3/3/2014 2:15 P.M. ET
Showalter thinks Young can crack roster
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Even with the Nelson Cruz acquisition, can Delmon Young still make the Orioles' roster?
Manager Buck Showalter thinks so.
"He can still make the club," Showalter said after Sunday's game, in which Young had two hits, including a double. "He can still be the DH against left-handed pitching, just like he was before. Nothing's changed there.
"We're still looking for that guy, because Nellie's going to play [in left field] against left-handed pitching, at least."
Young, who also homered in the team's intrasquad game, looked to be a solid candidate to make the club as a non-roster invitee given how well the right-handed hitter does against lefties. But the team's signing of Cruz looked to change things. Was there room for both Young, who owns a .303/.341/.471 line against lefties over his career, and Cruz on the roster? What about Steve Pearce, who can also play first base, and Nolan Reimold? That competition will be monitored all spring, but Young is making a good impression early and Showalter said new Oriole David Lough will be a platoon in left.
"We need to use Nelson's skills to make everybody better," Showalter said. "Right now going in, I don't plan yet on using [Lough] against left-handed pitching. So you'd have a DH spot for a right-handed hitter. He could evolve into that, too, a guy we trust against left-handed pitching. It's also a way to keep everybody involved, too."
The Orioles relied heavily on their regulars last year. They were the first club in the Majors to have seven or more players reach the 140 games played mark last year, and Showalter doesn't want to get into that same rut again in regards to his bench.
"Delmon can hit," Showalter said. "He's probably in as good a shape as he's been in in a long time. You bring in guys who have been around, they know the gig. They're not waiting to get their timing. They come in here with that mentality that every day is a chance to make an impression."
O's complete Minor League deal with Johan
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles officially completed a Minor League deal Tuesday with free-agent pitcher Johan Santana.
Santana threw for numerous clubs -- including the Orioles-- last week and was at the team's Spring Training complex on Monday afternoon according to MLB.com and MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette. Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez also posted a photo with Santana.
Santana is rehabbing back from his second left shoulder surgery and it would be interesting to see -- if he signs- - how the Orioles plan to use him. The lefty is still rehabbing and would be a guy they would likely keep in Florida until he gets back to form.
Santana would be an interesting move for the Orioles, who have a lot of starting pitchers but space for lefties in the bullpen. The O's are down Troy Patton, who is suspended for the first 25 games, and have a host of lefties in camp along with Brian Matusz, who is being stretched out as a starter. Santana has pitched in 360 career games, 284 starts, and is 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 76 relief appearances. His splits aren't that drastic, holding right-handed hitters to a .225/.281/.364 career line and lefties to .240/.293/.394.
'Two minutes with ...' series shifts to Hunter
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The "Two Minutes with ..." series continues with Tommy Hunter, who is one of the most outgoing Orioles. The right-hander is widely thought to be the team's closer this year, although manager Buck Showalter has yet to name anybody to the role.
It should be noted that Hunter did most of Monday morning's interview in a Forrest Gump type of voice and was grateful that this interview didn't include sound.
Favorite food: I like lasagna, homemade with meat in it.
Favorite movie: You know what my favorite movie used to be? "Mr. Holland's Opus." I liked "Patch Adams." I liked "Captain Phillips" and "The Wolf of Wall Street," and "Frozen," the animated movie. I also like "Forrest Gump."
MLB.com: So you don't really have a favorite?
Hunter: Nope. Basically, I don't.
Special talent: I play a lot of basketball.
MLB.com: Were you good?
Hunter: No, I got cut. But I did play in Indiana. My graduating high school had nine of the top 15 picks in 2006.
I used to play judo, everyone knows that. How about this: I used to be able to do the splits like Jean Claude Van Damme. I used to put the two chairs up [and do a split] and do my best impersonation. I don't know if I could still do it though.
If I wasn't a baseball player I'd be ...: Lost. [Laughs.] I don't know, I'd do something in sports, coach, teach high school physical education. I'd be a heck of a PE coach. Remember that person that was in lunch that always oversaw lunch so nobody got in fights? I'd be that guy. He was always cool at my school. Everybody wanted to sit with him, [and] I think they'd want to sit with me.
Favorite offseason place: The woods. Woods that have trees, because there are some woods that don't have trees. Has to have trees.
Prized possession: I like my rings. I like the [American League] Championship ring [from] 2010 [with Texas]. That's a pretty prized possession. I don't think that could ever be matched until we win the World Series. I would like to win a World Series. I would like for this team to win a World Series.
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.