What’s happening: Right-hander Dylan Bundy will make his fourth start of the exhibition season and it comes in Tampa today against the division rival New York Yankees.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has juggled his rotation in past springs to make sure his starters aren’t facing AL East teams in the second part of March. But there are still two weeks left in an elongated spring training (because of the World Baseball Classic) and Bundy could use the challenge.
The 24-year-old Bundy threw 56 pitches in his last outing, but struggled with locating his fastball and curve. Consequently, he lasted just two innings.
He hasn’t gotten beyond three innings so far his spring, so that will be a primary goal for him.
It also will be a test for the Orioles hitters that make the trip to Tampa. They’ll be facing veteran lefty CC Sabathia, who they’ll surely see several times in the regular season.
Pedro Alvarez and Mark Trumbo are expected to be in the lineup, but Showalter hasn’t committed as to which one will DH and which will play the field. If Alvarez isn’t DH’ing, he’ll be in right. The corner infielder by trade made his debut in right field Friday during a “B game” against Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor leaguers at the Ed Smith complex.
What’s happened: Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, who is fighting for a rotation spot while Chris Tillman (shoulder) is injured, started against the Pirates in Bradenton on Friday afternoon.
And, like Chris Lee on Thursday night, the 23-year-old Ynoa was OK. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three and hit 94-95 mph with his fastball.
“I feel that I am definitely making improvements every day, working hard, trying to earn a spot in the rotation,” Ynoa said through a translator. “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, acquired for cash considerations from the New York Mets in February, is competing with several potential starters/swingmen including Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson and Lee.
The Orioles have cut ties with pitcher Logan Ondrusek, who cleared release waivers and is free to sign with any team.
Ondrusek was with the Orioles briefly in 2016, when he was signed out of Japan and pitched in seven games (with a 9.95 ERA). The Orioles declined his 2017 option this winter and then re-signed him to a $650,000, one-year deal.
The 6-foot-8 right-hander appeared in two Grapefruit League games this spring, allowing two earned runs in two innings. He was limited by an ankle injury and elbow soreness.
By releasing him when they did, the Orioles only have to pay a portion — I believe roughly 16 percent — of the original deal.
Showalter said the club is “taking in the results” of Anthony Santander’s MRA on his right shoulder. The Rule 5 outfielder will get a few days off before the club decides whether he can play in the outfield for the first time this spring.
What’s up with: Cedric Mullins. The Orioles are high on the 22-year-old center fielder who was taken in the 13th round of the 2015 draft out of Campbell University. Mullins showed a glimpse as to why Friday in the Orioles’ B game, homering off the batter’s eye in deep center. He’s only 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, but the speedy Mullins had 14 homers for Low-A Delmarva last year.
What they’re saying: “We play every day during the year, don’t we?” – Alvarez on his thoughts about playing a third consecutive spring game in the spring after signing with the team last week.
What’s the number? 38 – That’s how many regular season starts Sabathia has made in his career against the Orioles, including his major-league debut in 2001. The big lefty is 19-10 with a 3.31 career ERA versus Baltimore.
What’s the record? 11-8-2 – The Orioles snapped their non-winning skid at three with an 8-6 victory against the Pirates on Friday.