What’s happening: Rain on Wednesday prevented the Orioles from playing their second intrasquad game, so they’ll play five innings at 11:30 this morning instead.
Kevin Gausman, the likely Opening Day starter, will replace Wade Miley, who was supposed to start Wednesday and face Ubaldo Jimenez. Miley is going to start Sunday’s Sarasota home opener against Pittsburgh, and manager Buck Showalter felt it was better for Miley to skip the intrasquad. Jimenez will start Monday against the New York Yankees.
Closer Zach Britton, who was supposed to pitch in the intrasquad, won’t because of an injury to his left oblique. But he isn’t worried. If it were the regular season, he says, he’d continue to pitch. Britton said his left ankle injury, which cost him three days last May, hurt “100 times” more than the oblique.
Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball’s Players Association, will meet with the players this afternoon. The union chief is expected to talk to the media afterward, and surely the proposed 2017 rule changes, among other things, will come up.
What’s happened: The Orioles had three new players arrive Wednesday, an unusually high number of additions for one spring training day.
Outfielder Michael Bourn, who was signed to a minor-league contract, was in the clubhouse as were left-handed pitchers Richard Bleier and Vidal Nuno.
Nuno’s stay won’t be long — at least for now. He’ll leave March 5 to play for Team Mexico’s entry in the World Baseball Classic.
Mexico’s pitching staff will have a Baltimore flavor. Former Orioles Yovani Gallardo and Miguel Gonzalez will join Nuno on Team Mexico.
What’s up with: Jonathan Schoop. The second baseman, who leaves on Feb. 28 to play for the Netherlands in the WBC, will appear in three Grapefruit League games: Saturday at Bradenton against the Pirates, Sunday and Monday at home against the Pirates and Yankees, respectively.
Welington Castillo, Adam Jones and Manny Machado, all WBC-bound, are scheduled to play Saturday, too. Not often do fans see four regulars play a road game this early in the Grapefruit League season.
What they’re saying: “You see that they’re here so that means that the team is — not necessarily listening to me – but they’ve been watching the game. It’s reality. You watch the game and you see what we’re lacking. And it’s not any jabs against any other person. It just is what it is. Some people just excel at different things. It just is what it is. For us to be a very contending team and to get out of that first round and past that wild card, we need to improve.” — Jones on whether the Orioles heard his pleas for the team to improve its outfield defense by signing Bourn and Craig Gentry.
What’s the number? 20 — Bourn is the 20th Oriole to wear No. 1. The most famous Orioles to wear No. 1? Al Bumbry (1972-84) and Brian Roberts (2001-13). It’s also been worn by Rex Hudler (1986), Tony Tarasco (1996) and P.J. Forbes (1998).