Elias discusses spring training plans, Orioles' minor league adjustments, search for starters - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Elias discusses spring training plans, Orioles’ minor league adjustments, search for starters


Spring training is going to be different this year for the Orioles. There won’t be the typical major league/minor league camp dynamic, according to executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias,.

Because of spacing requirements at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Florida, some players will work out at the Orioles’ Twin Lakes minor complex, regardless of status.

The Orioles designated 10 players as non-roster invitees. Twenty-two are labeled camp reserves.

“I think a lot of the players on the camp reserve list have a very good chance of making the team,” Elias said. “It didn’t seem right to me to have [32] non-roster invitations to major league spring training.”

Among the veteran names on the camp reserve list are right-handed pitchers Cody Carroll and Evan Phillips and first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw.

Some top prospects, including starters DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez, aren’t on the camp reserve list. Two other promising pitchers not added were Kevin Smith and Kyle Bradish.

The minor league season will start after the major league season, and Elias said that there will be an alternate site that will morph into the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.

On Friday, Major League Baseball announced that the reorganization of the minors was complete. Norfolk will be one of 20 teams in Triple-A East, and they’ll be in the Southeast Division.

Bowie will be one of 12 teams in Double-A Northeast. The Baysox will be in the Southwest Division.

Aberdeen is in the Northern Division of High-A East, and Delmarva is in the Northern Division of Low-A East.

Bowie, Aberdeen and Delmarva won’t begin spring training until April.

“We’re going to have a month of major league baseball and then some Triple-A type-players, who may be in a bit of an alternate site-type setup, and then the real games against other organizations might be later than that,” Elias said.

Elias said he continues to monitor the pitching market.

“We’re still looking for arms,” he said in a video conference call on Friday. “Arms that have major league experience for our rotation battle.

“I think if we’re able to bring in another veteran major league starter, in some way into this camp, we’re going to continue to look to do that.”

Elias acknowledged his search might extend beyond pitching.

“I can’t rule out signing another position player,” he said. “We have a lot of competition on that list for outfield, infield spots. We have a lot of catchers there.”

Thoughts about Jones: Last week, the Orioles obtained Jahmai Jones from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for starter Alex Cobb. Jones is listed as a second baseman and outfielder, but Elias said the Orioles were undecided on his position.

“It’s hard for me to say for sure,” Elias said. “Without us having our own evaluation, which we’ll make when he gets here. I certainly think we’ll preserve that [outfield] option going forward. He has more experience out there, so I imagine it will be easier to keep that tool in his toolbox.

“We want to see him at second base and push on [him at] second base. I think he was making progress, and it was going well, and that was a recent conversion. He’s very athletic. We’ll probably keep that as a priority going into this camp, but I think he’s going to be a guy that you can pretty easily stick into the outfield. I think he’ll take to it.”



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