Orioles option Nick Vespi to minor league camp; Hyde not worried about Irvin - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Orioles option Nick Vespi to minor league camp; Hyde not worried about Irvin

Photo Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

SARASOTA, Florida—The Orioles optioned left-handed pitcher Nick Vespi to minor league camp on Wednesday. Vespi, 28, who’s 6-0 with a 4.17 earned-run average in 34 games with the Orioles in 2022 and 2023, had a 2.57 ERA in six games this spring. He allowed five runs on seven hits in 8 1/3 innings, striking out 12 and walking one.

“I thought Nick had a great camp,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He threw the ball really well for us. We’re trimming the camp down, and we’re feeling good about him being a depth option for us in Triple-A. He’s done some good things for us the last couple of years, and pitched really well in Triple-A. It’s a numbers game right now. We expect to see him sometime in Baltimore.”

The Orioles have 45 players in camp. “We have a lot more to go,” Hyde said.

Hyde has not told any players they’ve made the team.

Evaluating Irvin

Left-hander Cole Irvin, who had five scoreless innings in his first two starts, has allowed 10 runs on 10 hits, walking nine, in his last two starts over 7 ½ innings.

“When you evaluate players in spring training, it’s one of the hardest things to do,” Hyde said. “It really equates to very little when it comes to the regular season. When you’re evaluating a regular player, when you’re evaluating a starting pitcher, you’d like to see them throwing more strikes than he’s been throwing.

“Maybe he’s been working on things. Maybe there are certain different circumstances, but I’ve seen really good starters have awful springs. I’ve seen guys hit 12 home runs in spring training and get [designated for assignment] two weeks into the season.

“There’s no rhyme or reason why spring training doesn’t replicate the regular season, but that’s the way it is. Cole, last couple of appearances, not great command. Maybe he’s going through a little dead arm, I don’t know. Hopefully, when the season comes around and the lights go on in a normal baseball setting that he will pick it up a little bit.”

Pham impresses

In Tuesday’s game against Toronto in Dunedin, Hyde did something unusual. He brought in a pitcher from minor league camp and assigned him scheduled innings. Generally, a handful of pitchers are added to the major league roster for Grapefruit League games and used to complete an inning when a pitcher has exhausted his pitch limit.

Alex Pham, a 24-year-old right-hander who was the Orioles’ 19th-round draft choice in 2021, finished Thursday’s game with two spotless innings, striking out two.

Last season, Pham was 3-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 26 games, 19 starts, with High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie.

“I thought he threw the ball great,” Hyde said. “We were short a few innings yesterday. I don’t know much about him … He definitely opened up a lot of eyes the way he threw the ball yesterday. Command of three or four pitches. I loved how aggressive he was. The game picked up when he went in the game.”

Notes: First baseman Ryan Mountcastle, who hadn’t played since March 12th because ofneck stiffness, is in the lineup for Wednesday night’s game. … Outfielder , Austin Hays, who hasn’t played since March 14th because of illness, expects to return to the lineup on Friday. .. Infielder Jordan Westburg, who was hit on the left triceps with a pitch on Tuesday, said he’s fine.

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