The Orioles are still holding their plans close to the vest regarding Rich Hill, and manager Dave Trembley chose not to divulge the southpaw’s next move on Wednesday. Hill can either make another rehab appearance in his path back from a strained left elbow, or the Orioles can call him back to the parent club and activate him from the disabled list.
“We’re still considering what’s going to occur,” Trembley said. “We haven’t come to a conclusion on that, so we’ll see where that takes us. Obviously, I can understand the interest that everybody has and fans have. When we’re ready to say something, we’ll say it.”
If and when Hill returns, the Orioles are likely to move Mark Hendrickson back to the bullpen. Hendrickson threw two innings on Tuesday night and is scheduled to pitch on Sunday.
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley didn’t mince any words Sunday when asked about possibly bringing back Rich Hill from his stint on the disabled list. Hill, who’s set to pitch for Triple-A Norfolk Sunday, could well slot into the rotation at the end of next week.
The southpaw has been slowed by a strained left elbow, but the Orioles will gauge his recovery stands on Sunday. When Hill returns, Mark Hendrickson will likely be slotted into the bullpen, giving the Orioles their choice of three left-handed relievers.
First, though, Trembley said the Orioles have to see to Hill’s recovery.
“It’s an interesting day for him and for us. We’ll be watching how he does closely,” he said. “I’m sure with tomorrow being an off-day there will be a lot of discussion about his status and whether to continue his rehab or see if he’s ready to come up here. I think we need to get through today first and see whether he’s fine and still able to throw in between starts.”
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said Tuesday that Hayden Penn has been ruled out of consideration for the starting rotation, and he also said that the Orioles are now considering Brian Bass more as a reliever. So if you’re scoring at home, that leaves Alfredo Simon, Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson to likely flesh out the last three spots.
Trembley admitted that Simon is in, but he waffled a bit on Hendrickson Tuesday. He also said that barring an injury, Brad Bergesen is set to start the year at Triple-A Norfolk. Of course, the staff may change during the season, but for now, it appears to be set.
The Orioles may still be keeping the back-end of their rotation secret, but they disclosed the front part on Tuesday. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said that Koji Uehara would start the second game of the season, slotting right in behind staff ace Jeremy Guthrie.
“He’s the best available guy we have,” said Trembley. “He’s a guy with experience, proven success and that’s why we signed him — to put him at the top of the rotation with Guthrie.”
Baltimore is still sorting between back-end options, but Alfredo Simon is believed to have separated himself from the pack. Mark Hendrickson is also expected to fill a starting slot, leaving Brian Bass and Hayden Penn to compete for one spot.
The Orioles got to see Mark Hendrickson and Adam Eaton throw live batting practice Sunday and have begun to pencil them in for exhibition action. The news is a little more dour for Brad Hennessey and John Parrish, who have injury woes that have kept them from the mound.
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said Sunday that both Hennessey and Parrish are still sidelined by their respective injuries and have fallen too far behind to catch up. Both Hennessey and Parrish had been rotation contenders before their arms betrayed them.
Hennessey, who has been sidelined with a sore pitching elbow, drops from potential rotation favorite to contender to start with Triple-A Norfolk. And Parrish, who’s been dealing with a sore shoulder, may have to begin auditioning for a bullpen role instead of a starting one.
The Orioles won’t have an intrasquad game before the Grapefruit League schedule begins next week, but they will play against Team Italy next Tuesday in a tuneup for the World Baseball Classic. Two familiar faces will be on the opposing side: Farmhands Mike Costanzo and Jeff Fiorentino, who weren’t invited to big-league camp this season.
Baltimore has had minor injury woes affect two of their left-handed relievers. Both George Sherrill and Mark Hendrickson have modified their running schedules in an effort to take pressure off their hamstrings and their hips, respectively. Manager Dave Trembley reported those maladies Wednesday in his post-practice press briefing.
“Hendrickson, from all those years of playing basketball, his hips are tight,” he said. “George, the other day when he was running, he had some cramps in his hamstring. We’re not going to take a chance with him so we put him on a bike and on a treadmill.”
The Orioles spent the morning taking their physical examinations, which meant a late start to the first workout of the spring. Some more position players arrived — Scott Moore, Justin Turner and Justin Christian among them — as did staff ace Jeremy Guthrie, who took the time to greet the local beat writers and offer a personalized critique on their offseason work.
Guthrie, who still has the same spring locker that he did two seasons ago as a waiver claim, will have a new neighbor in first-round draftee Brian Matusz. Matusz expressed a desire to pick Guthrie’s brain over the spring, and he’ll have a willing test subject.
Another interesting development of the morning was to see the players begin to comply with the team’s facial hair policy, which mandates no hair below the upper lip. George Sherrill and Dennis Sarfate came to camp newly shorn, while Mark Hendrickson, who was unaware of the policy, came with a goattee and had to remove it before he hit the field.