Carroll County Times

Showalter: Rash of injuries not a concern

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Baltimore Orioles have lots of nagging injuries. Not to worry says manager Buck Showalter.

Matt Wieters hasn't played since spraining his right ankle on Tuesday. Alexi Casilla, who came into camp as the favorite to win a job as a backup infielder, was scratched from Friday's game with a bad knee. And just a few minutes before gametime, outfielder David Lough was sent back to Sarasota with a stiff neck.

"All of those would have been able to play during the season. They had stuff like that all year last year that they played through. There's no reason to have it turn into something else. None of those are acute things to worry about long-term," Showalter said.

Lough was to get his neck examined on Friday afternoon.

The Orioles cobbled together a lineup of no-names and played to a 2-2 tie with the Minnesota Twins before 6,346 at Hammond Stadium.

Wei-Yin Chen became the first Baltimore pitcher to finish four innings. He allowed one run on three hits in his four innings.

"I think everything is on pace according to the plan - only maybe some of my off-speed offerings I need to work on for a little bit. But everything else is in place for getting ready for the opening series," Chen said through his interpreter.

Showalter is pleased with how Chen is throwing.

"He's in a good spot. Hopefully he can take this and build on it," Showalter said. "He was scheduled for 60 pitches, and we had him 60 on the button. Just what the doctor ordered."

Tommy Hunter pitched a perfect fifth inning. T.J. McFarland allowed just one hit in three innings, and Troy Patton, in just his second appearance of the spring, allowed a game-tying home run to former Orioles farmhand Brandon Waring.

Patton will begin the season with a 25-game suspension, and Showalter has been using him sparingly. And after the game, Showalter said there wasn't a plan for him to pitch more.

Henry Urrutia hit his first home run of the spring. Urrutia, Steve Clevenger and Jonathan Schoop continued their hot hitting. Each had two hits.

Saturday's game may feature some more no-names. Nick Markakis has a sore left shoulder, which may restrict him to designated hitter duties on Saturday. And Adam Jones, who became a father for the first time this week, may not play.

BUNDY GOES DOWN: Dylan Bundy, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, was optioned to Double-A Bowie in a procedural move on Friday.

He's not expected to pitch until at least May, but he's happy with how his rehab is going.

"I don't want to jinx anything. I don't want to say too much about it. Just keep doing my work and everything should be fine," Bundy said.

Showalter is pleased with what he's seen from Bundy, who was Baltimore's first pick in the 2011 draft and the fourth overall choice.

"He's ready. I think he's going to respond real well to this," Showalter said. "I think the whole experience, in the long haul has probably been good for him."

MCFARLAND UNSURE: Last year, McFarland was the team's Rule 5 draft choice. He stayed with the Orioles the entire season. Last fall, Showalter said he might be interested in seeing McFarland as a starter.

He could be kept with Baltimore or be sent to Norfolk.

McFarland is trying not to let the uncertainty bother him.

"I do have options. That's why it is an option," McFarland said. "You have to have a good mindset when you come into spring. If you focus on stuff like that, you'll never be able to make it out of camp. You've got to focus on what you can control, which is anything you can do on the field."

COMING UP: The Orioles host the New York Yankees Saturday. Chris Tillman, Suk-min Yoon, Evan Meek, Zach Britton and Darren O'Day are scheduled for Baltimore. Vidal Nuno, Brian Gordon, Mark Montgomery and Danny Burawa are listed for the Yankees.