Means throws three scoreless innings for Orioles; Wynns hurting; Escobar competing - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Means throws three scoreless innings for Orioles; Wynns hurting; Escobar competing

Photo credit: Butch Dill - USA Today Sports

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.-What’s happening? –Mike Wright  pitches for the fourth time this spring against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., today. Wright has thrown seven scoreless innings, giving up eight hits, walking two and striking out four. Wright be followed by Yefry Ramirez, Dillon Tate, Miguel Castor, Branden Kline and Josh Osich.

Chris Davis is still out because of a sore left hip flexor.

Manager Brandon Hyde said that right-hander Nate Karns, who threw an inning on Tuesday, would pitch again in a few days. Karns was sidelined by arm soreness, and the Orioles are being cautious with him.

Richard Bleier, who had lat surgery last year, threw live batting practice in Sarasota. Hyde “would like to see him get a handful of appearances at least…The health is the No. 1 thing. They’re not going to push through anything at this point.”

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Catcher Austin Wynns will be out for a few days because of a sore oblique.

What’s happened?—Left-hander John Means threw three scoreless innings, allowing one hit, striking out five and walking two in the Orioles’ 9-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

After allowing three runs and retiring only one batter in his first outing, Means has pitched five scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

“I think I probably felt a little better last outing,” Means said. “This outing is kind of one of those, you see the box score, you see the strikeouts, and you think it was a good outing.

“I just didn’t have as much feel for my curveball. I didn’t really dump that in for a strike. I still felt good. I still feel strong.”

Means, who was drafted in 2014, is in his first major league camp.

“Everybody’s coming in here, trying to leave a good first impression,” Means said. “That was my goal coming into camp, to come in strong, and I feel like I’ve succeeded in that.”

Means isn’t focused on roster openings.

“I try not to think about it,” Means said. “Spring training’s used to get warmed up for the season.”

He’s been pleased by his experience.

“It’s pretty great,” Means said. “Taking a look back at the last four years I’ve been with his organization, I’ve been in minor league camp. I looked up to these guys in camp, and always wanted to be one of them. Now, I’m here, I’m trying to take as many opportunities as I possibly can.”

Hyde liked what he saw from Means.

“I thought John Means threw the ball really well,” Hyde said. “Nice mix of pitches, and he was unpredictable. I liked his offspeed stuff. He kept hitters off balance. He did a great job for three innings.”

Luis Ortiz allowed two runs in an inning.

“I think the results weren’t quite what he was looking for,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, he can have some positive outings for his mindset. I think he’s kind of fallen in some bad luck and gotten some pitches up in tough times that have hurt him.”

Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander and Mike Yastrzemski homered for the Orioles. Richie Martin and Rio Ruiz each had two hits. Yusniel Diaz had a three-run double in the eighth.

What’s up with? Alcides Escobar is in a new position, trying to make the Orioles as a non-roster player after eight years with the Kansas City Royals.

“This is my first time being in this position,” Escobar said. “I’m feeling really good here, and I’m fighting for a job.”

Escobar, who’s hitting .308 (4-for-13) in six games, is fine with being a utility player if he can extend his major league career.

“If the manager wants to put me at third base, put me at second base, put me at any position,” Escobar said.

Escobar’s principal competition might be Martin, the Rule 5 draft pick who’s playing a brilliant shortstop in camp.

“He’s a really good guy,” Escobar said. “He’s playing really good, too. He’s got a lot of talent.”

Escobar has a March 21 opt-out. If the Orioles don’t put him on the 40-man roster by then, he can request to be released.

What’s what? Expect to see Mychal Givens, who’s failed to finish his proscribed inning in his two outings, to pitch in consecutive games in the final 10-to-12 days of spring training.

Hyde said that you’ll see some relievers finish an inning and then go back out to start an inning to replicate regular-season action.

“It’s still a little bit early for that for me,” Hyde said.

What’s the word? “I’m not in a rush to get anybody out there. You want to be healthy when you break, but if you’re not all the way there, I’m not going to rush you to make the 25-man roster at the end of spring.  I want guys to be healthy the whole season.”Hyde on his players’ health.

