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Wright, Wilson don't hurt themselves against Red Sox


Wright, Wilson don't hurt themselves against Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Kevin Gausman starts the season on the disabled list, Miguel Gonzalez has been ineffective, and the rest of the rotation hasn’t been particularly outstanding.

That opens up at least one spot for a pitcher, and probably two if Brian Matusz isn’t ready.

Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson tried to take advantage of the opportunity on Monday.

Wright allowed one run on four hits in five innings and Wilson pitched two scoreless innings as the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 before 10,070 at JetBlue Park.

It was the Orioles’ fifth straight win, and they’ve now 10-14-4. After beginning the spring without a win in 12 games, they’re 10-4-2.

Manager Buck Showalter often said during those seemingly fruitless days that the Orioles had constructed a road-heavy schedule that would allow them to play well late in spring training when most of their games were at home.

“I’ll let you all say that. I’m not one of those I told you so guys. I’m not. I’ll let you remind me, if you all actually listen to some things I say,” Showalter said.

Early in camp, Wilson and Wright had other competition. Odrisamer Despaigne, who intrigued Showalter early in camp, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday morning. Vance Worley, who has also been competing, is out of options and could be leaving the club in the next few days.

The Orioles still have 41 players in camp. Three of them, Gausman, Matusz and Jimmy Paredes are likely to start the season on the disabled list.

They can wait until Sunday afternoon when they work out at Oriole Park to finalize their squad.

“We’re not going to come out of here with 25—I can tell you that. I’d like to,” Showalter said.

Wright struck out two and walked two, and allowed a home run to Chris Young in the third. Wilson struck out one.

In 20 2/3 innings, Wright had a 4.79 ERA, giving up 11 runs on 23 hits. Wilson pitched 14 1/3 innings with four earned runs on 15 hits. His ERA is 2.51.

“It’s not if, it’s when, kind of with them. Because they’ve both got a chance to be good pitchers in the big leagues. We’re just trying to put our arms around everything and make sure we—they’ve done their part. They’ve had good springs. I’m proud of them,” Showalter said.

Both came to the Orioles in the 2011 draft, Wright in the third round, and Wilson the 10th, and have played on the same teams almost always since.

“We’re out here competing. We’re friends. He’s doing well right now. I was in there watching him. He’s executing pitches just as good as I am, so that’s positive to see,” Wright said.

They drove together from Sarasota, and undoubtedly Virginia’s loss in the NCAA Midwest final came up since Wilson went there. Wright attended East Carolina.

“It was really chatty. We talked about some good stuff today,” Wright said. “That’s a sore subject, but I had to throw a few jabs in there. But there’s not much I can say. EC has no basketball team, basically.”

Wilson and Wright would both like to make the team.

“That’s not my call. I think we’re putting a good product on the field. Guys are playing really hard as you can see this last week. It’s come together well, and that’s really exciting to see,” Wilson said.

It’s not an uncomfortable situation.

“Mike and I go back so far,” Wilson said. “I was fired up to see him, and I gave him a big hug afterwards when I came in for the sixth. I’m sure he’d say the same exact thing, so it makes for good conversation on the way over here when you’re good friends and just kind of have fun and not feel like you’re riding with somebody you’re rooting against.”

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first on Xavier Avery’s leadoff home run and Paul Janish’s RBI single. Janish scored Joey Rickard, who had tripled.

Nolan Reimold, who has eight hits in his last four games, has seen his average soar to .280, had two RBIs on a homer, his third and a single. Francisco Pena also had a home run.

“His last, probably, five days, he’s been swinging the bat pretty well and reminding us of what he’s capable of when he’s healthy. That’s good. But if you get to this point and one pitch or one swing is going to change you completely—for me for me, there’s not a bunch of ties right now where one little thing is going to sway it. If that’s the case, you’re not a good evaluator,” Showalter said.

NOTE: Miguel Gonzalez starts against Atlanta’s Matt Wisler on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. in Sarasota.

MORE ORIOLES: What is the future for Orioles' Hyun Soo Kim?

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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