SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening?-The Orioles might decide today if Alex Cobb can make his Opening Day start Thursday after leaving Saturday’s game because of soreness in his right groin. Manager Brandon Hyde said Cobb felt better on Sunday.
“We’re not going to take any chances with the start of the year,” Hyde said. “Cold weather, a lot of factors. We’ll need to see how he feels physically [today].”
Mark Trumbo will begin the season on the injured list. His surgically repaired right knee hasn’t healed sufficiently enough to allow him to play.
Trumbo will remain in Sarasota to continue his rehab, and it appears his return could take some time.
“I like this plan,” Trumbo said. “We’ve put a lot of thought into it.”
Trumbo had the surgery last September and was told healing could take 9-to-12 months.
Trumbo will back off baseball activities for now. He said that he would assess his condition weekly.
Dylan Bundy starts against the New York Mets in the Orioles’ final Grapefruit League game today. He’s scheduled to be followed by David Hess, John Means, Pedro Araujo, Jimmy Yacabonis and Richard Bleier.
The Orioles made a number of roster cuts on Sunday. The most noted were the optioning of catcher Chance Sisco and left-handed pitcher Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk.
Sisco, who went 3-for-3 on Sunday against Pittsburgh, had a .382 spring average with four home runs and 11 RBIs. Scott, who pitched a scoreless inning, had an 8.00 ERA.
Left-handed pitcher Josh Rogers, who had a 4.24 ERA, was also optioned to the Tides. Catchers Carlos Perez and Andrew Susac were assigned to minor league camp.
Earlier Sunday, right-hander Evan Phillips, who pitched 9 2/3 scoreless innings, was optioned to Norfolk, and infielder/outfielder Jace Peterson was reassigned to minor league camp.
Phillips allowed nine hits and walked three. He struck out 10. Peterson hit .297 with a home run and five RBIs.
The Orioles have to drop a player from the 40-man roster to add Jesus Sucre, who along with newcomer Pedro Severino, appear to be the team’s catchers for Opening Day.
Catcher Austin Wynns and Cobb could join Trumbo on the injured list to begin the season.
Infielder Hanser Alberto remains in camp along with pitchers Pedro Araujo, John Means and Jimmy Yacabonis.
Last-minute waiver claims are also a possibility.
Sucre must be officially told today if the Orioles are adding him to the 40-man roster. Sucre said Hyde told him he wanted him on the team.
If Sucre isn’t added to the 40-man roster, he’ll be a free agent.
Outfielder Austin Hays had an MRI on his left thumb, which he injured sliding into a base.
What’s happened?— Andrew Cashner allowed a run on two hits in two innings as the Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates played to a 1-1 tie in Sarasota.
Cashner’s outing was abbreviated in case he’s needed to start Thursday’s opener at Yankee Stadium.
“You still prepare the same,” Cashner said. “It’s just another game…[but] Opening Day is definitely different.”
Cashner hasn’t been given the word that he’ll start in place of Cobb.
“Sad for him. He’s one of my best friends on the team,” Cashner said. “It’s definitely special. I want him to get that day. I had an Opening Day before, and he hasn’t, so I definitely want him to have that.”
Cashner sounds as if he’s preparing for the possible start.
“It’s a really cool day,” Cashner said. “The energy in the ballpark, baseball’s kind of kicking off. Never opened up in cold weather…It’ll be fun. We’ll see whether Cobb’s ready to go or whether it’s me.”
While the Orioles and Pirates tied in Sarasota, the other half of the split-squad lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 11-4, in Clearwater.
Paul Fry opened for the Orioles and allowed two runs, both unearned, on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Gabriel Ynoa gave up six runs on nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.
What’s up with? Pedro Severino. Severino reported to camp a day after he was claimed on waivers from the Washington Nationals.
The 25-year-old catcher has played five games against the Orioles in his career. He did not play Sunday.
“On this team, I know a couple of guys, we played together in the minor leagues,” Severino said.
What’s what? If Trumbo played, he’d be the full-time designated hitter. Without Trumbo, Hyde won’t use a single DH.
“I think I’ll be creative with it,” Hyde said. “Depending on the starting pitcher that particular night. I think we have a lot of moveable pieces.”
What’s the word? “The stats look good and everything. I don’t think I had a clean [outing] all spring. There are things I can work on. I can go down and develop my other pitches.”-Phillips on his demotion
What’s the number? March 30, 2014. That’s the date of Cashner’s previous Opening Day start for the San Diego Padres. He allowed a run on four hits in six innings in a no-decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What’s the record? 12-16-3. The Orioles play the New York Mets in their final Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium today at 1:05 p.m.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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