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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where spring optimism abounds

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The full Orioles squad has assembled at spring training, and everyone’s feeling good. Hey, that’s better than the alternative.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Workouts Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If you’re a glass-half-full kind of baseball fan, you must really love this time of year. The full rosters for all 30 clubs have reported to spring training, workouts have begun, and everybody is upbeat. Every player is confident they’re on the way to having a great year; everyone rehabbing from an injury is back to feeling 100 percent. Hope and optimism are running rampant. It seems like anything is possible for the 2019 season.

Even the defending worst team in the majors, the Orioles, are no exception. Their first full-squad workout in Sarasota yesterday received universally high marks from players and coaches alike. Everyone’s having a good time! Everyone’s pumped for the season!

Case in point — here’s a sampling of quotes from the Orioles yesterday:

Brandon Hyde: “I see a lot of energy. I like how the guys moved around today. There was a hop in everybody’s step.” (courtesy of Rich Dubroff)

Nate Karns: “I’m pretty happy with how everything was able to be accomplished out there.” (Roch Kubatko)

Hunter Harvey: “I felt great. My body feels good, my arm feels good.” (Kubatko)

See what I mean? Nobody shows up at spring training and starts saying, “Ugh, I feel awful. This year is going to suck.” (At least not publicly.) There’s no room in camp for Debbie Downers.

I mean, the Orioles are still going to be bad. Real bad. But hope springs eternal, and you can’t help but get a little caught up in the excitement.

Links

Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle works out at first base, his third position in three years - Baltimore Sun
In perhaps the biggest news to come out of camp so far, it seems the new O’s regime has accepted a fact that the old one didn’t want to: Ryan Mountcastle isn’t cut out for the left side of the infield. Perhaps first base will finally be the position that gets him to the majors.

Orioles players to watch in Spring Training - Orioles.com
Kudos to Joe Trezza for coming up with 12 players who are even worth mentioning on this threadbare O’s roster.

Some middle infield and Adley Rutschman talk - Steve Melewski
Adley Rutschman, a leading candidate to be the Orioles’ No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, is off to a blistering hot start for Oregon State. I have a feeling I’m going to be paying more attention to college and high school baseball this year than I ever have before.

Q&A with Alex Cobb: ‘I’m not going to be bitter. I’m not going to be upset I’m in the position I am, because I’m extremely thankful for it.’ – The Athletic
Dan Connolly interviews Alex Cobb, who has exactly the right attitude about being a veteran on a rebuilding team. I like having Cobb on the Orioles, but I’d like to see him get traded so he gets a chance to play for a contender again.

Baltimore Orioles: Will the O’s use a traditional closer in 2019? - Birds Watcher
Cue the jokes. “Uh, don’t you actually have to win games to need a closer?”

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Sadly, there are no present or former Orioles players with a birthday today. The best I can offer you is Aberdeen Ironbirds catcher Luke Ringhofer, who turns 23 today. But the former 22nd-round pick with a career .192 average and .569 OPS is, let’s say, a long shot to ever make the majors.

On this day two years ago, the O’s acquired the legendary Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers. Nuno made the Opening Day roster and then posted a whopping 10.43 ERA in 12 games for the Orioles. He’s currently a non-roster invitee with the Nationals after having a solid year for the Rays in 2018.