Good morning from Sarasota. I’m eager to get back to minor league camp but stuck in traffic on the highway on the way. The same thing happened last week.
Last night, leaving the stadium I bumped into a guy I’ve been calling since 1987, begging the O’s to trade for Ruben Sierra-broadcaster Stan the Fan. We’ve been trying to meet but I’m at Twin Lakes and he’s at the O’s so he said let’s go to dinner in an hour. So on to eat with some media giants from then and now including Peter Schmuck, Ron Matz and new O’s voice Scott Garceau. After a short prayer and well wishes for Trey Mancini, we reminisced and began talking Birds. Wow do these guys have some stories! All of us with our own perspectives are eager for Orioles success. I got to discuss what I see at Twin Lakes, make a couple points and listen. Now I’m at Twin Lakes joined by @Weams and justD so time to watch some O’s.
Be back soon
The roster is now different and includes the names of everyone in the organization. However there was only a few players outside doing work and the ‘early camp’ players mostly gone or left early. However we watched starter lefty Alexander Wells show some stuff vs the catchers group in a live setting. @weams and I go back and forth on Wells and it was good to watch him a little. He was working inside half to righties and he hit his spot several times dropping breaking balls in with some precision and causing high foul balls and little other contact.
The arms race isn’t just being run at the MLB level so the minor leagues bring in free agents and try out guys and we watched a sinkerballer from the Toronto system named Danny Barnes and he had the low stuff working well. When he went high with a rising fastball, he shocked the hitters into a swinging strike and a late foul pop as a pair of different catchers, Chris Burgess and Harris Yett left frustrated. My notes say that Barnes pitches drop slightly but obviously before a ‘sail’ action away from righties barrel zone. There’s so many more names to know but now maybe I can link Daniel Barnes and low. His number is high, 68-that won’t help.
In came broad shouldered righty relief option Jay Flaa to face 3 catchers. He threw some heat and didn’t move it but located it and got one bad swinging strikeout. Lefty Brian Gonzalez finished up the session and he was middle of the road with his work throwing at least two that hit an inside/high slot. He gave up a hit, ended on a k and then took a rest as he was barely warmed up. The grounds crew packed up the field and the Orioles took their bags inside.
Some items of note today other than the huge group on paper was the fact that the music had changed and I noticed some upbeat Latin/Caribbean selections mixed in with the country. Also somebody dropped in some Pearl Jam. @justD recognized some Led Zeppelin Kashmir so it’s apparent that the soundtrack has been updated. Appropriately enough, the earliest group stretching this am was all Latin American players-about 8-10 new faces for me. I recognized GCL corner/OF Davis Tavarez the second he turned around. He has a happy, hoppy baseball demeanor and talks a lot. Last year he batted .314 in 86 AB with 16 strikeouts, 11BB 6SBs and 2HR. Tavarez is righty and most of his plate appearances were as a 4-hitter where he hit .255 so he comes to camp like lots of others with work to do. Exciting.
There were a handful or two of guys on the bullpen mounds staying with their regular work or showing their stuff to coaches and analysts. We got to turn from the bleachers and see Ok St Cowboys Jake Lyons and Jensen Elliott next to each other in orange 53 jerseys. @weams got to see some players for the first time or the first time in a while and we attempted to hustle together some teamwork of our own to figure out a few faces. An educational environment for all of us. Tomorrow I’ll be back out hoping for more action so I’ll let you know what I see and also what I write or film.