Spring Training Primer: Cashner's smooth debut; Harvey starts again; Hart's battle - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Spring Training Primer: Cashner’s smooth debut; Harvey starts again; Hart’s battle

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What’s happening? – Dylan Bundy and Mike Wright will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton today. Manager Buck Showalter hopes that Bundy and Wright will combine to pitch the entire game.

First baseman Chris Davis had a cortisone shot in his sore right elbow Saturday. Showalter hopes that Davis, who has been out since March 3, will return this week.

“There’s no need to rush,” Davis said. “There was no point in trying to fight through it and go out there and play and get at-bats just to have to deal with this for the next six or seven months.”

Outfielder Mark Trumbo is still out with a sore right quad, but he hopes to play in a few days.

Gabriel Ynoa will be out with shin splints for two-to-four weeks. The right-hander wasn’t expected to be a real factor in the fifth-starter competition, but the injury effectively ends his spring training.

Outfielder Austin Hays expects to play the outfield for the first time Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla. He was restricted to DH duties in his first four games due to a right shoulder issue.

The roster stands at 48, and Showalter may make a few more cuts today.

What’s happened? – Andrew Cashner threw four scoreless innings, allowing one hit in his first Grapefruit League start. Cashner walked three and struck out two. He was the first Orioles starter to pitch four innings in the Orioles’ 4-0 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night.

“I think for me it’s more about pitch execution than results,” Cashner said. “I mean, the results are always nice. I’m more interested in what I’m executing and when I’m not. There are some things I need to work on, but overall, any time you have zeroes, you can never be mad.”

Showalter was happy with Cashner’s outing.

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“That was about as good as you could have hoped,” Showalter said. “He got to use all his pitches, saw a good lineup.”

** Hunter Harvey allowed two runs, one unearned, in three innings as the Orioles beat Boston 7-3 in Fort Myers, Fla., in the first half of their split-squad games Sunday.

Five Orioles pitching prospects threw scoreless innings against the Red Sox.

Keegan Akin, a second-round selection in the 2016 draft, threw a perfect fifth.

Akin retired J.D. Martinez on a ground ball, struck out Xander Bogaerts and retired Rafael Devers on a comebacker.

** The Orioles have signed their 28 pre-arbitration eligible players to one-year contracts, including Bundy, Wright, Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens and Trey Mancini. These are basically procedural moves.

What’s up with? – Donnie Hart. In five innings this spring, the left-hander has allowed two runs on six hits.

Hart is jockeying for a spot on the team with two non-roster left-handers, Josh Edgin and Joely Rodriguez, who have combined to throw 8 1/3 scoreless innings.

“Every time you go out there, you’re trying to make the team,” Hart said. “I did the same thing last year. Nothing’s guaranteed if you have options.”

Hart began his Orioles career strongly in late 2016, when he was recalled from Double-A Bowie, but had a rockier 2017 that included two trips to Triple-A.

What’s what? – The Orioles’ under-the-radar pitcher of the spring is James Teague, who was a 37th round pick in the 2016 draft. Teague pitched a snappy 1-2-3 ninth and has now thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings. He’s given up just one hit, struck out four and hasn’t walked any.

What’s the word? – “They’re gone. They don’t exist much anymore and when those (current) guys leave there won’t be guys to replace them. It’s not a skill set that’s easily found.” – Buck Showalter on the difficulty of finding a reliable leadoff hitter.

What’s the number? – 5. That’s how many catchers who’ve homered this spring for the Orioles. Caleb Joseph, who’s been productive, hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning Sunday.

He joins Audry Perez, Chance Sisco, Andrew Susac and Austin Wynns, who each homered in previous games.

What’s the record? — 9-8-1. It’s the first time this spring the Orioles have been above .500. They play Pittsburgh at LECOM Field in Bradenton, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. today.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 12, 2018 at 7:32 am

    A winning record? Grapefruit or not, this is encouraging.

    Reports of some of our pitchers actually experiencing success? How can this be? I tell ya’ …THIS is the kind of reporting I love to read about the team. Cashner, Akin, Edgin, Rodriguez and JAMES TEAGUE?!!? Who are these guys not named Ubaldo? Dan … I’m getting jazzed for the start of the seaon. I’m almost ready to break out the bag-o-blind-optimism!!

    Go Os!!

    • Dan Connolly

      March 12, 2018 at 9:10 am

      You will break it out. And I will smile as you cheerlead. Opening Day is around the corner.

