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Stint with O's brief, Harvey returned to Double-A

MLB.com

Orioles top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey is headed back to Double-A Bowie.

Baltimore optioned Harvey, the club's No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline, to Bowie and recalled infielder Engelb Vielma from Triple-A Norfolk to take his place on the roster.

Orioles top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey is headed back to Double-A Bowie.

Baltimore optioned Harvey, the club's No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline, to Bowie and recalled infielder Engelb Vielma from Triple-A Norfolk to take his place on the roster.

Harvey, recalled Monday as the O's needed pitching depth following a slew of extra-inning contests, did not appear in a big league game.

The 23-year-old Harvey is 7-8 with a 2.56 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings throughout his career in the Minor Leagues. He has thrown just 18 2/3 frames in the Minors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2016.

Vielma, 23, is batting .125/.300/.375 with a triple and two runs scored in three games for Norfolk in 2018. He is a career .256/.316/.303 hitter over seven Minor League seasons. His first appearance with the Orioles will mark his Major League debut.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

Baltimore Orioles, Hunter Harvey

O's recall Ramirez, designate Cortes

MLB.com

The Orioles recalled right-hander Yefry Ramirez from Triple-A Norfolk and designated left-hander Nestor Cortes, Jr. for assignment, the club announced Tuesday.

Ramirez is the Orioles' No. 19 prospect; Cortes is No. 25 and was a Rule 5 pick by the Orioles this year.

The Orioles recalled right-hander Yefry Ramirez from Triple-A Norfolk and designated left-hander Nestor Cortes, Jr. for assignment, the club announced Tuesday.

Ramirez is the Orioles' No. 19 prospect; Cortes is No. 25 and was a Rule 5 pick by the Orioles this year.

Ramirez has allowed one run in four innings for the Tides so far in 2018. The 24-year-old allowed one earned run in two innings in Spring Training with the Orioles.

Cortes recorded a 2.06 ERA in the Minor Leagues last season, and won a roster spot with Baltimore after striking out 11 batters and giving up nine earned runs in 17 1/3 spring innings. However, the left-hander struggled during his first crack at the Majors, surrendering two homers and four earned runs in his first 4 2/3 big league innings.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

Baltimore Orioles

O's recall top pitching prospect Harvey

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Orioles fans may finally get a look at top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey.

Harvey was recalled from Double-A Bowie prior to Monday's game against the Blue Jays, with the O's optioning lefty Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot.

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BALTIMORE -- Orioles fans may finally get a look at top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey.

Harvey was recalled from Double-A Bowie prior to Monday's game against the Blue Jays, with the O's optioning lefty Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot.

View Full Game Coverage

"He provides the only real right-handed length that we have at this point," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, when asked if he had seen enough of Harvey in big league camp to show him that he's ready.

"Probably not. Physically he's fine, but if not him then who? We had some options, but you bring up a non-roster guy out of options you lose him [on waivers] going back out. We think Hunter can serve a need here. Potentially help him and the organization."

Harvey, Baltimore's No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, could soon make his Major League debut as added depth to an O's bullpen that has played two extra-inning games in three days. Making matters worse, the Orioles only got two-thirds of an inning out of Sunday's starter Mike Wright Jr. -- who could be available in the bullpen as early as Monday -- and Showalter said there are certain relievers he will not pitch in the series opener.

Harvey has not pitched above Class A, though he was slated to start his season with Bowie on Monday.

"Understand why he's here. He's the one guy that can provide length tonight if there's an issue," said Showalter, who chose not to answer whether this will be a temporary move or not.

"He's also potentially a pretty good pitcher ... this is a very good Major League pitcher's son. He's got the right amount of nervousness today ... knowing full well he may not get in the game. I hope he doesn't."

The 23-year-old Harvey was selected 22nd overall out of Bandys High School in Catawba, N.C., by the O's in the 2013 Draft. In his return from Tommy John surgery last season, he posted a 0.96 ERA in eight starts (18 2/3 innings) across three levels. He had yet to make a Minor League appearance this season.

Harvey is the son of former Major Leaguer Bryan Harvey, a two-time All-Star who pitched in parts of nine seasons with the California Angels and Florida Marlins from 1987-95. 

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Hunter Harvey, Tanner Scott

Scott called up; Yacabonis back to Triple-A

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Orioles continued a bullpen shuffle this weekend in New York, adding lefty Tanner Scott to the roster prior to Sunday afternoon's finale in the Bronx. Scott, who took the roster place of Jimmy Yacabonis -- who was recalled and pitched an inning on Saturday -- made his season debut.

