Hays making good impression early in camp
Outfielder hits second Grapefruit League home run; Orioles keeping Castro in bullpen
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Austin Hays' strong camp continued with his second home run of the spring in a 7-5 win against the Tigers at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday.
Hays hit a solo homer to left-center field off Tigers starter Matthew Boyd on a 3-2 count in the third inning.
Hays, a third-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, struggled with ankle injuries that kept him in the Minor Leagues for all of 2018. He was eventually shut down and had surgery for a stress fracture.
But healthy and hungry to make an impact for the Orioles in 2019, Hays is doing all the right things, according to manager Brandon Hyde.
“I think he’s healthy, that’s the first thing,” Hyde said. “He’s a really aggressive player. He’s aggressive at the plate. He’s playing really well defensively. He’s not afraid of anything and I love that. He’s opening up a lot of eyes in camp so far.”
Hays finished the game 1-for-2 with a walk in the fourth. He is hitting .357 (5-for-14) in the Grapefruit League with two home runs, a triple and three RBIs.
Castro staying in the 'pen
For the time being, it looks like Miguel Castro will remain in the bullpen. The right-hander has pitched in relief in his first two Grapefruit League appearances and will do the same Monday in Fort Myers.
Castro has mostly worked out of the bullpen in his four years in the big leagues but has made two spot starts since joining the Orioles in 2017.
"I think we’re going to extend him out a little bit, but as of right now we’re working him in as a reliever," Hyde said. "That might change. Anything could change on our roster. But right now we’re working him as a reliever and we'll evaluate everything later in camp."
Castro is 5-10 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 152 2/3 innings over two seasons with the Orioles.
Moore acquired from Twins
The Orioles acquired right-hander Xavier Moore from the Twins for $750,000 of international bonus pool money on Sunday
Moore, 20, a sixth-round Draft pick in 2017, was traded to the Twins by the Rangers earlier Sunday for outfielder Zack Granite.
Moore pitched in the Arizona League and for Class A Spokane in 2018.
Harvey among seven reassigned
Right-hander Hunter Harvey was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday. Harvey, 24, made two Grapefruit League appearances, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out three in two innings.
A first-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Harvey had a breakout season in 2014 pitching for Class A Delmarva, but arm issues and Tommy John surgery kept him on the shelf for much of the next three seasons.
Harvey made a push in spring camp to get a rotation spot in 2018, but he was optioned to Double-A Bowie, where he continued to deal with shoulder and forearm issues. He went 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA for Bowie over nine starts and just 32 1/3 innings.
The Orioles also optioned catcher Cael Brockmeyer, left-hander Chris Lee, right-handers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, infielder Zach Vincej and outfielders Ryan McKenna and Mike Yastrzemski to Minor League camp.
• Hyde said that he was able to talk with Nate Karns after his side sessions Saturday and the right-hander should be able to pitch in a game in the next couple of days.
"He feels great," Hyde said. "He said he feels nothing. I think he’s fully ready to go.”
• Infielder Hanser Alberto, claimed off waivers from the Giants on Friday, is expected to be in the lineup Monday.
The Orioles will have right-hander Dylan Bundy on the mound when they travel to play the Twins in Fort Myers, Fla. on Monday. Bundy will be making his second start of the spring. Right-hander Kyle Gibson will make the start for the Twins.
Bundy is starting on three days' rest by design after a short outing on Feb. 28 against the Phillies. Hyde said the plan is to slowly stretch him out to five days' rest.
Right-handers David Hess, Jimmy Yacabonis and Castro and left-hander Josh Osich are also expected to pitch for the Orioles in Monday’s game.