Orioles take road trip to Florida's East Coast; Wojciechowski throws 3 hitless innings; Melanie Newman debuts on radio - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles take road trip to Florida’s East Coast; Wojciechowski throws 3 hitless innings; Melanie Newman debuts on radio

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening? –Ty Blach will start for the Orioles when the team begins a two-game trip to Florida’s East Coast with a game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach on Tuesday.

Tommy Milone was scheduled to start for the Orioles,but he’ll throw in Sarasota.

Max Scherzer will start for the Nationals.

Alex Cobb will throw in a simulated game on Friday and is scheduled to start on March 11 against Toronto in Dunedin. Cobb, who’s recovering from illness, threw 50 pitches in a simulated game on Sunday.

“He looked great and felt great after,” Hyde said. “He actually threw a little more than we had planned for, and felt outstanding during and after.”

Shortstop José Iglesias, outfielder Anthony Santander and catcher Pedro Severino didn’t play on Monday because they’re scheduled to play both games on the East Coast.

Infielder Rylan Bannon, who was sent to minor league camp after Sunday’s game, was brought back for Monday’s game. Bannon, Malquin Canelo and Mason McCoy, who were reassigned to minor league camp, will return for games this month, manager Brandon Hyde said.

One player brought over from minor league camp who made an impact was Cesar Valdez, who ended Sunday’s game on a three-pitch strikeout.

“He’s an experienced guy that’s older, and you always want those guys that can come up here and throw strikes,” Hyde said. “You’ll see him back up here.”

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What’s happened? Asher Wojciechowski threw three hitless innings as the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays played to a 3-3 tie before 4,897 at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday.

“I thought I threw the ball well,” Wojciechowski said. “… I threw a lot of strikes again. Just really coming into my delivery and my mechanics. Still got some work to do on my offspeed stuff. I was happy with the fastball, and how it’s coming out, and the location.”

Wojciechowski isn’t satisfied.

“No, I don’t think I’m there, yet,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s my second outing. We have three more weeks of camp. I’ll use this as a springboard. I’ve got three more weeks, probably four more starts, to really get tuned up and ready for the season. I’m just trying to take advantage of every day and be ready for the season.”

Wojciechowski has allowed a run on two hits in five innings. He has struck out four without walking a batter.

Hunter Harvey, another Oriole who was sidelined by illness, allowed a hit and struck out a batter in his first spring action.

“Trying to get everything under control,” Harvey said. “Trying to get the butterflies under control and just attack.”

Bruce Zimmermann gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out six but allowed two home runs.

Renato Nunez hit a two-run home run, his first of the spring.

Trey Mancini left after two at-bats because he wasn’t feeling well.

What’s up with Yusniel Diaz? He’s been hampered by a left shoulder injury and needs to make up for lost time. Diaz had a triple and walked in his two plate appearances. He’s 1-for-5 in three Grapefruit League games.

Diaz was considered the top player the Orioles received when they traded Manny Machado to the Dodgers on July 18, 2018. The 23-year-old outfielder finished last season at Double-A Bowie.

“I need to get ready, just like everybody else,” Diaz said through a translator. “That’s the main reason I came, to be ready and to compete.

“I want to show them everything that I am as a whole — the way that I train, the way that I play the game, my defensive skills, my offensive skills, how good of a teammate I am.”

Diaz is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Norfolk.

“It’s really not up to me,” Diaz said. “Wherever they send me, I’m going to do the best that I can so that I can be [in the major leagues.]”

Hyde anticipates seeing Diaz often.

“He’s going to be playing a lot,” Diaz said. “I think he’s going to get plenty of at-bats here and a lot of playing time. He’s the first guy in the clubhouse. He’s ready to go. I know he wants to play as much as possible, and I’m going to give him a ton of at-bats.”

What’s what? – Melanie Newman broadcast three innings on radio, the first female play-by-play broadcaster in team history. Newman is scheduled to call 58 games on radio and serve as the sideline reporter for 57 television games.

Four years ago, she served as a MLB employee for Orioles spring training games, running the between-innings clock.

Newman has worked as a broadcaster for affiliates of Arizona, Texas and last year was half of baseball’s first all-female broadcasting crew with Boston’s High-A affiliate in Salem, Virginia.

“My parents never told me this was different,” Newman said. “I was just doing what I knew I was good at, what I was put on the earth to do, and I enjoyed it.

“Females can do this job as well. I don’t ever want my gender to be the reason I have a job. I get that it’s a factor, and it’s going to make younger generations look up and say, ‘Hey, I can do that.’”

Newman called the third, fourth and seventh innings while Geoff Arnold, who’s scheduled to broadcast 150 games, broadcast the other six.

Brett Hollander, the latest addition to the Orioles’ broadcasting crew, appeared on both the radio and television broadcasts.

What’s the word? “They haven’t told me to go home.”-Wade LeBlanc, who’s scheduled to start Wednesday against Miami in Jupiter on how his spring is going.

What’s the number? 6. The Orioles are unbeaten in their last six games, five wins and a tie.

What’s the record? 6-4-1 The Orioles play the Nationals in West Palm Beach at 1:05 p.m. The game will be streamed on Orioles.com/MLB At Bat.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Bman

    March 3, 2020 at 9:03 am

    Strong pitching and Davis resurgence? That could spell more wins than they are anticipating. That would mess up the strategy for the #1 pick again next year, haha!

  2. VICTORTEE

    March 3, 2020 at 9:07 am

    The O’s are going to have 19 members of their broadcasting teams this year. And one of the top radio announcers will be a woman.
    Two more examples of Elias knowing more about every aspect of baseball than anyone else ever has in baseball history.

    But he did not know ANYTHING about how the Astros cheated even though stories have said it was “common knowledge” around baseball.
    Does that seem believable? I am sure he used Houston’s WS title as a reason he should be hired by the O’s.

    • ClayDal

      March 3, 2020 at 9:58 am

      2 things. One, Elias isn’t involved in the hiring of announcers. That’s between the stations and ownership. As for the Astros, the 9 page report doesn’t mention Elias. It said that the cheating was player based. Elias was the assistant GM, primarily responsible for scouting and player development. So he wasn’t interacting with the players on the major league team.

      • VICTORTEE

        March 3, 2020 at 12:52 pm

        Exactly how do you know he was not involved with the hiring of the announcers? Did you sit in on the meetings?

        Again, if the Astro’s cheating was “common knowledge ” around baseball what are the odds that Elias knew NOTHING about it?
        Maybe you are right. And maybe Santa Claus and the Easter bunny are real.

    • CalsPals

      March 3, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Wink, wink…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 3, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      As far as I know, Victor, Mike Elias doesn’t have anything to do with the broadcasting decisions.

      • VICTORTEE

        March 4, 2020 at 8:36 am

        Do you believe he knew NOTHING about the Astro’s cheating.? I am not saying he was involved, but???

  3. willmiranda

    March 3, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Rich, pardon my ignorance, but could you tell us something about those “simulated” games? Is there
    one set format for them? Sometimes they seem to last only a few innings. Do they just count balls and strikes,
    or is there some way they simulate hits? Just curious because they’re mentioned a lot in spring training.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 3, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      Will, they do it to control pitch counts. There’s no set format. If someone throws too many pitches, they’ll end the inning, too few, they’ll extend it. They’ve been going on for a number of years. Hits aren’t simulated, but they’re for the benefit of the pitchers most often. Occasionally, hitters need to make up at-bats if they’ve been injured, and they get some there.

  4. deqalt

    March 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Totally off topic but I finally got to see the 30 teams in 30 days Orioles addition and the analysis is that the rebuild is 3-4 years away. So we have had two straight 100 loss seasons. Why are Orioles fans not completely upset that the fan base is being asked to support losing for I guess now would be 6 years? I love this team, but life is too short this is absurd to me. It’s a fraud on Orioles fans. I understand being asked to eat a couple seasons, but your saying over a half of decade. We as fans are taken for granted. I’m sorry I am angry that we as fans are just accepting of this. The bar is so low that we are excited about a GM???? Your not suppose to get excited about a front office, You get excited about a team that can compete on the field. This is a smoke screen to accept losing for a decade on purpose! This will be my final post I love this site, but I am moving on to more important things. 45 years an Orioles die hard moving on. Not acceptable.

    • ClayDal

      March 3, 2020 at 11:07 am

      I would remind you the Orioles had 14 losing seasons from 1998-2011. So 6 years is nothing. To rebuild a baseball team from the bottom up is a slower process than other sports. It’s not like the NBA , where you can sign Lebron and be a title contender overnight. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and he’s only been in the playoffs once. There’s no magical formula to go from 47-115 to playoff contention overnight. Draft, sign international players, develop them properly, sign the right free agents and eventually things will work out. It will take time, maybe not 3-4 years might be sooner, might be later. They seem to be moving in the right direction

    • kaj21206

      March 3, 2020 at 11:47 am

      Didnt we try in 2017? The result was 115 losses and a wrecked farm system. The Orioles will not have sustained success until the farm system produces young talent as it did in the late 60’s – early 80’s. This takes time.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      I will miss you, deqalt, but I think by next year, the team will show some improvement. I didn’t see the show, but I think three or fouir years for some improvement is a little much.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 3, 2020 at 1:39 pm

        I think we’ll see some improvement this year Rich.