Scott, Baltimore's No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, gives the O's a third lefty in their bullpen to go with Rule 5 Draft pick Nestor Cortes Jr. and Richard Bleier. He was originally slated to be part of Triple-A Norfolk's rotation this spring, but the Orioles decided he'd be better as a relief option for them this season. Scott allowed one run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings in the O's 8-7, 12-inning win Sunday.

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NEW YORK -- The Orioles continued a bullpen shuffle this weekend in New York, adding lefty Tanner Scott to the roster prior to Sunday afternoon's finale in the Bronx. Scott, who took the roster place of Jimmy Yacabonis -- who was recalled and pitched an inning on Saturday -- made his season debut.

Scott, Baltimore's No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, gives the O's a third lefty in their bullpen to go with Rule 5 Draft pick Nestor Cortes Jr. and Richard Bleier. He was originally slated to be part of Triple-A Norfolk's rotation this spring, but the Orioles decided he'd be better as a relief option for them this season. Scott allowed one run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings in the O's 8-7, 12-inning win Sunday.

View Full Game Coverage

The move keeps the Orioles with a three-man bench for now, as they placed Colby Rasmus on the disabled list prior to Saturday's game.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Tanner Scott, Jimmy Yacabonis

Where Indians' Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com

With the 2018 season underway, here's a look at where the Indians' Top 30 prospects are starting the season:

1. Francisco Mejia (MLB No. 11), C -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
2. Triston McKenzie (MLB No. 24), RHP -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv) -- DL
3. Bobby Bradley, 1B -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
4. Nolan Jones, 3B -- Lake County Captains (A)
5. Willi Castro, SS -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
6. Yu-Cheng Chang, SS -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
7. Will Benson, OF -- Lake County Captains (A)
8. Shane Bieber, RHP -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
9. Greg Allen, OF -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
10. Aaron Civale, RHP -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
11. George Valera, OF -- Extended spring training
12. Conner Capel , OF -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
13. Quentin Holmes, OF -- Extended spring training
14. Tyler Freeman, SS/2B -- Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A Short Season)
15. Aaron Bracho, SS -- Extended spring training
16. Julian Merryweather, RHP -- Out for season
17. Sam Hentges, LHP -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
18. Oscar Gonzalez, OF -- Lake County Captains (A)
19. Jonathan Rodriguez, OF -- Extended spring training
20. Eric Haase, C -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
21. Logan Ice, C -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
22. Ryan Merritt, LHP -- Cleveland Indians (MLB) -- DL
23. Ka'ai Tom, OF -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
24. Ernie Clement, SS/2B -- Lake County Captains (A)
25. Tyler Krieger, 2B -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
26. Marcos Gonzalez, SS -- Extended spring training
27. Mitch Longo, OF -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
28. Elijah Morgan, RHP -- Lake County Captains (A)
29. Brady Aiken, LHP -- Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A Short Season)
30. Shawn Morimando, LHP -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)

With the 2018 season underway, here's a look at where the Indians' Top 30 prospects are starting the season:

1. Francisco Mejia (MLB No. 11), C -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
2. Triston McKenzie (MLB No. 24), RHP -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv) -- DL
3. Bobby Bradley, 1B -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
4. Nolan Jones, 3B -- Lake County Captains (A)
5. Willi Castro, SS -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
6. Yu-Cheng Chang, SS -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
7. Will Benson, OF -- Lake County Captains (A)
8. Shane Bieber, RHP -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
9. Greg Allen, OF -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
10. Aaron Civale, RHP -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
11. George Valera, OF -- Extended spring training
12. Conner Capel , OF -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
13. Quentin Holmes, OF -- Extended spring training
14. Tyler Freeman, SS/2B -- Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A Short Season)
15. Aaron Bracho, SS -- Extended spring training
16. Julian Merryweather, RHP -- Out for season
17. Sam Hentges, LHP -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
18. Oscar Gonzalez, OF -- Lake County Captains (A)
19. Jonathan Rodriguez, OF -- Extended spring training
20. Eric Haase, C -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)
21. Logan Ice, C -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
22. Ryan Merritt, LHP -- Cleveland Indians (MLB) -- DL
23. Ka'ai Tom, OF -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
24. Ernie Clement, SS/2B -- Lake County Captains (A)
25. Tyler Krieger, 2B -- Akron RubberDucks (AA)
26. Marcos Gonzalez, SS -- Extended spring training
27. Mitch Longo, OF -- Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
28. Elijah Morgan, RHP -- Lake County Captains (A)
29. Brady Aiken, LHP -- Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A Short Season)
30. Shawn Morimando, LHP -- Columbus Clippers (AAA)

Indians prospect coverage | Indians' Top 30 prospects stats

Team to watch
Triple-A Columbus will be home to Mejia as well as fellow Top 10 prospects Chang and Allen, but it's the organization's Double-A affiliate, Akron, which might have the most exciting roster. The RubberDucks' lineup will boast a pair of impact hitters in Bradley and Castro -- ages 21 and 20, respectively, on Opening Day -- while Bieber and Civale are expected to headline the club's starting rotation. Akron could see receive some key in-season additions, too, with prospects like McKenzie, Capel and Hentges all beginning 2018 with Class A Advanced Lynchburg.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Columbus Clippers (AAA)
Akron RubberDucks (AA)

New faces
The Indians' Top 30 Prospects list doesn't include any players who were not with the organization last year.

