LAKELAND, Florida —What’s happening? The Orioles host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota at 6:05 p.m. Kyle Gibson will start, and Dean Kremer, in his last appearance before leaving for the World Baseball Classic, will follow and throw two innings. Vince Velasquez starts for Pittsburgh.
The game will be on WBAL/98 Rock with Geoff Arnold and Ben McDonald.
Tyler Wells will get his first start of the spring on Saturday against Atlanta.
DL Hall, who has yet to pitch because of a back condition, won’t be able to begin the season in the rotation.
“I think we’re definitely going to see where he is and how he’s built up toward the end of camp to make a decision on it,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Hopefully, there are no setbacks going forward. Because he’s starting right now, he won’t be built up like a starter will be. We’re going to build him up and decide at that point what to do with him. We’re really unsure right now.”
What happened? Grayson Rodriguez pitched two hitless innings in his first Grapefruit League start as the Orioles lost to the Detroit Tigers 10-3 before 4,124 at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on Friday.
Rodriguez struck out one and walked one. After he walked Austin Meadows to start the second, Miguel Cabrera hit into a double play. He threw 21 pitches, 12 strikes. He simulated a third inning in the bullpen.
“I wish I would have thrown a little bit more first-pitch strikes,” Rodriguez said. “But other than that, everything was pretty good.
“I really tried to treat it like any other start, spin four-seams in the zone and see how it plays.”
Adley Rutschman homered batting right-handed in the first, singled in the third and walked in the fifth.
“Any time he’s back there, you know it’s going to be a good game,” Rodriguez said of Rutschman. “He knows me better than myself. I’ve learned in the past not to shake him.”
Rutschman liked Rodriguez’s outing.
“He looked really good,” Rutschman said. “He was able to command his stuff and do what he does. It was cool to see him go out there on a big stage and do it.
“I love the confidence, and I think he’s always had great stuff, so if he says he’s got better stuff, I’m really excited.”
It was the first time Hyde got to see Rodriguez and Rutschman working together.
“It’s a nice little combination,” Hyde said. “It was fun for the fans to see today and you’ll see a lot of it going forward.”
Hyde hasn’t seen much of Rodriguez pitch in games, and the outing satisfied him.
“For his first start, only fell behind a couple of times. That leadoff walk. His fastball was up to 98 on the board and really good secondary stuff. A really good first outing for him.
“He has major league starter stuff, and now it’s about command and seeing more major league hitters. I’m really encouraged by his first start.”
In his first outing, Spenser Watkins followed Rodriguez and retired each of the six Tigers he faced.
Joey Krehbiel allowed five runs in the fifth on back-to-back home runs by Tyler Nevin, a three-run shot and Andre Lipcius and a run-scoring single by Spencer Torkelson.
Yennier Cano allowed four runs in the seventh. Parker Meadows hit a two-run homer.
The Orioles have lost four straight.
What’s up with? Curtis Terry signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent on January 27th. Unlike the other first basemen in camp, he’s a right-handed hitter.
“It’s not difficult because I know on this level, they want lefty-righty, not necessarily positions,” Terry said. “They’re big on matchups now in baseball, different levels. Another thing I knew was they have a bunch of lefties here, and I’m a righty so I know guys are swinging the bat pretty well.
“Everybody’s like lefty, so I feel like I’m in my own little position per se. I’m a right-handed hitter. I don’t view it as a competition per se in my eyes because I’m a little different. I view it like, hey come here, do the best you can. I’m in a different position being right-handed.”
Terry got a brief taste of the major leagues in 2021. He hit .089 (4-for-45) with an RBI in 13 games for Texas. He played in Minnesota’s organization last season.
“I didn’t really have too many offers to go a lot of places,” Terry said. “This is like really it, an opportunity in my career to just keep going and see where I’m at and what I can do and get to play in front of a lot of other teams. I saw it as an opportunity. I was thankful for it.”
Terry was hitless in one at-bat on Thursday.
What’s what? MLB Pipeline revealed its Top 30 prospect lists, and each of the top 10 Orioles prospects are in camp and eight played: Gunnar Henderson (1st), Rodriguez (2), Colton Cowser (4), Jordan Westburg (5), Heston Kjerstad (6) Joey Ortiz (8), Connor Norby (9) and Coby Mayo (10). César Prieto, who is 18th, also played. Jackson Holliday(3) and DL Hall (8) are the others.
What’s the word? “It’s pretty special. Any time you see Miguel Cabrera and Javier Baez get into the box you feel a little bit closer to the big leagues.”-Rodriguez on facing the Tigers
What’s the number? 1. Last year, Rutschman, a natural right-handed hitter hit just one of his 13 home runs batting right-handed. He was happy to hit his home run batting right-handed.
“To be honest, last year was the first year I had splits opposite,” Rutschman said. “It was kind of an interesting year in that sense. I want to make sure that any adjustments I needed to make in the offseason, I made. Just hope to come into this year strong.”
What’s the record? 2-4. The Orioles host the Pittsburgh Pirates in Sarasota at 6:05 p.m. on Friday.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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