Ubaldo Jimenez lasted just 12/3 innings in the Orioles' loss to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, allowing eight of the 14 batters he faced to reach base. The outing was his shortest start since April 16, 2013, when he lasted just 12/3 innings for the Indians against the Boston Red Sox.
In times like these, Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph thinks back to the message delivered upon his arrival in the major leagues two years ago. As Joseph prepared for what would become a regular role behind the plate for the playoff-bound Orioles in 2014, manager Buck Showalter told him that defense should never go into a slump.
Weather hasn't been kind to the Orioles over the first five weeks of the regular season — forcing numerous delays and postponements that have altered the team's schedule — but the Orioles received an assist from Mother Nature.
The Orioles avoided sending T.J. McFarland back to the minors, instead opting to immediately place right-hander Yovani Gallardo — who left Friday's game after just two innings — on the DL with right bicep tendinitis.
Orioles rookie right-hander Tyler Wilson, who has pitched well in a long-relief role this season, will make his first start of the season Saturday against the Kansas City Royals. The move will allow the club to cover itself with long relief bullpen help and still activate two pitchers coming off the disabled list -- left-handed reliever Brian Matusz on Saturday and right-hander Kevin Gausman to start Monday.
On the first-inning twin-killing in question, third baseman Manny Machado tried to tag Boston center fielder Mookie Betts out on his way to third base, but Betts, who had been running in what would have been the throwing lane to second base, fell to avoid the tag. Machado instead threw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop to get the out there. As that was all happening, shortstop J.J. Hardy ran to cover third base. Schoop threw back to third, and Hardy applied the tag to end the inning.
Manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that Tillman would pitch on three days' rest, Friday in the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. That day¿s planned starter, Mike Wright, is available out of the bullpen Wednesday and not starting until Saturday.
While the inclusion of starter Mike Wright, possible fifth starter Tyler Wilson, and relievers Mychal Givens and Dylan Bundy on the Opening Day roster is a good sign for the organization as a whole, it also means, as Duquette said, that "you're in transition with your major league pitching staff."
Spring training isn't about perfect endings, which is a good thing for the Orioles, who have spent the final week before the start of the 2016 regular season in the same kind of roster-related turmoil that characterized the early weeks of camp.
The Orioles headed back to Baltimore after their exhibition finale Friday night with their Opening Day roster essentially set. The one question remaining was the same one the Orioles brass has been asking itself the past week.
Former Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez cleared release waivers Friday, officially receiving his unconditional release from the club and becoming a free agent. It seems unlikely, but the Orioles still hope they can re-sign Gonzalez to a minor league deal and have him pitch in the rotation at Triple-A Norfolk. Gonzalez will likely get a major league offer elsewhere.
Reserves Xavier Avery and Steve Tolleson both hit two-run homers off Phillies reliever Ernesto Frieri as part of a five-run fourth inning. Garabez Rosa hit a game-tying homer and Ryan Flaherty scored on a wild pitch in the ninth as the Orioles won their exhibition finale, 8-7, over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.