O's to honor Weaver before spring opener
SARASOTA, Fla.-- The Orioles will hold a moment of silence and air a video tribute for former manager Earl Weaver, who passed away in January, prior to the start of Saturday's Spring Training opener against the Twins at 1:05 p.m. ET. Zach Britton will start for the O's, with Kevin Correia going for Minnesota. Gates open two hours prior to the start.
Britton will be followed by Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Steve Johnson, Dylan Bundy, T.J. McFarland, Todd Redmond, Zach Clark and Adam Russell. Most of the team's regulars are expected to start, with second baseman Brian Roberts getting one or two at-bats and then going to a wedding he's in for his best friend that night.
Asked if the regulars included Nolan Reimold, manager Buck Showalter said he hadn't made a final decision on that.
"I don't see limitations on playing him right now," Showalter said of Reimold, who is a full-go in camp but still regaining strength in his left arm following neck surgery last season.
Adam Jones, who will play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, probably won't bat any higher than he would normally, with Showalter satisfied with the amount of at-bats Jones -- who leaves March 3 -- will be able to get. The Orioles have played intrasquad games the past two days, and Showalter said he will leave the approach of his hitters up to each individual player.
"There's a lot of trust," he said. "They know what they've got to do to get ready, we did a lot of pitch tracking in the cages, we've played some games, everybody's gotten two or three at-bats, so I think it's kind of personal preference. Everybody is a little different. Does that mean nobody is supposed to swing at the first pitch? I'm going to leave it alone. It's also a little bit of an evaluator to see how guys handle themselves and stuff.
"It's a competitive place. Starting [Saturday], people are competing not only for jobs here, but jobs in [Triple-A] Norfolk, because we are a lot deeper in those areas then we were. I was looking over our Major League camp rosters the last couple years. [I'm] very proud of where we've gotten to with the depth."