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Cruz returns to Baltimore: 'We accomplished something special'

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Cruz returns to Baltimore: 'We accomplished something special'

BALTIMORE -- Nelson Cruz spent just one year in Baltimore. What a year it was. Cruz led the major leagues in home runs with 40, and was named the Most Valuable Oriole.

Now, he returns for the first time this season with the Seattle Mariners. Cruz is off to a terrific start, batting .340 with 15 home runs and 30 RBIs.

He signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners, and spent Monday at Manny Machado’s charity bowling tournament and Tuesday greeting ex-teammates and friends.

“Good memories. I had a good time. I think we accomplished something special. It’s always nice to see my ex-teammates and come and see the fans, also,” Cruz said.

“It was a blast. It was a blast. We accomplished something very special as a team. We had a great time, great organization, great teammates. They treated me very well.”

Manager Buck Showalter had Cruz in Texas in 2006 and again last year.

“He handled himself with a lot of class here. Everybody would have liked to have had him,” Showalter said. “We’re very lucky he passed our way. “

Cruz signed a one-year, $8 million contract in Feb. 2014, and had a great season.

“The year was very special. We don’t win the division since ’97 and to bring that joy to the fans, was nice.”

Seattle and the Orioles have similar records (17-20 vs. 16-19), and Cruz doesn’t think Orioles fans should worry.

“I think, remember last year, around this time we kind of struggled as a team, but we found a way to get it done. It’s early, you know. They still have a pretty good team,” Cruz said.

He isn’t concerned about fans’ reaction.

“Love, hopefully. Until I do something to [annoy] them, but hopefully love,” Cruz said.

He returned to Texas, where he had played eight years last June and had a similar feeling.

“It was weird like it’s going to be today, but maybe the first at-bat is going to be different, but after that, it’s another game. You have to move on,” Cruz said.

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Alex Cobb won't be ready for Opening Day, Mark Trumbo lands on 60-day DL

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Alex Cobb won't be ready for Opening Day, Mark Trumbo lands on 60-day DL

This is not a drill. We are just about 48 hours away from Opening Day.

Here's the latest Orioles news and notes. 

Player Notes: 

Dwight Smith Jr. went three-for-three with a pair of solo home runs against the New York Mets Monday. Since being picked up from the Blue Jays March 8, Smith Jr. is 12-for 28 with five homers. 

Against the Mets Monday, pitcher Dylan Bundy gave up four runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings lowering his spring ERA from 7.94 to 7.89.

Alex Cobb will not be ready for Opening Day. The Orioles have placed what would have been their Opening Day starter on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain. The injury is considered minor. 

The Orioles purchased the contract of catcher Jesus Sucre from Triple-A Norfolk. 

Injuries: 

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-day DL

SP Alex Cobb: Groin, 10-day DL

RP Richard Bleier: Shoulder, sidelined 

C Austin Wynns: Oblique, 10-day DL

Coming Up:

Thursday 3/28: Orioles vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium

Saturday 3/30: Orioles vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium

Sunday 3/31: Orioles vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium

Source: Rotoworld

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: David Hess has 'good chance' of making Opening Day roster

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: David Hess has 'good chance' of making Opening Day roster

With Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles just six days away, here are the latest updates from Spring Training. 

Player Updates:

Despite not having a great spring, pitcher David Hess has a "good chance" of making Baltimore's Opening Day roster, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters Thursday. Hess is likely to slot in as one of the Orioles' five starting pitchers. In six Grapefruit League appearances (four starts), he has an 0-2 record and 7.50 ERA. 

The Orioles made another round of cuts Thursday, reassigning utility man Jake Reinheimer and RHP Josh Lucas to minor league camp. Reinheimer put up an impressive 407/.429/.593 in 20 games this spring, but was never really in consideration for an Opening Day roster spot. 

Pitcher Josh Rogers tweaked his back after catching his spike in the mound during the Orioles' 7-5 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates Thursday and was removed as a precaution. With Opening Day less than a week away, Rogers probably won't make another Spring Training appearance. Meanwhile, Miguel Castro continued his strong spring, tossing a scoreless inning against Pittsburgh. In Grapefruit League play, Castro has an 11/2 K/BB ratio. 

Right fielder Joey Rickard had a stellar day at the place against the Pirates, doubling twice to raise his Grapefruit League batting average to .395. On the flip side, first baseman Chris Davis struck out three times against Pittsburgh, and is now batting just .148 this spring.

Injuries: 

C Austin Wynns: Oblique, day-to-day 

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, day-to-day

RP Richard Bleier: Shoulder, should be ready for Opening Day

3B Renato Nunez: Biceps, day-to-day

Coming Up:

Friday 3/22: Orioles @ Blue Jays, 6:07 p.m., Dunedin Stadium

Saturday 3/23: Orioles vs. Twins, 6:05 p.m., Ed Smith Stadium 

Sunday 3/24: Orioles @ Phillies, 1:05 p.m., Spectrum Field

Source: Rotoworld

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