SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening?—John Means starts for the Orioles against the Tampa Bay Rays at Port Charlotte, Fla., today. Charlie Morton, who faced the Orioles on March 1, starts for Tampa Bay.
Luis Ortiz, Pedro Araujo, Cody Carroll, Paul Fry and Tanner Scott are scheduled to follow Means for the Orioles.
Chris Davis was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup because of a sore left hip flexor. Davis hurt the hip attempting to field a relay throw, manager Brandon Hyde said. Davis played in a simulated game on Monday. He is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts and two walks in 14 at-bats this spring.
“I’ve been impressed with his work,” Hyde said. “I think he’s going about things the right way. Been fully engaged in all of our defensive stuff. He’s been fantastic. He’s the first guy in the [batting] cage in the morning.
“…I think the process of how he’s going about things has been great.”
Mark Trumbo, who hasn’t played this spring as he continues to recover from surgery on his right knee last September, had hoped to play by March 12.
“We’re trying to work towards that,” Trumbo said. “I’m not sure if we’re going to make it or not. Working hard.”
Trumbo joined Davis in a simulated game on Monday.
“It’s a progression,” he said. “Some days are better than others. I’m trying to remain optimistic. I wish I could give you a little firmer idea. Mixing in the at-bats against Jimmy [Yacabonis] yesterday. We’re still working towards some of the more aggressive running stuff.”
If Trumbo is ready next week, it will give him just under two weeks of games to prepare for Opening Day on March 28. He believes that even if his spring debut slides by a few days, it’s enough time to start the season with the Orioles.
“I’d like to think so,” Trumbo said. “I’m doing what I can. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can’t just overpower by sheer will. I think that’s the mistake that I’ve read with people with similar injuries. It’s going to take how long it’s going to take, unfortunately, so I’m still very optimistic, but if we start backing up too far into the month, the at-bats, they get a bit limited. The sooner, the better. We’ll do what we can.”
Hyde is being cautious with Trumbo.
“Mark knows how I feel,” Hyde said. “I don’t want to put a date for him. I just want him to be fully ready to go when he’s ready…It’s a knee injury. Everybody’s been super excited about how he’s come back off it. The work that he’s put in to come back has been unbelievable, and his knee is responding well. I don’t want to have setbacks, and I want him to be healthy. When we feel that he’s healthy, we’re going to be patient with him from then on, too.”
What’s happened?—Alex Cobb allowed a run on two hits in three innings as the Orioles lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-4. It was an improvement over his first outing when he allowed four runs and retired just two batters against Tampa Bay on March 1.
Cobb said that he felt out of sync in his first start, but better in his second.
“You can throw as many bullpens, sim games, once you get up on the mound, the game speeds up on you,” Cobb said. “I feel old enough now to where it shouldn’t be speeding up on me.”
Nate Karns, who had been sidelined by arm soreness, pitched a perfect fourth inning.
“I think we’re just taking it easy because I kind of had fatigue at the beginning of camp,” Karns said. “Have a good inning and build off that.”
Mychal Givens allowed five runs while retiring just two batters. It was the second time in as many appearances that he was pulled by Hyde because he’d exceeded his pitch limit.
“Just a bad outing in spring training,” Givens said. “It’s disappointing. I don’t like the [term] ‘working on stuff.’ Trying to get through spring training healthy and get my stuff ready for the season.”
What’s up with-Hanser Alberto. The Orioles claimed the infielder on waivers on January 11, lost him to the San Francisco Giants on February 22, and reclaimed him March 1.
“Obviously, I don’t want to be in that situation,” Alberto said. “But it happened, and I have to stay positive and take the best part of it. I’m happy and blessed to be here. You know how hard the game is. I’m still here. It’s a blessing.
What’s what? Hyde held back Givens from game competition until March 1.
“He’s been pitching in the back fields, and I feel like his usage is going to ramp up as we go along,” Hyde said. “We sat down with him and told him what our thoughts are, collaborated with him on when he’s going to throw. I just think it’s really early. He doesn’t have the feel that he wants to yet, so he’s in early spring training form.”
What’s the word? “‘Oh, again.’ It’s hard. I was only there for a week and then came back here. But you know, if they make that move, I got picked up here and that means something for me. Just going to stay working hard and do my best.”-Alberto on his reaction when he found out he was claimed by the Orioles seven days after he joined the Giants.
What’s the number? 40.50 That’s Givens’ ERA in two spring training outings.
What’s the record? 6-4-2. The Orioles play the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park at Port Charlotte, Fla. at 1:05 p.m.