SARASOTA, Fla. - No early departures from camp today. The Orioles don’t have a charity golf outing scheduled and the intrasquad game won’t start until 1 p.m. It’s going to last six innings, which also will push us deep into the afternoon.
Another reminder that left-handers Mark Hendrickson, Troy Patton, Daniel Schlereth and Eduardo Rodriguez will oppose Chris Tillman, Pedro Strop, Daniel McCutchen, Mike Belfiore and Kevin Gausman.
Of course, we’re curious about Gausman, the fourth-overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Everything he does draws our attention, including each time he pops a mini-powdered donut into his mouth. And trust me, it’s not just hype. The kid loves ‘em.
A player joked yesterday that he felt guilty for eating one before heading out of the complex. Gausman is guilt-free - and still slender enough that he’s not counting calories.
I may count his pitches today, since I only have to track one game.
Hendrickson is starting today, but that’s not why he’s in camp. He’ll continue to work on that sidearm delivery, the lessons often coming while observing Darren O’Day’s bullpen sessions and picking his brain.
Adam Russell is doing the same thing. Russell has more experience as a sidearmer than Hendrickson, but he got away from it for a while and needs to find the proper slot and comfort zone.
“Just talking to these guys yesterday, I realized how long I’ve been doing this,” O’Day said. “I’ve been doing it since 2002, over 10 years now. They’re just kind of picking it up. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning to figure out what I wanted to do. Hopefully, those mistakes I made kind of help them along and speeds up the learning curve.
“I’ve taught a few guys how to do it and they’ve really picked it up pretty well. I can’t say I’ve ‘taught.’ I’ve helped. Just about anybody can throw sidearm. It’s just if you can throw strikes and off-speed stuff and all that stuff. There’s been a few guys who have gone from minor leagues to major leagues and from high school to college and middle reliever in college to closer. I’ve enjoyed helping people.”
Hendrickson is 6-foot-9. Russell is 6-foot-8. O’Day no longer seems that tall at 6-foot-4.
“Both of them, it’s going to be tough,” O’Day said. “Seeing either of those guys on the mound throwing from behind your back, it’s going to be hard for hitters to find that courage to stay in there.
“I haven’t gotten to see Russ that much. I’m looking forward to it. Mark takes attendance at his bullpens before he starts to make sure I’m there. Russ seems really motivated to hone his craft.”
Hendrickson and Russell stood behind the screen on Tuesday and observed O’Day’s bullpen session.
“I look pretty good in those pants, so that might have been it. I don’t know. I’m not sure,” O’Day quipped.
“I guess both of them kind of watch it together. Other people want to throw like girls besides me.”