DUNEDIN, Florida—What’s happening? Grayson Rodriguez will make his third start of the spring on Sunday against a Boston Red Sox split-squad at 1:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium.
Rodriguez has allowed one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings in his first two starts. Keegan Akin, Joey Krehbiel and Yennier Cano are also scheduled to pitch. Kutter Crawford will start for Boston.
The game will be broadcast on WBAL/98 Rock with Scott Garceau and Brett Hollander.
Rookie infielder Joey Ortiz is in concussion protocol after being hit by a bad-hop ground ball.
“It happened a few days ago,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He hasn’t been cleared yet.”
Félix Bautista should make his Grapefruit League debut, perhaps on Thursday. Bautista hasn’t pitched because of knee and shoulder injuries and threw live batting practice this week.
“He feels totally healthy and his velocity in his sides has been really good,” Hyde said. “He’s on track.”
What happened? Austin Voth allowed two runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost to Toronto Blue Jays, 8-6, before an announced crowd of 5,805 at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida on Saturday.
Voth walked three and threw 54 pitches in his first start. He threw in relief in his first two appearances.
“I battled. I ran my pitch count up in the first inning,” Voth said. “A little bit more in the second inning, but I didn’t have my best stuff. What I do best is throw fastballs up in the zone and throw my curveball off of that. I was having a little bit of a hard time with that. I was able to grind and get through those innings with what I had today.”
It was Voth’s second outing throwing a sweeper, which is a combination of cut fastball and curve.
“I wanted to incorporate that a little bit more because I know that’s going to be a big pitch for me down the road,” he said. “I started throwing it last year towards the end of the season.”
Voth has a spring ERA of 8.22, but Hyde doesn’t think that’s important. Voth allowed three home runs against Philadelphia on March 6th.
“I’m not worried about his spring ERA,” Hyde said. “It’s more for him about getting in game shape. What he did for us last year was incredible. When we needed a fifth starter we plugged him in there. He gave us a chance every time out. We’re continuing to stretch him out. Whether it’s going to be a long relief role, a starter role, we’re keeping our options open … I thought Austin Voth threw the ball extremely well. I thought his command improved over last time. I thought he had a good breaking ball again. Austin Voth did what he normally does. He limits damage. He keeps hitters off-balance. A good outing for him.”
Mike Baumann allowed six runs on four hits in two-plus innings. Toronto scored four runs in the sixth. The key hit was a two-run home run by George Springer to give the Blue Jays a 6-4 lead. Orelvis Martinez hit a two-run homer in the seventh.
“Two different outings,” Hyde said. “Really good for the first four or five hitters and then a two-strike, two-out walk … That’s what happens with these guys. If you give them any sort of error, they capitalize on it. Mike’s got to understand that. A two-out, two-strike walk can’t happen. Overall, we’ve just got to get better command-wise.”
Franchy Cordero was 3-for-3 with two doubles and drove in two runs. Daz Cameron drove in two runs. Connor Norby had two hits.
What’s up with? Franchy Cordero was signed as a minor league free agent. He’s one of several left-handed hitting first basemen in spring training as a non-roster invite. Cordero played with Boston last season and hit .219 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 84 games.
“I think some of the things that I’ve been doing the last couple of years which have been working on my presence at home plate, controlling the batter’s box and contributing to the team in any way that I can to help the team win,” Cordero said through a translator earlier this spring. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. I think if I continue to do that, I’ll have a good chance.”
What’s what? One of the more interesting facets of spring training is no more. In the past, starting pitchers who’d been removed from the game would often jog from foul line to foul line. In recent years, that’s been banned and pitchers, if they run, do it on a back field.
What’s the word? “Just another pitch that the hitter has to think about in the back of their mind.”-Voth on throwing his sweeper.
What’s the number? 7. The Orioles will play their third team with a split-squad on Sunday and have four more remaining. The Orioles have two split-squad days, on Monday when they play a Detroit split-squad at home and Atlanta at North Port, and on March 19th.
What’s the record?. 5-8-2. The Orioles will play the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. in Sarasota on Sunday.
Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions next week. Please email them to: [email protected]
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