The Orioles’ major league camp continued to grow as spring training progressed, but in the coming days a roster that is now up to 65 players will begin to shrink.

After the Orioles’ 10-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday afternoon, manager Buck Showalter said the first round of roster cuts is looming — and it could happen between now and the end of Saturday.


First-time 40-man roster players can’t be cut until March 9, but nonroster invitees can now be assigned to minor league camp.

Orioles shortstop Manny Machado said his spring training has been "awesome" after a three-hit performance that included his second home run in the Grapefruit League.

Showalter didn’t commit to a definite time because it’s a spring training ritual for him to meet with every player before getting cut. The conversation, Showalter said, is an open dialogue between him, the player and likely other staff (that player’s position coach or the manager he might have in the minors) in which the player is briefed on how his camp went and what he needs to do to get to the majors.

With a camp roster this large, Showalter said maintaining that tradition is difficult, but as the first round of cuts approach, he’s committed to making the time. He’s not going to rush through those meetings.

“It’s a challenge,” Showalter said. “It’s one of the things. It’s just something we’re going to do, and some days we might not be able to get to all of them. I’m not going to rush through anything. I want to hear from them as much as I want to tell them [some things], because I don’t want a month or two or three months to pass, and all of a sudden our success depends on them being able to come up and do something and we didn’t have those proper conversations. It’s not just with me. It’s with whoever is responsible for their area. I want them to know what’s expected and how to get back up here.”

Dylan Bundy gave up five runs over 2 1/3 innings in Friday's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also gave up five runs in his spring debut.

Showalter said an important facet of having those conversations is hearing the feedback players have.

“I’ve tried to do it my whole career, but years ago, they used to put a pink slip in a locker and tell you to go see the GM or tell you not to let the door hit you in the [butt] on the way out,” Showalter said. “Now it’s a little bit more than that. There’s so many different things now with contracts — outs and things you have to think about to get them to stay. It’s just important that you have that dialogue. I am really curious about what they have to say as much as I and the coach have to say. I like to hear what they think.”

Showalter said that is not the time to chew a player out, but those occasions should come well before a player is sent out.

“I do that before we send them out,” Showalter said. “I had one today. I wanted to give him a heads up that it ain’t going the way it’s supposed to go, so when you get cut four or five days from now, I don’t want to say, ‘I told you.’ I’d rather give you a heads up so you can correct it. I’d rather get ahead of it.”

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