Orioles split-squad notes: Schoop and Castro improved, Vielma arrives in camp

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop is in the starting lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins after being scratched Friday with soreness and swelling in his left elbow.

The problem was diagnosed as an inflamed bursa sac, but Schoop said he felt much better Saturday and that he’s ready to play.

“It’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “I just wanted to take it easy yesterday, but I think I’m playing today.”

Schoop said he doesn’t know what caused the irritation.

“They said I hit it somewhere, but to be honest, I don’t remember it hitting nowhere,” he said. “It’s something I’m dealing with it and it’s something they say will go away in a few days.”

Castro hopes to throw Tuesday

Right-hander Miguel Castro has been sidelined with soreness in his back and both knees, but said Saturday that both areas have responded well to treatment.

“I felt something on my knees, like something pulling on me,” Castro said through interpreter Ramón Alarcón. “I’m getting treatment for that and Tuesday hopefully I’ll get my bullpen session in.

“Not really concerned about it. I feel really good. The treatment has been going really well. The trainers have provided good treatment to me and I’m looking forward to Tuesday.”

Castro experienced similar knee soreness in 2012, but said that each time, it got better quickly with treatment. He also has felt some soreness in his lower back, which has improved with treatment and some massage.

Vielma reports after visa delay

Utility infield candidate Éngelb Vielma is finally in camp after being stuck in Venezuela because of visa problems. He conceded that he has fallen behind in the competition for a roster spot, but expressed confidence he can get up to speed quickly.

“It’s definitely very frustrating, because all I was thinking about was the opportunity that’s being presented to me,” he said, also through Alarcón. "Some players may be ahead of me, so I really wanted to be here on time — to be here early — but now that I’m here, I just want to go out there and compete and make a good contribution to the team.”

Vielma has had an interesting offseason, going around the horn from the Twins to the San Francisco Giants to the Philadelphia Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates, then back to the Giants and now to the Orioles.

“For the winter, I was just focused on playing winter ball and being with my family,” he said. “That was my whole concentration for the winter. … I was calm. Baseball is a business. There are so many things I can’t control. I have a really good relationship with my agent and he provided me with valuable feedback and I felt comfortable.”

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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