Spring Training Primer: Miley's outing; Wright's demotion; Asher's acquisition; speedy Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Spring Training Primer: Miley’s outing; Wright’s demotion; Asher’s acquisition; speedy Orioles


What’s happening: The Orioles optioned right-handed starter Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk and acquired right-handed starter Alec Asher from the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later or cash considerations Tuesday.

Wright had an 8.38 ERA in the Grapefruit League, and while manager Buck Showalter said that he’s still in consideration for a starting spot, his spring performance said otherwise.

“I’ve told a few of them here, ‘I like that you’re working on your arm slot, or which side of the rubber you’re on, posting up on your back leg, not being so rotational, get down the hill,’” Showalter said. “‘I like that. I got that, but get somebody out!’”

“That’s kind of where we are in this part of spring. People we take can get people out,” Showalter said. “Mike can be one of those guys.”

Asher, who has a 2-7 record and 5.88 ERA in 12 major league starts in 2015 and 2016, served an 80-game suspension for a positive steroid test last season. Just 25, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Asher was a fourth-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2012 ad was part of the megadeal that sent Cole Hamels from Philadelphia to the Rangers in July 2015.

“Good, young arm with options,” Showalter said. “I think the plan is for him to come to camp with us and see if we can work him in for an outing. … He’s had some challenges he’s gotten behind.”

Infielder Paul Janish, whose been an outstanding defender in his time at Triple-A Norfolk, has been reassigned to minor league camp.

Infielder Chris Johnson and outfielder Michael Bourn, both of whom were released Monday, could be re-signed to minor league deals.

What’s happened: Lefty Wade Miley, who hadn’t pitched since March 14, threw four innings Tuesday, allowing one run on five hits in the Orioles’ 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves at Lake Buena Vista.

The Orioles were concerned that Miley, who had been scratched from his March 20 start with flu-like symptoms, didn’t have enough innings to be considered for a first week assignment.

Showalter said that he wouldn’t make a decision on Miley’s ability to make an early start for a few days, but he liked what he saw.

“He was politicking for another inning. That was good to see. Tough day to pitch. That was our hottest day of the spring,” Showalter said.

Miley has worked 13 innings in March, but says he thinks, despite this unusual spring, he feels ready to be an opening week starter.

“It was because I’m used to throwing 15, 16, 17 innings and those innings weren’t there. A lot of stuff I had to do, side work,” Miley said. “It’s a little different when you don’t have a hitter in the box. But hopefully, I can stay fresh and ready for the season.”

Outfielder Craig Gentry continues to impress Showalter. He had a double, a run scored, two walks and two more stolen bases Tuesday.

“I don’t know what else you can ask of a guy to be noticed and to be considered than what Craig’s done,” Showalter said.

Right-hander Oliver Drake, who is out of options, threw two scoreless innings and Stefan Crichton, who is regularly imported from minor league camp, threw his eighth scoreless inning, a perfect ninth, to pick up his fourth save of the spring.

What’s up with: Joey Rickard. The right-handed-hitting outfielder, who had an excellent spring last year as a Rule 5 selection and played creditably until he injured his right thumb in July, has had another solid spring.

Rickard is batting .302 and has walked 14 times this spring. He has a .456 on-base percentage.

What they’re saying: “Asher is a solid major league pitcher who our scouts have liked for a few seasons that we believe will help our club this season. He has good size, three major league pitches and command of himself and his pitches.” — Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, on Asher.

What’s the number? 31 — The Orioles have 31 stolen bases this spring. They stole four more Tuesday with Gentry stealing two, Rule 5 draft choice Aneury Tavarez and Chris Dickerson each swiping one. Tavarez leads the team with eight spring steals. Gentry has seven.

What’s the record? 16-12-2 — Kevin Gausman, the Orioles’ Opening Day starter, goes against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte today.

Rich Dubroff covers the Orioles for PressBoxOnline.com. You can read his stories here.




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