SARASOTA, Fla. – Last year, the Orioles had six players who were in 148 or more games. With the arrival of Nelson Cruz, manager Buck Showalter said that may free him up to rest key players more often.
Adam Jones and Nick Markakis played in 160 games. Chris Davis was in 159, J.J. Hardy 158 and Manny Machado 156. Had Machado not been injured in the season’s last week, he may have played in all 162. Matt Wieters was in 148.
Showalter can play Cruz in the outfield or as a DH. He said that Cruz will play left field against left-handed pitchers. David Lough should play against right-handers. He’d like to put Jones and Markakis in the DH rotation and rest them occasionally.
“I want to be able to get some of these guys off the field,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to continue to just assume that they’re going to play 150, 160 games out there. You look at everybody else in baseball. That’s a break from the norm, so you’re stupid if you’re not preparing for life without them now and then.
“They’re not going to like it. Having Nicky and Jonesy in the dugout for nine innings is not a whole lot of fun. I think it’s going to make them better.”
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NOTES: Nolan Reimold is out sick. Showalter said that the outfielder has food poisoning, and he was sent home.
Reimold has missed most of the last two seasons after two neck surgeries.
-Orioles scout Todd Frohwirth, a one-time reliever for the time is in camp to work with fellow sidearmer Darren O’Day.
-Rick Peterson has moved on to minor league camp. Peterson, the team’s director of pitching development, was in major league camp for the first two weeks.
-Adam Jones will miss some camp time due to the impending birth of his first child.
-Henry Urrutia (sore right shoulder) has improved.