On the shelf
McKenzie, Cleveland's top pitching prospect, will begin the season on Lynchburg's disabled list in what is being considered by the organization as a precautionary move after the right-hander experienced forearm soreness during spring camp. Merryweather will miss all of 2018 following his Tommy John surgery in mid-March, while Merritt opened the season on the Indians' 10-day disabled list with a left knee sprain.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Baltimore Orioles

Where O's Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the O's Top 30 prospects are starting the season:

1. Austin Hays (MLB No. 23), OF -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
2. Ryan Mountcastle (MLB No. 98), 3B -- Bowie Baysox (AA) -- DL
3. Chance Sisco, C -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
4. Hunter Harvey, RHP -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
5. DL Hall, LHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
6. Tanner Scott, LHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
7. Cedric Mullins, OF -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
8. Anthony Santander, OF/1B -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
9. Keegan Akin, LHP -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
10. Brenan Hanifee, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
11. Alex Wells, LHP -- Frederick Keys (A Adv)
12. Cody Sedlock, RHP -- Frederick Keys (A Adv)
13. D.J. Stewart, OF -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
14. Chris Lee, LHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA) -- DL
15. Mike Baumann, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
16. Cameron Bishop, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
17. Zac Lowther, LHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
18. David Hess, RHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
19. Yefry Ramirez, RHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
20. Adam Hall, SS -- Extended Spring Training
21. Jomar Reyes, 3B -- Frederick Keys (A Adv)
22. Lamar Sparks, OF -- Extended Spring Training
23. Gray Fenter, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
24. Austin Wynns, C -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
25. Nestor Cortes, LHP -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
26. Pedro Araujo, RHP -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
27. Luis Gonzalez, LHP -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
28. Ademar Rifaela, OF -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
29. Mason McCoy, SS -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
30. Matthias Dietz, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the O's Top 30 prospects are starting the season:

1. Austin Hays (MLB No. 23), OF -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
2. Ryan Mountcastle (MLB No. 98), 3B -- Bowie Baysox (AA) -- DL
3. Chance Sisco, C -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
4. Hunter Harvey, RHP -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
5. DL Hall, LHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
6. Tanner Scott, LHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
7. Cedric Mullins, OF -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
8. Anthony Santander, OF/1B -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
9. Keegan Akin, LHP -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
10. Brenan Hanifee, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
11. Alex Wells, LHP -- Frederick Keys (A Adv)
12. Cody Sedlock, RHP -- Frederick Keys (A Adv)
13. D.J. Stewart, OF -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
14. Chris Lee, LHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA) -- DL
15. Mike Baumann, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
16. Cameron Bishop, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
17. Zac Lowther, LHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
18. David Hess, RHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
19. Yefry Ramirez, RHP -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
20. Adam Hall, SS -- Extended Spring Training
21. Jomar Reyes, 3B -- Frederick Keys (A Adv)
22. Lamar Sparks, OF -- Extended Spring Training
23. Gray Fenter, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
24. Austin Wynns, C -- Norfolk Tides (AAA)
25. Nestor Cortes, LHP -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
26. Pedro Araujo, RHP -- Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
27. Luis Gonzalez, LHP -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
28. Ademar Rifaela, OF -- Bowie Baysox (AA)
29. Mason McCoy, SS -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)
30. Matthias Dietz, RHP -- Delmarva Shorebirds (A)

O's prospect coverage | O's Top 30 prospects stats

Team to watch
Hays and Harvey, the Orioles' top position and pitching prospects, headline a talented Double-A Bowie Baysox roster that features four players ranked inside Baltimore's Top 10 prospects, including the aforementioned duo as well as Cedric Mullins and Keegan Akin. They'll gain another top prospect when Mountcastle, MLB Pipeline's No. 98 overall prospect, returns from a hand injury, too.

