Cobb set to make first spring start; Orioles produce 15 hits; Blach's one of many starting candidates -
Spring Training

Cobb set to make first spring start; Orioles produce 15 hits; Blach’s one of many starting candidates


SARASOTA, Florida.-What’s happening? Alex Cobb, who pitched in only three games last season because of hip surgery, will make his spring debut when the Orioles play the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field in Clearwater on Monday. Vince Velasquez will pitch for Philadelphia.

What’s happened?-The Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox, 11-5 ,on Sunday. They had 15 hits. Catcher Bryan Holaday hit the team’s first home run of the spring.

Wade LeBlanc pitched two scoreless innings. Shawn Armstrong, Michael Rucker, Richard Bleier and Eric Hanhold threw a scoreless inning. Brandon Bailey allowed a run in two innings.

Evan Phillips gave up three runs in the ninth. Minor league right-hander Francisco Jimenez gave up a home run to Josh Ockimey in the ninth.

“I hate to take him out with two outs in the ninth,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Phillips. “I couldn’t let him throw any more pitches because he’s not built up for that.”

First baseman Chris Davis played his first game of the spring and had an opposite field single to left and two walks.

“He seems more comfortable mentally,” Hyde said. “He’s going to get a bunch of at-bats. I love the way he’s swinging the bat during batting practice. The ball’s really coming off his bat. He’s hit a ton of homers. He’s just driving the ball more than he did this time last year in batting practice.

“I just want him to feel good, and he does mentally. I hope it translates.”

Richard Urena cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He’ll be back in camp as a non-roster invitee and join the utility infield competition.

Urena will compete with Malquin Canelo, Dilson Herrera, José Rondon, Ramon Urias, Pat Valaika, Andrew Velazquez, and Stevie Wilkerson for a utility spot. Only Urias and Velazquez are on the 40-man roster.

Catcher Adley Rutschman pinch-hit in the sixth and flied to left. He grounded out in the eighth.

What’s up with Ty Blach? Blach was claimed on waivers last August 3 from the San Francisco Giants. In five starts with the Orioles, he went 1-3 with an 11.32 ERA before he was outrighted to Norfolk.

“Last year was a tough year for me,” Blach said. “I feel like my rhythm was off. I didn’t execute at the level I was accustomed to executing, and I got exposed, for sure. I felt the results didn’t necessarily show how well I threw the ball at times. That’s not an excuse. I have to be able to go out there and get outs in some of those situations.”

Along with Tom Eshelman and Chandler Shepherd, Blach is in camp after a brief tenure with the Orioles.

“I think we’re all trying to make each other better,” Blach said. “Eshelman and I are rooming together this spring, so it’s been great to try to help each other make some improvements, see whatever we can do to help each other get back to the big leagues and get to where we want to be.

“It’s really big that all the guys are pulling together and nobody wants other guys to do poorly. Everybody wants the best out of everybody and trying to push each other and make this whole organization better.”

Blach allowed a run on three hits in two innings against Atlanta on Saturday.

What’s what? –Hyde doesn’t take the results of Grapefruit League games too seriously.

Spring training games [are] a crapshoot because there are so many different pitchers,” he said. “You have guys at the end of the game that aren’t even in major league camp.”

What’s the word? “There’s no division between guys who are on the roster and guys who aren’t on the roster. Everybody wants the best for everybody, and at the end of the day, they’re going to take the best guys.”-Blach on the competition for a starting spot.

What’s the number? 69. With Urena’s addition, the Orioles have 69 players in camp.

What’s the record? 1-1. The Orioles will face the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at 1:05 p.m. The game will be on MLB Network.



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