Wright gets a start; Karns, Harvey hit hard, but healthy; Ortiz's weight loss - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Wright gets a start; Karns, Harvey hit hard, but healthy; Ortiz’s weight loss

FORT MYERS, Fla.-What’s happening?—Mike Wright starts against the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon. Wright pitched two scoreless innings against Minnesota on Saturday, allowing three hits and striking out one.

Wright will be followed by John Means, Yefry Ramirez, who started Saturday’s game, Josh Rogers and Pedro Araujo.

Dylan Bundy has been scheduled for his first start on Thursday against Philadelphia. Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb have been tentatively scheduled for starts within the next week.

Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier will be scheduled for games soon, manager Brandon Hyde said. Bleier will have an additional live batting practice before he’s ready to pitch in a game.

What’s happened?—Nate Karns allowed three runs, one unearned, on four hits in 1 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Minnesota Twins, 7-1, Monday.

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Karns walked two, threw two wild pitches and struck out two. He missed last season because of an elbow injury and hasn’t pitched in a major league game since May 2017.

“I may not have gotten the results that I wanted, but that’s not what we’re focused on right now,” Karns said.

“Definitely been a minute since I’ve been out there so I had a little bit of adrenaline going. At the same time, it was nice to kind of get out there and compete and see what I had against the other team. I got some feedback, so I’m going to go back between starts and get back to work.”

Hunter Harvey allowed two runs on three hits in one inning. He struck out one in his first outing since June 1.

“Body felt good, arm felt good. Could be better, but I think it was OK for a first time out,” Harvey said. “First time, to get off the field is the main thing…It was a good day.”

Hyde said his main concern with Karns and Harvey was their health.

“I checked on how they’re feeling, and they’re feeling great,” Hyde said. “I think they both were so excited to get out there.

“…The results aren’t what probably they wanted, but I was happy to get them out there, and both showed good stuff.”

The Twins’ Byron Buxton was 3-for-3 with five RBIs. This spring, Buxton is 5-for-5 with 10 RBIs.

Rule 5 draft choices Richie Martin and Drew Jackson started at shortstop and second.

“They’re both really, really athletic,” Hyde said. “Jackson’s interesting in that he’s played multiple spots in his career. He’s going to play center field coming up shortly.”

What’s up with?-Luis Ortiz. In his first outing, he allowed two runs on three hits. Ortiz, who was acquired from Milwaukee in the Jonathan Schoop trade last July, is trying to win one of the final starting spots.

Ortiz has lost 25 pounds since last season and is happy with his improved physique.

“I put in a lot of work,” Ortiz said. “Last year put a bad taste in my mouth on how I finished and how my weight was. Something I had to change, especially with a new organization.”

Ortiz made his major league debut on Sept. 7 and gave up three runs in a relief appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays. He also made one start and lasted less than two innings.

Ortiz said he dropped the weight with the help of a nutritionist and the Orioles’ conditioning coaches.

“They were really on it with me, and it came down to me committing myself to it,” Ortiz said. “It was probably one of the toughest offseasons…It got me to where I’m at right now.”

What’s what? The public address announcer at Hammond Stadium invited fans to stand up and stretch their legs—except there were only two outs in the top of the seventh. When the third out was finally made, he said, “Now, you can stand up and stretch your legs.” 

What’s the word? –“When I toe the rubber in a regular season game, I can say that’s a milestone. This is just one step in that direction, and we’re not quite there, yet.”­-Karns on whether pitching in his first spring game represented a milestone. 

What’s the number? 2. The Orioles made two errors, one by third baseman Renato Nunez and another by left fielder Eric Young Jr.

“We didn’t play our best game defensively,” Hyde said. “That led to higher pitch counts and more traffic than we’d like.” 

What’s the record? 2-1. The Orioles face Tampa Bay in Sarasota today at 1:05 p.m.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Camden Brooks

    February 26, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Rich, how does the live batting practice work? Is it done similar to a scrimmage, keeping track of balls and strikes with fielders making plays? Or no counts with the pitcher throwing a set number to each batter? Or maybe a hybrid of some sort?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 26, 2019 at 8:56 am

      Live batting practice is simply a major league pitcher facing a hitter instead of a coach lobbing balls to a hitter, Camden Brooks.

  2. Sisco Kid

    February 26, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Rich,
    Great column as always today. Do you think Martin’s improved hitting last year was a direct result of him getting contact lenses, or maybe just a fluke breakout season??

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 26, 2019 at 4:51 pm

      I don’t know, Sisco. I’ve only seen him play three games and get five at-bats, so it’s a little soon to judge.

  3. Bancells Moustache

    February 26, 2019 at 9:06 am

    I heard somewhere that Harvey was touching 98 on the gun, Rich, is that true? I don’t remember Harvey being known as a velocity guy, of course I could be mistaken since we haven’t really heard anything non-medical about him in several years .

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 26, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      That reading was accurate, Bancells. He feels good, and hopefully stays healthy.

    • Bhoffman1

      February 27, 2019 at 7:51 am

      Rich good news about Harvey’s heater. Tell what the gun reads on Bundys heater as it had no heat on it last year

  4. bmorebirds

    February 26, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Uh, oh. Nunez brought those cast iron hands again. Kid can definitely hit, but increasingly appears to be overmatched at third.
    Rich, sorry to hear about the unexpected passing of your colleague, Boston columnist Nick Cafardo. Must have felt strange going to Ft. Myers so soon after his passing.
    Mike Wright, Mike Wright. Totally live arm, ____for brains. Might as well see if he can be straightened out, because there will be no 2019 Camden Yards playoff tix . Wright could be a wicked setup man (NOT a starter) if he would only believe in himself.

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 26, 2019 at 4:53 pm

      Bmorebirds, thank you, the strange feeling will come tomorrow when we go to Fort Myers for the Red Sox. The Twins and Red Sox play in different facilities about six miles apart.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    My biggest fear is that Mike Wright has a great spring training and fools the new regime into wasting a 40 man spot on him.

    • bmorebirds

      February 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Fear not, Boog. The Birds will break camp with 25 men, not 40, so if the old Wright shows up over the next month or so, he’ll definitely vanish. Personally, I hope the new regime can fix him, rather than have Wright figure things out in Toronto!

      • Jbiglen49

        February 26, 2019 at 6:39 pm

        It’s really a situation of when is it enough? Personally I’d bet on him never figuring it out because it’s all mental. The way he would always pace around the back of the mound killed me from the start. He has the arm talent but I don’t know if you can ever get it fixed between the ears

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