Sarasota; February 18, 2017: Today’s main news is the addition of OF Craig Gentry which was covered nicely earlier by Weams. He is on the field wearing #14. Dan Duquette had said the Orioles were looking to add a plus defender in the outfield for defense in late innings. Gentry may become that person.
National reporter Jon Heyman (FanRag Sports MLB) suggested a couple of days ago that reporting players that show up at camp is not news, but if a player comes in on crutches, that would be news. This is a good distinction between news and just blogging. Shortly thereafter, we learned of J.J. Hardy would not be doing baseball activities until about March 1. That was unwanted news. However, spring training is mostly boring, but necessary, drills, so I won’t bother you with “routine” stuff – just the major news.
OK, here’s my first exception. Today is SpringFest at Ed Smith Stadium. Fans are invited to watch spring training workouts for free every day, but today the Orioles have provided extra attractions for fans and kids of all ages, plus vendors are here to feed fans for a fee. Fans can also donate blood, have their picture taken, clock their pitching speed, try to hit a ball off of a dancing air tee, pose with the Oriole Bird and watch baseball drills on the back fields. Catcher Caleb Joseph would talk and answer questions after practice. I left before I was tempted to ask him about his surgery, but I know someone will.
Today, the players are wearing boring uniforms with their numbers covered by thin black jackets. It’s hard to tell who is who because they all have the same caps and sunglasses. Yes, the body types are vastly different, but my point is that you wouldn’t enjoy the photos. So, I’ll include some more from yesterday.
Buck Showalter watches RHP Zach Stewart during a “passed ball” drill. Zach was with the NC Dinos in the KBO last year.
OF Aneury Tavarez is a Rule 5 selection. He played for Pawtucket in AAA last year.
Pitcher Gabriel Ynoa played for the NY Mets last year.