, we know who you really are! One run … 3 Strikeouts …. 2.57 ERA indeed. This is merely fools gold in March. I’m counting down the innings until your 1st mental meltdown sure to come by April.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 8, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Can’t be a believer, eh? Stove is still hot?

  2. Orial

    March 8, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Mike Wright sure doesn’t have much of a fan club huh? A little worrisome about the lack of pitching depth. Gausman,Bundy,Cashner,Tillman sounds decent but what if Tillman’s not ready? I know they won’t(ya never know)sign Cobb,Lynn. One thing that irks me on Orioles social media is the constant barrage of–“we need pitching,we have plenty of OFfers”. Yeah I’m still,bitter about John Jay.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 8, 2018 at 9:16 am

      A ‘little’ worrisome? I’m known around these parts for my homerism & OPTIMISM….but even I’m a bit more than a ‘little’ worried about this staff. (However, I do have faith in Tillman)

    • Dan Connolly

      March 8, 2018 at 9:41 am

      It’s counting on more ifs. Could work out but not the concrete foundation you want.

  3. Orial

    March 8, 2018 at 9:40 am

    A little worrisome on my part Boog. How far back do you go? I moved to Baltimore in 66,just in time.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      I’m not from Baltimore … Army Brat, but I do live in No. Va. now. I started being a fan by playing for the “Orioles” and wearing the hat in little league in Baumholder Germany as a 9 year old in ‘1969. My parents allowed me stay up late and to listen to them lose to the Mets that year in the Series on Armed Forces Radio. Moved back stateside in ’70….watched Boog, Brooks, Frank, Davey, Mark and Andy win a championship … and the rest has been a life long love affair. Greatest team on earth!

  4. Dblack2508

    March 8, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Mike Wright should be in the bullpen, his meltdowns are well documented. I think Wright could be an above average pitcher in the bullpen., reminds me of Tommy Hunter.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 8, 2018 at 10:16 am

      I’m in agreement here but I suppose one more try at starter in 2018 — he didn’t get that opportunity in 2017 — isn’t unreasonable.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    March 8, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I don’t know, this spring Chance Sisco has quietly been playing like a man less interested in being Caleb Joseph’s backup and more focused on being the starter.

    Regarding the Jon Jay broadside that our man Dan fired yesterday, I can only come up with two defenses. There’s my previously posited theory that the Orioles are close to finding a 4th consecutive ambulance chaser to purchase the team, though Dan-o disagrees. There is one other thing that stands out; Jay was signed by Kansas City for peanuts on a one year deal. ANY team could’ve made that deal, none of them did other than a team that, outside of a few glorious seasons in the sun recently, is reverting back to it’s place as MLB purgatory. There’s got to be a reason for that we don’t know.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 8, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Solid point. I just think he is older and not flashy. I mean CarGo was a superstar and is still looking and Carlos Gomez signed for relative peanuts too. I’d take em all.

    • willmiranda

      March 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Regarding Jay, I try to imagine his viewpoint. He had a number of
      good and probably happy years in St. Louis, and now he moves
      a couple hours down I-70 to KC. I grew up in the Northeast and now
      live in the Heartland. With no offense to good people anywhere, there
      is a difference. The Royals seem to focus on definite roles for each
      player in their system, unlike the Orioles, who, even on the ML level,
      are constantly moving people around. A player, especially an older one,
      might prefer the stability. Finally, baseball is still mostly an outdoor game.
      If you don’t mind a little heat –and it drops a bit after sundown–, KC has pretty
      good weather, much less rain and snow (April games) than Baltimore. Just some
      thoughts about what Jay might be thinking.

      • Bancells Moustache

        March 8, 2018 at 12:20 pm

        I don’t know, I have a tough time believing a guy who is from Miami and spends his winters there took a 1 year prove it deal in Missouri because he likes the weather, Will. Maybe he did, who knows, but this looks to me like a guy taking whatever job he could get to keep the paychecks coming. No shame there, Lord knows I’ve done it before. I always criticize people for looking at baseball through the prism of the NFL but I’m doing it here. Free Agents are on the street for a reason. We don’t know what it was, but it has to be something.

  6. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    March 8, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Hopefully Davis doesnt rush back from his injury. He has a tendancy to do that. The Orioles need him healthy to start the season. ST is more for the pitchers to get ready for the season and evaluating bench players.

    Surprisingly,Wright has pitched well so far and if this continues may win the 5th spot afterall. I still think he is better suited for the bullpen.

  7. Disco Stupid

    March 8, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Mike Wright seems to wear his issues on his face. Maybe time will temper him, but he is in his late 20’s and not put it together. Maybe he would gain velocity and confidence as a max effort thrower in the pen.

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