2/23/2014 10:12 P.M. ET
Tillman, Britton to pitch in Spring Training opener
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles will have Chris Tillman and Zach Britton throw two innings each in Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Rays, with Miguel Gonzalez tentatively slated to pitch on Saturday.
The O's have it all mapped out beyond that, but manager Buck Showalter wanted to make sure Gonzalez, who had some back spasms early in camp, is on track before making the rest of the schedule public.
Gonzalez will throw live batting practice on Monday and, assuming he has no setbacks, will start against the Blue Jays for the Orioles' home opener at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday.
Brian Matusz and Kevin Gausman will both throw an inning in Wednesday's intrasquad game, which is not open to the public and will be played on the main field at Ed Smith Stadium. Thursday's game will only be four or five innings and will be on the back fields, so fans can watch. That game will be started by Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen, who will both go an inning.
Ubaldo Jimenez and Suk-min Yoon have not been scheduled for a Spring Training game just yet and they will throw live batting practice in the next few days, according to Showalter.
Cruz arrives in Florida, undergoes physical
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nelson Cruz was undergoing his physical on Sunday morning, and the Orioles are expected to officially announce the signing on Monday, with a news conference likely on Tuesday.
Cruz, who flew in from the Dominican Republic on Saturday, agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with Baltimore after rejecting Texas' one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer earlier this winter (the Orioles will lose a Draft pick, their 55th overall, in signing him). The right-handed hitter has hit at least 22 homers in each of the past five seasons and adds another power threat to an already deep Baltimore lineup.
Cruz, who was the third acquisition in the past week for the Orioles, was suspended 50 games last year as a result of MLB's Biogenesis investigation. Over 109 games before the suspension, Cruz hit .266 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs for the Rangers.
The addition of Cruz to the O's roster will require a corresponding 40-man roster move.
Bundy making progress, being careful
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The toughest thing for Dylan Bundy, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is holding himself back as he continues to make progress for the Orioles during Spring Training.
Bundy, 21, worked up to throw at 150 feet again on Sunday, with the only difference being that he moved in to 90 and 60 feet to throw a little more. The right-hander threw to vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson with assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel watching and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and trainer Chris Correnti coming over toward the end.
"I want to throw harder, but I know I'm not supposed to," said Bundy, who was popping the mitt pretty good when he got closer to Anderson. "They say right now it's a touchy stage because people feel really good about their arm and they throw harder, but if they keep at 75 percent, they should be fine."
Bundy will throw at 150 feet at least one more time, and the next step is 180. The Orioles hope Bundy, their top pitching prospect, can be a factor for them in June.
'Two Minutes with ...' focuses on Gonzalez
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Up next in the daily "Two Minutes with…" series is Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez, signed out of the Mexican Winter League in the spring of 2012, is one of the O's biggest success stories on the international front under executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
Gonzalez went 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA in 30 games (28 starts) for Baltimore last season and is expected to be part of the team's rotation in 2014.
Favorite food: Mexican. Chilaquiles. It's a breakfast thing. We fry the tortilla and put a red sauce on top and cheese, a little bit of onions and that's what you eat with Frijoles, which are beans in Spanish. I love that plate. It's really good. We make it at home, it's real simple.
Favorite movie: Dumb and Dumber.
Hidden talent: Mariachi singing. Ever since I was two or three, I would listen to my dad sing. I think I got it from him. It's fun signing. It relaxes me and takes me to another level.
[Gonzalez sang last year at the team talent show in Spring Training and teammates and reporters have been prodding him about singing before a game.]
It could happen. I'm actually looking forward to that. It's a probability.
If I wasn't a baseball player, I'd be: A cowboy. No, let's take that back. [Laughs.]. I like horseback riding, that's my thing. Like, rodeo. I would probably be doing that.
Favorite offseason place: I like Vegas. There's a lot to do, for kids, older people, and I just like to go out there and have fun. I also really like going to Mexico, because I have family down there and I love to be in the ranch and the farms and stuff. That's my kind of stuff, too.
Prized possession: My jewelry would be the first thing I would grab [in a fire]. There's a necklace that's really important and touching to me, my grandma gave it to me. It's good memories.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.