Good morning, Birdland!
All of the players showed up and worked out for the first time in Sarasota on Tuesday. That’s exciting! The beat reporters were sharing videos and notes of the action on Twitter. Some of the highlights were a left-on-left home run from Cedric Mullins against newbie Cole Irvin, Cade Povich looking nasty, and Kyle Gibson striking out Adley Rutschman.
Given that the Orioles are playing against themselves, these results bring with them a mix of emotions. Someone succeeding means that someone else that’s important to the club failed. But it’s February, so I’m not going to start worrying about things like the possibility that the Irvin deal was actually an unmitigated disaster just because he got knocked around by a guy that slugged .313 against lefties last season. Nope! Not going to be doing that at all!
Anyway! We still have a few more days before the Orioles play their first game of the Grapefruit League schedule against the Twins on Saturday. Until then, we likely have many more of these simulated game situations to come.
There is intrigue with all of the arms in camp, but obviously I’m looking forward to seeing more of Grayson Rodriguez, Kyle Bradish, and Dean Kremer. The Orioles will likely be counting on all three of them for big, important innings this season.
On the hitting side, I need a few Gunnar Henderson homers in my life, and I’m also interested to see if Kyle Stowers has switched anything up this winter. His spot on the roster is not exactly guaranteed, and his playing time was sporadic last season. My expectation is that he plays a bunch of right field with Anthony Santander moving into more of a full-time DH role, but who knows.
Notes on Orioles first full-squad workout, Holliday, Bautista and more | Roch Kubatko
All sorts of good tidbits in here. I’m happy to hear Cedric Mullins is starting spring well. It’s only simulated game situations, but it’s still positive. His in-game numbers last spring weren’t good, and then he started the regular season a tad slow, so perhaps this is an indication of things to come.
Diaz hopes his wild offseason leads to an Orioles job | Baltimore Baseball
You have to feel for Lewin Díaz given the number of times he was moved around this offseason. That had to be an exhausting roller coaster of emotions. Ultimately, I think he settles in at Norfolk for most of this season, serving as an insurance policy if injuries pop up at first base. It’s just tough to see a scenario in which the Orioles hold onto a player with career 55 OPS+ and zero positional versatility.
At just 19, Holliday’s camp presence ‘not the norm’ | Orioles.com
I remain optimistic that Jackson Holliday will be on the Orioles’ major league roster by sometime in 2024. Obviously, the organization needs to let his performance dictate how quickly he ascends up the minor league ladder, but inviting him to the big league portion of spring training is an indication of how advanced they feel he already is.
CEO John Angelos wants the Orioles to be ‘the next Tampa.’ What happened to the next Houston? | The Baltimore Sun
Look, there are things about Tampa’s organization that are worthy of emulating. They seem great at developing pitchers, and they often get the most out the talent at their disposal. But they also tend to have a roster of no names that not even their home fans care to watch. I’m not terribly interested in copying their entire baseball operations process.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Brian Duensing turns 40. The left-handed reliever appeared in 14 games for the 2016 Orioles.
- Kelly Johnson is 41. The utilityman made his way into 19 games for the 2014 Birds.
- Ramón Nivar is 43 years old. His time in Baltimore lasted just seven games in 2005.
- John Halama celebrates his 51st birthday. The southpaw wrapped up his nine-year MLB career with a 17-game stint on the 2006 O’s.
- The late Steve Barber (b. 1938, d. 2007) was born on this day. Born and raised in Montgomery County, Barber spent eights seasons with the nearby Orioles from 1960 through ‘67. He made two all-star teams and earned down-ballot MVP votes on two occasions as a crucial part of the O’s pitching staff.
- A posthumous celebration for Ryne Duren (b. 1929, d. 2011). He began his decade-long career in MLB with two innings for the 1954 Orioles, his only appearance for the team.
This day in history
2014 - Nelson Cruz signs a one-year, $8 million deal with the Orioles, perhaps the best-value deal of the entire offseason.