SARASOTA—What’s happening? The Orioles will play the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida at 1:05 p.m. on Tuesday. The game will be available on MLB.TV.
Kyle Bradish will start against Pittsburgh’s Luis Ortiz. Adley Rutschman will get his first start at catcher and Gunnar Henderson also will start for the first time.
Pitcher Cole Irvin will make his first start for the Orioles on Wednesday.
What happened? Bruce Zimmermann allowed a two-run home run to Wander Franco in two innings as the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 14-2, before 4,622 at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday. Outfielder Anthony Santander, who will play for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, was hit by a pitch on the left knee, suffered a bruise and left the game in the sixth inning. He’s day-to-day, manager Brandon Hyde said.
Zimmermann is attempting to secure a place in the Orioles’ starting rotation after he spent most of last season at Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles optioned him after his June 15th start, and he made just two major league appearances the rest of the season.
“He lost a little bit of confidence,” Hyde said. “He had a really good start for us last year. He gave up homers late in the last handful of starts. I think the stuff was still good. He got knocked around a little bit. He got his confidence shaken. Just wanted to send him out at that point to get his confidence back. We talked about it with him this spring.
“It’s a fresh start for him. There’s jobs to be won in our pitching staff. Hopefully, he can go out and show the kind of pitcher we think he is. He made some really good starts for us that first half.”
Zimmermann said he’s working on his pitch mix.
“Pitch-wise, there’s a real emphasis on the consistency of separating the two-seam from the four-seam,” he said. “That was something I introduced last year. There was a lot of work with that. Readjusted the slider grip to go back to a couple of years ago, the shape that I had that was getting a lot more swings and misses.
“That’s where I got in trouble last year. Mechanics would fall a little bit on an inning, and then it would bounce back. I was getting on the mound a lot more this offseason to lock in those small, minute changes. I think I did a pretty good job of it. I felt really good with the work that I put in in camp so far.”
Joey Krehbiel allowed three runs on home runs to Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena, a two-run home run. Darwinzon Hernandez, who will pitch for Team Venezuela, allowed four runs while recording just one out in the fourth. Rule 5 draft pick Andrew Politi pitched a scoreless inning.
Minor league left-hander Easton Lucas, who did not receive an invitation to major league camp, allowed five runs in the eighth inning.
What’s up with? Cade Povich came to the Orioles in the trade that sent closer Jorge López to Minnesota last August 2nd. He pitched two scoreless innings against Detroit on Sunday.
“Felt good, always good to get the first one out of the way,” Povich said. “I haven’t jogged in from the ‘pen in a while, got used to that a little bit, a little tiring. No big deal … Same game. It was fun.”
Like many of the Orioles’ top prospects, the 22-year-old left-hander is in his first major league camp and has learned from it.
“I think overall, just confidence, going into the year, knowing that I can play at this level,” Povich said. “I know it’s not necessarily the same as actual games during the actual season. A lot of the guys that I face are up there, just continue to work, get consistent throughout the year and let it show.”
It was the first time Hyde had seen Povich pitch.
“That was impressive,” Hyde said. “A four-pitch mix with a really young guy in his first major league camp appearance. I can see why people have such high hopes for him because he’s got a really good arm. He’s got a body that’s going to grow. He showed really good stuff [Sunday], really competitive.”
Povich pitched 12 scoreless innings for High-A Aberdeen and was 2-2 with a 6.94 ERA in five starts for Double-A Bowie.
What’s what? The Rays are unable to train at their Port Charlotte spring home because of damage from Hurricane Ian. They’re training at the former Braves home at the Disney complex in Orlando and will play all but one of their Grapefruit League games at their home park, Tropicana Field.
The Orioles play at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
What’s the word? “You guys can see the amount of starters we have down here. A lot of guys did a lot of really good things for decent stretches. They brought in some other starters … Everybody is aware of this competition and what this camp is about, but I think guys are really excited about it as well because the last five guys standing are really going to be a good competitive product to push this year and build on what we did last year.”Zimmermann on competition in camp.
What’s the number? 9/4 Gunnar Henderson is the favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year, according to BetOnline.org. Grayson Rodriguez is 10/1 and DL Hall is 20/1.
What’s the record? 2-1. The Orioles will play the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida at 1:05 p.m.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB