Good morning, Camden Chatters.
It’s time to mark another milestone in the run-up to the 2023 Orioles season, as today the O’s will have their first full-squad workout of spring training. Every Birds position player has now reported to camp in Sarasota, joining the pitchers and catchers who reported last week, and it’s one large group — 71 players in all, with 31 non-roster invitees accompanying the members of the 40-man roster.
The crew runs the gamut, from the pivotal players who could form the core of the next great Orioles team, to the randos you’ve never heard of who will never play a game with the O’s, and everyone in between. Today is the first gathering of the full group who will decide the fortunes of the 2023 Orioles season, which begins in 37 days. The Birds have just over five weeks to whittle that list of 71 players down to their Opening Day 26-man roster, though of course plenty of guys who don’t make the team out of camp will end up in an Orioles uniform sometime this year. It’s a long season.
After today’s workout, the next spring milestone to check off the list will be the start of Grapefruit League play. That’s coming up on Saturday, when the Orioles host the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium in a game that (like most this spring, sadly) will not be televised.
Actual baseball activities are happening, folks. Get excited!
Hearing from Hyde at today’s Orioles workout - School of Roch
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde rattled off the latest developments at camp, including the backup first baseman competition, which could include as many as 10 players. He didn’t say 10 good players.
John Angelos’ comments about the Orioles’ payroll left more questions than they answered - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Jon Meoli tries to make sense of John Angelos’ confounding comments on Sunday. Better him than me.
‘Overachieved and overperformed’: CEO John Angelos suggests Orioles’ breakout didn’t justify larger 2023 payroll – Baltimore Sun
A couple of comments during Angelos’ press conference — including his offhand implication that the team might regress this year — left Nathan Ruiz skeptical that ownership will escalate the payroll anytime soon. That would be, to put it lightly, a major bummer.
Orioles’ Santander, Hernandez excited about World Baseball Classic - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I clearly haven’t been studying the Orioles’ non-roster list closely enough, because I had no idea who “Hernandez” was before I read the article.
Daz Cameron looking to prove himself at Orioles camp - MLB.com
I remember when Mike Cameron was an up-and-coming MLB prospect. Now he’s the 50-year-old dad of an O’s outfielder. The lesson, as always: I’m old.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! The only person with a Feb. 21 birthday who ever played for the Orioles was 1970s outfielder Tom Shopay, who turns 78 today. It’s also the birthday of Japanese lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, who signed a two-year contract with the Orioles in 2011, spent two years rehabbing Tommy John surgery, and never made it to the bigs with the Birds before signing with the Cubs. The now 42-year-old Wada was still active in Japanese professional baseball as of last year, posting a 2.78 ERA for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
On this day in 2017, the Orioles acquired lefty Richard Bleier from the Yankees, a seemingly insignificant trade that turned into a nice deal for the Birds. Bleier ended up pitching 143 games in an O’s uniform, posting a tidy 3.15 ERA, before the Orioles traded him to the Marlins in 2020.
And on this day in 2018, in a double whammy of ill-advised signings, the Birds inked both Chris Tillman (to a $3 million deal) and Colby Rasmus (to a minor league contract). Tillman, the Birds’ longtime ace, collapsed to a 10.46 ERA in seven starts after signing that deal, while Rasmus posted a woeful .426 OPS in 18 games before up and retiring midseason.