Henderson gets a hit in first start, Kimbrel gets hit hard in Orioles' 7-2 loss to Twins; Hyde says he's not concerned about Mullins' hamstring - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Henderson gets a hit in first start, Kimbrel gets hit hard in Orioles’ 7-2 loss to Twins; Hyde says he’s not concerned about Mullins’ hamstring

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel USA TODAY Sports

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SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening?- Right-hander Albert Súarez will make his first Grapefruit League start when the Orioles visit the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. The game will be televised on MLB.TV.

Suárez, 34, who’s in camp on a minor league contract, threw two scoreless innings last Thursday against Minnesota in Fort Myers, striking out two.

He’ll be opposed by Zack Wheeler, who was signed to a three-year extension by the Phillies on Monday.

It’s Corbin Burnes’ turn to pitch, but he’ll throw on a back field instead. “We’ll do that with pretty much everybody,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

Hyde said that Suárez “has thrown the ball extremely well in camp. Kind of a cool story. Taking a look at him, maybe stretch him out a little bit to be a rotation depth-type of guy. Like everybody else, we’re kind of evaluating and seeing what we have. We’ve been impressed with him so far.”

The Orioles’ No. 2 prospect, catcher/first baseman Samuel Basallo, hasn’t played because of a stress fracture in his right elbow but took live batting practice for the first time this spring at Twin Lakes Park. The 19-year-old is a left-handed hitter.

What’s happened?— Centerfielder Cedric Mullins left Monday’s Grapefruit League game against the Twins — a 7-2 loss — in the top of the first inning because right hamstring discomfort. He walked and moved to second on a grounder to short by Adley Rutschman. He left after the first pitch to Gunnar Henderson. Mullins had two stints on the injured list in 2023 with right adductor/groin strains.

“He just felt it a little sore, and the right thing, and I’m glad he did it, was to come out of the game,” Hyde said.

Mullins did not get an MRI. Hyde said that the Orioles will check on it on Tuesday morning.

Mullins had two stints on the injured list in 2023 with right adductor/groin strains and was hitting .222 in Grapefruit League games.

“I actually saw him run and slide. You could tell it wasn’t anything bad,” Hyde said. “It was a reaction. I don’t think any of us are alarmed by it. It’s one of those day-to-day things right now.”

Mullins was replaced by last year’s top draft choice, Enrique Bradfield Jr., who played left field while Austin Hayes moved to center.

The game was the first for reigning Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson, who was played shortstop after being sidelined with a left oblique muscle strain. Henderson struck out in the first and singled in the fourth. After the hit, the Orioles’ first in the game, he was replaced by pinch-runner Errol Robinson.

“It felt good,” Henderson said. “Getting the body used to getting into game shape. I got two at-bats today, so looking forward to progressing a little more.”

Henderson is likely to play on alternate days at first. The Orioles have home games on Wednesday night, Friday night, Sunday and next Tuesday.

“I’m sure it will be a normal spring training schedule because we have plenty of games, and I’ll get all the at-bats I need,” Henderson said.

Hyde was encouraged.

“It was great to see him back out there,” Hyde said. “First two at-bats in spring training, so not expecting much. Wanted him to come off the field healthy, and he did.”

Oriole starter Dean Kremer allowed two runs on four hits in two-plus innings, walking two and striking out three as a Minnesota split-squad dealt the Orioles their second loss of the spring before 5,182 at Ed Smith Stadium.

Kremer has allowed three runs on six hits in four innings, walking three and striking out five in two spring starts.

“Feeling things out, ball’s coming out a little better,” Kremer said. “I feel better all in all. It’s kind of a make sure of competing and playing to get outs as well as working on things. There’s always going to be some ups and downs.”

Kremer allowed a leadoff single to Edouard Julien and a double to Royce Lewis in the first before retiring the next three batters.

“We’re not that concerned with situations all that much. We’re pitching to get outs, but at the same time, trying to execute pitches and work on what we need to work on as well as build up,” Kremer said. “There’s a lot of different factors that go into it.”

He walked Niko Goodrum with one out in the second and gave up an RBI double to Jair Camargo.

After Kremer walked Lewis and gave up a single to Brooks Lee in the third, he was removed after throwing 49 pitches. Lewis scored on a fielder’s choice by Matt Wallner.

“Behind too many hitters. I thought he had a really good curveball,” Hyde said. “He didn’t have his best command.”

Kremer hasn’t had a normal spring training since 2019. Covid shortened springs in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, the lockout cut spring training. Last year, Kremer was pitching for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.

“It’s getting back to that routine and understanding what I need,” he said. “I’m coming off a year that I’ve never had before, so step-by-step.”

Craig Kimbrel, who will be the Orioles’ closer this season, allowed four runs on five hits in the fourth inning and has allowed five runs on seven hits in two innings this spring.

“Like a lot of our guys today, behind in the count,” Hyde said. “Tough time commanding … Second, third outings that we’re going through. That time of spring training where it’s starting to get warmer out. We’ve been here a while and all pitchers are going to go through a little soreness. Just not as sharp as normal.”

Yennier Cano made his first Grapefruit League appearance this spring, pitching a scoreless fifth, allowing a hit and striking out a batter.

Cionel Pérez allowed a run on two hits in the sixth, and Keegan Akin pitched two spotless innings, striking out two. He’s yet to allow a hit in four innings.

What’s up with?—TT Bowens hit a three-run, ninth-inning home run to give the Orioles a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. Bowens, a 25-year-old first baseman who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, hit .224 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 59 games with Double-A Bowie, High-A Aberdeen and Single-A Delmarva.

The 25-year-old first baseman was brought over from minor league camp.

“Just coming over and getting the opportunity to play in these games means a lot, especially being a minor leaguer,” Bowens said. “You don’t know if you’re going to get in. You don’t know if you’re going to get your name called. You have to stay ready and stay present in the moment and take advantage of it.”

Bowens knows that the odds of making the team are stacked against him.

“I don’t have control over any of that,” Bowens said. “I try to do what I do best, work hard, keep my head down, take advantage of any opportunity I have. The rest is out of my hands. Whatever happens, whatever happens.”

What’s what?- There are some familiar names on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30. Baseball’s top prospect, Jackson Holliday, is first, and Basallo is second. Outfielder Colton Cowser is third, corner infielder Coby Mayo is fourth, and outfielder Heston Kjerstad is fifth. Bradfield is sixth, and second baseman/outfielder Connor Norby is seventh. Outfielder Dylan Beavers is eighth, and two pitchers in camp, right-hander Chayce McDermott and left-hander Cade Povich, are ninth and 10th.

What’s the word? “Obviously, there’s still a lot of time in spring. I just want to be conservative, so it doesn’t sit there and linger around the season. I’m glad to be out there and be healthy.”­-Henderson on recovering from his injury.

What’s the number? 22.50. That’s Kimbrel’s ERA in his first two appearances.

What’s the record?  9-2. The Orioles will play the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater at 1:05 p.m. on Tuesday.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions later this week. Please email yours to: [email protected].

RAVENS NEWS from BaltimoreSports.com

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