Bradish strong again in O’s win over Rays

Kyle Bradish was a rookie last season who showed promise early, but it was the final part of the season where things began to click for the young right-hander.

Though his season record didn’t show the improvement, it was the last 10 games where the Orioles started to see how special Bradish could be. Tabbed by this writer to have a breakout season, Bradish is walking the line in the early part of spring training, and it’s right into a rotation spot.

In today’s game against the Rays, Bradish tossed three innings, and though he gave up a home run, one other hit and a walk, he seemed to have pretty good command of his repertoire.

He struck out two, threw first pitch strikes to 10 of the 11 batters he faced and totaled 43 pitches, 26 for strikes. He was able to generate wiffs on his four-seamer, slider, curveball and sinker, an early good sign.

Following Bradish was Mike Baumann. Considered to be in the rotation competition, Baumann made sure to show his moxy today.

After yielding a lead-off homer to Randy Arozarena to lead off the fourth, Baumann would retire the next six batters in order.

In the sixth inning, Baumann gave up two walks and a single to load the bases, then proceeded to strike out the side to end the inning and his day. He would throw 48 pitches, 29 for strikes, and generate five total strikeouts in three innings of work.

Reed Garrett, Andrew Politi and Nolan Hoffman all pitched an inning of work, collecting two strikeouts each.

“That was really encouraging, honestly,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said after the game on Garrett’s outing. “To me, that’s a highlight of today, was him and how he completely, totally attacked the strike zone with all his pitches.”

Cedric Mullins played his final game before he heads toArizona to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. He started the game with a double and scored a run on Ryan Mountcastle’s two-run triple.

“I’m gonna miss the weather,” Mullins said about leaving Sarasota. “I hear it’s cold out there [in Arizona]. That’s the one thing I will miss for sure.”

Anthony Santander, who will head out after tomorrow’s game, would go 0-for-1 with two walks and a run. He currently has a .429 OBP.

Heston Kjerstad continues his torrid spring with another hit today, giving him seven in just 11 at-bats. He is quickly making his case and putting players like Austin Hays on alert.

The Oriole offense was a little more productive today, collecting six hits and four walks, turning it into five runs.

The Birds would go on to win, 5-2, ending a streak that saw them last win on February 26.

Side Notes:

Hyde was asked after today’s game about Lewin Díaz, and the skipper acknowledged his defensive production thus far in spring.

“I’m going to keep giving him opportunities because it’s really interesting, and the way he can play defense is extraordinary,” Hyde said.

Terrin Vavra said his shoulder is feeling better today, and he doesn’t believe it’s going to be an extended period of rest.

“It’s a long season, and if I miss March 4, March 5, it’s better than missing April, May, June, wherever,” Vavra said about his injury.

Anthony Santander was practicing picks and scoops before the game in preparation for first base work. Hyde has yet to have Tony play in-game reps at first.

Ryan Watson, who has been facing hitters on the back fields, acknowledged that he’s getting close to pitching in a game. The O’s righty prospect has been unavailable due to neck stiffness.

There were three pitch clock violations in the game today at the Trop, two resulting in a strikeout and one resulting in a walk.

Cole Irvin starts tomorrow’s game against the Phillies, followed by Grayson Rodriguez on Tuesday and Kyle Gibson on Wednesday. Dean Kremer gets the start for Team Israel’s first game of the World Baseball Classic.

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Who stood out to you today for the O’s? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

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