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News and Notes Out of Baltimore Orioles Mini-camp Day 2; Two Signed to Minor League Deals

January 15th, 2014 at 7:26 AM
By Josh Michael

'T.J. McFarland' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Plenty of news continued to come out of Sarasota on Tuesday as the Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of their four day mini-camp. Baltimore signed two players to Minor League deals on Tuesday, while T.J. McFarland gets knee checked out as a precaution and Jack Cust awaiting Orioles decision.

The Orioles announced on Tuesday that they signed RHP Luis Vizcaino and infielder Brock Bond to Minor League deals, which do not include invites to Spring Training, thus are simply minor league depth moves.

These signings are nothing to warrant a bottom line, breaking news scroll on any sports network, but do add some depth to the minors and with Vizcaino, he adds some closer depth incase the Orioles can find lightning in a bottle. Vizcaino, who is a whopping 39 years old, pitched in Mexico last year, and posted a 1.40 ERA with 25 saves with Yucatan. He hasn't been in the big leagues since 2009 with the Indians. He has a career mark of 35-30 with a 4.33 ERA in 11 seasons and 543 games.

Bond, who is 28 years old, is just the latest San Francisco Giants Minor League free agent to sign with the Orioles. He is a switch hitter with a career .300/.398/.377 line in seven minor league seasons with the Giants, and can play shortstop, second base, third base and left field. Bond has never cracked a big league roster, and took a big step back in 2013 as he was dropped down to High A and hit just .240 in 92 games.

McFarland, who is likely to begin the season as a starting pitcher with the AAA Norfolk Tides, got his knee checked out yesterday by Orioles doctors just "as a precaution" reports MASN's Roch Kubatko. He reported that McFarland tweaked his knee about three weeks ago while working out.

Cust worked out for the Orioles yesterday as he hit in the batting cage, shagged some flyballs, and fielder some grounders. It appears that the odds of Baltimore extending him a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training is slim since the team already has 12 outfielders scheduled to be at Spring Training and the at bats may not be there to give him a fair look.

Kubatko quoted Manager Buck Showalter,

"I want to be sure I have the numbers to give guys a look," said manager Buck Showalter. "He asked to come in and work out. I know Jack. He's a professional hitter. He's got a long track record. You've got an idea what you're going to get. You compare it to what you have and what you may potentially have. We'll know in the next few days." 

The mini-camp is already half over, but boy it sure is nice to have some actual baseball activities to report on and Spring Training is less than a month away, who is getting excited?


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Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Brock Bond, Buck Showalter, Jack Cust, Luis Vizcaino, MLB, T.J. McFarland

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