SARASOTA, Florida–What’s happening? – Rule 5 pick Brandon Bailey will start for the Orioles against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton on Friday.
Alex Wells, who has been slowed by an oblique muscle injury, said that he’s improving and that he’ll throw in the bullpen on Saturday. Wells, the Australian left-hander who turned 23 on Thursday, felt the oblique hurting early in camp. He’s in spring training on a minor league invitation.
“Very frustrating, especially being the first camp,” said Wells, who was 8-6 for Bowie last season. “I wanted to come in healthy, all guns blazing, ready to go, but a little setback. That’s all right. We’ll hopefully get back out there soon and ready to roll.”
What’s happened?—Ryan Mountcastle, who hit .312 for Norfolk in 2019 and is looking to make the step up, had three hits. Austin Hays had two doubles and played strong defense, and Chris Davis continued his hot hitting with two more hits in the Orioles’ 13-0 win over the Pirates on Thursday.
Mountcastle had two doubles and a homer. Davis hit his second opposite-field home run. He’s 4-for-5 (,800) with three walks in three games.
Martin Cervenka and Pat Valaika also homered.
Six pitchers threw a combined shutout. Tommy Milone, David Rucker and Ty Blach each pitched two innings. Mychal Givens pitched his first inning of the spring. Travis Lakins and Cole Sulser also pitched well.
“Everybody was hitting the ball hard,” Mountcastle said. “Everybody did their part at the plate and in the field. Our pitchers pitched really well, too.”
Mountcastle has been asking Davis for hitting advice.
“I talked to him a little bit today just about what he was thinking, what I was thinking at the plate,” Mountcastle said. “He looks really good right now. He looks relaxed. He’s putting some barrels on balls for sure.”
Manager Brandon Hyde continues to like what he’s seen from Davis.
“He looks like he’s really locked in and ready to swing the bat, and that’s what we wanted to see,” Hyde said.
“It’s not his swing path that looks different. It’s the aggressiveness in the box, the presence in the box. You can tell in his takes. He’s in swing mode, and letting his vision of the ball and his strike zone awareness stop him on pitches outside the zone. But he’s ready to hit every pitch.”
Kohl Stewart, who hasn’t pitched because of a biceps injury, hopes to pitch his weekend.
“I’d much rather it be two days off and we’re good,” Stewart said. “I don’t have to take a whole bunch of time off or take a whole bunch of time ramping back up.
“It’s not like it’s a huge deal. It’s going to end up being seven or eight days in between what a start would have been, so that’s not a big deal. If I have some soreness like that that’s bothering me, if I could pick a situation and it only be two or three days down instead of it lingering and being an issue all year, probably a better situation.”
What’s up with Malquin Canelo? One of many contenders for a backup infielder’s spot, the 24-year-old Canelo is primarily a shortstop. He signed with the Orioles last offseason after eight seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
“I signed with this team because I think there’s an opportunity for me to make the team, to be with the big league team, and to continue to develop my skills,” Canelo said through a translator.
The young Dominican, whose childhood hero was Derek Jeter, believes his defense is his strength.
“My defense really stands out,” Canelo said. “It’s one of those things that I try to improve every single day. I think that’s my calling card.”.
What’s what? Seeing Mountcastle play left field, Hays in center and Anthony Santander as the designated hitter gave Hyde a possible glimpse of the future.
“We had some youth out there,” Hyde said.
What’s the word? “I was telling some older guys and they were like, ‘Look, the worst thing you can do is pitch through that in spring training and then April 1 comes around and you’re really hurting and you’re down for however long.’”-Stewart on being cautious because of his injury.
What’s the number? 13. That’s how many Orioles had hits.
What’s the record? 3-4. The Orioles play the Pirates at LECOM Field in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m. on Friday.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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