Orioles ready for first full-squad workouts; Grapefruit League starts Saturday - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles ready for first full-squad workouts; Grapefruit League starts Saturday

SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? – The Orioles will take the field later this morning for their first full-squad workout of the spring. They hope that shortstop Alcides Escobar will arrive in time. He’d be the 60th player in camp. Right-handed pitcher Gregory Infante (illness) and Jesus Sucre (visa) remain in Venezuela.

The first Grapefruit League game is Saturday, when the Minnesota Twins come to Sarasota. Manager Brandon Hyde is in the process of setting up pitching for the first handful of spring games.

Hyde isn’t close to deciding who will start the March 28 opener and says that he’s not even sure who will be on the club a month from now.

What’s happened?—Four more position players reported. Infielders Hanser Alberto, Steve Wilkerson and outfielder Eric Young Jr. arrived Sunday morning. Infielder Jonathan Villar came after the workout.

Position players were required to arrive on Sunday.

What’s up with? – Chris Lee. He’s in his third major league camp with the Orioles, and after injuries and ineffectiveness marred his last three seasons, he’s trying to impress a new manager and pitching coach.

Last year, Lee was just 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 18 games with Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie and Gulf Coast. He started three games for the Tides and pitched in relief 10 times for the Baysox.

Lee has been on the 40-man roster in the past, but he’s now trying to make the team as a non-roster left-hander.

“You can always get back on it,” Lee said about the 40-man. “Stay healthy. That’s the main thing…I can play any role. Starter or reliever, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready to just be out there, get on a mound with the ball in my hand.”


What’s what? – The Orioles have 58 lockers in their main clubhouse and room for additional players in an auxiliary clubhouse that’s off-limits to the media.

Former manager Buck Showalter would try to avoid using the auxiliary clubhouse except for minor league players who were added for as extras for Grapefruit League games.

Last year, the Orioles needed that space when the camp roster reached 64 at one point.

Infielder Jack Reinheimer is the only player using the auxiliary locker room now, and another player will join him when Escobar reports.

What’s the word? –  “I’m not promising anything to anybody at this point, right? For me, this is a competition. We’ve created a competitive feel here at camp. That’s what it’s going to be for the next six weeks or so.”-Hyde on whether the Orioles can guarantee playing time to anyone.  

What’s the number? 10. That’s the number of gloves utility player Steve Wilkerson jokingly said he brought to Orioles camp. Perhaps he brought seven—or even more.

“A couple outfield gloves, a few infield gloves, a first baseman’s mitt, a catcher’s mitt maybe. I’ve got them all covered,” Wilkerson said.

In 16 games last season with the Orioles, Wilkerson played second base, shortstop and third base.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB





  1. Bhoffman1

    February 18, 2019 at 8:38 am

    I like the quote I’m not promising anything to anybody. Obviously that’s not true as first base is promised to Davis. Still Hyde and Elias are saying all the right things and know the English language something Buck has trouble with.

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 18, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Bhoffman, players will have to prove themselves.

    • Bhoffman1

      February 18, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Cmon Rich if Davis has a bad spring how is that going to change anything about him being the opening day first baseman. Actually I hope he turns things around but I really believe it’s a head problem that needs help not a simple baseball one.

  2. bmorebirds

    February 18, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Villar, Mancini, Givens, Trumbo, Davis, Mullins, Bundy, Cobb, Bleir and Cashner basically already have slots. With those 10 out of the way, Hyde basically has 15 job openings to fill. Most suspenseful Orioles spring training ever. Rooting for Diaz (outfield), Yacabonis and Martin (SS) to be in Baltimore Mar. 28

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 18, 2019 at 9:25 am

      Check in over the next five weeks, bmorebirds. I think you’ll want to root for them to be at Yankee Stadium on March 28, not in Baltimore.

  3. bmorebirds

    February 18, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Rich, you ol’ parser of words, you! To be clear, I hope Diaz, Yacabonis and Martin are on the Orioles 25-man squad when the season begins. But again, seeing more than half (60%) of the lineup up for grabs at the start of spring training is FASCINATING stuff. Looking forward to your usual comprehensive reporting out of Florida.

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 18, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Thank you, BmoreBirds!

  4. Orial

    February 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Wondering if O’s will hold Diaz back as Blue Jays did Guerrerro to keep him a year or 2 longer?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 18, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I think Diaz isn’t nearly as advanced as Guerrero, and that’s not a concern for the moment.

  5. mlbbirdfan

    February 18, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Villar was LATE. I hope Brandon Hyde disciplines him in some small way. It seems he feels entitled because he has a clear role and a likely position on opening day. Not a good role model though !

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Villar was not late, mlbbirdfan. If you’re coming from the Dominican and can’t easily get home during the season, coming in on time is fine.

  6. Sisco Kid

    February 18, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Hi, I’ve been gone a while. I just wanted to say how disappointed I am in the Duquette front office from last year. Initially I was pleased with the return we got at the trade deadline. But looking now (MLB’s top 30 prospects were released today), we traded Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day, Brad Brach, and Zach Britton, and only two of the players we got back are in our Top 10 prospects. This has to be seen as disappointing, does it not?

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 19, 2019 at 5:16 am

      Welcome back, Sisco! The players the Orioles received will be judged on their own merits this year. The return can’t be judged yet.

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