FORT MYERS, Fla.-What’s happening? –Alex Cobb, who is scheduled to start for the Orioles on Opening Day, March 28, against the Yankees, makes his third start of the spring today. Cobb’s preparations were interrupted by the March 8 birth of his daughter, Chloe.
Cobb will face the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin and is scheduled to be followed by John Means, Cody Carroll, Evan Phillips and Tanner Scott.
Sam Gaviglio is scheduled to start for Toronto.
Instead of pitching against the Twins, Mychal Givens threw a simulated game in Sarasota.
“Mychal’s really working on his offspeed stuff in a controlled environment,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He had a good command of his offspeed stuff. That’s what his focus was.”
Givens allowed three runs while retiring just one batter on Tuesday night against the New York Yankees, but Hyde said that wasn’t the reason he had Givens pitch in a simulated game.
Hyde wanted to see Friday’s pitchers in a live game, and there weren’t enough innings to do that and see Givens and Nate Karns, too.
“I don’t know Mychal,” Hyde said “I’ve seen established, back-end guys have awful spring trainings, and I’ve seen guys that have struggled in the big leagues have great spring trainings. You chalk it up to a little bit of, this is what it is right now and he’s maybe working through some things, and then you go into the season and, hopefully, he’s lights-out.”
Karns also pitched in the simulated game.
Catcher Austin Wynns, who is out because of a sore left oblique, has been swinging a bat for the last four days and thinks he’s four or five days away from returning.
“I’m already itching. I want to get back on that field so bad,” Wynns said. “I have to take care of this.”
Wynns says he doesn’t’ want to play until he’s fully healed. He also believes he has enough time to prepare himself for the March 28 opener.
“In my mindset, I’ll be ready,” Wynns said. “Opening Day, I’ll be ready. I just do whatever my body will tell me to do. I’m just waking up seeing if it feels great. I can’t control that.”
Hyde says that in the final five days of spring training, he’ll start piecing together lineups that might be used in the regular season. He’ll group outfielders and middle infielders he’d like to see play together.
“I’m not going to roll out an everyday lineup for the next 10 days,” Hyde said.
What’s happened?—David Hess allowed four home runs, and nine runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Minnesota Twins, 12-9.
“Simply put, some days it’s just not your day,” Hess said. “The pitches, the mistakes that I would make, they were just taking it deep. The quality of pitches wasn’t quite there today.
“…Keeping in mind that days like that happen once in a while. That’s not ideal. That’s not what you want to focus on, but ultimately you learn from it, you put it behind you and you make the best of it.”
Hess has a 9.00 ERA this spring.
“He couldn’t find a rhythm,” Hyde said. “They were really aggressive. He was leaving the ball in spots where they could drive the ball, and they did.”
Hyde left Hess in longer than he would have in a regular-season game because he wanted him to throw more pitches.
“I’m a little more lenient on a spring training day because I want him to work, and I want him to continue to get ready for the season,” Hyde said.
Josh Rogers gave up three runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings and gave up two homers.
Trey Mancini had three hits. Joey Rickard had two hits and three RBIs. Rule 5 draft choice Drew Jackson hit his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot.
What’s up with? Evan Phillips. He’s scheduled to pitch today against the Blue Jays. Phillips has seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and two walks.
“Coming in with a clean slate, and was able to treat this environment as a fresh start,” Phillips said. “Using those things that we’re learning with our new staff, all the new technology that we’re using, and then really sticking with our process is what it’s come down to for me.”
Last year, Phillips who was acquired from Atlanta in the Kevin Gausman trade, had an 18.56 ERA in five appearances.
“Inconsistency was my issue last year,” Phillips said. “I gave up some home runs, extra-base hits…Throughout the offseason and here in spring training, I’ve really focused on what I do best, sticking to my process, day-to-day and trusting it, and that’s been a big difference so far here this spring.”
What’s what? On Thursday, MLB and the Players Association announced new rules that will be adopted for this season and next. This year, time between innings will be reduced and mound visits will be cut from six to five.
A year from now, pitchers will be required to face three batters in an outing. Rosters will be expanded to 26 players, and in September, teams are required to carry 28 players, down from a maximum of 40.
What’s the word? “If you want to cut down time between innings, I think that’s great. I’m OK with the mound visits thing if it’s going to shake some minutes off. When it comes to strategical stuff, I’m kind of in a wait-and-see category,”-Hyde on the new rules
What’s the number? 144. In 22 spring training games, the Orioles have allowed 144 runs, an average of 6.5 a game. With the six home runs given up, they’ve surrendered 40, nearly two a game.
What’s the record? 10-10-2. The Orioles play the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium at 1:07 p.m.