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Weekend Bird Droppings: Summer training is underway at Camden Yards

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It’s a holiday weekend, and the Birds are back to baseball!

Baltimore Orioles Summer Workouts Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

It is only Saturday, but this holiday weekend is already off to a solid start. The Orioles are back to baseball. Hamilton is on Disney+. And there is going to be plenty of potato salad and burgers to snack on for days. But you probably aren’t here for those last two things, so we will focus on the baseball.

The Orioles summer training roster now stands at 45 with pitcher Evan Phillips joining up on Friday after not being named to the initial list last week. Also of note is the health of D.J. Stewart, who was recovering from right ankle surgery. He is said to be at 100 percent and is ready to compete with Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith Jr. for innings in the Orioles outfield.

On the coronavirus front, it was revealed that no Orioles players or coaches have opted out of the season yet. That came with the news that MLB had so far conducted 3,185 tests with just 38 (1.2 percent) coming back positive. Recent data from Johns Hopkins University revealed that the positive test rate in the United States is about 7.5 percent, so MLB is doing quite well in that regard.

Links

O’s embrace changes during ‘pretty weird’ times - Orioles.com
It has been nice to see the Orioles publicly embrace all of the safety precautions being made for the 2020 season. Even last week, they posted photos of the masked, socially distant signing of several of their draft picks. These are “pretty weird” times, but we likely only get through it by being careful and protecting one another.

O’s first workout typical on the field, physically distanced everywhere else - Baltimore Sun
OK, I will admit that I got unreasonably excited to see new photos of the Orioles working out in an empty stadium. Why? Well, it gives the writing staff here at Camden Chat some new choices for images at the top of each article. No longer do I have to see Rob Manfred standing at the podium on draft night as I craft another baseblog! Instead, I get to see guys in shorts. I’ll take it!

Ryan Mountcastle had a big 2019, but is his time coming now? - Steve Melewski
The fact that Ryan Mountcastle was not part of the initial summer training roster seems like a decent indication that he will not be starting this season with the big league O’s. But he will be added eventually, and he could make his debut late in the summer. I don’t personally think it is a big deal either way, but I am quite interested in seeing Mountcastle’s bat at highest level. I am not as interested in his glove or arm.

More from the first day of summer training camp - School of Roch
Quotes, baby! All the quotes you can handle, and then even more quotes than that!

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

  • The late Babe Birrer (d. 2013) was born on the fourth of July in 1929. The pitcher appeared in four games for the 1956 Orioles.
  • Current Orioles centerfielder Austin Hays turns 25 this weekend. The former 3rd round pick was the first member of the 2016 draft to make it to the major leagues. In just 41 MLB games so far, Hays has hit .266/.312/.453 but is poised for a much bigger role in 2020.
  • Short-time big leaguer Jay Spurgeon turns 44. The right-handed pitcher tossed 24 innings in seven appearances for the 2000 O’s.
  • It is the 45th birthday of southpaw Alberto Castillo. He played part in three seasons from 2008 through 2010, when he compiled a 4.81 ERA over 48.2 total innings.
  • Journeyman hurler Tim Worrell is 53. He spent 14 seasons in the majors across nine organizations, but played in only five games for the Orioles, all of which came during the 2000 season.
  • It is a posthumous celebration for Curt Blefary (b. 1943, d. 2001). The former outfielder, first baseman and catcher was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1965 and spent four total seasons with the Orioles from ‘65 through ‘68.
  • Finally, it is the birthday of the late Arnie Portocarrero (b. 1931, d. 1986). The pitcher was an Oriole from 1958 through 1960, when he appeared in 72 total games and posted a 4.35 ERA.

This day in history

1930 - The Baltimore Black Sox and the New York Lincoln Giants split a double-header, marking the first time two Negro League clubs played at Yankee Stadium.

1932 - Orioles slugger Buzz Arlett hits four home runs in a game for the second time in five weeks. He would go on to lead the International League with 49 home runs on the year.

1944 - Oriole Park V, also known as Terrapin Park, burns down. This causes the minor league Orioles to move to Venable Stadium on 33rd Street in Baltimore. About a decade later, when the St. Louis Browns franchise moved to town, Venable was renamed Memorial Stadium.