Cobb gets pre-Opening Day start; Wright's final spring start; Hyde considering 'opener' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Cobb gets pre-Opening Day start; Wright’s final spring start; Hyde considering ‘opener’

DUNEDIN, Fla.-What’s happening? –Alex Cobb gets his final start before the March 28 opener at Yankee Stadium when the Orioles play the Minnesota Twins tonight. Cobb is scheduled to be followed by Jimmy Yacabonis, Richard Bleier and Mychal Givens.

Even though catcher Jesus Sucre could have opted out of his minor league contract Friday, the Orioles haven’t confirmed that he has made the team, although that’s the expectation.

Manager Brandon Hyde said it was difficult to deliver the news to veteran outfielder Eric Young Jr. that he didn’t make the team.

“E.Y. had a great spring in many ways,” Hyde said. “Not just performance-wise. He’s a true pro. I loved how he came to the ballpark every single day with energy. He was really great with our young guys. I hope he finds a big league opportunity…If that’s not the case, I would love to have him as an option for us this season. I just wish him the best because he deserves it.”

Hyde said that with the 33-year-old Young, “it was strictly a numbers game…I hope he goes to Triple-A with us, and we’ll see him soon or for his sake, I hope he gets a big league job.”

Pitcher Josh Rogers’ back is fine. He was removed by Hyde in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh in Bradenton as a precaution after he caught a spike.

“When a guy stubs something, and you see him uncomfortably walking around and it’s a spring training game in late March, I’m just not going to take any chances,” Hyde said. “But it was just a twinge and nothing, not even sore today.

“I probably prematurely took him out, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

Hyde said that he wanted to make the final cuts “as late as possible.” The Orioles have a flight out from Florida to Baltimore after Monday’s game, and it’s logical to assume that the cuts will be made Monday morning.

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The Orioles still have 34 players in camp and must trim nine to reach the 25-man roster limit for Thursday’s opener.

“We’re not in a place to announce our team,” Hyde said.

Hyde said two or three spots still haven’t been decided.

Catcher Austin Wynns took batting practice today, but it’s doubtful that he’ll be ready to start the season. Wynns has missed nearly three weeks because of a sore left oblique. He’s scheduled for more batting practice today.

What’s happened?—Mike Wright allowed two runs on three hits in four innings in the Orioles’ 4-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It was pretty good. We’ve got some things to build on,” Wright said of his spring. “I really like the stuff that I’ve been working on. I’m looking forward to moving forward with that and going north with this team.”

Wright said he hasn’t been told if he’s in the starting rotation but said: “It looks promising.”

Hyde said Wright has had a good camp.

“I thought he’s competed really well this spring,” Hyde said. “Now, we’ve got to make a decision on what we’re doing, whether it’s a long relief role or a starting role…I thought he took a lot of the analytic stuff he worked on to the game.”

The Orioles had just one hit, a fifth-inning single by catcher Jesus Sucre, in six innings against Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez. They ended up with four hits. 

What’s up with?—Paul Fry. Fry has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings and given up four hits. Fry will be the opener in Sunday’s split-squad game against Philadelphia in Clearwater. Hyde says he’ll pitch an inning or two and be followed by Gabriel Ynoa.

Hyde says the Orioles will make a decision in the coming days whether to use the opener.

What’s what? One of the more difficult trips of spring is from Sarasota to Dunedin. Although it’s 60 miles, shorter than to Fort Myers for the Red Sox and Twins, it generally takes at least 90 minutes.

Dunedin Stadium, home of the Blue Jays for their entire 42-year existence, is scheduled for its third renovation, and it should be a vast improvement.

Next year, the Orioles will probably have some games at the Atlanta Braves new spring home, CoolToday Park, which opens Sunday in North Port, Fla. It’s about 40 minutes away from Ed Smith Stadium.

What’s the word? “Did you see Cedric Mullins’ ‘Spider-Man’ up the wall? That’s got to get you fired up. When you see defensive plays like that, Joey Rickard out there doing the salsa and making great catches, [Jonathan] Villar being aggressive on the bases and doing different things, that’s exciting.”-Wright on what he’s seen this spring from the Orioles.

What’s the number? 3.32. That’s Wright’s spring ERA. He began spring with 10 scoreless innings in his first four outings and has allowed eight runs in 11 2/3 in his last three outings.

What’s the record? 12-14-2. The Orioles play the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota at 6:05 p.m.

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