The Class A Delmarva Shorebirds also should be plenty interesting thanks to a starting rotation that, on paper, ranks among the best in the South Atlantic League. Featuring Top 30 prospects Hall, Hanifee, Wells, Baumann, Bishop and Lowther, it's largely the same rotation that made Class A Short-Season Aberdeen such a force in 2017.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Norfolk Tides (AAA)
Bowie Baysox (AA)
Aberdeen IronBirds (A Short Season)

New faces
The Orioles selected three pitchers in the Major League phase of December's Rule 5 Draft, two of which, Cortes Jr. and Araujo, cracked the club's Opening Day bullpen. While Cortes profiles as a left-handed swingman who should log most of his innings in a long-relief role, Araujo already has proved capable of missing bats with his breaking ball in high-leverage situations.

On the shelf
Mountcastle will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a non-displaced fracture at the base of the fifth metacarpal in his right hand that he suffered on a hit-by-pitch during a Minor League game in mid-March. Lee, after missing much of the spring with a right oblique strain, has resumed throwing off flat ground, with pitching off a mound marking the next step in his recovery.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Baltimore Orioles

Orioles get glimpse of Rule 5 Draft additions

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- A bright spot in Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Twins was that Orioles fans got their first glimpse at two of the team's Rule 5 Draft additions in pitchers Nestor Cortes Jr. and Pedro Araujo.

The pair of young arms each made their respective debuts at Camden Yards, with Cortes, Jr. following starter Andrew Cashner by opening the sixth inning.

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BALTIMORE -- A bright spot in Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Twins was that Orioles fans got their first glimpse at two of the team's Rule 5 Draft additions in pitchers Nestor Cortes Jr. and Pedro Araujo.

The pair of young arms each made their respective debuts at Camden Yards, with Cortes, Jr. following starter Andrew Cashner by opening the sixth inning.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's a beautiful ballpark. Coming in, I heard the crowd go wild. Not wild, but roar when they called my name and when they said it was my Major League debut," said Cortes, who stayed in the dugout to watch Araujo toss a scoreless inning after him. "Kind of excited for that."

The crafty lefty, who tops out in the 80s with his fastball, was a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Yankees this winter. Cortes got himself into quite the jam initially, loading the bases on a single and a pair of walks. But he stayed calm, striking out Byron Buxton and getting a double-play ball to keep the Twins off the board. He allowed a run in the seventh, giving up a total of three hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.

Video: MIN@BAL: Cortes Jr. gets out of a bases-loaded jam

"I was kidding Nestor that the best changeup he threw was to [catcher] Caleb [Joseph] to start the double play," manager Buck Showalter said. "At the end of the day, we gave up one run between the two of them over three innings. We'll take the finished product, and we'll learn from it. You do take a step back when you get guys announced back to back making their Major League debut."

That's especially true when the guy was at Class A for most of last season, as Araujo was with the Cubs.

The righty also struck out Buxton, showed impressive poise in a 1-2-3 eighth. He needed just 11 pitches to dispose of the Twins, firing six of those for strikes.

Video: MIN@BAL: Araujo K's Buxton, gets first MLB strikeout

"I did [think this day would come], especially when I went to Wrigley Field as a fan to watch a game," Araujo said through an interpreter. "I said to myself, 'I could be there, I could compete so hopefully a time comes when I am on the field.'"

That time is now. While Cortes admitted to being amped, Araujo had a different approach in his debut.

"I was very calm," he said. "I prepared myself mentally and physically for it."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Pedro Araujo, Nestor Cortes Jr.

Prospect report: Orioles camp

MLB.com

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the upcoming season. Some compete for jobs in big league camp, while others vie for spots on Minor League affiliates. MLB Pipeline will visit all 30 camps this spring, and today we check in on the Orioles.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- As big league camp winds down, action on the Minor League side -- which for the Orioles happens about 20 minutes away from Ed Smith Stadium -- is kicking into high gear. Minor League Opening Day is on April 5, but the O's are just about ready to go, if they could just get their players back from manager Buck Showalter on the Major League side.

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the upcoming season. Some compete for jobs in big league camp, while others vie for spots on Minor League affiliates. MLB Pipeline will visit all 30 camps this spring, and today we check in on the Orioles.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- As big league camp winds down, action on the Minor League side -- which for the Orioles happens about 20 minutes away from Ed Smith Stadium -- is kicking into high gear. Minor League Opening Day is on April 5, but the O's are just about ready to go, if they could just get their players back from manager Buck Showalter on the Major League side.

Orioles Top 30 ProspectsQ&A with Cedric Mullins

:: MLB Pipeline Spring Training reports ::

"We're ready, it's exciting," Orioles farm director Brian Graham said. "I like where we are as an organization, especially with our pitching at the lower levels. A lot of our decisions are based on their final cuts over there. Whoever ends up coming down to begin the season makes a difference on our Minor League rosters."

