What’s happening? – The Orioles pitchers and catchers take the field for their first workout of the spring this morning. There are 31 pitchers and six catchers expected.
Tuesday’s reporting day featured many of the pitchers and just two catchers, Austin Wynns and minor leaguer Martin Cervenka, in the clubhouse when it was open to the media.
Manager Brandon Hyde sounds eager to get started, and is enjoying the bonding process with his players.
“We’ve met with a handful of guys so far,” Hyde said. “These individual meetings are wonderful in the fact that you get one-on-one times, talking a little bit about themselves, talking about their goals, tell them how we feel about them at this point, talk about the things they’re working on in spring training. Those one-on-one meetings are unbelievably valuable.”
What’s happened?—Mike Elias, who has never been a major league general manager before, likes what he’s seen from Hyde, who has worked under Cubs manager Joe Maddon for the past four years.
“I think he’s more than ready for it,” Elias said. “He’s not coming from obscurity. He’s been the bench coach in Chicago and running their camps really with a veteran manager who put a lot on Brandon’s plate, so he knows the ropes when it comes to spring training. For him, it’s just more about learning players, learning the habits of his coaching staff, learning the front office, things like that. We’re all getting to know each other a little bit, but in terms of the material new to a manager in spring training, he’s all over that.”
The Orioles added a veteran to their outfield mix when they signed 33-year-old Eric Young Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp.
Young has a lifetime batting average of .245 in 10 major league seasons. He’s played with Colorado, Atlanta, both New York teams and for the past two seasons, the Los Angeles Angels.
He led the National League with 46 stolen bases in 2013.
What’s up with? – Christopher Bostick. The 25-year-old utility man represents the annual local guy trying to make the team. A year ago, outfielder Alex Presley, who lives in nearby Lakewood Ranch, tried to catch on with the team. This year, Bostick, who moved to Bradenton last year, gets to drive to work each day.
Bostick, who was born in Rochester, N.Y., was drafted in 2011 by Oakland and has been in five organizations before joining the Orioles as a minor league free agent.
He hit .256 in 35 games with Pittsburgh and Miami the past two seasons.
“You’re lucky to be in a position where you have a job,” Bostick said. “My wife is from Charles Town, W. Va. We actually got married in Baltimore, so I’m pretty familiar with the area. I thought it was a good fit.”
Bostick can play the infield and outfield.
“Some teams, it seems like you walk in the clubhouse and every spot is filled,” Bostick said. “Some teams, you walk in, and you don’t know if there are spots filled. Regardless of whether there are spots…things always happen. You never know what’s going to happen.”
What’s what? –Ever since the Orioles moved to Sarasota in 2010, Adam Jones occupied the corner locker, the one farthest from the entrance to the clubhouse.
This year, it’s Trey Mancini’s. Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis have two other end lockers. Davis has had that locker for years; Trumbo inherited his from Manny Machado.
What’s the word? – Elias on whether Mancini and Dylan Bundy can be considered veteran leaders. “It’s part of what happens when you have a young team like this. I think that Trey, in particular, sounds like he’s sort of excited about it. He’s been here. He’s had success already at the major league level, even though he’s young. It’s just a part of your career growing. I haven’t had the conversation with Dylan Bundy about it yet, but everything that I’ve heard about him is he’s a confident guy, and he’s eager to embrace that mantel, too. Sometimes in your career you get thrust into that position of leadership a little bit earlier than you expect, and it ultimately helps you grow.”
What’s the number? 60. With the addition of Young, the Orioles have 60 players in camp, and that number could grow to 61 if infielder Jack Reinheimer clears waivers.