Around the Nest: Edition 11 – Time for Orioles baseball

The 2022-23 NFL season has finally concluded, and the Kanas City Chiefs have been crowned Super Bowl Champions. And now, baseball is back.

This is the week we have waited months for. With ever-passing meetings, signings, rumors and reports, the time has finally moved forward and brought our National Pastime back for the 2023 season.

So, what can we expect as we begin the next steps toward the season opener for our beloved Orioles?

We were teased last week when “truck day” arrived, as The Oriole Bird showed equipment and supplies being boxed up and shipped down to Sarasota. The small video was enough to bring excitement to an all-time high in Birdland.

Some young position players have arrived at camp in Sarasota already, getting some work in and getting a jump start to spring training.

Those players include:

  • INF Coby Mayo
  • INF Gunnar Henderson
  • INF Connor Norby
  • INF Joey Ortiz
  • INF Jackson Holliday
  • INF/OF Terrin Vavra
  • OF Ryan McKenna
  • OF Colton Cowser
  • OF Heston Kjerstad

With the exception of Henderson, McKenna and Vavra, most of these players will start the season in Triple-A Norfolk. Although Cowser still possesses a lot of intrigue and, with a strong spring, could alter the Orioles’ outfield plans.

Pitchers and catchers are due to report tomorrow, February 16, with position players due to arrive February 21.

This spring will also include the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Due to the overlapping of spring training, players who committed to the WBC are required to report earlier, February 13 for pitchers and catchers and February 16 for position players.

While spring training is the stepping stone to get players ready for a 162-game schedule, there are always plenty of storylines for every team. For the Orioles, it starts with deciding who will fill up the starting rotation behind Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson.

Orioles GM Mike Elias says there are about 12 pitchers vying for the final three spots, but with Grayson Rodriguez on track to grab one of those spots, that leaves 11 pitchers competing for the last two spots.

Another storyline to watch for is who seizes the opportunity to be the left-handed hitting first base option on the big league roster. Vavra seems to be taking the steps to try and enhance his opportunity, while Anthony Santander spent time fielding grounders at first base last year and will get live game reps there this spring.

One big story to keep in mind is which player steps up to become a leader for the team. Former veterans Trey Mancini and Jordan Lyles, who both excelled in their roles, are no longer with the team.

Adley Rutschman looks poised to be the man for the club, while Santander and Cedric Mullins are veteran presences that could step up to that role as well.

One thing is for sure, this squad will bring plenty of excitement to the field this season. From prospects pushing to make their debuts to veterans poised for breakout and resurgent seasons, the excitement in Birdland is the highest it’s been in quite some time.

Baseball has come back swinging for the fences and making even the most novice fan excited for the 2023 season. As spring training is set to begin, Baltimore is alive with excitement, and all eyes are ready to see how this season unfolds.

For all your Orioles spring training coverage, tune in to The Baltimore Battery, as we follow all the news, stories and highlights from sunny Sarasota.

Which storyline are you keeping an eye on this spring? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: