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

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.


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.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Tony Paparella

    March 23, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Something tells me Hyde not to optimistic about any starter after Cashner.Saying Wright competed well is not that commending and throwing in that he is tossing around the thought of using an opener also could be telling.To me it says he is not sure if anyone else is ready to step into a starters roll,at least at this time.One more question for you Rich and I will stop on this topic.If Young Jr or anyone else in his position clear waivers and want to sign with the Orioles what can that contract entail? In other words for how long a duration would the Orioles have or what are the limits for either party? They won’t be on the 40 man roster so what kind of hold (length)would the Orioles have legally and or what rights does the player have? I hope you understand that question ?

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      Tony, minor league contracts can be for any duration. With major league veterans, multiple opt-outs are often included.

  2. Bman123

    March 23, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Os play Yankees 6 out of first 9 games, would not be surprised to see them get swept in both series, coming out of first week or so at 1-8, 2-7, 3-6? No big deal, that is how the first half of this year is going to roll. The East is truly going to be a Beast this year too. It’s gonna be rough.

  3. Orial

    March 23, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Glad Wright’s getting the 5th nod. If anybody needs a coach working with his mental approach it’s him. I hope that Alex Cobb will lead by example. Giving up HRs by the starters and wildness by the relievers seems to be the staff in a nutshell. Elias/Hyde sure aren’t afraid to go the youth direction. Really thought Young Jr and Escobar had a solid shot at making the team simply because of defense and veteran leadership. I would have preferred carrying them. Must say that Elias/Hyde aren’t afraid to go out on the limb.

  4. Baltimore Castaway

    March 23, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Hi Rich,

    Enjoying your coverage and writing this Spring. 2019 will of course be a treacherous and bloody journey.

    Elias would love to have the #1 overall pick in the 2020 Amateur Draft. The Orioles Starting Pitchers will go a very long way to assure this outcome…

    Am looking for this team to be much more watchable; hustle, disciplined at-bats, more walks, more stolen bases, no swinging at pitches in the dirt and a foot outside the plate. 2018 was a brutal year to watch.

    Bring it on…

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 23, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Be prepared for a very challenging season and perhaps two, Castaway. If the team can find a few players who can help them in the future, it’s a success.

  5. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    March 23, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Heading to the game tonight and will likely see our Opening Day lineup. Looking forward to visiting Ed Smith Stadium a great venue and facility.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 23, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Gkad you’re here, Grand Strand.

  6. PA Bird Lover

    March 23, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Should be a very interesting year, but on top of that a building season. Perhaps the most productive segment of the new season is how the front office, manager and his crew handle the ups and downs. Remember, they’re rookies also.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 23, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Wise comments, PA.

  7. Bhoffman1

    March 23, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Why is Diaz starting in centerfield tonight with the season a week away. Don’t get it

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 23, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      The Orioles have split-squad games tomorrow, and they’re a bit short of players, and Hyde would like to see a bit more of Diaz.

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