3/13/2014 2:16 P.M. ET
Bullpen role looking likely for Britton
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- Manager Buck Showalter said there were 16 scouts in attendance for Wednesday's game, as it's no secret the Orioles have a wealth of out-of-option players -- 13 to be exact -- including several pitchers.
One of those pitchers attracting notable interest is lefty Zach Britton, who came into camp competing -- at least on paper -- for a spot in the starting rotation. But Britton has pitched three times in the past week, setting up what looks to be a relief role for the Orioles.
"We're still going to look to get him multiple innings so that if something happens between now and the end of spring, he's an option for us as a starter, also," Showalter said. "So we're still viewing him as a starter at this point, so you're right. It does take on the appearance that [Britton is a reliever] right now. … I think everyone is going to have to start showing their hand here shortly."
Britton has pitched well this spring, allowing one run on five hits and two walks over seven innings. The early spring emphasis has been on improving his command, and the sinkerballer has struck out seven, including two in one inning of work on Wednesday.
"You can look around and see who pretty much the starting five is going to be, barring injury," Britton said. "Obviously, you are still competing for the spot, just in case something does happen, you can fill in. But I want to make sure I'm ready to compete out of the bullpen to begin the season. I don't want to be that guy who they are still unsure of, [thinking] 'How is he going to react if he goes back-to-back days?' or, 'Is he just a long guy, or can we put him in the game and he can handle his own little bit?' So, I think these experiences are helping me so that I'm ready if I am in the bullpen to start the season."
Britton said the biggest adjustment is figuring out a schedule to get ready to pitch more often, and he's leaned on guys like Tommy Hunter -- who was a starter his whole career before last season -- to help him.
"It's a good experience, you learn a lot about your body," said Britton. "About what you need and don't need. And I think that's one thing that I'm taking away that I really like about it."
O's Jones, fiancee welcome baby boy
TAMPA, Fla. -- Adam Jones and his fiancee welcomed a baby boy Wednesday in Baltimore, and manager Buck Showalter said the expectation is that Jones will return to play in Sunday's game.
Showalter wouldn't say exactly when Jones, who left camp on Tuesday, was due to fly back to Florida, but the center fielder wouldn't have played in either of the team's road games on Thursday or Friday anyway.
It is the couple's first child.
Jones, who has played in at least 160 games in each of the last two seasons, has appeared in five spring games. The 28-year-old is 1-for-14.
• Suk-min Yoon, who had his flight from Canada canceled Wednesday, was on his way back to Tampa on Thursday and will make his Orioles spring debut on Saturday.
• Catcher Matt Wieters said his right ankle felt better Thursday and he's still shooting to return to the field for Saturday's home game. Wieters left Tuesday's game early after suffering a minor sprain rounding third base.
• Wei-Yin Chen will start Friday's game, with Chris Tillman on Saturday and Miguel Gonzalez on Sunday. Brian Matusz and Kevin Gausman will pitch Monday's day game in Clearwater, while Ubaldo Jimenez will pitch Monday night. Bud Norris will throw Wednesday, following the off-day, with Chen and Tillman making the two starts after that.
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.