Orioles first baseman Christian Walker made a strong impression in his first spring training game Tuesday, driving in three runs and hitting a two-run homer in the Orioles' 4-4 10-inning tie with the Atlanta Braves in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams.
To make room for catcher Steve Clevenger on the big league roster, the Orioles designated outfielder David Lough for assignment Friday ¿ another member of the Opening Day squad, and specifically the outfield - that has been jettisoned during this season.
The Orioles will enter today¿s final game of May with a 13-15 record this month. That¿s not good. But here¿s the startling part. They head into today¿s game with the Tampa Bay Rays tied for the best record in the division in May.
Wieters, who is starting his final step in returning from Tommy John surgery last June, will likely catch every other day at Bowie and will also have the option of starting at designated hitter on days when he doesn¿t catch, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
After losing two of three here, including Sunday¿s 5-2 lifeless rubber game, the Orioles head back to Baltimore with an offense that can¿t generate any consistency and a feeling that they blew an important chance to get back to .500.
It is currently steadily raining at Camden Yards and the tarp is still on the field less than one hour before the Orioles are slated to play their series finale against the Seattle Mariners this afternoon.
Bud Norris took a shutout into the seventh inning before giving up a meaningless three-run home run to Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, then left to a rousing ovation from the festive crowd of 43,802.
The Orioles set their Opening Day roster Sunday, with a couple mild surprises. Catcher Steve Clevenger beat out Ryan Lavarnway for the backup catcher job and right-handers Ryan Webb and Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia are among 14 pitchers that made the 25-man roster.
Catcher Matt Wieters is scheduled to resume throwing Saturday, and although his return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction in June remains uncertain, the Orioles have begun mapping out parts of his recovery.
It is less than two weeks until the Orioles open the regular season on April 6 in Tampa Bay, but with 13 Grapefruit League games remaining in spring training, they still have plenty of time to finalize their 25-man Opening Day roster.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said earlier this spring that infielder Everth Cabrera would likely see time in the outfield this spring, and Cabrera will make his first Grapefruit League start this afternoon, starting in center field and leading off against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters won't throw from the catching position in today's minor league exhibition game against the Puerto Rico development team today but before the game, Wieters' throws were times during a pregame workout.
Every team brings a bunch of catchers to spring training to catch the countless bullpen sessions and audition for roles at the upper levels of the organization, and every manager publicly declares that the major league backup job is wide open. In this case, it shouldn't be.
The Orioles' reputation for utilizing every bit of organizational depth to the major league club's advantage is a welcome change for a set of newcomers who came from the Boston Red Sox system, where minor league prospects move slowly and only a select few get a chance at the highest level.