Orioles cut eight from camp roster; Rogers gets first start; Villar likes running game - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles cut eight from camp roster; Rogers gets first start; Villar likes running game

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? The Orioles resume play today with a 6:35 p.m. game with the New York Yankees in Tampa. Mike Wright, who has  pitched 10 scoreless innings, will start. John Means, Nate Karns, Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens, and Josh Lucas are scheduled to follow.

The Orioles reduced their roster by eight players. Three big names — Cuban outfielder Yusniel Diaz, and two high draft choices, outfielder DJ Stewart and infielder Ryan Mouncastle — were the most noteworthy to go.

Diaz, who was in his major league spring training, was reassigned to minor league camp. He batted .333 with a home run and seven RBIs. Mountcastle, in his second major league camp, was also reassigned to minor league camp. He hit .286 with a home run and four RBIs, and played first base for the first time as a professional.

Stewart, who was the Orioles’ first-round selection in 2015 and spent part of last September with the team, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .267 with three RBIs.

Right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz, who had a 14.40 ERA was optioned to Norfolk. Another right-hander, Dillon Tate, who had a 7.71 ERA, was optioned to Double-A Bowie.

Left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin, right-hander Bo Schultz and catcher Martin Cervenka were reassigned to minor league camp.

Gilmartin had a 9.00 ERA, Schultz a 16.20 ERA and Cervenka, who made three errors in Saturday’s 17-15 win at Tampa Bay, hit .286 with two home runs and four RBIs.

The cuts leave the Orioles with 46 players in camp.

Left-handed pitcher Josh Osich, who was designated for assignment when Dwight Smith Jr. was acquired, was claimed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox.


Manager Brandon Hyde hasn’t set a date for Alex Cobb’s next start. Cobb’s wife had a baby daughter Friday night, and on Sunday morning he threw a simulated game, featuring at-bats by Chris Davis, Trey Mancini and Mark Trumbo.

Mancini will play more first base in the final two weeks of camp, starting tonight.

“You’re going to see guys move around a little bit more,” Hyde said. “Just to get guys acclimated so that when the season comes, I don’t put them in a spot where they haven’t been over there. You’re going to see that with a lot of guys.”

What’s happened?—Josh Rogers allowed two runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings in the Orioles’ 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

“I think I threw the ball better than my line will look,” Rogers said.

Rogers hadn’t worked with catcher Jesus Sucre, starting just his second game with the Orioles.

“He’s awesome, man,” Rogers said. “He’s really, really good behind the plate. It gives you a lot of confidence having a guy like that behind you. A lot of trust in that.”

Rogers is competing for a starting spot, but doesn’t think he’s earned one.

“I hope they’re thinking about it,” Rogers said. “I wouldn’t say I’ve earned anything. I haven’t done anything. Just to continue to throw and, hopefully, I get another shot at it and they can see what I can do.”

Hyde liked what he saw from Rogers.

“He gave us three-plus good innings,” Hyde said. “He had some unfortunate luck in the fourth.”

Miguel Castro, Paul Fry and Branden Kline combined for four scoreless innings, but Pedro Araujo allowed three runs on four hits in the eighth.

Stewart, Joey Rickard, and Jonathan Villar each had two hits.

What’s up with? Jonathan Villar. Villar played second base on Sunday. Early in spring training, Villar indicated a preference for shortstop.

“I’ll play anywhere,” Villar said. “I like shortstop. Right now, I’m playing second base. It’s the same game.”

Villar stole his third base of the spring, and is enjoying the team’s aggressiveness on the bases.

“Right now, it’s better here because they like to run the bases,” Villar said. “I feel more comfortable right here. I feel I can run on every pitch.”

What’s what? None of the cuts was surprising, although Stewart’s came earlier than expected.

Diaz hit well in his first big league camp but cutting him allows him to leave the Ed Smith Stadium complex with some satisfaction that he can play with major leaguers without teasing him into thinking he’ll be kept with the Orioles for Opening Day.

Stewart didn’t seem to impress the new staff, and Mountcastle needs to play a position to make himself a legitimate major league prospect.

What’s the word? “I told him before the game, ‘I’m not shaking today. I’m not going to mess with that.’”-Rogers on telling Sucre he would throw whatever pitches the catcher signaled.

What’s the number? 21. Through Sunday’s games, the Orioles lead the Grapefruit League with 21 stolen bases.

What’s the record? 9-7-2. The Orioles play the New  York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field tonight at 6:35.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 12, 2019 at 7:23 am

    So throwing a simulated game involves an at bat by Chrissy Davis? Hmmmmmmm…..are they trying to build a false sense of confidence?

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 12, 2019 at 7:36 am

      No, Davis and Trumbo needed at-bats to test their injuries.

    • Orial

      March 12, 2019 at 10:47 am

      Sad how DJ Stewart’s stock is falling and the disfavor it’s leading to with management. I fear Mountcastle’s headed down that dreaded DH lane so common in the O’s arsenal lately. Being a DH would even make it that much more difficult if he were to traded too. Rich was Yusniel Diaz a former international signing by the Dodgers? Amazing how Joey Rickard does just enough to always make that opening day roster. For that I give him credit. As the season wears on I’m not so sure. He’s the “Rubber Band Man”.

      • Rich Dubroff

        March 12, 2019 at 7:28 pm

        Yes, Orial, Diaz was a pricey signing by the Dodgers.

    • Ekim

      March 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Oriel… Joey seems to do well when he gets regular playing time. It’s when he’s the “rubber band man” in the line up that’s been the problem for him.

  2. ClyOs

    March 12, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Mountcastle will be back at some point, boy can hit, but you’re right Rich. They need to figure out what position he can play if he’s going to play in the majors. I watched him play both 3rd and short at Fredrick and he just doesn’t have the arm for the left side of the infield. I think 1st would work, but Mancini is next in line at 1st after they give up on the $161,000,000 man. 2nd maybe, I don’t know about the outfield. Your thoughts.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 12, 2019 at 9:44 am

      I think first base is his best position, ClyOs, but he could be a designated hitter in the future if no position is found.

  3. Borg

    March 13, 2019 at 5:32 am

    I only saw Montcastle once at Frederick, but watching him in warm ups my first thought was that his arm was unsuited to short. Even routine balls resulted in looped throws to first. If he hits major league pitching they could probably do a mostly DH, some first sort of platoon, with Mancini playing the bulk of the time there with an occasional “day off” as the DH. All predicated on Trumbo and Davis being gone of course.

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