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Orioles hope Givens can build on 2015 success

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Orioles hope Givens can build on 2015 success

The Orioles were quite impressed with Mychal Givens. Barely two years after he converted from a light hitting infielder, Givens made it to the major leagues as a reliever.

Givens didn’t just make it. He fit comfortably into the bullpen, and performed admirably, perhaps even brilliantly.

In 22 games, Givens was 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He allowed just one home run in 30 innings and struck out 38 batters while walking just six.

Givens was good at stranding inherited runners, too. He allowed just two of 16 to score.

Can he sustain this over a full season?

With Darren O’Day a possible departure over the winter, could Givens become the setup man for Zach Britton?

The Orioles would probably want a more experienced pitcher in that role for next season, but if O’Day leaves and they don’t get anyone better, Givens may be given a shot.

His 22 games is about one-third the workload that manager Buck Showalter would normally assign for a reliever, and in every single outing, Givens pitched at least a full inning. Four times, he pitched two.

Look how far Givens has come.

In 2009, he was picked in the second round of the draft as an infielder, and in his first three years in the Orioles organization, he batted .247 and just six home runs.

By 2012, Givens was struck in Delmarva and made 25 errors at shortstop in 89 games.

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After his conversion to the mound, Givens went back to the Shorebirds in 2013, and showed some promise. People started talking about him in 2014 when he split the season between Frederick and Bowie.

In 2015, Givens improved markedly under Baysox pitching coach Alan Mills, going 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA. By August, after two brief looks in Baltimore and returns to Bowie, he was with the Orioles to stay.

He pitched little enough in 2015 so that Givens is still a rookie, but pitched well enough that he fit in like a veteran.

Givens and Brad Brach will be important parts of the 2016 bullpen, and perhaps for years to come.

Lost in the midst of the Orioles’ qualifying offers to Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters was the news that Chris Jones had been added to the 40-man roster.

Jones, who was acquired by the Orioles in Apr. 2013 from Atlanta for Luis Ayala, was a valuable left-hander for Norfolk this season.

He started 22 times and relieved eight, and is an outside possibility to break camp with the team next season.

Jones may not be the only left-hander added to the 40-man roster. Christopher Lee, who like Jones and Givens, went to high school in Tampa, impressed during his brief time at Bowie.

After his acquisition from Houston, Lee was 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA at Frederick and 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in seven starts with the Baysox. In 145 minor league innings, Lee allowed just two home runs in 2015.


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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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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