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Orioles make four cuts to spring training roster, including reliever Jesus Liranzo

Orioles right-handed reliever Jesus Liranzo is among four players headed to minor league camp.

The Orioles made their largest round of roster cuts this spring after their 7-1 Grapefruit League loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, trimming their spring training roster by four players.

Among the cuts was right-handed reliever Jesus Liranzo, who was optioned to Double-A Bowie. The club also reassigned three nonroster players — outfielder Logan Schafer, infielder-outfielder David Washington and catcher Austin Wynns — to minor league camp at Twin Lakes Park.

The Orioles’ roster is now at 46 players.

Liranzo, 22, made an impression this spring. Added to the organization’s 40-man roster early in the offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, Liranzo entered his final outing Sunday having allowed just one earned run in seven spring training appearances.

Liranzo did have a rocky performance in his final spring training outing, hitting two batters and allowing a two-run homer to John Hicks in the ninth inning Sunday.

“You know what I liked today?” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He hit two guys. I didn’t like that, but I liked the fact that it didn’t affect him. I turned to [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] and said, ‘This is going to be an interesting first pitch.’ Next pitch was fastball, strike. And he didn’t sit there and feel overly sorry about hitting him. … If he stays healthy, he’s going to be a contributor.”

Liranzo has plus stuff, highlighted by a high-90s fastball, but must improve his control. After making the jump from Low-A Delmarva to Double-A Bowie in late July, Liranzo posted a 3.38 ERA in 18 2/3 innings, averaging 9.6 strikeouts but also 5.8 walks per nine innings.

This spring, Liranzo posted a 3.38 ERA in eight Grapefruit League innings, allowing three runs on just three hits. He recorded nine strikeouts, seven walks, two hit batters and three wild pitches.

“We’re going to option him to Double-A because that’s where he needs to be until he develops a track record of throwing the ball over the plate consistently,” Showalter said. “You can get fooled in spring training. He’s had good command here with the exception of today some. We’ll see if he can take the next step. He’s 22. He’ll start there. We’ve done a good job in the organization, I think, of developing relief pitchers. We’ve got to do a better job of developing relief pitchers.”

Schafer, meanwhile, lived up to his reputation as a plus defender at all three outfield positions, but he struggled offensively, going 3-for-31 (.097 batting average) in 18 games.

Washington provided some late-inning power for the Orioles, hitting two homers in 21 Grapefruit League at-bats. But he batted just .143 (3-for-21) overall and struck out nine times while drawing one walk.

Wynns was added to the big league camp roster late after starter Welington Castillo left to play in the World Baseball Classic. He played in three games and was 0-for-2 at the plate.   

eencina@baltsun.com

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