      • deqalt

        March 3, 2020 at 1:42 pm

        Thank you! You are terrific love your site

  5. deqalt

    March 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

    ClayDal…The Orioles were not trying to lose and rebuild for 14 years. I was a season ticket holder during those years, I grew up in Memorial Stadium. Those years were just bad decision after bad decision.Those teams had some great players and they went into the season trying to win. There has NEVER been an era like this where we are fielding a 4A team. Like I said I understand a few intentional seasons to rebuild. We are being asked for 5-6 seasons in hopes these guys live up to promise. Orioles have had high prospects before. This is idea of tanking and rebuilding is crazy in sports. Sports fans just take it.

    • ClayDal

      March 3, 2020 at 11:31 am

      You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken @@@@@. The talent level is what it is. The current front office is trying to improve by drafting and developing a talent pipeline. It’s going to take a few years for the Rutschman’s Henderson’s and GrayRod’s to make it to Baltimore. If you think going 71-91 14 years in a row , fine. Ultimately the goal should be to put a championship caliber team on the field, not sign a few stop gap free agents to make it look like you’re doing something. To repeat, the current front office inherited a 47-115 team. It’s going to take a lot more than signing a few Gio Gonzalez’s to turn things around

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 3, 2020 at 4:35 pm

        I wouldn’t mind a Gio Gonzalez signing…

  6. deqalt

    March 3, 2020 at 11:47 am

    You missed every point I made.Never said anything about stop gaps. My point is tanking and the idea of sports rebuilding projects is not acceptable. If fans stopped attending you would see more money being spent. The last 2 seasons have been unwatchable! There is no promise these guys will be major league players. Most of those 14 seasons we were not eliminated in spring training. There was hope, Most of the the players from last year and now this year are just “stop gap” players and will never be around. I never said go spend $200 million on free agents. You watch the 4A team and I will go support the Keys and Baysox.

    • ClayDal

      March 3, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      Where are you going to get good players? They have had one draft. They signed 27 international free agents last July. You can make trades, but the tradeable veterans were moved in 2018. Free agents don’t want to come to a rebuilding team, so you have to overpay to get them. If there was a magical formula to turn the Orioles around in a year, great. I followed the Orioles starting in 1968, where there was genuine hope that they could win the World Series every year. Don’t want them to go back to the mediocre years from 1998-2011 where there was no hope for the future. Let’s see what happens this year before making gloom and doom predictions

    • TxBirdFan

      March 3, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more degalt! Tanking is totally unacceptable to the long time fan base. We never intentionally tanked during those 14 losing seasons – we just made bad decisions. And when we started to make good decisions (I.e. hiring Showalter) we started to win and the fan base was happy. The O’s have lost 700,000 in fan attendance over the past two years. CY will be a ghost town in 3-4 years at that pace. Shameful. And I agree Elias has to know something.

    • ClayDal

      March 3, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      If the Orioles were tanking, why did they sign 27 international free agents in July. Why do they have 69 players in training camp? Why did they spend money upgrading the scouting and analytics department? What evidence do we have that they are tanking? Jonathan Villar was traded after the other 29 teams passed on him when he was on waivers. The team as it currently exists isn’t good. If they were truly tanking they would have traded Trey Mancini. And John Means. This year you will have Santander for the whole year and Austin Hays if he can stay healthy. Mountcastle should be up by May and hopefully Rutschman will be here by 2021. Not to mention all the pitchers in the minor league pipeline. For all the talk of “tanking “ the Orioles were the 8th most improved team in baseball last year, 7 wins more than the previous year

      • deqalt

        March 3, 2020 at 1:42 pm

        Goodness I’m talking about the Orioles tanking not there minor leagues or international. That stuff is terrific. The major league team is NOT trying to win, aka thats tanking or mailing it in. I never said efforts were not being made to improve. Again, my point is asking a fan based please wait 5-6 while we “hope” some of these minor league and international players develop of which we know a small percent make it. We are told support this team while we working on it for that long? TxBirdfn makes an excellent point. 14 losing seasons and we bring in Buck Showalter. Did we do a complete rebuild for 5-6 years for success? No. It was proven you can with the right skilled players compete while you build the farm system. Ownership chose not to go international. That could of been done while Buck was winning! Signing other players rather than all the resources in Chris Davis would of kept it going while you built the farm system. Grant alot of other things like analytics needed to be added. AGAIN FANS SHOULDNT HAVE TO BE ALL OR NOTHING..