What’s the number? 450. That’s Richie Martin’s Grapefruit League average. His 2-for-3 game makes him 9-for-20.

What’s the record? 7-4-2. The Orioles face the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park at 1:05 p.m.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 7, 2019 at 7:23 am

    I’d like re-state something I said in this forum a week or two ago about Mike Wright. My worst nightmare is coming true. (OK…maybe not really my WORST .. but it’s bad) My worst O’s nightmare is to have Mike Wright have a great spring training and make this club … again. Are we about to witness yet another year of roster space taken up by this chowder head?

    • Jammer7

      March 7, 2019 at 8:24 am

      I agree. We should not be fooled by the 8 scoreless innings. The stuff is the same, which can flash average. The implosions are what makes him unsuccessful. I do like that this staff will give him every opportunity to be evaluated.

      Looks like Karns will end up on the DL. I hope it’s Hess and Means in the 4 and 5 starter slots. They both have earned a shot.

      Escobar was once an outstanding SS. But his arm is extremely weak. Not sure if it is fatigue, or he is just done. But if that is his arm strength now, I would cut him. Sorry, but that arm will not work anywhere in the infield.

    • Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

      March 7, 2019 at 8:42 am

      If they’ve found a way to fix him, then fine let him pitch. But I don’t see the new regime tolerating the Mike Weight that we’ve seen these past 2-3 seasons. If/when that version shows up again, I expect him to be sent packing.

    • Bhoffman1

      March 7, 2019 at 9:57 am

      Agree.

    • Birdman

      March 7, 2019 at 5:36 pm

      Mike Wright continues to sizzle in spring training … 3 innings today, 3 strikeouts, one hit, 0 walks … yes, we have every reason to be skeptical about Wright based on his past performance, but O’s really have nothing to lose by giving him one more shot.

  2. Fareastern89

    March 7, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I’m guessing this regime has less invested in Wright. So if he makes the club but falters during the regular season, they’d be more willing to just let him go.

  3. Bman123

    March 7, 2019 at 9:24 am

    They’ll prob put him in the bullpen. Hess and Yacabonis maybe in the 4/5.

  4. Bhoffman1

    March 7, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Interesting that we have all these athletic competent guys competing for backup infield jobs. Under Buck and Dan it was Flathery and slow old wash ups.

  5. Orial

    March 7, 2019 at 10:21 am

    How about we flip the pitching staff–put Bundy,Cobb,Cashner,Givens at tail end and put Means,Yaccobonis,Blaine(*),etc. to the forefront. Only kidding. Is it possible that Davis/Trumbo could start the season on the DL and alleviate some uneccessary roster issues?

  6. Michael Trent

    March 7, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I personally would like to see Hess , Means ,and Yacabonis make the team . Don’t think there is anything more to prove at Triple A. The Orioles are in a real mess with the Chris Davis situation . He is really holding up 2 roster spots in a way. He plays 1b and Mancini has to go to LFand he doesn’t belong there. There is no real good answer to the Davis situation. Some good young player is going to get sent down due to this mess

    • Bhoffman1

      March 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      You suggest they try to buy Davis out with a team of lawyers suing him for non performance. Obviously it would work but maybe it would embarrass him enough to make a settlement and go fishing with millions for the rest of his lucky life

      • Disco Stupid

        March 7, 2019 at 2:13 pm

        That would be terrible PR. A way to make players and their agents super angry. Not to mention there is no legal ground to stand on

  7. Bhoffman1

    March 7, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I suggest

    • Bhoffman1

      March 7, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Davis should be super angry and embarrassed

    • Raymo

      March 7, 2019 at 10:25 pm

      As I’ve stated previously in this forum, if he had any sense of dignity or decency, he would announce his retirement from baseball and walk away from the contract. It won’t happen, but it should.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 8, 2019 at 7:17 am

        No, no he shouldn’t.

        What SHOULD happen is the Orioles organization pretend they’re a major league team and simply eat that contract … ala the Boston Red Sox and Pablo Sandoval. The gaffe is thiers, not his.

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