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Friday Bird Droppings: Where Orioles position players are trickling in

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The official report date for position players isn’t until Sunday, but the gang is (almost) all here already.

Philadelphia Phillies v Baltimore Orioles
If you’re headed down to Sarasota this weekend, Austin Hays already beat you there.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate. Anyone have big plans tonight? Stacey and I are going to stay in and order a pizza instead of dealing with the chaos of trying to find a restaurant. It’s our time-honored tradition.

Meanwhile, in Sarasota, Orioles spring training is underway. Pitchers and catchers reported to camp on Tuesday, and position players are scheduled to arrive by Sunday. Many, though, have already made their way through the clubhouse doors at Ed Smith Stadium.

It, of course, should make absolutely no difference which day a player arrives as long as he’s there by the official reporting date. Yet every spring, there are impatient fans who emerge from the woodwork to harrumph and furrow their brow when a player doesn’t arrive super early, as if that player is a slacker and a lollygagger who doesn’t take his job seriously.

Last spring, some fans criticized Chris Davis for being one of the last position players to arrive at camp (although it turned out he actually reported early but then had to go home because he was sick). Critics were outraged that Davis, coming off a historically inept 2018 season, wasn’t the first one to arrive in Sarasota to get his work in.

Does anyone believe for even a moment that it would’ve mattered what day Davis got to camp? That his 2019 campaign would have been any less horrendous if he’d gotten to spring training two or three days earlier? Of course not. And it won’t matter this year, either. So don’t wring your hands or cast aspersions on any player who isn’t there as early as others. They’ll all be in camp by Sunday, and they’ve all got a long, long camp ahead of them.

Links

2020 Top 100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball
FanGraphs unveiled its top 100 prospects list, which actually includes 120 prospects. Yeah, I don’t know. Anyway, there are four Orioles on the list, so huzzah!

Bethesda Native Eve Rosenbaum Connecting All Corners Of Orioles Organization - PressBoxOnline.com
Todd Karpovich interviews the Orioles’ new director of baseball development, who’s now working for the team she rooted for as a kid. Like most of the Birds’ recent front office additions, Rosenbaum seems to have a pretty good idea what she’s talking about. And her previous role with the Astros was such that she almost certainly wasn’t caught up in the sign-stealing stuff.

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: DJ Stewart’s health, Dwight Smith’s plan, John Means’ guidance, the first workout – The Athletic
If you’re wondering whether there’s any big news coming out of Orioles camp, well, day two of workouts focused on whether a fifth-outfielder candidate will be ready for Opening Day. So to answer your question, no, there isn't.

Learning more about LeBlanc in Orioles camp - School of Roch
Newly signed Wade LeBlanc is the token old guy on the Orioles...aaaaaand he’s three years younger than me. WELP.

John Means hopes that 2020 is even better than 2019; Orioles add left-hander Tommy Milone - BaltimoreBaseball.com
You gotta love John Means. The guy has a breakout 2019 and he’s still busting his butt in the offseason to get better. He seems like he’s already stepping up as a leader and a role model for young pitchers, which is pretty impressive for a guy with only 32 major league games under his belt.

Hays feels strong entering O's camp - Orioles.com
I'm trying to temper my expectations as to what to expect from Austin Hays this season. But it's hard not to be excited by how he performed last September. Just stay healthy, bud.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Nobody with a Feb. 14 birthday has ever played an official game for the Orioles, but outfield prospect Ryan McKenna hopes to change that soon. McKenna, who was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, turns 23 today.