SARASOTA, Fla. — Both of the Orioles’ split-squad games Monday were canceled due to a persistent rain in Florida, and neither will be made up.
The afternoon game in Clearwater against the Philadelphia Phillies was canceled, and then, a few hours later, the Orioles announced they wouldn’t be playing their night game at Ed Smith Stadium against the Minnesota Twins.
The double rainout could have been a real problem for the Orioles’ pitching staff, but manager Buck Showalter and club officials already had contingencies in place.
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Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who originally was scheduled to start the night game Monday, pitched in a minor league game during the afternoon in Fort Myers, Fla.
Left-hander Brian Matusz and right-hander Kevin Gausman, who were supposed to pitch Monday afternoon, will instead throw in a game against Minnesota Twins minor leaguers at Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday.
Right-hander Steve Johnson, who was supposed to replace Jimenez as the starter in Monday night’s game, also will pitch Tuesday against the Twins minor leaguers in an exhibition that is closed to the public.
Most of the Orioles’ major league players have off Tuesday.
Jimenez was scheduled to throw 60 to 65 pitches against Boston Red Sox minor leaguers on Monday, but he exceeded that total slightly. He finished with 66 pitches in 32/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Showalter said he received a positive report on Jimenez from rehab coordinator Scott McGregor, who was with Jimenez in Fort Myers.
“He threw the ball well today,” Showalter said. “Scotty is a hard grader. He sat at 93, 92 [mph] all day. He looked pretty good. He said he was really into it, too. That’s a good sign.”
It was a nice recovery from Jimenez’s last outing, when he lasted just two innings and allowed four runs, four hits and three walks in a loss to the Phillies last Wednesday.
South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon made the trip to Clearwater and would have pitched Monday afternoon in what would have been his second appearance in three days since obtaining his work visa.
Yoon, who threw a scoreless relief inning in his only previous Grapefruit League outing Saturday, is likely to open the season in Triple-A so he can continue to gain experience and get adjusted to professional baseball in the United States.
It’s not definite yet, but it appears the Orioles would — at least initially — use Yoon as a starter once he reports to minor league camp so he can continue to build innings.
Around the horn
Outfielder David Lough has been shut down for a 48-hour period while he attempts to alleviate a stiff neck. Lough hasn’t played since Wednesday. … Infielder Alex Gonzalez had a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment Monday morning and did not make the trip to Clearwater, as originally scheduled. He would have been available to play Monday night. … The club is planning a noon staff meeting Thursday, and more cuts will likely be mapped out then. … LHP Francisco Liriano is scheduled to start for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Orioles' road game Thursday in Bradenton. … After going to minor league camp to accumulate at-bats, outfielder Nolan Reimold leads the team in plate appearances with 53. Showalter said he is considering sending other players to minor league camp to compile at-bats. … Those with tickets to Monday night’s game in Sarasota can exchange them for any of the remaining spring training games, subject to availability or obtain a refund by sending the unused tickets to: Baltimore Orioles, March 17 Spring Training Rainout, Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota, FL 34237. … The St. Patrick’s Day green-and-black hats that the Orioles planned to wear Monday will instead be used Wednesday. The hats will be autographed after the game and auctioned online at orioles.com/auction, to benefit the animal hospitals at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.