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Matt Wieters eyeing date to return for Orioles

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Matt Wieters eyeing date to return for Orioles

MIAMI -- Matt Wieters will spend the weekend with the Orioles at Marlins Park, and if things go well, he could start a rehab assignment next week in Bowie.

Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery last June 17, played in one Grapefruit League game on March 17 and has been rehabbing the elbow since in Sarasota, Fla.

“It’s actually been getting stronger each day I play and the day in-between, the day off, has been big, to still get the rest and recover. But each day that I do play, every other day, I feel like it gets a little stronger each time,” Wieters said.

The plan for now is for Wieters to play every other day in his minor league rehab and to do that, at least initially with the Orioles. He’s eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 4, and he thinks that day is realistic.

“I think so. I feel, like I said, I feel pretty good to play. The last few games I’ve gone out there and played, the feelings of being able to get back in a big league game are there. It’s not quite back to where it was yet, but it feels good enough to get back playing at this level,” Wieters said.

He isn’t sure when he’ll be able to play consecutive games.

“It’d be more, let the arm tell me when. The thing is, catching every other day you can still catch three days a week. When we’ve tried to push that back-to-back we’ve had to take a few more days off after that than we want to. I think if we let the arm just tell us, ‘OK, let’s try throwing today,’ and then it will be a progression from there,” Wieters said.

“I think Bowie is at home next week, so I think I’ll play there every other day and playing there I’ll actually get to come back and watch the games at Camden on the days I’m not playing.”

While Wieters is here, he’ll get to watch the games live as he did earlier this month at Tropicana Field when the Orioles played Tampa Bay.

“Here, it’s just kind of keep the same thing. It won’t be catching in a game obviously, but I’ll throw tomorrow because tomorrow will be my throw day. Do my hitting. Catch some bullpens while I’m here and try to get back familiar with these guys,” Wieters said.

Wieters hasn’t played in a game since May 10, 2014 and hasn’t caught since six days before then.

“It’s tough, but Caleb has been doing a great job, been able to watch what he’s doing behind the plate. And on top of that my arm will let me know when I’m ready and it feels good now. It feels like OK now we can really think about getting back into some games,” Wieters said.

Wieters said he’s feeling strong hitting in extended spring training games.

“I’ve been swinging every day and hitting, there is no feeling of any kind of doubt with it when I’m swinging. And, really, throwing there’s no doubt. It’s just a matter of when I do throw I do need to take a little bit of time off the next day to feel good the (following) day,” Wieters said.

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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."

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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