Yefry Ramirez to start Orioles' Grapefruit League opener; waiting for Osich, honoring Frank - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Yefry Ramirez to start Orioles’ Grapefruit League opener; waiting for Osich, honoring Frank

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? – Yefry Ramirez has been chosen to start Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against Minnesota at Ed Smith Stadium.

“I feel great, very excited when I was told about the news,” Ramirez said through a translator.

Ramirez had 12 starts for the Orioles last season and was 1-8 with a 5.92 ERA.

Manager Brandon Hyde isn’t making a big deal of the start.

“Kind of where we were from lining guys up,” Hyde said. “We’ll have more stuff in the next couple of days about the first few games, but Yefry is going to start Saturday for us.”

Ramirez, who changed into his full dress uniform for the interview to discuss his start, made no secret that he was pleased to be chosen.

“It makes me feel really good having this opportunity,” Ramirez said, “and I’m looking to take advantage of that…I think it’s very important because there are not a whole lot of opportunities out there, and hopefully things go well.”

What’s happened?— Reliver Josh Osich, who was acquired on waivers from the San Francisco Giants Monday, may not report until Thursday.

A locker next to Josh Lucas has been set aside for Osich.

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Catcher Jesus Sucre, who has been held up in Venezuela because of visa issues, could be closer to making it to camp, Hyde said.

Minor league pitcher Dean Kremer, who has been sidelined by an oblique injury, is making progress, Hyde said. Last week, Kremer said he thought he could be sidelined for two more weeks.

What’s up with?–Evan Phillips. Acquired in the trade in which Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day went to Atlanta, Phillips was 0-1 with an 18.56 ERA in five games with the Orioles.

Phillips was used as an “opener” once in September when the team ran short on starting pitchers, but now he’s trying to make the team as a reliever.

He was born in Salisbury, Md., but moved at 2 to North Carolina. Even though Phillips raised there, much of his family remains in Maryland, and he’s a fervent fan of the Maryland Terps basketball team.

“The past couple of seasons, I’ve fallen off just a little bit,” Phillips said of his devotion. “I used to love watching them play back when Gary Williams was coaching.”

His father was friendly with an assistant coach of the Terps, and when they visited Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State, the Phillips got excellent seats behind Maryland’s bench.

“It was really a privilege to get to see those, and I appreciate it even more so now,” Phillips said.

What’s what? If you couldn’t immediately remember who started last year’s Grapefruit League opener, which was also on Feb, 23, you’re not alone.

I had to look up the 2018 starter. It was Mike Wright Jr.

What’s the word? “I think the difference is that this new group is trying to get to know me. They’ve been asking me questions, trying to get [to know] my personality a little bit more, and hopefully we can start building a good relationship.”-Ramirez on how things have changed under Hyde and new pitching coach Doug Brocail.

What’s the number? 20. The Orioles have begun wearing a patch on the right sleeve of their uniform to honor Frank Robinson, who died Feb. 7. The patch, with Robinson’s uniform number, will be worn throughout the Grapefruit League season and the regular season.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 21, 2019 at 9:23 am

    There’s that name again … Mike Wright Jr. WHY?

  2. Hallbe62

    February 21, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Inching closer. Time to start whittling the 59-60 hopefuls down to 25.

  3. boss61

    February 21, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I remembered that Mike Wright started. I was there. Sarasota is an amazing experience for fans tired of winter. Everyone shouldgo if they can.

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 21, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Mark, I should have asked you before I wrote.

  4. Fareastern89

    February 21, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Rich, Do you get the sense that most of the returning players have shaken off any residual effects of last year’s disastrous season? Has the regime change allowed the sense of a new start to take over?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Fareastern, I think that players have forgotten about last year. Having a new regime helps that. So much is new, and hopefully for them, positive.

  5. bmorebirds

    February 21, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Wonder if we should read anything into Ramirez starting first, or if it’s simply the luck of the draw, as Hyde hints? Also, how can you not root for a player who’s from MD and loves Terps basketball? Go, Evan Phillips!

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Bmorebirds, you should read nothing into Ramirez starting the first game. Ramirez is a contender for a back-end rotation spot, and Brandon Hyde wants to see those guys as much as he can.

  6. Michael Trent

    February 21, 2019 at 10:53 am

    As I was reading some articles from different outlets and some local ones also today it was bothersome in some ways . Camden Chat has made several references to camp being so much more relaxed and this manager even allowing music being played during workouts. I don’t really know why some writers have put Buck in such a negative way. He was good with the fans and the media. Anytime you would here interviews you could always here music playing . As far as the new manager coming across as more friendly or such is because he has to start from scratch to build relationships. Buck had most of those relationships already built. Many , many players loved playing for Buck. As far as Buck being old school, what was wrong with it . Ownership wasn’t putting forth a department for analytics or more scouting and other areas. .All I can say as one fan , yes it was time for a change but Buck did a lot of good things with the hands that were dealt to him.He and his wife did much for the city of Baltimore also .

    • Camden Brooks

      February 21, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      I agree with everything you said. I find it bothersome that folks are bashing Buck now.

    • CalsPals

      February 21, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      I totally agree, he was & still is a class act, Hyde can only hope to be as successful as Buck, but I agree, it was time to move on….

    • Raymo

      February 22, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      And Buck sure knew how to use the bullpen. I’d say he’s probably responsible for how important relievers have become throughout the game.

  7. Orial

    February 21, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    It is funny how with all the destruction and rebuilding going on that Mike Wright still stands. Kinda like that single tree that survived the forest fire. It is refreshing to have fresh eyes (Hyde,Elias) watching over all this. Let’s call it a “second opinion”. Evaluation and elimination are now under way–step one of the rebuild. Glad to see #20 be worn in memory. Good move Orioles.

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