SARASOTA, Florida-What’s happening? – Pitchers and catchers hit the field Wednesday morning for their first workout. The weather forecast calls for temperatures near 80 degrees.
“You spend the offseason reflecting, preparing, and then when you get down here you’re excited to get going,” manager Brandon Hyde said on Tuesday.
“I think everybody’s got some butterflies going into camp. I think it’s natural, and looking forward to watching guys work out tomorrow.”
More position players will report, and there will continue to be reports about the Orioles’ interest in starting pitchers. Andrew Cashner remains a free agent. Two years ago, he signed with the Orioles on February 15, just after spring training began.
What’s happened?—The Orioles added to their infield depth with their claim of Ramón Urias on waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Urias will compete with Richard Urena, claimed on waivers last month from Toronto, and minor league invitees Dilson Herrera, José Rondon, Pat Valaika and Stevie Wilkerson for a utility role.
As a teenager, Urias played for Texas’ Dominican Summer League team, and played in Mexico from 2013-2017 before signing with St. Louis.
Primarily a second baseman, Urias has played third, short and first as well as some left field.
Relief pitcher Miguel Castro reported to spring training, and was asked about his frightening encounter with armed robbers, who took his gold chains at gunpoint last month.
The alleged robbers were captured, and his jewelry was returned.
“It was really a bad situation … a bad month … bad timing, but that’s just in the past. I’m moving forward,” Castro said through a translator.
What’s up with? Pitcher Cole Sulser was claimed on waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays just after last season ended. He made his major league debut and threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings for the Rays last season.
Sulser, who will be 30 in a month, hopes to make the Orioles as a right-handed reliever.
“I had hoped I done enough to either stay on [Tampa Bay’s] roster or be of interest to someone else who could use me,” Sulser said. “That’s the hope and the goal here. I would love to contribute here and be a guy who’s used more often.”
What’s what? – Valaika was taken off the major league roster for the second time in less than a month. He was claimed on waivers by Arizona on January 16 and reclaimed by the Orioles on January 30 from the Diamondbacks.
Valaika was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk when the Orioles claimed Urias.
In 2019, the Orioles claimed Hanser Alberto from the Yankees on January 11, lost him to San Francisco on February 22, then reclaimed him a week later.
What’s the word? – “I haven’t given him too much of a hard time for going to Yale, yet … There’s definitely kind of that understanding any time you come across who I either played against, went there or pitched in the same league.” Sulser on being a Dartmouth graduate working for a GM, Mike Elias, who pitched at Yale.
What’s the number? 67. That’s the number of players in camp. There are 58 lockers in the main clubhouse, so nine players must dress in the auxiliary clubhouse that’s off-limits to the media.