SARASOTA, Fla. -- Some pretty interesting stuff going on today at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
-- Orioles minor leaguers SS Manny Machado and 2B Jonathan Schoop, the organization’s top two position-player prospects, worked out with the major league team today. Machado and Schoop both participated in fielding drills, holding their own in the day’s rundown practice, and took batting practice. Both will play in the team's intrasquad games Friday and Saturday.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter really wanted to bring Machado and Schoop into big league camp to start off with but also wanted to reward outfielder L.J. Hoes and Xavier Avery for their 2011 seasons. It also made sense to bring Hoes and Avery to camp because the club was short on outfielders.
-- Hitters got their first hacks at top prospect Dylan Bundy. It was the 2011 first-round pick's second session of live batting practice, but it was the first time batters were allowed to swing. He faced Chris Davis, Robert Andino,Wilson Betemit and Endy Chavez. After stepping in against Bundy for the first time, Davis was wowed.
“Since when do high school kids have five pitches?” Davis asked. “When I was in high school, I only had two.” Bundy’s compact motion makes his pitches hard to read, and he threw a mix of four-seamers, cutters, changeups and curveballs. His delivery looks effortless.
-- It appears that Orioles 2B Brian Roberts is continuing to make progress. He hit some light live batting practice in the indoor cages today.
-- Showalter said it was a big progress day for RF Nick Markakis (abdomen surgery). Showalter said the strength is starting to come back in his swing.
-- Showalter announced that right-handers Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel will start Friday's intrasquad game. Each will likely pitch one inning.
-- Luis Ayala and Armando Galarraga are slated to start Saturday's intrasquad game. There's a possibility that Wei-Yin Chen starts that game, likely for Ayala.
-- Showalter also completed the pitching schedule for the first week of Grapefruit League games. He announced yesterday that Alfredo Simon (day game at Rays) and Brian Matusz (night home game vs. Pirates) will start Monday's Grapefruit League opener split-squad doubleheader.
Tuesday at Red Sox: Tommy Hunter and Dana Eveland
Wednesday vs. Twins: Wei-Yin Chen and Chris Tillman
Thursday vs. Braves: Jason Hammel and Armando Galarraga
Friday at Rays: Jake Arrieta and the bullpen
Saturday at Phillies: Simon and Matusz
In this games, each pitcher will likely go two innings each.
-- Orioles LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (left elbow discomfort) is progressing and could play light catch by tomorrow.
-- Orioles LHP Zach Britton (left shoulder inflammation) participated in the rundown drills, another sign he's adjusting into a normal routine after his throwing progression.
-- Among the pitchers throwing bullpen sessions: Bundy, Chen, Matusz, Pat Neshek, Galarraga, Jon Link, Tillman, Oliver Drake and Steve Johnson.
-- Nonroster invitee Oscar Villarreal was not in camp today. He was dealing with some immigration paperwork, Showalter said.