No baseball team is going to win a World Series on the third day of spring training. The Orioles are no exception. They aren't going to lose the World Series on the third day either. Better to look good early on, but if you don't, there's still over a month to get ready.
The early star, such as it is, of spring seems to be Ubaldo Jimenez, who's brought cleaned-up mechanics to the start of camp and has kept them together for a couple of bullpen sessions. Does this matter in and of itself? Well, no, probably not. But it is the start of something that could matter. If he can hold all that together, which is a big if, he'll actually prove to be a useful player this year.
O's beat reporters in Sarasota have made note that Jimenez has been pounding the strike zone in these bullpen sessions. We saw little of that from him last year. Confidence is one of those ephemeral things. It doesn't matter until it matters. Ninety percent of baseball is half-mental, after all. Yogi Berra is a wise man.
If you'd like to scrutinize the mechanics for yourself for a couple of pitches, Baltimore Sun beat writer Eduardo Encina has got you covered:
From time to time, manager Buck Showalter will surprise you with actual news. No, I'm not talking about the fact that Dane De La Rosa is being brought along slowly because he had ACL surgery. You may have never thought about him before and will probably not think of him much again.
On the other hand, Buck announcing that Dylan Bundy would be starting the season at Double-A Bowie and will have "no restrictions on him physically" - that's actual news! How about that? At first glance it's a surprise that Bundy would start "only" at Bowie, but then again, he's only thrown 18.1 innings at that level or higher in his career.
Plus, with Triple-A teams being more retreads than prospects, Bowie might be a better place to be. It's also closer to Baltimore, geographically, for the team to keep tabs on him. He probably won't be in the plans for this year, at least not before September, but hopefully he can set himself up to be a part of next year's Opening Day rotation at the MLB level.
Position players continue to trickle into camp. A couple of today's arrivals were Jimmy Paredes and Alejandro De Aza. There was also one departure: Caleb Joseph headed off to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple's first child on March 1.
After drawing some attention with his bullpen session yesterday, Hunter Harvey was among those taking PFPs (pitchers fielding practice) on Sunday.
No coincidence that Buck has Hunter Harvey in the same group as vets Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day. pic.twitter.com/nYm0S7bNsW— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) February 22, 2015
I would be so bold as to say that you can't put a sabermetric stat on that. That was me being sarcastic just there.
Position players don't have to report until Tuesday for a full squad first workout on Wednesday. Most everybody is there already. Soon there will be games, and a bit longer after that, games that actually count. None of which is going to help anyone in the Baltimore area shovel 7-10 inches of snow from Saturday, but hey, what can ya do?
We close today's roundup with a reminder that you should pay attention at all times at spring training, even if you're a reporter, because you never know when Wayne Kirby will toss a baseball at you:
He looks like he was planning that all day.