The Orioles’ walking wounded are starting to get healthy, but the physical improvements may not be obvious on the field until early next week.
Right fielder Nick Markakis, who is dealing with neck spasms, was expected to play Sunday, but he apparently dealt with a flare-up while playing with his kids Thursday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. Markakis will be held out a little longer, but the injury is not considered serious.
“He’s still close, but I wouldn’t say Sunday,” Showalter said. “I’ll probably wait a little bit on that one just to be sure.”
Markakis said earlier this week that he would play through the discomfort if it were the regular season.
Left fielder Nolan Reimold (right shoulder tightness) threw again Friday and is progressing toward playing in the field, Showalter said. He is scheduled to play Sunday but likely will DH again. He hasn’t played the field since March 1.
Reserve catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) continues to do baseball activities and likely will return to game action Monday, Showalter said. Teagarden has played in just two games this spring but said he has plenty of time to get himself game ready.
“I don't feel like I'm that out of shape, because I've only missed five games or so,” said Teagarden, who sat out almost all of last spring training with back issues. “When you miss months, it can take a while to get back in the flow of things. It's a spring training environment, so it's not like I have to catch nine innings right out of the gate.”
Strop’s second WBC inning surprises some
Orioles reliever Pedro Strop, who was primarily a one-inning set-up man for the Orioles, pitched 1 2/3 innings Thursday for the Dominican Republic in his home country’s first World Baseball Classic game.
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The length of outing was met with some surprise and consternation by some in the Orioles organization, which has been diligent in limiting the innings of its other key relievers this spring.
The Orioles do have a pipeline to the Dominican team – bullpen coach Bill Castro is acting as the DR’s pitching coach.
Showalter said he is monitoring the situation – though he joked about that.
“He only threw 20 pitches, he got a day off. It was not a stressful first one,” Showalter said. “Not that I’m keeping an eye on it.”
Showalter praises Schoop
Orioles infield prospect Jonathan Schoop had a three-run homer and four RBIs for the Netherlands in their surprise WBC victory over Cuba on Friday.
“I think with Jonathan, [playing in the WBC] is nothing but good,” Showalter said. “And from an organizational standpoint, a lot of people are seeing what a good player and prospect he is.”
Once the Netherlands is finished in the World Baseball Classic, Showalter said the 21-year-old infielder will come to big league camp to get some playing time before being sent back to the minors.
“He will get some reps here. I think as much for our sake as his,” Showalter said of Schoop, who likely will begin the year at Double-A Bowie. “We miss him here. There’s a lot of times I’d love to play him. So at least he’s playing.”
Around the horn
Top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will work back-to-back Saturday night against Boston … Friday’s game featured Alvarez and Flaherty, former teammates at Vanderbilt who are still very close friends. … Orioles ballgirl and ballboy tryouts are today at noon at Camden Yards. Candidates must be 18 or older.