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Does Machado's success mean Bundy is next?

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Does Machado's success mean Bundy is next?

A week ago, Manny Machado was in Altoona, Pa., hoping for a move up to Norfolk, and thinking that perhaps a September recall by the Orioles was possible.Seven days later, Machado can relax and enjoy his first major league day off. At the beginning of the season, Machado took an apartment that was convenient to both Bowie and Baltimore, so when he received the unexpected news he was coming to the Orioles, moving wasnt necessary.The Orioles and Kansas City Royals split Machados first four games. Machado was a hit. He batted .375 with three home runs and seven RBIs. Perhaps the best news was that his defense was solid.Manager Buck Showalter had decided that Wilson Betemit and his shaky glove and inability to hit against left-handers wasnt going to carry the Orioles into the postseason.
It was time for something daring. It was Machado time.He hit three home runs in his first 13 at-bats. It took Eddie Murray 52 at-bats to hit three, and Cal Ripken 148. Who knows if Machado will hit as many home runs in his major league career as Murray and Ripken? But, the initial signs are positive. Machado, who turned 20 five weeks ago, is the youngest Oriole in nearly 16 years and the youngest to hit two home runs in a game. He walks around the clubhouse with confidence and perhaps a little swagger.With established players such as Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters around, Machado shouldnt feel pressure to carry the team offensively. Jones has taken a special liking to Machado, joking that he and Norfolk outfielder L.J. Hoes were always visiting his house in Sarasota during spring training because there was plenty of food.Machado wasnt even given an official invitation to spring training, but he was with the team for its initial workouts and first few exhibition games. Even after he was sent back to minor league camp, Machado was often called over to play in major league games.His fielding at shortstop was flawless, but his hitting looked shaky. At 19, it was obvious Machado had much to learn.He started slowly at Bowie, but had a terrific month before his recall, hitting for the cycle and being named the Eastern Leagues Player of the Week just before his recall.Showalter says that hes confident Machado will be able to handle the inevitable 0-for-14 droughts. Im trying to keep myself level-headed and humble, Machado said.There are the inevitable signs of ego and immaturity.The crowd here loves me and for them to support me like that after my first home run, it just felt great. The best feeling ever, Machado said.Machados ascension not only meant an end to the brief Betemit-Robert Andino platoon, it may have brought along a Betemit-Mark Reynolds platoon at first. While Reynolds defense has been solid and even spectacular at times, his hitting hasnt been. While he leads the team in walks with 47, hes still batting just .211 with nine home runs. Last year, he had 37.Assuming Machado continues to play well, it gives the Orioles solid players at five of the eight positions: J.J. Hardy, Jones, Machado, Markakis and Wieters and lessens the pressure on Dan Duquette.With his trade for Jason Hammel, discovery of Wei-Yin Chen and addition of Machado, Duquette is building a case for Executive of the Year.His inexpensive in-season additions: Miguel Gonzalez, Nate McLouth and Omar Quintanilla look brilliant.The team of Duquette and Showalter, two different backgrounds and personalities, has meshed well, and theres more to come.On Tuesday, Dylan Bundy makes his first start for Bowie. After breezing through Delmarva and pitched strongly for Frederick, Bundy moves up.Hell probably start three or four times for the Baysox, and if performs as well as expected, it will be very tempting for the Orioles to promote Bundy next month.Even though Machado had been more advanced and closely watched, his promotion came as a bigger surprise than a possible Bundy move. The news of Bundy going to Bowie and Machado leaving there came within 30 minutes late Wednesday night. Machados debut probably increased ticket sales by several thousand on Thursday.Except for Saturdays crowd of over 40,000 which patiently waited through a nearly three-hour delay to honor Eddie Murray, attendance has been lagging.While the Orioles play this season has been a surprise, its clear that theres a solid base and the team should be a good one for the next several years.Machados play, a playoff push and the possible addition of Bundy next month, should excite the fan base. Even if Bundy throws just an inning here or there next month, his mantra could be the same as Machados: No more buses, hopefully.

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm