Orioles line up split-squad games; Infielders Urena, Velazquez expected to play; Bannon's journey - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles line up split-squad games; Infielders Urena, Velazquez expected to play; Bannon’s journey

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

CLEARWATER, Florida.-What’s happening? The Orioles will play split-squad games with the Tampa Bay Rays in Sarasota and the Boston Red Sox at Fort Myers on Tuesday.

John Means will face Charlie Morton at home. Tom Eshelman will pitch against Boston’s Ryan Weber.

Infielders Richard Urena and Andrew Velazquez could both see their first game action. Urena was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk after Velazquez was claimed on waivers.

What’s happened?- The Orioles lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-7, on Monday.

Alex Cobb, who has been battling illness, left after a scoreless inning.

Travis Lakins allowed three home runs in the sixth inning to Luke Williams, Logan Forsythe and Nick Maton.

“He’s unhappy about it, but nobody’s going to win or lose a job at the end of February,” Hyde said. “Just didn’t look crisp, falling behind in the count, a lot of deep counts. I liked his stuff last year, and I like it now.”

David Hess pitched two scoreless innings after Cobb.

“I thought he had good life with his fastball,” Hyde said. “I thought he was aggressive with it. He had some good changeups. I think it was a good outing.”

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Cole Sulser pitched a scoreless seventh. Dean Kremer allowed an unearned run that scored on an error by first baseman Taylor Davis in the bottom of the ninth.

“I thought Dean Kremer’s stuff, I was really impressed with Dean,” Hyde said. “I liked the life to his fastball. I liked the aggressiveness. Like Keegan [Akin], he’s got a nice curveball. He threw some really good cutters.”

Pat Valaika and Richie Martin homered in the seventh for the Orioles, who had 11 hits.

Kohl Stewart, who was supposed to start the game against the Red Sox, is being pushed back because of biceps soreness. Asher Wojciechowski hasn’t pitched because of a blister, and outfielder Yusniel Diaz  hasn’t played because of shoulder soreness.

Mychal Givens threw a live bullpen session on Monday. Hunter Harvey threw a side session on Sunday. Both are close to making their season debut.

What’s up with Rylan Bannon? Bannon was the least publicized of the five players the Orioles received for Manny Machado in July 2018.

Last year, Bannon hit a combined .266 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs in 110 games at Double-A Bowie and Norfolk.

Bannon has played mostly at third base but has also played some second in the minors. He’s in camp as a non-roster player. He acknowledged that he was surprised by the invitation.

“Learn as much as I possibly can from being around all these older guys,” Bannon said. “It’s awesome experience for me.”

Bannon, who was 1-for-2 on Monday,  is realistic about where he’s going to begin the season. He said “it would be awesome” if he began at Norfolk.

The only player of the five who were obtained for Machado to play for the Orioles was infielder Breyvic Valera, who left the organization in January 2019. Diaz, Kremer and reliever Zach Pop, who had Tommy John surgery last May, and Bannon are the others.

“It’s cool to come over with those guys,” Bannon said. “I played a lot with them in the Dodgers’ organization … all the hard work has paid off, and it’s fun to see that.”

What’s what? –Fredi González, who was hired as a coach for this season, will manage the Orioles when they play in the other split-squad game.

González has 10 years of major league managing experience, four with the Marlins and six with the Braves.

Hyde said that he might have Tim Cossins, who managed split-squad games last season, manage the Orioles’ next one on March 14 at Atlanta. The Orioles play another split-squad game on March 21, also at Boston.

What’s the word? “They’re seasoned hitters. They knew what they were looking for, they knew what they wanted to hit. They were very well-disciplined. I had to adjust to that.”-Keegan Akin on pitching against experienced major league hitters in Triple-A 

What’s the number? 95. That’s the number worn by Zach Jarrett, a minor league outfielder who was added for the game. Jarrett replaced Cedric Mullins in right field and struck out in his only plate appearance.

Jarrett, who was the team’s 28th-round draft choice in 2017, is the son of famed NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett. 

What’s the record? 1-2. The Orioles face the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m. The game will be on 105.7 The Fan. In the other half of the split-squad, the Orioles visit JetBlue Park to play the Boston Red Sox.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 25, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Somewhere in the past, I read that Bannon could be a hidden gem in that Machado trade. Nice college career numbers at Xavier and has shown some surprising pop for a smaller player thus far in his minor league career.

    So Rich … considering the situation at 3rd base, do you think there’s any chance we get a look-see at this kid on the big club before the year is out?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 25, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Yes, if there’s an injury to Ruiz or a utility infielder, Bannon has a chance. However, with the 28-man limit in September, late callups are going to be limited.

  2. Orial

    February 25, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Lakins rhymes with Akin. Ouch. Bannon is the kinda guy you pull for. Good luck to him. Hess is starting to remind me of Ubaldo. Nice guy,has some good outings,makes the club(of course Ubaldo had a larger contract),then stinks it up when the bell rings. We’ll see. Speaking of Diaz Rich. Haven’t seen his name mentioned in articles or even the lineup. Is he there and gonna play?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 25, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Orial, you are being penalized for not reading carefully enough. In this article, I wrote that Diaz has a sore shoulder and hasn’t played yet. I also tweeted it yesterday before the game.

      • Orial

        February 25, 2020 at 10:48 am

        Sorry Rich I do tend to “sloppily” speed read at times.

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