It is time to see Baltimore Orioles hitters and pitchers get some game type action as intrasquad games are scheduled for today and tomorrow. In other news, Conor Jackson and Luis Martinez become first Orioles to land on injury report this spring.
First, let's get to the fun part and that of course is some live game type action as the Orioles are scheduled to play two three inning intrasquad games today on the back fields of their Spring Training complex. On field number three, Mike Wright, Steve Johnson and Zach Clark will each pitch an inning against a team with Dylan Bundy, T.J. McFarland and Todd Redmond each throwing an inning. On field number four, Adam Russell, Tommy Hunter and Zach Britton will each pitch an inning against a team with Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Jair Jurrjens each throwing an inning. It will be an interesting day as a few of these pitchers are battling for spots on the 25-man opening day roster, either for a bullpen or starting rotation spot in McFarland, Redmond, Arrieta, Matusz, Jurrjens, Johnson and Britton.
Today's intrasquad games will begin at 10:15 am and manager Buck Showalter will get to fill out four lineups for the games, and in order to do so they are calling up several players to fill spots: OF Glynn Davis, OF Brenden Webb, OF Johnny Ruettiger, INF Buck Britton, INF Adrian Marin, and INF Ty Kelly.
In other news, both Conor Jackson and Luis Martinez showed up on the injury report yesterday. Jackson, who is battling for a roster spot either at first base or the outfield injured his lower back fielding ground balls at first base. When asked about the injury, Jackson stated:
"It was just a little back issue. Nothing crazy," said Jackson, "With three days left before games start, just want to be careful about it. Kind of what the trainers preach from day one. If you've got something, you don't want to let it linger. I don't think it will linger. I hadn't taken ground balls in a while, so it was kind of a new body movement for me, I guess. I don't think it's going to be a stupid-long period of time."
Although it is not considered a serious injury by any stretch of the imagination, it is a little troubling to me that he said he had not fielded ground balls in a while, when he knew coming into Spring Training that he would be competing for a spot on the team either at first base or the outfield, so the question is, why wasn't he fielding ground balls in the offseason knowing he had a shot to contribute at first base?
Martinez strained his left oblique during batting practice, but is hoping to play in one of the intrasquad games today and is just being safe and taking care of his oblique rather than letting it linger.
It is getting closer to the start of exhibition games, which will begin on Saturday, and the start of the season is just around the corner!
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