Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez hasn’t made a formal decision on whether he is going to pitch for Mexico in March’s World Baseball Classic. The sense is Gonzalez may decide to stay in spring training with the Orioles, considering he likely has a big league rotation spot for the first time in his career.
Reliever Luis Ayala also is weighing the possibility of playing for Mexico. But his is the ultimate cautionary tale. In 2006, when he had a chance to compete for the Washington Nationals’ closer’s job, Ayala tore his elbow ligament while pitching in the WBC. He had surgery and missed that entire season.
Orioles infield prospect Jonathan Schoop could play for the Netherlands in the WBC. He is a native of Curacao. Other Orioles who are expected to play in the WBC are outfielder Adam Jones (United States), reliever Pedro Strop (Dominican Republic) and minor league catchers Chris Robinson (Canada) and Allan de San Miguel (Australia).
** The Orioles will continue a three-day minicamp of sorts for pitchers at Camden Yards on Thursday. It began today and will end Friday.
Left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who pitched for the Orioles from 2009 to 2011, threw at the minicamp on Wednesday and will do so again Friday. The 6-foot-9, 38-year-old was out of pro baseball in 2012, but is trying to make a comeback by throwing more as a side-armer, something Orioles manager Buck Showalter had suggested. I was told Hendrickson looked good on Wednesday, but at this point it is just a tryout for a potential invite to spring training. MASNsports.com first reported Hendrickson’s tryout.
** The Orioles first caravan landed in Frederick on Wednesday, with pitchers Steve Johnson and Kevin Gausman making appearances. Johnson was a last minute stand-in because Brian Matusz had a travel conflict.
The caravan will stop at the Westfield Annapolis Mall from 6 to 8 Thursday with pitchers Chris Tillman and Zach Britton signing autographs. Also, Showalter and closer Jim Johnson will be at a Hot Stove Dinner on Thursday from 6 to 9 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
On Wednesday, the Orioles announced another caravan stop. Pitcher Dylan Bundy, former Oriole and special assistant to the executive vice president Brady Anderson and strength and conditioning coach Joe Hogarty will appear at Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School in Baltimore from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday.