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Wright doesn't have his best stuff in 5-1 loss to Twins

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Wright doesn't have his best stuff in 5-1 loss to Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. – For the second time in five days, Mike Wright faced the Minnesota Twins. The second time didn’t go as well as the last.

On Mar. 17, Wright pitched five scoreless innings against the Twins. He allowed three runs on five hits in four innings as the Orioles lost to Minnesota 5-1 before 6,461 at Hammond Stadium on Tuesday.

The Orioles, who are now 5-13-4, returned from Monday’s off day with health concerns about Kevin Gausman, Brian Matusz and Jimmy Paredes. Matt Wieters’ sore right elbow continues to improve, manager Buck Showalter said.

If Gausman’s right shoulder isn’t healthy enough for him to start the season on the active roster, Wright and Tyler Wilson, who starts Thursday against Pittsburgh are the primary in-house choices.

Off Wright’s five spring starts, Showalter could decide to keep him, but he has a 5.74 ERA and allowed 19 hits in 15 2/3 innings.

Or, it could be Wilson with a 2.89 ERA. He’s allowed 11 hits in 9 1/3 innings.

Wright allowed a windblown two-run home run to Joe Mauer in the first inning and back-to-back doubles by Carlos Quentin and Oswaldo Arcia.

He described his outing as “solid.” Wright walked one and struck out three, throwing 76 pitches.

“As a whole, that’s probably the worst I’ve felt. But I thought I attacked pretty well. Got behind in some counts, but didn’t give up anything for free,” Wright said.

Showalter concurred with Wright’s assessment.

“Mike was good. Gave up one run. I’m not even counting the routine fly ball to left field which blew out. Had a walk there before that you don’t like to see, but he really only gave up one run today. The conditions elevated his pitch count a little bit,” Showalter said.
Odrisamer Despaigne had a rough fifth inning when he allowed five of his seven baserunners to reach. Despaigne, who has been inconsistent this spring, intrigues Showalter, but has clearly fallen behind Wilson and Wright.

Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run home run off Despaigne, and then he loaded the bases with two outs. Dylan Bundy came in and promptly retired John Ryan Murphy on a fly to right and pitched a hitless sixth.

“I’ll tell you, the last four or five times out he’s looked like a major league pitcher,” Showalter said.

In his last four appearances, Bundy has given up no earned runs on two hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Chaz Roe and Oliver Drake pitched scoreless innings. Drake has not allowed a run in seven innings.

The Orioles got just four hits off four pitchers not expected to start the season with Minnesota. Joey Rickard’s third inning double drove in Dariel Alvarez with the only run. Caleb Joseph had two hits for the Orioles.

Rickard is batting .356 this spring, and the Rule 5 choice continues ti impress.

Nolan Reimold probably has the best chance to get the final outfield spot, but Showalter likes Dariel Alvarez, who is only hitting .206, but is showing good outfield skills and better plate discipline.

“Dariel Alvarez very quietly has had a good spring, especially the last couple weeks,” Showalter said. “The game’s starting to slow down for him.

Alvarez has tried too hard at times.

“Early on, it seemed like he was taking everything. He was trying to please you when you talk about things, but you also want him to turn it loose on balls that he can do some damage. I think the last four, five games, he’s found the happy median. We’ll see if he can continue,” Showalter said.

Alvarez’s chief competition for that last spot seems to be Nolan Reimold, whose quiet spring continues. As the designated hitter, Reimold was hitless in three at-bats, and he’s hitting .162 with two RBIs.

“We’re pretty familiar with Nolan. Seems to be healthy. That’ always a good thing. He’s got some track record in the big leagues when healthy. He hit a ball hard today, and he’s playing again tomorrow,” Showalter said.

“As you see, we’re giving him a lot of reps, making sure where he is physically, and that’s not something he’s thinking about anymore. I think he’s just getting ready to play, so that’s good. Physically, he seems to be in pretty good form, which usually means for a pretty good player.”

MORE ORIOLES: Showalter is holding out hope Gausman avoids DL

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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