Graham isn't complaining. The experience for guys like Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, even if they begin the year in the Triple-A outfield, has been nothing but a positive. Plus, it's not caused a problem thanks to the back and forth between the big league and player development staffs.

"It's not really more challenging because Buck is such a good communicator and he tells us what his thoughts are and what direction he's going in," Graham said. "We have a pretty good idea of who is coming down unless some changes happen in the last couple of days of Spring Training."

The strength Graham pointed out, lower level pitching, obviously isn't too impacted by decisions from the highest level. But that doesn't mean there aren't decisions to be made. There are eight arms to consider for Delmarva's rotation in the Class A South Atlantic League, starting with 2017 first-round pick D.L Hall, the lefty who is currently the organization's No. 5 prospect. The list also includes No. 10 prospect Brenan Hanifee, No. 16 Cameron Bishop, No. 17 Zac Lowther and No. 23 Gray Fenter.

"They all need and deserve to start and they are all pitching prospects," Graham said. "We have eight guys for five spots, so we're potentially going to have three piggybacks. Any time you have eight legitimate starters at one level, that's pretty good depth."

Graham and his staff are honest in their appraisal of their system, acknowledging that it's not considered among those in the top tier. But it's improved and has managed to help usher players who may have started out as unknown prospects up the ladder and to Baltimore.

"We know what we have and what we don't have," Graham said. "Our player development system has done a tremendous job, our coaches and managers, of getting players ready to play and compete in the big leagues. That's Chance Sisco and that's Trey Mancini, guys nobody expected to be what they are. They're pretty good players."

Sisco and Mancini are just two of a core of homegrown players who will break camp with the team. Sisco joins Caleb Joseph as a farm-system-produced catching tandem. The infield has Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, with Mancini in the outfield. Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are all homegrown arms. And that's not even counting Hays, Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle, bats who could contribute soon.

"I say to myself, 'Wow, we had some pretty good players who came out of our farm system,'" Graham said. "I would say we're in the high end of Minor League players playing on our big league team.

"We have some really good prospects. We might have 8-9 good players while other organizations believe they have 20 of the same caliber player. At the same time, we have really good players in the big leagues, so there's no place for them to go right now."

Harvey gearing up for full season, as a starter

Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' first-round pick in 2013 who has missed most of the last three seasons because of an elbow injury and eventual Tommy John surgery, impressed the big league staff during his time in big league camp. Now the right-hander, who did return late in 2017 and pitch very well, is getting himself ready to pitch in Double-A Bowie's rotation.

"He's starting to live up to the guy we always thought he'd be," Graham said. "When you match that up with his work ethic and makeup and his aptitude, you get a pretty good looking pitcher.

"He's never been over 90 innings in a season and it's been a couple of years since he had a full workload consistently, so we don't know how many innings he'll be limited to. I'm going to guess around 90-100 innings this season. The pitcher is going to tell you where he is; his performance and velocity will tell you where he is."

Comparisons have been made between Harvey and Dylan Bundy, who was recently named Opening Day starter. Bundy had trouble staying healthy, then was moved to the bullpen in the big leagues, before developing back into a starter. Could the Orioles do the same with Harvey? It's been discussed, but it's not happening any time soon.

"There's been a lot of talk about it, especially with the comparison to Dylan," Graham said. "Buck would love to have Harvey in the big leagues. But Hunter's not out of options; Dylan was out of options. We have the luxury of putting Hunter down in a different situation where he can start and have his bullpen days and have days off and get him into a consistent five-day rotation."

Camp standout

If you've never heard of Branden Becker, don't feel bad. But you might want to learn the name.

The 17th-round pick of the Orioles in the 2015 Draft, Becker spent two summers in the Gulf Coast League to start his career and doesn't have much in the way of offensive numbers to show for it. He was supposed to make a step up to short-season Aberdeen in 2017, but played in just six games after tearing the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder diving for a ground ball. He can play second, short and third and looks poised to make a big step forward as a 21-year-old heading to Delmarva.

"He's a left-handed hitter who's really been good offensively," Graham said. "It seems like every at-bat, he hits the ball hard somewhere. And he's played all three defensive positions well. He's a guy we didn't know what to expect from. Every day he plays, he does something special. It's fun to see a player you didn't expect do so well."

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Baltimore Orioles

Cuts give Sisco, Araujo roster spots with O's

Highly regarded catcher wins spring competition; Susac, Vielma optioned
MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles' top catching prospect, Chance Sisco, will break camp with the big league club, along with Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, a 24-year-old right-handed reliever.

Baltimore optioned Andrew Susac to Triple-A Norfolk before Friday's 6-1 win over the Rays, effectively ending a spring catching competition and giving Sisco a chance to start the season in the Majors alongside Caleb Joseph.

