SARASOTA, Fla. - Night turns to day and there isn’t much clarity to the Orioles’ plans moving forward since Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association provided three options for teams on Friday.
As it pertains to the Orioles, they can:
* Stay in Sarasota for informal workouts
* Return home
* Head to Baltimore for informal workouts
Or can they?
Personnel on the minor league side at Twin Lakes Park were told to stay. An email arrived early yesterday morning with those orders, a 180-degree reversal.
Coaches instructed to leave were booking travel and suddenly told to remain at their hotel and await further details.
Then it spun again. They were given the green light to bolt.
Former first-round pick Cody Sedlock expressed his confusion yesterday via a tweet that read:
“Was told yesterday to leave Sarasota and go home, because spring training is cancelled. My wife and I packed up all of our stuff to start driving and then get an email saying no one can leave. Who knows what is going on”
Not this guy. I’m just trying to keep up with the changes.
Players on the major league side were locked out yesterday as the facility underwent another deep cleaning. Better safe than infected.
“The players will be ready whenever they tell us it’s a go! Getting our work in any way we can”
The desire for players to remain together as a showing of unity and to keep preparing for the season is admirable, but the first priority is to stay healthy. If that’s more easily done as a group at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, whenever it reopens, then go for it. If not, go home.
I can’t imagine that there’s a cleaner environment than at the baseball operations building. It’s undergone at least three deep cleanings. But all it takes is one infected person to enter and destroy that environment.
Meanwhile, I haven’t wiped off my television remote since I bought it. It’s got to resemble a Petri dish by now. Every channel change is a science experiment.
Media that began filtering out of Sarasota wondered if it would return for spring training 2.0 or whether workouts eventually would shift to Baltimore. And would we eventually regain access?
No one has heard from manager Brandon Hyde since Wednesday in Dunedin.
The Nationals made a bunch of roster moves yesterday, further proof that teams are allowed to conduct business beyond sanitizing.
The Orioles are 28 players over the opening day limit, assuming it holds at 26. Everything else is changing. Why not roster sizes?
They’re going to trim three catchers because I don’t see them carrying more than two. Pedro Severino is a lock, which leaves the backup spot to Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns, Bryan Holaday and Taylor Davis.
Ryan Mountcastle isn’t making the team. He wasn’t competing for a spot, just getting in his at-bats and his outfield reps before his assignment to Triple-A Norfolk.
Mountcastle cooled down and went 8-for-34 (.235) with three doubles, a home run and nine strikeouts. He didn’t draw a walk.
Yusniel Diaz isn’t making the team. He hasn’t played above the Double-A level and was held back early in camp because of a sore shoulder.
The Orioles love what they’ve seen from Diaz, who went 6-for-20 (.300) with two triples and two stolen bases. He can be electric. He just needs to stop short-circuiting and stay off the injured list.
Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann isn’t expected to make the club based on his limited exposure to Triple-A, but he’s impressed with his major league stuff and nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings, and he’s avoided multiple rounds of cuts.
The list of utility candidates still includes Pat Valaika, Andrew Velazquez, Stevie Wilkerson, Dilson Herrera, Ramón Urias and José Rondón. The expectation remains that the Orioles keep two - a true utility infielder and a super-utility type who also plays the outfield.
Velazquez stole three bases in one game. We were impressed. He went 4-for-20 (.200) with 11 strikeouts. Not as impressive. But how much does the bat count compared to speed and versatility?
An abbreviated spring training made it impossible to memorize the spelling of reliever Rob Zastryzny’s name.
Pretty sure it’s “R-O-B,” but I have to keep looking it up.
Zastryzny appeared in four games and surrendered five runs and nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five innings. Opponents batted .409 against him. That’s a tough sell.
The Orioles claimed reliever Hector Velázquez off waivers from the Red Sox and never got him into a game. Going to be a little harder to evaluate him.