Baltimore Orioles: Unheard of road trip winds up camp
By Steve Katz
Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold (shown March 16) is hitting .340 this Spring in a bid to come North with the team. Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
As roster cuts continue, the Baltimore Orioles embarked on a road trip concocted by a sadist last night. They bussed to Orlando to play the Braves, then they come back to Sarasota to play them Friday, then back to Orlando – well, Lake Buena Vista – Saturday. It’s a mock, minor league-style road trip.
Only the players who won’t make the team, for the most part, will make the Saturday trip. The veterans don’t need any more tuning up, and Spring Training was already too long, anyway. Sunday is an off day, and Monday is Opening Day at Tampa Bay.
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The good news about last night’s 6-5 loss, reported by MASNsports.com, is that Nolan Reimold’s two hits have him hitting .340 with two home runs, nine RBIs and eight walks this spring. Caleb Joseph‘s single in the fifth inning made him 10-for-28 (.357) with three doubles and five RBIs, while fitting in the birth of his first child during camp.
Wei-Yin Chen went five innings and is ready to start the second game of the season, Tuesday at Tampa Bay, with Chris Tillman starting the opener at Tropicana Field on Monday. Ubaldo Jiminez and Miguel Gonzalez will make their final starts of camp Friday, with Jiminez competing for the fifth rotation spot.
As reported by The Sun, he has allowed a run over his past two starts, and walked only one. Over his past four starts, Jimenez has 11 strikeouts and just two walks. He led the league in walks last year.
Joseph will open the season as starting catcher, with Matt Wieters on the DL. Everth Cabrera will open the season as the starting shortstop, with J.J. Hardy being put on the DL this week, after a collision with Jonathan Schoop on a popup recently gave him a shoulder injury that turned up on an MRI. Hardy would be eligible to come back April 11, but that might be in doubt. David Lough‘s sore hamstring makes him a DL candidate, but it isn’t official yet.
Whether Reimold has hit his way onto the team as a fourth outfielder is one key question as the team gets ready to break camp. Another is the weekly question of which pitcher gets traded to loosen up the logjam in the bullpen. Rule 5 pick Logan Verrett was claimed by Texas today after the Orioles put him on waivers, hoping he would be bypassed.
Also noteworthy is that Nick Markakis went 2-for-3 facing his old team tonight, and said there’s a 95 percent chance he will be go to go for Atlanta’s opener on Monday after neck surgery over the winter.
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