SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? – After a cool and windy first workout, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde is looking forward to a longer, more complete second day of spring training.
Because rain made the fields too wet for fielding drills, Hyde hopes to hold them today. He also wants the remaining 16 of the 31 pitchers to throw a bullpen session.
Alex Cobb was the biggest name who didn’t throw Tuesday, and he should be joined by Mychal Givens.
They’ll be watched not only by a new coaching staff but their work will be recorded by cameras that will help evaluate their work in greater detail. Hyde says there are more to come.
Because Jesus Sucre is detained in Venezuela because of visa issues, the Orioles are bringing in longtime minor league catcher Cael Brockmeyer, who Hyde is familiar with from his time with the Chicago Cubs.
More position players should be trickling in. Nearly all should report by the time they’re required to on Sunday.
What’s happened?—Trey Mancini was spotted in the clubhouse, joining Mark Trumbo as the biggest names to report. Rule 5 draft choices Richie Martin and Drew Jackson are here, as is rookie outfielder Ryan McKenna.
Fifteen of the 31 pitchers in camp threw bullpen sessions. Because Sucre wasn’t available, five pitchers at a time could throw bullpen sessions instead of six.
Rain delayed the start of the workout by an hour, and no fans were there to watch.
Hyde said he was excited to get things under way and was pleased to see Richard Bleier, who hadn’t pitched since last June because of a lat injury, throw without incident.
Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Nate Karns and David Hess were among those who threw.
What’s up with? – Martin Cervenka. The 26-year-old catcher is in his first big league camp. Cervenka, who hit .258 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs in 97 games for Double-A Bowie, is trying to become the first native of the Czech Republic to play major league baseball.
Cervenka was signed by Cleveland at 16 but didn’t play in the United States until he was 19.
Even though few people play baseball in the Czech Republic, Cervenka’s father was a lifelong baseball and softball player.
“I always played with my brother. We just played baseball,” Cervenka said. “We didn’t play soccer or anything else. It was always baseball for us.”
Cervenka wasn’t able to follow baseball as closely as he wanted because games were televised just twice a month, but he followed the sport online.
When he came to the United States, it was an entirely new baseball world.
“I knew baseball was a big deal in the U.S.,” Cervenka said. “The level of competition was more eye-opening for me. Back home you didn’t get to play against guys who are this good. You’ve got to step up your game a little bit.”
What’s what? –When Buck Showalter was manager, he was able to get a bullpen built on the back fields of Ed Smith Stadium. Three pitching rubbers were installed.
Hyde has improved on Showalter’s innovation by doubling the number of mounds to six, enabling the team to see 15 or 16 pitchers within a half-hour.
What’s the word? – “There’s a lot of competition. That’s one of the best things that can happen to any club is to have a lot of fighting for positions. I think that’s going to get the best out of everybody. There’s hardly any spots that are totally wrapped up here.”-Mark Trumbo on the atmosphere in the Orioles’ camp.
What’s the number? 6. Brockmeyer’s addition gives the Orioles six catchers. Brockmeyer and Cervenka join Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns, Andrew Susac and Carlos Perez
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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