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Monday Bird Droppings: Get hyped for the minicamp

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The Orioles are having pre-spring training training, they have a new coach, and more in today’s Bird Droppings.

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles
Happy birthday, Stevie!
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! I hope you were able to have a nice weekend and are refreshed and ready to face the work week. Is it even possible to feel refreshed these days? It doesn’t really seem like it.

We’re now just 81 days from Opening Day for the 2021 Orioles. That’s just half of a regular baseball season! We can make that, easy. That’s, of course, if the season starts on time. The Orioles are operating as though it will, as you would expect. Starting today they are holding a three-day minicamp in Sarasota as we inch closer to the start of spring training.

Per Roch Kubatko’s post in the above link, this will truly be a minicamp. The players are all outfielders who we might expect to see this season: Ryan McKenna, Yusniel Diaz, Stevie Wilkerson, Ryan Mountcastle, and DJ Stewart. This will be a good chance for all of them to make a good early impression! Not that Mountcastle needs to impress anyone (but he could certainly use the work in the outfield).

I don’t know that we’ll hear anything especially interesting out of the minicamp, but it’s the only news out there right now.

Mickey Jannis thinks he can be the next Orioles' knuckleballer - BaltimoreBaseball.com
He's 33 years old and was drafted in the 44th round of the 2010 draft, now he's signed with the Orioles. Now, wouldn't THAT be a story?

New Orioles third base coach Tony Mansolino ‘jumped all over’ first full-time major league gig - Baltimore Sun
Never heard of him? That's ok. You'll be cursing his name when he makes a bad send at third base in no time.

Inbox: What to expect from young O's in '21 - MLB.com
The Birdland faithful have questions about young Orioles and prospects. Joe Trezza has answers.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, including Stevie Wilkerson! Dr. Poo Poo, who turns 29 today, hasn’t found a ton of success on the field. But he’s certainly been a part of some memorable on field moments. From being the first position player to record a save to making insane catches on the last day of the season, Wilkerson is very easy to root for.

After missing the entire 2020 season due to injury, Wilkerson signed a minor league deal with the Orioles so we might see him on the field in 2021.

Wilkerson has played a total of 113 games for the Orioles, which makes him the grizzled veteran of today’s birthday buddies. Greg Aquino (43) pitched in nine games for the 2008 Orioles; Carl Powis (b. 1928, d. 1999) played in 15 games for the 1957 team; and Neil Berry (b. 1922, d. 2016), was in a five games with the inaugural 1954 Birds.

On this day in 2002, the Orioles announce that they’ll be moving the outfield fences at Camden Yards back to their original distances after moving them back in 2001. They say the reason is because it messed with the batters eye, not because the 2001 Orioles barely hit any dingers. It’s weird because I know this happened, but I have no memory of it. I guess I had better things to do in 2001 than pay attention to fence distances.