What’s happening? – Dean Kremer will make his third start of the spring against the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 pm on Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers will start Spencer Turnbull.
Kremer pitched three scoreless innings, allowing a hit, a walk and striking out three, against Minnesota on Tuesday.
The bullpen competition is heating up, and Dillon Tate is part of it. Tate has allowed four runs in three innings,
“With the guys in camp, it’s going to be really competitive,” Tate said. “At the same time, it’s more of a me-versus-me deal, so I feel like this is something where I’m just focusing on what it is that I have to do, and things that I have to get better at in order to make myself … better than I was the previous year.”
Hunter Harvey, who injured his oblique muscle on Friday, could be replaced by another short reliever or a multi-inning pitcher when the Orioles head north to start the 2021 season.
“We’ll address the pitching situation when it comes closer to when we break [camp],” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We could see another short-inning bullpen guy or a guy who could give us length out of the ‘pen. It opens up a spot on our pitching staff, so it could be a Rule 5 guy. It could be somebody else.”
Tanner Scott is concerned about Harvey, whose potential has been derailed by injuries throughout his career.
“It’s definitely tough to see,” Scott said. “A teammate and a friend. He’s got unbelievable stuff. He’s a great person. He’s a really good pitcher, and I’m hoping he’s back as soon as possible. Everyone does.”
Harvey was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Saturday.
DJ Stewart, who injured his left hamstring on March 5th, might be able to return late next week. Chris Davis continues to get treatment for a lower-back injury.
What happened? Adley Rutschman’s seventh-inning double was the Orioles’ only hit as they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-0, on Saturday in Dunedin, Florida.
“Certain guys are swinging the bats better than others,” Hyde said. “We’ve talked a lot about our approach. Our hitting guys have talked to the guys about their approaches the last few days because we feel like they’re really overswinging, not making a whole lot of adjustments throughout an at-bat, not committing to a two-strike approach. That’s just something we’ve got to get better at as a club.
“It’s not everybody. I still think Cedric Mullins is taking good at-bats. Austin Hays is taking good at-bats, [Pedro] Severino is not getting results, but he’s taking good at-bats. We’re not scoring a whole lot of runs right now. We’ve just got to have a little better ‘keep the lines moving’ mentality.”
Severino was hitless in three at-bats and is 1-for-16 (.063) this spring.
“I think we have a lot of guys that are trying way too hard and swinging way too hard,” Hyde said. “No matter the count, they’re trying to put their ‘A’ swing, trying to hit the ball as hard as they can instead of managing an at-bat, a middle-of-the-field approach, and then a battle mode with two strikes. We’re just swinging hard, and a lot. I do think that’s inexperience and youth, especially with our younger guys.”
Hyde is trying to be patient, even though the team is hitting .202.
“We’ve got over two weeks to go,” he said. “We’re addressing different things every day with our club, especially when we’re home, and it’s got to get better.”
Rutschman’s hit came on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.
“Deep count, took some really good swings,” Hyde said. “Fouled some balls back, fouled some tough pitches off, found something he could handle and put a good swing on it. We’ve got to do more of that collectively.”
Starter Wade LeBlanc allowed two runs on two hits in three innings. He walked three and struck out three. He worked his way out of a third-inning jam.
“Those kind of situations are where pitchers earn their money,” LeBlanc said. “It’s good to get some of those in, feel that adrenaline spike and learn how to deal with that because once you’re going through an offseason with a lot of downtime, you kind of lose that feeling, and it’s good to get it back.”
For the second straight year, LeBlanc is in camp on a minor league deal. He thinks the 2021 pitching staff is better.
“You watch some of these young guys throw, and the kind of arms we have in this camp, it’s different than it was last year, for sure,” LeBlanc said. “If you’re an Orioles fan, there’s a lot to be excited about moving forward. The competition is definitely a little bit stiffer. You’ve got to be on your game every time you’re out there.”
What’s up with? Eric Hanhold threw a scoreless seventh, striking out one. In five innings this spring, he’s allowed one earned run on three hits, striking out four and walking one.
“It’s about command with Eric,” Hyde said. “He’s got a really live fastball that darts all over the place. He threw a great changeup for a punchout today. He’s got a really good slider.”
Hanhold is in camp on a minor league contract for the second straight year.
“He’s got an upper-90s fastball that moves, sinks. He’s a really tough at-bat,” Hyde said.
What’s what? The four pitchers sent to Triple-A Norfolk on Friday — Mike Baumann, Zac Lowther, Isaac Mattson and Alexander Wells — threw little in games. All four were added to the 40-man roster in November.
“They threw a lot on the back fields,” Hyde said. “They just didn’t throw a lot in games because the shorter games, the lack of the split-squad. All the guys that went down either needed to get stretched out or needed to face hitters in a different environment.
“Right now, we’re limited innings-wise because we’re stretching out so many starters and so many people that we’re just running out of innings in games. This is an opportunity to get them more work and more game action down there.”
What’s the word? “I’m going to go out there and do whatever is best for the team. If the team, says, ‘we want you to go out there for multiple innings,’ it’s multiple innings. If it’s one inning, then it’s one inning. Ultimately, I’m going to do what I’m asked.”-Tate on whether he’d like to pitch more than one inning.
What’s the number? .202, .599. After 13 spring training games, the Orioles rank last in the majors in batting average and OPS.
What’s the record? 3-9-1. The Orioles play the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland at 1:05 pm Sunday. The game is available on MLB.TV on Detroit’s stream. It can also be heard on Tigers radio.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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