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm

        ClayDal .. with all due respect, but to imply that the Orioles didn’t tank last year is foolishness at best. I’m hoping they’re done with it. I’m hoping they put their best foot forward from this point on … but last year it was more than obvious they were tanking. Not to acknowledge that is either being untruthful or not-very-insightful. (that’s the nicest I can put it)

        Just about every major sports outlet in the US acknowledged it at some point.

        Try googling “Orioles Tanking” and you’ll find the following outlets talking about it … NBC Sports, The Baltimore Sun, NY Post, the Washington Post, SI.com, Forbes.com, reddit.com, MLB.com, ESPN.com, the washingtontimes, fangraphs.com, baseballprospectus.com … the list goes on and on and on….to the tune of 20 more google pages. Most of these are all powerhouse news organizations…but what do they know?

        Yet still, ClayDal denies it … c’mon man!

      • VICTORTEE

        March 4, 2020 at 8:38 am

        Tanking means TRYING TO LOSE NOW. Signing international free agents who are years away and having 69 guys in camp (many of which are duds, does not mean you are not tanking .

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          March 4, 2020 at 11:24 am

          I’m not so sure they’re still in tank mode. Let’s see what happens in the early going of the season.

    • CalsPals

      March 3, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      69 players in camp, how many legit major leaguers? Best players on the field at ALL times, I can accept if teams are just better, don’t like it, but can accept it, but you should always put your best players on the field…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 4, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Amen CP

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 3, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I’m confident that most of you know where I stand on the tanking issue. it just ain’t right.

    HOWEVER .. that being said, I’m willing to give Mr. Elias the benefit of the doubt as soon as he starts putting the best players he has on the field. If it’s necessary to purposefully lose games to gain a higher position in the draft in order to get solid players, then he isn’t the boy genius .. is he? Otherwise, how do the Sox/Yanks/Dodgers and Cards put out consistently good teams? Don’t tell me that those organization’s minor leagues don’t continually produce a pipeline of outstanding players while not picking in the top 10.

    So my question to Mr. Elias is this … “Do you think you have what it takes to produce a good organization, while not selling out your fanbase”? It’s as simple has that. Put your best players in the game, take the draft straw that you drew, and find the best player you can with that straw. When the time is right, then, and only then, spend the $$ you need to finish the deal.

    If you ARE going to lose on purpose, how’s about a discount at the gate? Deqalt is right … tanking isn’t acceptable. It’s a chicken spit way of doing business.

  8. kaj21206

    March 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    2018 Trying Team 47-115,
    2019 So called Tanking Team 54-108.
    Keep trying to build the farm system. It’s the quicker path to success. Orioles Fan since 1971. 1998-2011 was the fraud.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      The teams always try. It’s management that holds them back. Give me the 2108 team with their 115 losses. It was an honest effort.

      • deqalt

        March 3, 2020 at 1:48 pm

        Boog.. Amen…My point is at least in April of 2018 Orioles fans had hope of a wild card. The failings of a minor league system have zero to do with my argument. Why are we okay with right now for the next 3 years going into spring training we are eliminated. how can you get excited know we cant win. Not acceptable.
        It’s so bad we have fans like Claydal saying we were the most imporved team by 7 wins. 115 losses to 108. Holy Cow can you lower the bard any lower. We should be proud of that?

    • CalsPals

      March 3, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Agree deqalt, many of us are not ok with it, maybe our scout friend should have done a better job of infusing our minors with talent he signed…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 3, 2020 at 4:08 pm

        Our scout friend? Are you referring to who I think you might be?

    • CalsPals

      March 3, 2020 at 5:03 pm

      Giggle, giggle, if the shoe fits…go O’s…

  9. Bancells Moustache

    March 3, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    I’ll give the benefit of the doubt as it’s Spring training and everyone is getting back into the groove, but count me among the skeptics; I wasn’t impressed with Ms Newman at all.

  10. Eastern Sho Joe

    March 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Isn’t this exactly the same discussion from last week? lol. I know nobody’s opinion is going to be changed by what’s written here, but I just want to say that I believe that Clay Dal is spot-on with what he’s saying, I can tell that he does a lot of research.

    If “not putting our best players on the field” is the guage if a team is tanking or not, then the tanking started before Elias came, when Machado, Britton, etc were traded.

    Even with a little research, it’s undeniable that everything that Elias has done this far is to build a team that can continually compete for the championship. Don’t take my word for it, do some research and see what the experts are saying.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but winning the AL East, competing for the Wildcard or anything less than winning the World Series is not cool with me.

    • VICTORTEE

      March 4, 2020 at 8:42 am

      8 of the O’s top ten prospects were from Dan’s era per the prospect experts.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        March 4, 2020 at 11:26 am

        They (the tankers in denial) continually ignore that little fact VicT.

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