SARASOTA—Anthony Santander, who suffered a bruised left knee when he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of Monday’s game, reported that his knee was fine and he expected to play on Wednesday when the Orioles face Toronto.
“Eighty-five miles [per hour]. It hit me in the right spot,” Santander said. “I’m feeling good. Much better today. Nothing to worry about.”
Santander was preparing to test the knee Tuesday morning.
“I might go out today and see how it feels running,” Santander said. “I’m sure it’s going to feel pretty good running. I’m in the lineup tomorrow.”
Santander, who did receive an X-Ray, said he wasn’t concerned.
“It’s part of the game. It’s happened before. I’ve got strong bones, thank God,” Santander said, laughing.
Manager Brandon Hyde said he was “really encouraged by how he feels today. I’ll check with him tomorrow. If he feels good to go, he’ll be in there. I’m not in a rush to get him back in there if it’s still a little bit sore. If he feels good enough tomorrow, he should be [in there].
“Huge relief. It was scary when it happened, just the sound of it in the kneecap. To see him walk without a limp today was nice.”
Henderson makes spring debut: Gunnar Henderson is in the lineup for the first time this spring on Tuesday against Pittsburgh. He has had a sore wrist.
“We’ve got a month to go,” Hyde said. “I didn’t want to push him into anything until we feel like we’re 100 percent. He would have been able to play, no problem, but wanted to keep fresh. He’ll get plenty of at-bats the last month.”
Mullins ready for WBC: Cedric Mullins leaves on March 6th to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, and the Orioles are trying to get him ready. He has played in both of the Orioles’ home games, and Hyde’s plan was to play Mullins and Santander in alternate games.
Mullins said he thinks there’s only a small difference between this and other springs.
“Just trying to make sure my legs are under me, geared up as best as possible,” Mullins said. “Going out there healthy is also important. Mostly the same but picking out the schedule and how we proceed from there. I feel like I’m in really good baseball shape now. The games I’ve played in, I’ve felt really good, not tired coming out of the games. That’s a refreshing feeling, for sure.
“Going out there even if I haven’t played as much, I’m still going to prepare as if I am to keep the rhythm when I return.”
Team USA will play in the Phoenix bracket along with Canada, Colombia, Great Britain and Mexico.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB