SARASOTA, FLA. — Outfielder Craig Gentry has been sidelined with a left hamstring injury that will appear to keep him out of Grapefruit League games indefinitely.
Gentry, who is competing for a right-handed-hitting outfielder spot this spring along with rookie Austin Hays and Joey Rickard, suffered the injury while attempting to make a diving catch in center field in Sunday’s 7-1 road Grapefruit League loss to the Boston Red Sox. He was removed from the game before the bottom of the fifth inning.
“He came out yesterday,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He told the trainer he felt it tighten a little bit on the ball he dove for in center field and then the last time he ran the bases [he felt] the same thing. So we got him out of there an inning earlier. He’s got some soreness there, so it might be a little while.”
Gentry, who is 1-for-4 with a walk in two Grapefruit League games, is signed to a minor league deal, so he can open the season at Triple-A Norfolk.
Orioles reporters Eduardo Encina and Peter Schmuck discuss the injury to Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman during a Grapefruit League game. (Eduardo Encina, Baltimore Sun video)
Hays pleased with injury progress
Hays will make the trip to Port Charlotte to play in Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He didn’t play in Monday’s home game against the Detroit Tigers and was restricted to DH duty in his only Grapefruit League action Sunday in Fort Myers because of a sore right shoulder muscle on his throwing side, but said it tested out well Monday morning.
"It went really well,'' he said. "It was a little bit of stiffness, but we did some work on it today and I'm good to go tomorrow. … It's from throwing, just some tightness in my shoulder, so we're just being precautious with it, just making sure it's good to go and it is."
Showalter said Rasmus was batting leadoff just so he could receive additional at-bats. He’s made just five major league starts from the leadoff spot and hasn’t done so since 2010.
“Trying to get him some at-bats, but you can read into it whatever you want to,” Showalter said. “Just trying to get him as many at-bats as we can early, get him out of the game.”
Rasmus was 0-for-3 on the afternoon — he was robbed of a hit in his final at bat on a diving stop by Tigers first baseman John Hicks — and played five innings.
“As advertised,” Showalter said after the game. “I’ve had some good conversations with him. He likes it here, and we’ll let him get comfortable and get with it. Today was his first day out there on the field. It was the day he picked to get started, and it’s a part of the process. I know [center fielder] Adam [Jones] is excited to see him in right field defensively.”
It will be Rasmus’ first game in more than eight months. He last played June 18 of last season before leaving the Tampa Bay Rays to be with his family, ending the season on the restricted list.
Outfielder Jaycob Brugman was back in Orioles big league camp after clearing waivers and officially being outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.
Brugman, who was designated for assignment last week to create 40-man roster space for right-hander Chris Tillman, missed about four days from the team.
“[It was] boring,” Brugman said. “I had to stay in the hotel for the amount of days I was gone. It got a little boring, but I found stuff to do and I managed. … I didn’t think it was wise to leave. You never know what’s going to happen.”
The Orioles traded for Brugman during the offseason to compete for a left-handed-hitting outfielder position. He was one of the leading candidates for that position going into camp, but since spring training began, the Orioles signed two other left-handed-hitting outfielders — journeyman Alex Presley and Rasmus.
Still, the team’s designating Brugman was a surprise.
“You never anticipate these things, I guess. It’s hard to see the moves that they’re going to make,” Brugman said. “A lot of times I don’t think about it. I just try to do my thing and whatever happens happens.”
Despite being away from the team for a few days, Brugman said he’s ready to get into games whenever he’s called upon.
“Yeah, it does, but we’re baseball players and this is our job, so whatever they tell me to do, I’ll do it,” he said. “If I have to play a game today, I’d be happy to. So, I’m excited to be back and try to get back in a routine.”
Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop missed the first exhibition game because of bursitis in his left elbow, but he said it was nothing to worry about and proved that with a big performance in Monday's loss to the Tigers.
Showalter said he was ready to make the first series of roster cuts — the addition of Pedro Álvarez increased the number of players in big league camp to 64 — but still needed to talk to executive vice president Dan Duquette. Players who were just added to the 40-man and players in his first big league camp can’t be reassigned to minor league camp yet, Showalter said. ...Showalter said right-hander Jesus Liranzo is ready to get into game action after he was brought along slowly this spring because of a sore right shoulder, the same thing that hindered him last season with Triple-A Norfolk.