It’s been a week of pitching debuts for the Baltimore Orioles, and the trend continued today as Kyle Gibson would toe the rubber for the Birds as they faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates from Ed Smith Stadium.
The outing was a mixed bag of results, but overall, it wasn’t bad. Gibson was two different versions of the pitcher that was seen last season in Philadelphia.
The first inning saw the veteran righty allow three hits and a run while also striking out two. He threw 24 pitches, 13 for strikes, but the big concern was there were no first pitch strikes.
The second inning saw Gibson retire the side in order on 11 of pitches, eight for strikes. It was a quick inning aided by three groundball outs.
Gibson also seems to be approaching his outings as if he is trying to earn a rotation spot, regardless if he’s virtually a lock.
“I would like to think my rotation spot is secure, barring a spring training meltdown here,” Gibson said. “I don’t worry too much about Opening Day. This front office has an idea of how we’re going to fit into a five-day rotation better than I do.”
Dean Kremer would be the pitcher to follow Gibson, as he was expected to pitch multiple innings before heading out to pitch for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
If Kremer had anything left to prove, he nailed it down today. He would pitch three innings, retiring 10 of 11 batters, three via strikeout. He effectively used his changeup and had his four-seam hit 97 mph.
Kyle Bradish, who worked out this spring with Kremer, had high praise about his right-handed pitching partner.
“If he puts his mind to something, he’s going to figure it out,” Bradish said.
Kremer was followed by Bryan Baker, Eduard Bazardo, Darwinzon Hernandez and Ofreidy Gómez, who all pitched a combined four innings. They allowed no hits or runs and struck out four.
The Oriole offense mustered five hits. The good news is that two of those hits were Ryan Mountcastle doubles, one which led to an RBI, the only run of the game.
Jorge Mateo collected a hit, and Maverick Handley picked up two hits in relief of James McCann. Handley also threw out a runner trying to steal second base.
Once again, the O’s offense failed to muster much opportunity and ended up with a 1-1 tie.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said there have been no talks of cuts as of now. With the World Baseball Classic, most teams won’t be making too many cuts at this time.
Hyde also spoke highly of Heston Kjerstad and his ability. He says Kjerstad has as much raw power as anyone in camp.
On the DH spot in the regular season, Hyde said, “It will be matchup based and treated as a day off for a regular.”
D.L. Hall is still trying to get up to speed and make his spring debut. Today, he was asked about which situation he would prefer, being a starter in Triple-A or a reliever in the majors.
“Wherever they find a spot for me, that’s where I want to be,” Hall said. “I trust in my talent enough that they’ll want me bad enough to put me in the big leagues.”
Brian Roberts is in camp as a guest instructor. As a former second baseman for the Birds, Roberts seems pretty impressed with the flux of young talent in camp this year.
“As a bat boy, maybe. I would’ve been happy to back one of them up,” Roberts explained after being asked if he could play with this group of players.
The total game time today was two hours and 18 minutes.
The Orioles are back at it against the Atlanta Braves tomorrow, and we will be back to bring you the recap and updated notes. Tyler Wells takes the mound against Spenser Strider with game time set for 1:05pm.
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