Showalter sets early spring pitching rotation

Showalter sets early spring pitching rotation
February 23, 2014, 2:15 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. – Manager Buck Showalter was leaving camp just after midday on Sunday. He had a meeting in Port Charlotte, Fla. to discuss instant replay and the home plate collision rules.

Representatives from the Orioles will join their counterparts from the Rays, Pirates, Red Sox and Twins.

“Is it the same as last time we met on it? Has anything changed? I feel I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the way they were going to do it,” Showalter said.

“I’ve got questions with where we are with the running over the catcher and blocking the plate.”

Before he left, Showalter set the starting pitchers for the first two spring games as well as the two intrasquad games.

Chris Tillman and Zach Britton will each throw two innings in the Orioles’ first game on Friday at Tampa Bay in Port Charlotte.

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Showalter expects Miguel Gonzalez, whose back spasms have slowed him this month, to start on Saturday in the team’s spring opener.

Wednesday’s intrasquad game will be seven or eight innings and held at Ed Smith Stadium. Brian Matusz and Kevin Gausman will start. That game will not be open to the public.

Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris are the starters in Thursday’s intrasquad. That will be four or five innings and held on the back fields of the Ed Smith Stadium complex. It will be open to the public.

Showalter has picked a date for Ubaldo Jimenez and Suk-min Yoon to pitch, but it won’t be in the immediate future.

NOTES: Nelson Cruz, who reached an agreement on a one-year contract, was taking his physical on Sunday.

-First baseman Chris Marrero has missed the last two days with an oblique strain.

-Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will speak to the team on Monday morning.