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Matusz, Paredes injuries make for bad Orioles day


Matusz, Paredes injuries make for bad Orioles day

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – In the first days of spring training, Buck Showalter remarked about how clean the Orioles’ injury report looked.

It’s not nearly as spotless now.

Showalter had just watched Miguel Gonzalez suffer through the team’s second straight frightful start, but he had other things on his mind.

Brian Matusz, who requested an MRI on his back, may be out for a while. Matusz felt back pain during his outing against Atlanta on Wednesday.

“See how he feels tomorrow and see where we are with it,” Showalter said.

“They’ve talked to me about it, what they think, but let’s kind of get there first. His return is not imminent.”

Showalter wouldn’t say if this would require a stint on the disabled list if it had happened during the season.

“I wouldn’t go that far. It’s something that we’ve got to get our arms around. I don’t think we’re there yet. Next couple days, see how he responds. But he’s not going to be back in there on his normal turn. It’s kind of strange. I’m really anxious to hear the dynamic of how it all came about,” Showalter said.

As Gonzalez finished his ragged outing, Logan Forsythe dropped a ball into short right field. Jimmy Paredes dove for it, and sprained his right wrist. X-Rays are scheduled for Thursday night.

“He's a tough guy. That one concerned me a little bit. I hope we get good news, it bent back pretty good,” Showalter said.

The bad news wasn’t all injury related. For the second straight game, an Orioles starter ended his outing well before he was scheduled to.

A day after Ubaldo Jimenez retired just one of the seven batters to face him and allowed six runs, Gonzalez gave up seven in 1 1/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 10-3 before 3,158 at Charlotte Sports Park on Thursday.

Desmond Jennings had a pair of run-scoring doubles and Corey Dickerson hit a mammoth two-run home run that the Rays said stopped rolling 569 feet from home plate.

“They didn’t even let me breathe out there. It was tough. They were swinging at that first pitch. The positive side is that I didn’t walk anyone and physically I feel fine. I’m ready to go. It was just a tough one to think about,” Gonzalez said.

“Obviously, the results weren’t there. The fastball was up. I’m happy with my fastball and split. Other than that, I’m feeling good.”

If Matusz is out for any length of time, it opens a spot in the bullpen. Barring injuries six of the seven bullpen spots are accounted for. Dylan Bundy, who must stay on the roster because he’s out of options, allowed a home run to Brandon Guyer in the fifth inning.

Showalter remarked that Bundy threw faster than at any time since his June 2013 Tommy John surgery.

“I think he's happy he's healthy and not thinking about it every time he cocks his arm. You can tell every time he's thrown, the velocity's gone up a little bit. If he can drive that ball down where he needs to get it, he can be a contributor,” Showalter said.

Paredes is on the fringes and needs a strong spring training to stay on the team. But, he’s out of options, and doesn’t play the field well. The Orioles had him play right field in the Dominican Republic this winter, and hoped they’d see some progress.

“It’s sad to see a guy go down who’s been a good part of our organization and he’s been doing great the last couple of years,” Gonzalez said.

The Orioles have lost twice and tied once and have been outscored 25-11.

Hyun Soo Kim was hitless for the third straight game, and is 0-for-9. Showalter doesn’t expect him to play on Friday.

The Orioles scored three runs, two on Tampa Bay errors.

NOTES: Vance Worley starts in Dunedin against Toronto on Friday. J.A. Happ pitches for the Blue Jays. … Corban Joseph, younger brother of Caleb, struck out in the ninth inning. It was the first time the brothers had appeared in a game together. Corban is an infielder in the Orioles’ minor league system. … Steve Pearce played his first game for the Rays. He was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

[RELATED: Matusz requests MRI on his back]

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

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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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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