SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles' early spring training barnstorming tour continues this afternoon as the Orioles play the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, part of a stretch of five road games in their first seven to open the Grapefruit League season.
They're still looking for their first win. They're 0-2-1 so far, but two of those games included mostly reserves because they were on the road.
Expect to see reserves again this afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Even if they lose again today, there's really no reason to panic.
Today is the first day we get to see right-hander Vance Worley, who will be starting against the Blue Jays. For more on him and the unique roster situation he's in this spring, click HERE.
We should find out more about injuries to Jimmy Paredes (sprained left wrist) and Brian Matusz (lower back).
Anyone who saw Paredes' glove hand turn back while he was attempting to make a sliding catch in the second inning of Thursday's game in Port Charlotte on Friday had to grimace. It didn't look good. And as Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, it takes a lot for Paredes to take himself out of a game.
If the injury is serious, it's another tough spring training break for Paredes. He had a spectacular spring before a back injury forced him on the disabled list to open the season. While the injury was unfortunate for Paredes, it actually made Opening Day roster decisions easier for the Orioles. Paredes deserved to make the team, but was still fighting for one of the final roster spots.
And once Paredes came back in mid-April, there was room on the roster for him. He picked up where he left off in spring training, hitting .353 in his first 33 games.
The Orioles have an equally tough decision with Paredes this spring, especially if Mark Trumbo logs most of his at bats in the DH spot. Paredes can hit, but he's without a position, and this spring has been about finding him one.
And that's why getting in spring games is important for Paredes. He spent the winter playing the outfield in the Dominican Republic and performed pretty well, but he has to continue progressing for the Orioles to feel confident about his defense.
He can't progress during the regular season, and you can't send him to the minors for seasoning.
We will see.