SARASOTA—What’s happening? The Orioles will play their final Grapefruit League game on Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m.
Dean Kremer, who’s scheduled to start the Orioles’ second game of the season against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 1st, will make his fifth appearance for the Orioles.
Kremer, who also threw four scoreless innings for Team Israel against Nicaragua on March 12th, has a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings. He has allowed five runs—all on home runs — and given up eight hits. Kremer has walked two and struck out nine.
He’ll be opposed by Jordan Montgomery, who faced the Orioles 16 times before he was traded to the Cardinals from the New York Yankees last season.
Félix Bautista is also scheduled to pitch.
The game will be televised by MASN with Geoff Arnold and Roch Kubatko.
Mychal Givens seems doubtful to start the season on the Orioles’ 26-man roster. Givens, who has soreness in his left knee, abruptly stopped throwing on the Ed Smith Stadium mound after 10 pitches. After throwing his glove, he walked off.
Manager Brandon Hyde said Givens left with “some knee discomfort” and was being examined.
The Orioles also might start the season without backup catcher James McCann, who has a left oblique injury.
“I think you have to prepare for that,” Hyde said about late camp injuries. “You look around the league. It’s more normal that you’re going to have things happen in spring training, a six-week spring training with game action. Stuff is going to happen.”
The Orioles have many roster decisions to make, and Hyde hasn’t told anyone they’ve made the club.
DL Hall, Yennier Cano and Spenser Watkins were sent to minor league camp. That could allow Grayson Rodriguez and Tyler Wells to make the club as well as right-handed relievers Joey Krehbiel and Rule 5 draft Andrew Politi or Mike Baumann.
Rodriguez and Wells could be dueling for a starting spot. Wells’ performance on Saturday night against Pittsburgh in Bradenton (one unearned run on two hits in five innings) could make a decision more difficult.
“I think it was hard already,” Hyde said. “A lot of things were hard already. Tyler threw the ball great last night.”
Politi who has had seven scoreless appearances and two rough ones, hasn’t secured a spot. Politi allowed two runs on three hits while recording two outs on Saturday against the Pirates.
“Those are still discussions we’re having,” Hyde said. “One of the many bullpen decisions and extra position player decisions we’re going through right now.”
There are 41 players in camp, including John Means and Dillon Tate, both heading for the injured list. Givens and McCann could join them.
Shortstop Jorge Mateo started in center field, and Hyde didn’t provide any insight into whether this decision will factor into the bench-player discussion.
“The more flexibility you can create with your roster, the better,” Hyde said. “It’s not like Jorge’s never been out there before. We want to give him a look in case it did happen in the season where we did need some coverage in center field.”
Austin Voth, who hasn’t pitched since March 18th, will throw a side session on Tuesday, Hyde said.
The Orioles released 12 minor leaguers — right-handers Connor Grady, Tyler Joyner, Blaine Knight, Clayton McGinness, Griffin McLarty, Preston Price and Rickey Ramirez, left-handers Jake Prizina and Kevin Smith, catcher Wilkin Grullón outfielder Robert Neustrom and first baseman Curtis Terry.
The most notable were Knight, who was the Orioles’ third-round pick in 2018, McLarty, who was the first pitcher chosen in Mike Elias’ first draft in 2019, and Smith, who was acquired from the New York Mets in the Miguel Castro trade in 2020 and spent time on the 40-man roster in 2022. Neustrom and Terry were both in major league spring training with the Orioles this season.
What’s happened? Kyle Bradish held the Philadelphia Phillies to one hit over five innings in the Orioles’ 4-2 win before an announced crowd of 7,538, the third sellout of the spring, at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday.
Bradish allowed an RBI double to Jake Cave that scored Scott Kingery, who was hit by a pitch in the fifth. He walked one and struck out three.
“He was tough to hit,” Hyde said. “Would like to see him have shorter innings and throw a little more strikes because his stuff is so good. Got his pitch count up, went five innings, a lot of wasted pitches he could minimize.”
In his previous stat against the Phillies on March 20th, Bradish allowed nine runs on nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.
“I felt more comfortable on the mound. Last time was a weird day for me,” Bradish said. “Finishing strong going into the season, I mixed a lot well today. I got ahead of guys, kept them away. Not too worried about that.”
Bradish ends the spring with a 6.61 ERA and the belief that he’s done enough for a spot in the rotation.
“I don’t think one bad outing is really enough to hold me back, but that’s not up to me,” Bradish said. “I did well enough this spring.
“I just know what I’m capable of every outing. I think maturing and moving in this game is not having those blowup outings. It’s going to happen but being able to limit damage like [Kyle] Gibson last outing, two rough first innings, and he ended up getting through five.”
Bryan Baker pitched a spotless sixth. Cionel Pérez worked a scoreless seventh. Jim Haley homered against Keegan Akin in the eighth, the first run allowed by Akin this spring. Reed Garrett worked the ninth.
Anthony Santander hit a two-run home run, his first of the spring. Ryan Mountcastle had an RBI single, and Jordan Westburg scored on an error.
What’s up with? Anthony Bemboom. If McCann begins the season on the 10-day injured list, Bemboom is the most likely to become Adley Rutschman’s backup.
Bemboom’s not a strong hitter. He’s only 3-for-22 (.136) with two home runs and five RBIs this spring, but he’s strong defensively and pitchers enjoy throwing to him.
What’s the word? “Trying to get through these last couple of games as healthy as you can makes you nervous, but you don’t want to see guys go down this late.”-Hyde on late camp injuries
What’s what? The Orioles have Gibson, Kremer, Bradish, Rodriguez, Wells and Cole Irvin as potential starters. Bradish isn’t going to handicap the competition.
“I think the potential rotation we have is really good,” he said. “I think it’s a good problem for the front office to have to make those tough decisions, but whatever happens, happens. You can’t really control that.”
What’s the number? 16. On Saturday, the Orioles clinched a winning spring training record. Their 16 wins are the most since 2018 when they won 17 games.
What’s the record? 16-12-3. The Orioles will play the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday at 1:05 p.m.