  2. deqalt

    March 12, 2018 at 7:55 am

    We have gotten so accustomed to making excuses and talk potential about starting pitching. It’s refreshing to just say Cashner pitched 4 clean innings and looked good. No need for excuses. Orioles need another professional pitcher or this team will not compete. The Twins just made that 2nd wild card harder. They are a low market team yet we can’t add a big time pitcher as well. Something not adding up. Are we back to confederate money or ownership not committed?

    • Dan Connolly

      March 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

      To me it is the same old. When given equal options, pitchers don’t choose Camden Yards and the AL East. Safer ways to make major money.

      • Paul Folkemer

        March 12, 2018 at 9:53 am

        The Orioles should make sure the options aren’t equal, then. There’s no reason they couldn’t have easily topped a one-year, $12 million offer to Lynn. Make him turn down a three-year deal in the $30-$36 million range.

        If the Orioles are going to claim to be competing in 2018, signing a legitimate starter for far less than Ubaldo money is a deal they have to make.

        • Birdman

          March 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm

          You raised the key question – “if the Orioles claim to be competing in 2018.” And there’s not much evidence that they are really serious about competing, except perhaps competing with Tampa for 4th place.

          Between the departures of J.J., Ubaldo, and Miley, and Tillman’s pay cut, the Orioles cleared about $40 million in salaries. So what have they reinvested to upgrade the team? – Signed Cashner to an $8 million per year contract. That’s it. Pretty much answers the question whether the Orioles are serious about competing.

  3. Orial

    March 12, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Plenty of encouraging signs–young pitchers,young OFers, deep catching,no Trumbo/Davis(only kidding). My concerns are as follows–Tillman’s lack of progress,no position for Mountcastle(mandatory that they find one),Sisco’s defensive deficiencies,AND why would Lynn take a one year deal when O’s supposedly had a 2-3 year offer out there. Dan did the O’s pull that offer?

    • Dan Connolly

      March 12, 2018 at 9:13 am

      I’m not sure Orioles ever made a concrete offer to Lynn. Or to any of the major FA pitchers. And I wouldn’t call Tillman’s situation a lack of progress. It might be ultimately. But the slow play is not a concern at this moment.

    • Bancells Moustache

      March 12, 2018 at 9:49 am

      We gotta consider that maybe guys don’t want to come here. Just because a FA pitcher doesn’t come here doesn’t necessarily mean Dan Duquette needs tarred and feathered. Minnesota is coming of a playoff appearance, their organization seems more stable, a pitcher has Byron Buxton behind him in center, and they don’t have Judge, Stanton, Betts Donaldson etc showing up every couple weeks.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 12, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      I’ve written it for years. The only way you get free agent pitching to Baltimore is to grossly overpay.

  4. Dpsmith22

    March 12, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I believe Cashner will be far better than the pundits and advanced stats say. Not to say he will put us into the playoffs by any means. I still see a 75 win team here.

    So many bad moves this spring. Might be Duquette’s worst, which is saying something considering he was so bad in 15′, he truly should have been fired.

    I saw 2 games in Florida and certainly saw no issues with Sisco defensively. I saw him throw out 2 base stealers and make a nice play on a bad throw from Jones at the plate.

    IF the O’s were not happy with Sisco as a catcher, he should have been dealt. Its not like we have room for him in any other position, that could possibly play. Again, this shows a total lack of foresight.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 12, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Sisco is 23 years old. He’s been playing catcher for 5 years. He’s developing behind the plate. Just because he’s not major league ready defensively at baseball’s toughest position at this exact moment is no cause for change. This isn’t lack of foresight. It’s baseball.

      • Dpsmith22

        March 12, 2018 at 11:04 am

        Ordinarily I would agree.

        However, the O’s had no pitching and Sisco was someone that had trade value. At the point we were in, (still are) the rotation is garbage. They needed to utilize and and all options, IMO, he was one of them.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      I don’t think you trade a 23-yo catcher for pitching. Unless you get a similarly young upside pitcher and no one would do that since pitching is ultimately more valuable.

  5. Homerago

    March 14, 2018 at 1:23 am

    While we are looking for some resolutions to strengthen our pitching, it appears that the O’s have found two additional run producers to pick up where Davis and Trumbo excelled a couple of years ago. The foursome of Manny, Schoop, Mancini and Santander could garner 360 rbi’s this season. Ain’t going to happen though, because Davis and Trumbo will play full-time for half of the season, regardless of their ineptitude last year.

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