View Full Game Coverage

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles' top catching prospect, Chance Sisco, will break camp with the big league club, along with Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, a 24-year-old right-handed reliever.

Baltimore optioned Andrew Susac to Triple-A Norfolk before Friday's 6-1 win over the Rays, effectively ending a spring catching competition and giving Sisco a chance to start the season in the Majors alongside Caleb Joseph.

View Full Game Coverage

Spring Training: Info | Gear

"We felt like Chance played well enough with some things we are going to need there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's his time to kind of break in."

Video: TB@BAL: Sisco cranks three-run homer to deep left

Showalter let some of the relievers break the news to Araujo, who couldn't stop smiling as he recounted the story with team translator Ramon Alarcon.

"I was very surprised when I opened the door and I saw these guys over here, [Darren] O'Day and [Mychal] Givens," Araujo said. "I'm like, 'OK, what did I do wrong here?' But they told me right away. O'Day said, 'Do you remember the [pitchers' fielding practice]?' I said, 'What PFP? What are you talking about?'" Araujo said, laughing. "And then he told me, 'You made the team -- congratulations.' So I was very happy."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Infielder Engelb Vielma was also optioned, leaving the O's with 35 players in Major League camp.

Sisco, 23, has played in 17 Grapefruit League games this spring, hitting .419 with two homers and 10 RBIs, giving the team a feel for what he can do. Araujo entered the spring as one of three Rule 5 pitchers; lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. remains a candidate. Araujo has allowed two earned runs in 8 2/3 spring innings, striking out eight and walking two. The righty spent most of last year with the Cubs' Class A Advanced affiliate.

"I saw my teammates, those two that are in the same situation that I was, Rule 5," Araujo said. "They're more veteran than me. They have more experience than me. Maybe they've been pitching a little bit longer. Maybe it was an advantage, but I felt confident that I could compete, that I could make the team, and that I could beat them, so I'm really happy that I'm here."

Rotation coming into focus

The Orioles have finalized their rotation for next week's season-opening series against the Twins, with right-handers Andrew Cashner and Kevin Gausman getting the ball after Dylan Bundy, who will open the season on Thursday.

Righty Chris Tillman will start the fourth game of the year, on April 2 against the Astros in Houston.

The O's have not decided who will pitch fifth, though they have some options, given their off-day on March 30. Bundy could pitch the second game in Houston, on April 3, on regular rest, or the club could promote a starter from Triple-A or go with a long reliever.

Video: BAL@NYM: Cashner strikes out Frazier to end the 1st

Newly signed righty Alex Cobb, who will not be ready for the start of the season, will be stretched out at Double-A Bowie. The timing of his debut is still to be determined.

Beckham day to day

Infielder Tim Beckham said on Friday morning that the groin injury that forced his removal from Thursday's 10-7 win over the Red Sox is minor, and both he and the club are optimistic he isn't headed for the disabled list.

"I'm taking it day to day," said Beckham who homered before exiting. "I feel like I'm ready for the season. A couple more reps would be great, would be awesome, but I'm definitely confident going into the year that we're going to have a good season and we're going to play good baseball."

Video: BOS@BAL: Beckham drills a two-run homer to center

Showalter said that Beckham would get treatment on Friday and Saturday and won't play before Sunday.

"We could leave him back here [in Florida] to play in a game," Showalter said. "That's something that's being discussed -- a game or two if we wanted to take more time with the treatment -- but we aren't there yet. We'll see where the next couple of days go."

Worth noting

Cobb will throw a three-inning simulated game on Sunday in Sarasota, and the team will decide his next move from there. Cobb could pitch as early as the O's second series at Houston.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Chance Sisco

Harvey optioned to Double-A Bowie

Orioles' No. 4 prospect fared well in three Spring Training starts
MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey to Double-A Bowie prior to Wednesday night's game against the Yankees in Tampa.

Harvey was the second pitcher to leave O's camp on Wednesday, with the club also designating for assignment Rule 5 pick Jose Mesa Jr. to clear a roster spot for Alex Cobb.

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey to Double-A Bowie prior to Wednesday night's game against the Yankees in Tampa.

Harvey was the second pitcher to leave O's camp on Wednesday, with the club also designating for assignment Rule 5 pick Jose Mesa Jr. to clear a roster spot for Alex Cobb.

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Was Harvey, who was slated to start Wednesday's Grapefruit League contest, also tied to Cobb?

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"It was tied somewhat," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who started Miguel Castro against the Yankees instead. "[Harvey] needs to get going. He's going to be in Bowie to start the year.

"We talked a lot in our meeting today upstairs about how we are going to use Hunter and what have you, the innings, see where the season takes him. He's available down the road."

