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Flaherty makes magic for O's

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Flaherty makes magic for O's

Ryan Flaherty has spent the 2012 season dealing with the difficult task of learning how to be a part-time player. Hes been with the Orioles all year and served as a utility guy throughout, working in a number of different roles.But hes been finding more playing time in the past week. The door opened a bit after Robert Andino was hit in the head in Boston last week, and Flahertys taken advantage of that chance. He came through again Friday night, hitting a grand slam in the first inning and finishing with a career-high five RBI to help the Orioles to a 9-1 rout of the Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.Flaherty added an RBI double later to finish 2-for-4 with the five RBI. Hes helped the Orioles in several ways this year. Flaherty has played six different positions and his versatility gave the Orioles a lift at times.Hes come through at the plate in the last week after the Andino incident. Flaherty has gone 6-for-17 since then with two homers and eight RBI, all down the home stretch while the Orioles are trying to earn their first post-season berth in 15 years.It feels good, and I am glad I could help my team win, Flaherty said. Whatever that is, defense, offense and tonight it was with the bat. So it was good.Flaherty had problems at the start as he tried to make a bare-hand pick-up of Scott Podsedniks bunt to start the game. He couldnt finish the play and threw the ball away, letting Podsednik reach second and setting up a quick Boston run for a 1-0 lead.Flaherty made up for that in the bottom half. Chris Davis already had homered to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead against Boston starter Aaron Cook (4-12) before Baltimore loaded the bases with two outs. Flaherty came up and said that since Cook likes to throw sinkers, he was looking for something up in the zone.Thats just what he got on a 2-1 pitch, and Flaherty crushed it into the seats in right-center field to give the Orioles a 6-1 lead and break the game open very early.You dont know when opportunities are going to come, so when you do get a chance, anything you can do to help this team win this time of the year is good, Flaherty said.Flaherty also enjoyed it because hes from the New England area growing up in Maine and said that added some significance.Flahertys other RBI came in a three-run, four-hit sixth inning. He doubled to right-center to give the Orioles an 8-1 lead.Hes been here all year, Davis said. Hes been working hard, and its starting to pay off for him.Flaherty appeared to get some help after a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk. He was out for much of August due to a bacterial infection and wound up playing nine games with Norfolk. Ron Johnson is the Tides' manager and hes been assisting the Orioles in recent days and said hes been very impressed with Flaherty.
I think he got a chance to play a little bit consistently at Norfolk, which is always good for players, Johnson said. The rehab might have turned out to be a blessing in disguise because he's got really good skills,and he's got a good swing and he's got good power. I know he's been in the big leagues all year but it's still tough for a young player who isn't playing regularly.Flahertys now been playing more regularly in the last week and became the latest hero of the night, which has been the Orioles' MO so far this season. Different night, different star. This time, it was Flaherty.
I had a couple opportunities the past couple days and didnt really cash in on it, Flaherty said. So I had a pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.

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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