O’s SpringNotes: Day 1

The start of spring training is here, as pitchers and catchers have officially reported. For the Orioles, a handful of position players have arrived early, including Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, Terrin Vavra and Daz Cameron. 

We have tidbits of information that we have learned along the way as things begin, even some updates provided by O’s GM Mike Elias. 

One of the first updates regards newly acquired veteran left-hander Cole Irvin. Experiencing his first camp with the Orioles, Irvin was searching for a way to fit in.

Upon arriving to camp, Irvin went out and bought a few different Orioles t-shirts. Spotted at his first appearance, Irvin was wearing an MLB Jam Graphic shirt with O’s legends Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. on it. 

Irvin had a bullpen session today, along with Austin Voth, Mychal Givens and Kyle Gibson.

D.L. Hall reported lower lumbar discomfort three weeks ago, and he’s currently on the mend and will continue to prepare as a starter. Unfortunately, due to the setback, his build-up is behind schedule, with Mike Elias saying the issue “is resolving, if not resolved.”

It has also been reported that Dillon Tate will miss at least the first month of the season. According to Elias, Tate suffered a forearm flexor strain in November and will more than likely start the season on the injured list. 

“It’s concerning that one of our better relievers is not going to be on our Opening Day roster,” Elias said. “I know he’s bummed about missing the [World Baseball Classic] and all that, but he’s doing well. He’s a pitcher. Injuries happen. This shouldn’t last too long.”

Félix Bautista spent the winter rehabbing from shoulder soreness and a sprained knee he ended the year with in 2022. He is throwing off a mound and should be ready by Opening Day, but he won’t see in-game Grapefruit League play right away.

“He could be able to break for Opening Day, depending on how much of a ramp-up we’ll be able to get him,” Elias said. “I think it’s just going to be a question of how many spring training outings do we think he’ll need to be able to be declared ready to go close out American League East games in April.”

Nick Vespi is recovering from hernia surgery that he had done in January. The lefty reliever said he should be ready by Opening Day, but Elias says it’s more of a TBD timeline. 

Mychal Givens should pick up most of Tate’s late game appearances. The savvy veteran returns back to where his career took off and looks to be a reliable veteran presence in the bullpen.

Baltimore’s bullpen carried a 3.49 ERA last season. As these injuries will be monitored throughout the coming weeks, the Orioles’ pitching depth could be tested early if these injured players can’t get up to speed in time.

On the bright side, Colton Cowser has hopes of making his debut this year. Showing early signs of maturity, MLB Pipeline’s No. 40 prospect already knows what he needs to work on to improve his game.

“I’ve got to clean up some things in certain areas, compete at a really high level,” Cowser said. “But I don’t think I’m very far off.”

Elias was asked about the status of his and manager Brandon Hyde’s contracts beyond this season. He would not comment on the status of his contract and wasn’t going to delve into Hyde’s.

“We’re very committed to this project,” Elias said. “People are, for better or worse, going to have to get used to he and I here for a while.”

Camp is under way, and the ever-changing environment will provide numerous stories, opportunities and competition along the way. What will the next few days and coming weeks unfold?

For all your Orioles spring training coverage, turn to The Baltimore Battery for the latest news, updates and stories.

Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts are on the first day of workouts! 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

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