Harvey was never expected to break camp with the O's, though the young right-hander did stick around for a long time as there were innings available. And he made quite an impression in three starts, pitching to a 3.86 ERA in seven innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.

Video: Top Prospects: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles

Harvey, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Orioles' No. 4 prospect, is the son of former big leaguer Brian Harvey. Now on the club's 40-man roster, he could be in Baltimore's plans later this season.

"We knew at some point that [Harvey needing Tommy John surgery] would be the case. Now we got all that behind him," Showalter said. "He's in a real good place, he was impressive this spring. The pitch mix, everybody loves his makeup. This guy has got a different look and a different feel when he gets between the lines. He's not intimidated. He's got a chance to be pretty good."

Camp battle
The Orioles will break camp with five starting pitchers, none of whom will be Cobb. That means the fifth-starter job is still very much up for grabs this spring, with Cobb expected to make at least one Minor League start to get stretched out.

To that end, two candidates -- Castro and Nestor Cortes Jr. -- tried to state their cases in Wednesday's 9-4 loss to the Yankees.

Castro started and went three innings, though he struggled to locate against a lineup of Yankees regulars. The righty surrendered five runs (four earned) on five hits and three walks to raise his spring ERA to 8.38.

"[Command has] been a challenge on and off for him, like a lot of guys," Showalter said of Castro. "A lot of guys you will see in a little more of a comfort zone once they get settled in to where they need to be. There's a lot of anxiety this time of year. I try to keep that in mind."

Castro, who could be a bullpen guy if he doesn't get a chance as the fifth starter to break camp, said he's not letting the addition of Cobb change his approach.

"My mindset is still the same -- go out there and compete, try to help my team," he said. "Whatever the team decides for me, I'll be happy for it."

Cortes entered in the fifth inning and had a smoother outing, tossing three scoreless innings before Aaron Judge went deep for a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.

The O's Rule 5 Draft pick -- facing the team that originally drafted him -- went four innings and allowed four hits, walking two and striking out three.

"He's capable, but the sequence has to be good," Showalter said of the crafty Cortes, whose fastball is in the 80s. "[He] has to keep all the pitches in play in the hitter's mind. When he does, he can have some success."

Up next
Rotation hopeful Mike Wright Jr. will take the mound on Thursday as the Orioles host the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET. The contest can be seen live on MLB.TV. Hector Velazquez is scheduled to start for Boston.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Hunter Harvey

Rule 5 pick Santander earning spot with O's

Outfield prospect in line for more playing time with Trumbo out
MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Anthony Santander lost 15 pounds with the goal of being more agile in the outfield and making the Orioles' decision to keep the Rule 5 Draft pick an easy one. So far, so good.

Santander, who still has Rule 5 status due to injuries last year, has been impressive in every sense this spring. The outfielder, who could see more playing time with Mark Trumbo's injury, is a lock to head north when the Orioles break camp.

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Anthony Santander lost 15 pounds with the goal of being more agile in the outfield and making the Orioles' decision to keep the Rule 5 Draft pick an easy one. So far, so good.

Santander, who still has Rule 5 status due to injuries last year, has been impressive in every sense this spring. The outfielder, who could see more playing time with Mark Trumbo's injury, is a lock to head north when the Orioles break camp.

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"The main thing was trying to get my arm healthy, 100 percent healthy. That was one of the main things," Santander said through an interpreter, of his goal entering the spring. "Another thing was I lost some weight, which I was working on so I could be quicker on the field, with the whole purpose of helping the team for the upcoming season."

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Santander, 23, has watched teammates Manny Machado and Adam Jones get ready to play every day. It's that kind of preparation he's tried to emulate daily in Sarasota, whether he's playing the field, serving at designated hitter or getting the game off.

Using the extra at-bats in the Arizona Fall League to stay sharp, Santander is batting .315 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 22 Grapefruit League games.

"I feel very well, happy for the opportunity they are giving me," said Santander, the Orioles' No. 8 prospect. "I feel confident with my teammates, they allow me to be confident and go out there and have fun."

Video: BAL@PHI: Santander belts a two-run homer to left

Araujo confident, looking to break camp
Pedro Araujo smiled. He didn't need an interpreter for this question from a reporter Monday morning.

Do you think you have a good chance of making the team?
"Yes" said Araujo, one of three Rule 5 pitchers in Orioles camp who is trying to stick this spring.

"I think it's going very well," he continued through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity that I received right now. I feel very proud of the work that I've been doing out there so far."

And with good reason. In seven games this spring, Araujo has allowed just two runs, both of which came March 9 against Toronto. He is looking more and more viable as a bullpen candidate this spring, with another scoreless inning Monday in the Orioles' 4-2 win over the Tigers.

