Means gets first spring start; López has rocky 1st inning; Stewart hits 2-run homer - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Means gets first spring start; López has rocky 1st inning; Stewart hits 2-run homer

What’s happening? – John Means will get his first start of the spring against the New York Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 pm at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.

Manager Brandon Hyde probably will use a similar lineup to the one that started on Sunday in the Orioles’ first game. Chris Davis, Yusniel Diaz, Freddy Galvis, Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, Pedro Severino and Yolmer Sánchez  started.

Hyde uses spring training to not only look at players likely to make the club but also ones who won’t make it but could be a factor later in the season.

“That’s a balance that we look for every day,” Hyde said. “With the seven to nine inning games, the sim games that we have on the back [fields], the potential for some ‘B’ squad games, I’m hoping to get a good look at everybody, including some younger players that are here.”

The Orioles have 73 players, including some who are working at the minor league Twin Lakes complex.

What happened? The Orioles and Phillies played to a 4-4 seven-inning tie in Clearwater, Florida on Monday.

Jorge López started and allowed two runs on five hits in two innings.

“Today, it was a little bit of everything,” López said in a video conference call. “It was good to be back on the mound. With the fans back, there so much motivation.”

López is one of a number of pitchers competing for a rotation spot or as a long reliever.

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“It’s awesome being around the veterans and the young guys,” López said. “I try to keep my eyes open and ears open to anything they have.”

Hyde attributed López’s rough first inning, where the first five Phillies batters reached, to nerves.

“He was missing location the first inning,” Hyde said. “A lot of times these first outings in spring, guys can be a little overamped and don’t quite have the normal feel because they’re anxious to get out there.”

Shawn Armstrong gave up a two-run home run to Matt Joyce in the third inning.

Zac Lowther, Evan Phillips and Rule 5 draft choices Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells each pitched a scoreless inning.

“I thought they were very excited to get out on the mound,” Hyde said of Sceroler and Wells. “They were trying to impress, maybe a little too much … Both guys settled down well into their innings.”

DJ Stewart hit a two-run home run in the first against Aaron Nola. He drove in three runs. Stewart has spoken with hitting coach Don Long about becoming more aggressive early in the count.

“I know I have a good eye, but I also know that there are some times early in the count that I’m a little bit too selective, and I know that I can do damage with those pitches,” Stewart said.

“I’m also comfortable hitting with two strikes, but sometimes you get the nastier stuff with two strikes. It’s a balance thing that I’m trying to work on in spring training is to be aggressive early, but also shorten it up and put it in play.”

Austin Hays had two hits.

The Orioles hired Katie Krause as their director of public relations. She was the Arizona Diamondbacks’ senior manager of corporate communications.

What’s up with? Tyler Nevin was obtained by the Orioles in the trade that sent reliever Mychal Givens to the Colorado Rockies last August. Nevin is the son of longtime major leaguer Phil Nevin, who was the No. 1  pick by the Houston Astros in the 1992 draft and is the Yankees’ third base coach.

Nevin was hitless in two at-bats with a walk and played first base on Monday.

“I like his swing,” Hyde said. “He’s got the ability to play multiple positions where he’s playing some first, third and the outfield. You’ll see him play all three here in camp.

“Colorado people talked really highly about him. He’s a former top pick with some tools.” 

What’s what? I make it a rule not to offer gambling advice, but I will make an exception. According to BetOnline.ag, Ryan Mountcastle (10-to-1) and Adley Rutschman (14-to-1) are among the top choices for American League Rookie of the Year.

Rutschman will start the season at Double-A Bowie and it’s questionable whether he’ll seeaction with the Orioles this season.

Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena, who starred in the postseason, is the favorite at 4-to-1. Rutschman could be a favorite in 2022.

What’s the word? “I’m going to play Diaz a lot. I have high hopes for Diaz, and then when he’s ready for the big leagues, he’ll be ready. It’s not my call at this point. I’d like to see what we have here. He lost a year last year from a development standpoint, a full year of at-bats because of the canceled minor league season, so I’m going to try to catch him up as much as possible and play him as much as I can.”-Hyde on his spring training plans for outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz.

What’s the number?  12. In the first two games, the Orioles have walked 12 batters. On Monday, they walked seven in seven innings. Each pitcher walked a batter. Sceroler walked two.

What’s the record? 0-1-1. The Orioles play the Yankees at 1:05 pm. It’s the first game carried on 105.7 The Fan and the Orioles Radio Network.

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