SARASOTA, Fla. – The length of this year’s spring training has caused the Orioles to make some adjustments in their pitchers’ schedules.
Manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Rick Adair have held back starters Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Hammel from game action for now. They’ve also rested Jim Johnson and Darren O’Day. All five will throw on the side Tuesday morning.
“We really want to monitor the pitch count and the innings,” Showalter said.
Last year, Chen’s starts were carefully planned, especially earlier in the season, to maximize his rest. Gonzalez was held back later in the season because he’d never pitched in the majors and he’d pitched heavy innings in winter ball. Hammel missed nearly half last season with a right knee injury.
Johnson and O’Day both were injured last spring and threw few innings. Both had outstanding regular seasons. Showalter will probably use them sparingly this spring.
Exhibition games began last Saturday and extend to Mar. 30. That’s five full weeks.
“If we started on schedule and we started Day 1 with the rotation, there was a chance that somebody could have had eight starts down here, and we’re trying to stay away from that,” Adair said.