The travel squad that the Orioles sent to Clearwater this afternoon to face the Philadelphia Phillies is unmistakably devoid of star power.
The rules for bringing starters on the road in spring training games have been relaxed because of this month’s World Baseball Classic, and the Orioles are taking advantage of that Tuesday at Spectrum Field.
There’s no one in the Orioles starting lineup who can truly be considered a starter. Maybe for Triple-A Norfolk. Catcher Caleb Joseph, infielder Robert Andino and third baseman Chris Johnson are known major leaguers. Orioles fans attending the game will have to settle for that.
Still, the Orioles will continue to get a deeper look at Rule 5 picks Aneury Tavarez and Anthony Santander, who are both starting. First baseman Trey Mancini is making his third spring start, all of which have come on the road, and is hitting cleanup.
Here’s the complete lineup:
Chris Dickerson RF
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Anthony Santander DH
Trey Mancini 1B
Logan Schafer CF
Chris Johnson 3B
Aneury Tavarez LF
Caleb Joseph C
Robert Andino SS
Right-hander Mike Wright will make his 2017 Grapefruit League debut, and right-hander Mychal Givens, left-hander Jayson Aquino and right-hander Zach Stewart are also scheduled to pitch.
Sedlock in Clearwater
The Orioles have brought 2016 first-round draft pick Cody Sedlock over from minor league camp. It’s rare to see a pitcher coming off his first full pro season on the travel roster, let alone in a Grapefruit League game, but it will be tempting to see how Sedlock fares.
Pitchers and catchers reported for duty on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The Orioles begin the 2017 season at home against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 3.
Sedlock, who was taken with the 27th overall pick last season out of Illinois, is on the fast track. He is pegged to open the season at High-A Frederick after pitching at Short-A Aberdeen last season.
Other minor league players on the travel roster include pitchers Jimmy Yacabonis, Garrett Cleavinger, John Means and Cody Satterwhite, and infielders Sean Coyle, Garabez Rosa and Erick Salcedo.
Orioles utility man Ryan Flaherty is confident he will return to game action Wednesday after taking a few days after having shoulder soreness in his throwing arm.
But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he was leaning toward giving Flaherty one extra day of rest and play him in one of the team's split-squad games on Thursday.
“Unless it’s a full-go, ...I bet that’s where I end up going," Showalter said.
Flaherty said before Tuesday's workout in Sarasota that he's had soreness for about five or six days.
“I was kind of going through it and they were just like, ‘Take a couple days and let it die down.’ It feels fine. If I had to play, I could play.”
Flaherty has seen more time at third base in games and workouts because starter Manny Machado has been working out and playing at shortstop to prepare for playing there in the World Baseball Classic. Starting shortstop J.J. Hardy is also sidelined with back spasms.
So Flaherty said he believes the increased number of longer throws across the diamond could have contributed to his soreness. Usually, he’d be rotating between second, short and third.
“I think it could be,” Flaherty said. “I think one of the challenges of being a utility player, moving around, is you’re throwing from a lot of different angles. Just kind of getting used to it the first week and just try to get ahead of it and get it out of there.”
Gausman first start slated for Thursday
Right-hander Kevin Gausman is slated to make his first Grapefruit League start in Thursday afternoon's home split-squad game against the Minnesota Twins.
Right-hander Tyler Wilson will start the night road game against the New York Yankees in Tampa.
Reliever Darren O'Day is also slated to pitch in his first Grapefruit League game in Thursday's home game. Right-hander Brad Brach is scheduled to pitch an inning Wednesday at home against the Boston Red Sox.
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