SARASOTA, Fla. — Major League Baseball made official new rules to protect catchers from flagrant home-plate collisions. Starting this season, a runner who deviates from a direct path to the plate to initiate contact with a catcher will be called out even if the catcher loses the ball, and runners will be declared safe if the catcher blocks the plate without the ball.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter and a small contingent of Orioles personnel attended a meeting on Sunday in Port Charlotte, Fla., where MLB officials briefed them on both the collision policy and the new expanded replay system.
"The big thing we're trying to eliminate, and I wholeheartedly support it, is the cheap-shot collision where the guy is completely exposed, doesn't have the ball and some guy hunts him," Showalter said. "We've had it happen with Matt (Wieters) a couple times and we were real unhappy about it. I can still remember the players that did it, with no intent to score, had the plate given to him, could have slid and just hit him very maliciously. We're going to get that out of the game."
Though Showalter had expressed concern earlier in camp about the particulars of the new replay system, he seemed satisfied with the program that was outlined at the meeting.
"It's good," he said. "They've done their homework. It's the product of so many hours and so many what-ifs. There's not a what-if that they haven't at least given some real deep thought to. You can tell they've been doing this for awhile."
Matusz to have wart removed
Left-hander Brian Matusz will have a wart removed from his left index finger next week.
Matusz will still pitch one inning as scheduled in Wednesday's intrasquad game and then again on Sunday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. On Monday, Matusz will travel to Philadelphia to have the wart removed and return that night.
Matusz said it does not affect his pitching since it is located on the inside of his finger, but the team decided it would be best to have the wart removed this spring to get it out of the way.
He said he had the same issue three years ago. Showalter estimated he would miss four to five days.
Angelos visits camp
Orioles majority partner Peter Angelos stopped by the Ed Smith complex on Monday for a short visit. He was accompanied by his son, Louis, and club counsel Alan Rifkin, among others, and visited with Showalter, Duquette and Brady Anderson.
Around the horn
Outfielder Quintin Berry was scheduled to have a MRI after tweaking his back while playing catch in the outfield during Monday's workout. Berry said the MRI is being done a precaution. … Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez said he hasn't been told when he's making his spring debut yet, but he said he's slated to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and then live batting practice on Thursday before that will be decided. Despite signing late, Jimenez said he doesn't feel that he's behind because he's thrown pen sessions and played catch every day before joining the club. ... South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon said his first spring appearance will likely be either March 6 or 7. He will also throw a pen session Tuesday and live BP on Thursday. Yoon is also still awaiting his work visa. … Hitting coach Jim Presley missed Monday's workout because he received an epidural for two bulging discs in his neck. Showalter said he expected Presley to be back on Tuesday.
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