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Monday Bird Droppings: It’s full squad workout day

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Spring training is in full swing and games are soon to follow.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! Spring training is in full swing. Position players joined the pitchers and catchers yesterday and today is the first full squad workout. After a week of workouts, the Orioles will suit up for their first spring game on Sunday, Feb 28th against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That’s soon!

Usually by this time I’m counting down to the first O’s spring training game that will be televised, but if there will be any this year I can’t find a report of it. MASN made big cuts this year and so far, spring training games seem to be a casualty of that. According to the schedule at Orioles.com, though, there will be a number of games broadcast on 105.7 The Fan, starting with the game on Tuesday, March 2nd vs. the Yankees.

With the press having limited access to the players this spring, most of the media we’ve seen out of spring training so far has been from the Orioles directly. And though we know that that Orioles won’t be good this year, the pictures of green grass, blue sky, and orange uniforms are very refreshing. The best Tweet I saw this weekend from the Orioles was regarding pitcher Dusten Knight.

If you’re not sure who Dusten Knight is, that’s ok. He was a minor league signing who I don’t expect will see the big league team this year. But look, he does back flips!

And not only does he do back flips randomly at spring training, he does them in games after he records a save! Spring training is fun when you don’t have to think about how many games the team is going to lose.

Links

How the data-driven Orioles and a New Jersey pitching facility led Matt Harvey to Baltimore - Baltimore Sun
These are not your older sister's Orioles.

Paul Fry on improved strikeout rate and a look at camp so far - Steve Melewski
Paul Fry is one of the bullpen veterans. He talked to media about his success last year and when asked a question about Tanner Scott, he adorably started with "Tanner is my best friend."

Orioles' Hyde is eager to see his new infielders, says Mancini looks 'really good' - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff's daily spring training update includes Brandon Hyde's early impression of Trey Mancini, thoughts on new Oriole Jahmai Jones, and some quotes from Chris Holt on César Valdez.

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have six Oriole birthday buddies, including pitcher Steve Barber (b. 1938, d. 2007). Barber began his big league career with the Orioles in 1960 and pitched for them until midway through the 1967 season, when he was traded to the Yankees. Barber pitched in 253 games for the Orioles with a 3.12 ERA and was named to two All-Star teams as an Oriole. Earlier in this off season, he was named the 33rd best Oriole of all time by the Camden Chat staff.

Also born on this day in history are Brian Duensing (38), who appeared in 14 games for the 2016 Orioles; Kelly Johnson (39), whose claim to fame is appearing on all five A.L. East teams; Ramon Nivar (41), whose three year MLB career includes seven games with the 2005 Orioles; John Halama (49), whose journeyman career ended with 17 games with the O’s in 2006; and finally Ryne Duren (b. 1929, d. 2011), who made one two-inning appearance for the inaugural 1954 team.

On this day in 2014, the Orioles signed OF/DH Nelson Cruz to a one-year contract. Cruz led the league in home runs (40) that year and was an important part of the division-winning team.

Conventional knowledge said Cruz was too old after the 2014 season (34) to commit to a long-term contract, but in the six seasons since then Cruz has hit 220 home runs and put up an OPS+ of 152. Cruz signed a one-year contract with the Twins this year and will turn 41 years old on July 1st. Is this the year he finally slows down?

Another question: Is Nelson Cruz the best one-year Oriole of all time?