Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said the visa situation that has kept catcher Jesús Sucre in Venezuela as spring training rolls on without him is "going in the right direction," but all he could say about a pending arrival was that it would be "hopefully in the next couple of weeks."

"Unfortunately, it's just out of our control," Hyde said. "I'd love to have him here but it's just out of our control, trying to get him over here, with the paperwork and everything that goes into that. All we can do is sit and wait and hope that he gets here."


The Orioles have covered their need for another catcher in camp with minor league signing Cael Brockmeyer, and former top prospect Chance Sisco got the start in the Grapefruit League opener Saturday.

How the Orioles and manager Brandon Hyde have avoided the 'doom-and-gloom' spring training that can face an assured 100-loss team and make things fun again.

Hyde said the delay wouldn't hamper the chances of Sucre, a veteran of 223 games over six major league seasons, from making the Orioles out of spring training. He's on a minor league contract with a camp invite, and has opt-outs in his contract if he doesn't make the major league roster.

"He's got a ton of major league innings behind his belt," Hyde said. "He's a veteran catcher, obviously he's caught in this division and caught in the American League. I think if we give him two, three weeks, I think he'll be fine."

Wilkerson at first

Do-it-all utility man Stevie Wilkerson spent most of this week working with a first baseman's mitt during infield drills, evidently to prepare himself for the unique assignment as the starting first baseman of Saturday's game against the Minnesota Twins.

Hyde, however, said there's not much worth reading into that.

Orioles reliever Richard Bleier is coming back from lat surgery and threw his first live batting practice session on Friday. It went well.

"I would not even look anything into that," Hyde said. "We're going to move Steve around. We're going to move a bunch of these guys around. Steve is going to be playing second, he's going to be playing third, he's going to be playing the outfield. There's a lot of guys that are going to be playing different positions. I wouldn't put any stock in where anybody's playing today or tomorrow. It's really about getting everybody on the field at one time, getting guys at-bats, getting guys to feel comfortable in different spots, and we'll go from there."

Wilkerson is one of several players who will be moved around during spring training, with the Orioles' utility infield spot up for grabs.

Around the horn

Even with his excitement to get into the game portion of spring training, Hyde said the result mattered "zero." "This is a straight evaluation deal," Hyde said. ... Hyde said the veteran starters on the roster — Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner and Dylan Bundy — wouldn't see game action for a little bit, as the team is holding them out of games to get a good look at other players and allow them to prepare at their own pace. ... Hyde said right-hander Dean Kremer (oblique) "had a great evaluation yesterday, so he's progressing perfectly."

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