SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening? –The Orioles are signing left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone to a minor league contract. Milone’s signing will give the Orioles 68 players, 36 pitchers.
Milone, who will be 33 on Sunday, was 50-47 with a 4.47 ERA in 174 games with Washington, Oakland, Minnesota, the New York Mets, Milwaukee and Seattle.
Each Orioles pitcher except for Brady Rogers, who has been held back because of arm soreness, has thrown a bullpen session in the first two days of workouts. Each Orioles catcher except for Pedro Severino, who has been ill, has caught multiple bullpen sessions.
Many of the players are new to manager Brandon Hyde and his staff.
“When you see young guys throw their first sides, especially guys in their first big league camps, there’s probably a lot of nerves,” Hyde said. “There’s probably a lot of adrenaline. I thought our job as coaches is probably to pull them back a little bit … You’re not going to make the team in your first side session.”
What’s happened?—Alex Cobb threw his first bullpen session of the spring after missing nearly all of 2019 after hip surgery.
“I talked to him after it. He feels great,” Hyde said. “I think the real positive sign is that I love how his curveball looks. I think that’s something he’s been working on, and he looked comfortable throwing that pitch. He threw a bunch of good ones today.
“He had a tough year last year, but he’s recovering great. Our goal is to keep him healthy all season.”
What’s up with? Travis Lakins was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on waivers on January 31, 10 days after the Boston Red Sox traded him to the Cubs.
Lakins discovered he was an Oriole while on a cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. It was a late honeymoon cruise for Lakins, who got married in 2017, but his wife had two babies in 14 months.
“They picked me up, and I got a phone call,” Lakins said. “They told me they were excited to have me. I’m going to be excited no matter where I’m at. I’m ready to get going.”
Lakins had a 3.86 ERA in 16 games for Boston. Four of those games were against the Orioles, and Lakins allowed just one earned run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings against them, striking out five and walking one.
“I love his stuff,” Hyde said. He remembered talking with pitching coach Doug Brocail during a game. “When I was designated, I was excited and hoped we’d get him. He’s got a really nice pitch mix. He’s a tough kid. I love the makeup already.”
What’s what? –Milone’s addition gives the Orioles an additional candidate to start.
Besides Cobb and John Means, there’s Asher Wojciechowski. They also have David Hess from the 40-man roster, Rule 5 draft choices Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker, and Kohl Stewart, a free agent signed from Minnesota.
They also have a number of non-roster invitees. Milone joins Wade LeBlanc, another left-hander who pitched for Seattle last season. They have the most major league experience.
Rodgers, who has yet to pitch, is also a candidate as are Ty Blach, Tom Eshelman and Chandler Shepherd, all of whom pitched for the Orioles last season.
Minor league prospect Keegan Akin might also be in the competition but isn’t expected to break camp with the team.
What’s the word? “We had a hungry group of position players last year. I loved the way our guys worked. I’m not surprised a lot of them are here. It’s in their personality.”-Hyde on the large number of position players already in camp.
What’s the number? 7. MASN will televise seven spring training games, all from Sarasota — February 23 vs. Boston, February 26 vs. Atlanta, March 2 vs. Tampa Bay, March 8 vs. New York, March 13 vs. Toronto, March 20 vs. Boston, and March 22 vs. Philadelphia. The March 20 game is at 6:05 p.m. All other games are at 1:05 p.m.