"Nobody has said anything to me specifically, but I feel very confident," said Araujo, 24. "I think I have a good shot and hopefully it happens."

Orioles Spring Training info

The Orioles have been particularly pleased with Araujo's changeup, which could be a difference-maker when it comes to having success at the big league level.

"The trust is the main thing, having the trust that I can make the pitch that I can get guys out," he said. "The more experience I have, the more confident I feel that I can attack them."

Injury update
Danny Valencia was a late scratch from Monday's lineup with a sore calf.

Gabriel Ynoa is looking more like he will start the season on the disabled list as the pitcher -- dealing with shin splints -- continues to be sidelined.

"It is disappointing," Ynoa said with Alarcon interpreting. "I had my mind set to compete, to try to win a job, an opportunity with the big league club. But I have to take it day by day and just get healthy."

Up next
Nestor Cortes Jr., the Orioles' Rule 5 pick from the Yankees, will start Tuesday's game. Rotation candidate Miguel Castro is also expected to pitch in the 6:05 p.m. ET home game against the Rays (watch live on MLB.TV).

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Anthony Santander

Harvey stellar in debut, after long road to it

O's top pitching prospect strikes out 3 in 2 IP; has struggled with injuries in career
MLB.com

PORT CHARLOTTE -- It's been a long road for the Orioles' top pitching prospect, Hunter Harvey. So if you wanted to make something special of his first career Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn't mind.

"He deserves it. Kid has been through a lot," Showalter said of Harvey, who tossed two innings in Tuesday's 2-1 win at the Rays. "Nobody knows what today is going to bring or down the road is going to bring, but I wanted him to have a role the first time out that he's used to. ... I think it's important because we have high hopes for him."

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PORT CHARLOTTE -- It's been a long road for the Orioles' top pitching prospect, Hunter Harvey. So if you wanted to make something special of his first career Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn't mind.

"He deserves it. Kid has been through a lot," Showalter said of Harvey, who tossed two innings in Tuesday's 2-1 win at the Rays. "Nobody knows what today is going to bring or down the road is going to bring, but I wanted him to have a role the first time out that he's used to. ... I think it's important because we have high hopes for him."

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Harvey has been beset by injuries since the O's selected him as their first-round Draft pick in 2013. Most notably, he had Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss all of the '15 Minor League season. To that end, one of the right-hander's goals this year is to simply pitch a full season. The other? To make an impression.

That started with Tuesday's spring game.

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"That's my goal," Harvey said, when told that Showalter said the righty may make it a tough decision for the Orioles this spring. "To come into camp, it's nice they told me all offseason you're up there now. You're just like anybody else when you're here. That puts a little fire in you."

Harvey allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts in his debut, showcasing the potential that made him a first rounder. He allowed a pair of singles to start the game, then got Christian Arroyo to ground into a double play to help limit the damage to one run. Using a fastball in the mid-90s and a curveball that hovered around 80 mph, Harvey struck out cleanup man Jake Bauers.

He pitched around a pair of runners in the second, a single and a walk, getting Jake Cronenworth to strikeout to end his afternoon. While he was pleased overall with how he did, Harvey said he will try to command the ball better next time out.

"Really [need to work on] controlling my body. I felt a little crazy out there, I guess it was just the first time being out there in a long time," he said. "Just try to get my body back under me and command the ball a little."

With a lot of the Orioles' starters throwing in "B" games and Minor League games this spring, Harvey could get more opportunities in regular spring matchups. In many ways, it's odd that Harvey -- who has been in big league camp before -- hasn't been in this situation previously. But Showalter has always been impressed with the 23-year-old's maturity.

"It seems like he has [maturity]. He's been around big league locker rooms a lot in his life, with his dad [former big leaguer Bryan Harvey]. When you draft a Major Leaguer's son, some of that stuff isn't as much of an adjustment, but I don't think he's a guy who's going to get too amped up about things," Showalter said.

"He knows we have his best interests at heart and he's right where he needs to be. ... He's not worried about, 'Is this going to hurt anymore?' when he's throwing. I think it's something that even when we drafted him, we knew that at some point this was going to happen, so it's good to finally get it behind us. And he's still a young man."

There are a lot of similarities between Harvey and Orioles righty Dylan Bundy, who also was a top prospect that underwent Tommy John surgery. Bundy emerged as the Orioles' best starter last year, his first full season in the rotation, and he has been someone who has helped Harvey deal with the mental component of injuries.

"That's why they have a certain connection," Showalter said of drawing a parallel between the two guys. "And it's good. I know Dylan will be telling him the right things."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Hunter Harvey