Sun columnist Peter Schmuck and beat writer Eduardo Encina talk about the trade for Vidal Nuno and how it helps the team set up the roster for the upcoming season. (Video by Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles wrapped up another workout at the Ed Smith Stadium Complex awaiting the arrival of their new addition.
The team acquired left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday for minor league right-hander Ryan Moseley. Nuno is expected to arrive here Tuesday night and have his first workout with the team on Wednesday.
That won't give Nuno very much time to get accustomed to his new club before he leaves for the World Baseball Classic. Nuno is expected to join Team Mexico on March 5 and play pool games in Jalisco, Mexico on March 9-13. Former Orioles pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Miguel Gonzalez are also set to pitch for Mexico in the WBC.
It shouldn't necessarily affect Nuno's adjustment that much. He's a veteran pitcher who is used to getting accustomed to new teams. The Orioles are his fifth organization since 2014 and his third team since the end of last season. The Mariners traded him to the Dodgers in the offseason for veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz.
The greater concern is the early workload he might encounter in the WBC, as well as the high-intensity innings he'd have in mid-March rather than when games start counting on Opening Day.
McFarland designated for assignment: The Orioles still have 54 players in camp, a number that could increase by one if left-hander T.J. McFarland – who was designated for assignment to make 40-room roster space for Nuno – clears waivers and rejoins camp.
Still, don't be surprised if the Orioles add more players in the upcoming days leading to the first Grapfruit League game on Friday. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is focused on adding pieces throughout the year.
The Orioles will play their first of two intrasquad games Tuesday on the Ed Smith Stadium main field. They are slated to go six innings. They will have a 6 ½-inning instrasquad game on Wednesday.
Hitters have been tracking pitches inside the indoor batting cages in the past few days, but this will be the first time this spring that they will get at bats in a real game-simulated situation.
Defense drills: The Orioles continued to work on team defense drills in workouts today. One of the more interesting ones was how to defend against baserunners taking extra-bases on pop-ups in foul ground. Manager Buck Showalter led the drill on the main back field – where the dimensions mirror that of Camden Yards – so players can get used to the space around them.
Showalter set up situational drills with runners at first and third, with defenders fielding popups in fouls ground behind the first-base and third-base bags and behind home plate.