Orioles make more cuts; Hess improves; Mancini hits first homer - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles make more cuts; Hess improves; Mancini hits first homer

BRADENTON, Fla.-What’s happening? –The Orioles must add catcher Jesus Sucre to their 40-man roster today or else he can opt out of his contract. The Orioles would have to drop a player from the 40-man to add Sucre.

The Orioles reassigned right-handed pitcher Josh Lucas and infielder Jack Reinheimer to minor league camp Thursday.

“I thought he threw the ball great,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Lucas. “I think he’s definitely an option for us going forward. He’s got some big league time. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s got a couple of really nice breaking balls that are going to be good against right-handers. It was more of a numbers thing with him. I expect him to perform well in Triple-A and be an option for us.”

Lucas had a 5.06 ERA in six games. Reinheimer hit .407 with a home run and two RBIs.

“I thought Jack played well,” Hyde said. “Like a lot of our guys, he’s very versatile. I’ve moved him around a lot. He’s a solid infielder. I feel like he’s really good depth for us. I expressed that to him this morning. He just did a great job in camp. I wish I could have gotten him a few more starts, but we had so many infielders.”

The Orioles have 35 players in camp.

Mike Wright starts against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin tonight. John Means and Pedro Araujo are also scheduled to pitch.

Catcher Austin Wynns (sore left oblique) is scheduled to take batting practice today.

Renato Nunez (sore right bicep) will get two at-bats after Mark Trumbo leaves the game today.  Nunez and Rio Ruiz are in contention for the third base job.

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“I’m hoping in the next couple of days we can get him on the field,” Hyde said. “I’d like to see Nunie play, and it’s unfortunate…We have a lot of tight races. If [Nunez] is healthy, we might carry both of them.”

What’s happened?—David Hess recovered from a nightmarish performance in his last start and allowed two runs on three hits in five innings to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hess gave up nine runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings against Minnesota on March 15. He allowed four homers, and the two runs he allowed against the Pirates were on home runs.

Jonah Davis, who was a late addition to the lineup when Starling Marte was scratched,  homered in the first. Francisco Cervelli homered in the second.

Davis also homered against Nate Karns in the sixth.

“I really wasn’t much thinking about last start,” Hess said. “I was primarily thinking, ‘I wish the wind wasn’t blowing straight out that way.’

“I think there were a lot of good things to build on today.”

Hess went to the bullpen after his outing and threw additional pitches. He estimates he threw 85.

He’s not sure if he’ll pitch again in camp. It’s conceivable he could pitch some on Monday, the last game of the Grapefruit League season.

“If it is [the last game], that’s a decent one to go out on,” Hess said. “If not, then we’ll look to build on it for the next one.”

Hess, who is in contention for a back-end of the rotation spot, has a 7.50 ERA this spring. He wanted to finish strong.

“More from a personal standpoint,” Hess said. “Going out last time wasn’t ideal. I really wasn’t satisfied with the results.”

Hyde won’t commit to Hess in the rotation, but it sounds as if he’ll make the club.

“He’s definitely going to be a big part,” Hyde said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be the first five days. We’re going to figure that out in the next few days.”

Trey Mancini hit his first home run of the spring.

“It’s not anything I was concerned about whatsoever,” Mancini said. “Twenty-something at-bats, you kind of have to look at it that way.”

Mancini’s spring average is .267.

“I feel like I’m in a good place right now, mechanically,” Mancini said. “I’m thinking a lot less about that up at the plate and just going up there and hitting.”

Mancini is eager to start 2019.

“It’s all about timing,” Mancini said. “About how you’re feeling. Game 1 of spring training, a lot of times you feel great, and you want the season to start then and then sometimes, you need the whole spring. It’s nice to have a whole month to get at-bats under your belt. In a week, we’ll be ready to go, I think.”

Mancini and Joey Rickard each had two hits. Rickard’s spring average is .395. 

Jung Ho Kang hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to enable Pittsburgh to beat the Orioles, 7-5.

By agreement, a runner was placed on second base to start the ninth inning of a 3-3 tie. Drew Jackson’s RBI single drove in two runs.

Josh Rogers started the ninth, but he caught a spike and hurt his back, and Hyde removed him from the game.

Chris Davis was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.

What’s up with-Dwight Smith Jr.-Smith is fighting for an outfield job. He was acquired on March 8 from the Toronto Blue Jays and hit a long home run on Wednesday night.

Including Mark Trumbo, the Orioles have just six outfielders in camp. Smith says that he’s not thinking about the competition.

“I’ve never thought about it at all,” Smith said. “I’m just working on getting my body in shape and getting ready for the season as quick as I can.”

Smith led off against Pittsburgh and was hitless in four at-bats. He’s hitting .233 this spring. 

What’s what? Eric Young Jr. does not have an opt-out option that he can invoke before the regular season in his minor league contract. He can’t be assigned to the minor leagues without his consent because of his veteran status.

What’s the word? He actually said, ‘I’ve never hit a ball like that.’”-Smith on his father’s, longtime major leaguer Dwight Smith Sr., comments on his home run.

What’s the number? 6. Hess has allowed six home runs in his last two starts. When he gave up the home run to Cervelli, he had allowed six homers in his last 3 2/3 innings. 

What’s the record? 12-13-2. The Orioles play the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium at 6:05 p.m.

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