BRADENTON, Fla. — There were 59 players in camp Sunday night. This morning, six moved out in the first wave of cuts. RHP Jameson Taillon, the second overall draft pick in 2010, was reassigned to minor league camp. He made two Grapefruit League outings and might have gotten one more, if not for a blister on a finger on his pitching hand. Taillon will start the season with Triple-A Indianapolis, but most likely will be on the mound at PNC Park sometime before the summer is over. “It’s never fun (to be cut), but I’ve got to go down and get innings,” Taillon said. “It was fun to get some innings here. But, the reality of it is I’ve got to get built up and there’s not enough innings to go around.”
INF Matt Hague and C Carlos Paulino also were reassigned to minor league camp. RHP Casey Sadler was optioned to Indy. INF Alen Hanson andLHP Joely Rodriguez were optioned to Double-A Altoona. “The pitchers who we project to be starters in the minor leagues are the ones who go out the quickest,” GM Neal Huntington said. “We need to get them stretched out, as well as get our own guys stretched out. Casey, Jameson and Joely didn’t do anything wrong; we’re just excited about their futures as starters. We need to get them in position to be able to throw 90-100 pitches when their seasons start.”
Bench coach Jeff Banister played the role of The Turk this morning, tapping players on the shoulder to call them into manager Clint Hurdle’s office to be reassigned. Banister wore a t-shirt that read, “Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever give up.” He wears that shirt often, but its message was especially poignant on a day like today.
Orioles (8-2) @ Pirates (7-4-1), 1:05 p.m., McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.
Radio: 93.7 FM Weather: Sunny, 76 degrees
Orioles: 1. Jemile Weeks 2B, 2. Quintin Berry CF, 3. Delmon Young RF, 4. Steve Clevenger C, 5. Steve Pearce 1B, 6. Henry Urrutia LF, 7. Alex Gonzalez SS, 8. Xavier Paul DH, 9. Michael Almanzar SS. RHP Chris Tillman
Pirates: 1. Michael Martinez 2B, 2. Russell Martin C, 3. Andrew McCutchen CF, 4. Chris Dickerson LF, 5. Travis Snider RF, 6. Travis Ishikawa 1B, 7. Josh Harrison 3B, 8. Chris McGuiness DH, 9. Clint Barmes SS. Jay Jackson RHP
Other pitchers: Scheduled: Bryan Morris, Daniel Schlereth, Justin Wilson, Andy Oliver and Duke Welker.
Update 9:43 a.m. Tuesday is the first of two scheduled off days for the Pirates, so there won’t be a morning briefing. Tuesday also is when I fly back to Pittsburgh for a few days off, so I can get reacquainted with my wife, kids and snow shovel. Travis Sawchik will be in the driver’s seat here in sunny Florida for the next week or so.
– Rob Biertempfel