The Orioles still haven’t released their camp roster for spring training, including the invites, because they’re continuing to work on it. More decisions were made yesterday.
We must remain patient.
It sounds as though the Orioles are leaning toward inviting veteran left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who had a tryout earlier this month at the minicamp in Sarasota.
Hendrickson has lowered his arm slot to the point where he’s more of a submarine stylist. Factor in his 6-foot-9 frame and it’s quite a look for batters trying to get comfortable in the box.
Once Hendrickson is ready to retire, the Orioles really want him to stay in the organization as a pitching coach.
Don’t be surprised if left-hander Pat McCoy, selected off waivers from the Tigers on Oct. 31 and later outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, is excluded from the list of invitees. However, he will be summoned to camp from Twin Lakes Park and given another look after throwing at the minicamp.
The Single-A Delmarva roster this season will include left-hander Brian Gonzalez, the Orioles’ first pick (third round) in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Gonzalez posted a 1.34 ERA in 10 starts last season - eight with the Gulf Coast League team and two with short-season Single-A Aberdeen.
The Shorebirds roster also will include pitchers Patrick Connaughton (fourth round) and David Hess (fifth), third baseman Austin Anderson (ninth), catcher Alex Murphy, Cuban outfielder Elier Leyva and Dominican third baseman Jomar Reyes.
Remember the slippery plastic on-deck circle at Camden Yards that caused catcher Caleb Joseph to take a hard spill near the Orioles dugout last summer? Remember how manager Buck Showalter ordered its removal the next inning, never to be seen again?
The new on-deck circles will be turf mats with some grab to them. Sounds like a good solution.
Showalter was the guest speaker last night at the Shorebirds’ annual Hot Stove Banquet, which drew a record crowd of approximately 480 people. The event sold out quickly and Showalter received standing ovations when introduced and again when he finished.
I can’t imagine that there’s a manager who does a better job in this setting.
He signed autographs and posed for photos before and after the banquet, he praised the work of the managers and coaches in the farm system, he spoke of his appreciation of Orioles fans and the “sincerity of the noise” at Camden Yards, he told stories that drew big laughs, and he spent the final 27 minutes answering questions that were submitted in writing.
Once it was over, Showalter and his wife Angela drove back across the Bay Bridge. A new day most likely will bring another commitment.
Showalter talked about the upside of new outfielder Travis Snider, acquired from the Pirates on Tuesday for minor league pitcher Stephen Tarpley and a player to be named later. Showalter also pointed out that only one other outfielder in camp will be younger than Snider, who turns 27 next month. Dariel Alvarez doesn’t celebrate his 27th birthday until November.
Showalter said Delmon Young’s role “will probably expand this year.” Young appeared in 83 games last season.
Showalter also said Henry Urrutia is going to get “a real good look” this spring. He added that Urrutia will need his gray road pants because he’s going to be making a lot of trips.
No one has worked harder in the offseason than Urrutia.
Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski also will be a regular presence on the spring training travel roster. He’s going to get plenty of at-bats after advancing from Delmarva to Double-A Bowie last season.
As for the prognosticators picking the Orioles near or at the bottom of the division, Showalter said, “That’s great. That’s just the way we like it. That’s perfect.
“We’re laying in the weeds again, right where we need to be.”