DUNEDIN, Fla.-What’s happening? – Mike Wright starts against the New York Yankees in Sarasota today. Wright, who allowed two runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Yankees in Tampa on Tuesday night, will start against Jonathan Loaisiga.
Wright is scheduled to be followed by Yefry Ramirez, Pedro Araujo, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry and Branden Kline.
Andrew Cashner will pitch Monday and Dylan Bundy Tuesday, but manager Brandon Hyde says that doesn’t mean they’ll be the second and third starters. Alex Cobb will start the opener.
“We still haven’t fully disclosed what rotation we’re going in after Cobb,” Hyde said.
Hyde also hasn’t decided on his fourth and fifth starters.
“I still think there are still some questions on the last two,” he said. “We’re still piecing that together.”
Hyde acknowledged that the Orioles will consider using an opener — a reliever to begin the game — but seems hardly committed to it.
“We’re talking about a lot of different things,” he said. “We’re still discussing and figuring a lot of that stuff out. We’re still not solidified in anything from the standpoint of the back end of the rotation, how we’re going to use our bullpen is still to be determined.”
If the Orioles were to use the opener, Hyde says that a number of his pitchers could qualify.
“We’ve talked about possibly doing those type of things, but we haven’t discussed who that be as well as what the order would be. Those are still a long ways away.”
What’s happened?—Alex Cobb threw four hitless innings, and though he allowed three runs on four hits in the fifth inning, he was pleased with his performance in the Orioles’ 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Cobb will start in the Orioles’ opener at Yankee Stadium on March 28.
“I felt really good the last week, week-and-a-half with my delivery,” Cobb said. “I refined some things. I didn’t feel as great today as I did previously, but that’s one of the things that will be [beneficial]…When you have bad days, it’s still good. You strive to be great. When you have an off-day, it’s still good.”
Cobb decided at the last minute to pitch from the stretch instead of using a windup.
“It’s something I’ve always thought about trying,” Cobb said. “The simplicity of it seems like a good idea.”
Cobb retired the first 10 batters, and struck out five of the first six. He struck out eight pitching from the stretch.
“I made a game-time decision,” Cobb said. “I was running out to the mound…I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I felt really good in the bullpen out of the stretch.”
Cobb hadn’t started since March 5 because of the birth of his daughter, Chloe, and Hyde liked what he saw.
“That was four great innings,” Hyde said. “He just ran into trouble a little bit in the fifth. That was the best stuff he showed this spring.”
John Means, Tanner Scott, Evan Phillips and Cody Carroll combined to throw four shutout innings, giving up just two hits and walking two.
Austin Hays’ eighth-inning home run put the Orioles ahead in the eighth.
“I like the way he attacks the ball,” Hyde said. “I think he’s got power from pole-to-pole. He’s exciting to watch. He’s got a lot of tools. He can really run. He’s a good outfielder. He throws well. He does a lot of things really well.’
Mark Trumbo, who’s still working his way back from surgery on his right knee, walked and had an infield single, his first hit of the spring. He got more running in than Hyde would have liked.
“That wasn’t ideal, to be honest with you,” Hyde said. “He felt good after scoring from first on the double.”
What’s up with? Chance Sisco. He drew a bases-loaded walk and is hitting .292.
Much was made of his offense early in camp, but it was significant he was paired with Cobb, the Opening Day starter.
“He had a really good feel for his pitches today,” Sisco said. “His offspeed looked really good. His fastball, he was commanding it.”
Sisco’s defense will be more important than his offense.
“My job is to catch as well as it is to hit,” Sisco said. “I want to feel good back here, and I do feel good right now. Being able to get some really good innings with Cobby out there is awesome.”
What’s what? The complete game has become rare in baseball, and Hyde says that he doesn’t care if the Orioles ever have one.
“I think it’s a great thing for a pitcher to have,” Hyde said. “I’m not going to manage to a complete game. I’m going to try to win the game, but if a guy has an opportunity to get a complete game, and his pitch count is in a comfortable position, I’d love to see that, but I’m not trying to make sure that happens.”
What’s the word? “I probably couldn’t tell you anybody’s ERA or strikeout percentage or walk percentage or batting average, either. I don’t know at-bats. I keep track of how many at-bats, how many innings.”-Hyde says that he doesn’t pay much attention to spring training statistics.
What’s the number?. 5 and 13. Hays’ home run was his fifth of the spring, and his 13th RBI.
What’s the record? 11-10-2. The Orioles play the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota at 1:05 p.m.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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