What’s happening? – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that infielder Richie Martin, who underwent surgery to remove a hamate bone in his left hand in late January, is improving.
“Doing well,” Hyde said. “He’s at our Twin Lakes facility rehabbing that hand. Sounds like he’s going to be starting his hitting progression in the next week or two.”
Outfielder Anthony Santander, whose defense in right field improved so much last year that he was a finalist for the Gold Glove, gives credit to Orioles first base/outfield coach Anthony Sanders.
“I will attribute that to working on a daily basis with my coach every single day, trying to improve my overall defense,” Santander said. “I was focused on improving my first steps and also maintaining my speed.
“I’m not the fastest guy out there. I take pride throughout my career to try to keep the same speed that I had years ago. Working hard, studying the hitters also and working with my coach.”
Austin Hays is hoping for a consistent season in 2021.
“I continued to go back to the things that I was doing well mechanically in 2017 and then in short spurts,” Hays said. “I’ve been very inconsistent, like the start of last season, and when I was able to make some mechanical adjustments, rehabbing down at the alternate site after I had broken my ribs.
“I came back, I was able to have a lot of success just identifying the differences in why things are going well and why things are going bad and just setting a really good fundamental routine … that I can always go back to if I feel a game or two where those mechanical issues start to show up.”
What happened? Hays said that the Orioles were challenged in live batting practice on Tuesday by four relievers: Paul Fry, Hunter Harvey, Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser.
“We got to face a really good group [Tuesday],” Hays said. “Tanner was doing his thing, like 97, 98. Fry was throwing his slider. Those guys were mixing it up. We didn’t get a whole lot to hit. [Harvey] was up there slinging it. It’s always good to compete against some good live arms. You haven’t seen live pitching in a while. It’s good to face those arms now and get us ready for the games.”
Hyde said that Ryan Mountcastle will primarily play left field this spring and could play some first base near the end of camp.
What’s up with? Michael Baumann is in his first major league camp with the Orioles.
Baumann, who was placed on the 40-man roster last November, isn’t expected to begin the season with the Orioles, but the 25-year-old right-hander, who was a year behind Hays at Jacksonville University, could make his major league debut later this summer.
Hyde watched Baumann, who’s 6 feet 4, throw batting practice on Tuesday and liked what he saw.
“He’s got an electric arm,” Hyde said. “The ball really comes out of his hand. It’s a big presence on the mound. It’s what it looks like. I was really impressed with his live BP just from his stuff standpoint. He threw some good sliders, hides the ball from hitters.
“The ball really gets in on hitters, and the delivery is from a tough angle, so hitters don’t pick it up. Big body guy that’s got a lot of velo, so excited about him going forward as he continues to progress in this camp.”
What’s what? Baltimore broadcaster Ted Patterson died last Thursday at 76. Patterson reported sports in the 1980s on WMAR-TV and on radio for many years, at WBAL, WPOC and WCBM. He also broadcast Navy football for many years.
Patterson was an aggressive memorabilia collector and he loved to talk about his collection.
Patterson was on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s screening committee for broadcasters and early in his career worked with the legendary Curt Gowdy.
According to his son, Patterson attended every Orioles’ Opening Day game from 1973-2016.
What’s the word? “Just makes you a very versatile player and gets you a better opportunity. If a guy gets hot, he solidifies a spot for himself, and you’re just trying to get going, there’s another spot to move over to. It gives you more opportunities. If you’re just a very single position player, you can’t play center field, you’re going to get less opportunities because there’s not more positions for you to play.”-Hays on why it’s important to play each of the three outfield spots.
What’s the number? 10. That’s the number of players on the Orioles’ 40-man roster who were claimed on waivers. They are: Shawn Armstrong, Ashton Goudeau, Travis Lakins, Jorge López, Rio Ruiz, Yolmer Sánchez, Pedro Severino, Cole Sulser, Ramón Urias and Pat Valaika.
The 25 percent of players claimed on waivers is by far the largest in the majors. Pittsburgh is second with 12.2 percent. Eleven teams have no players claimed on waivers on the roster.