We are five days in and have completed the last weekend without baseball before spring training games begin in just a few days.
Orioles CEO John Angelos and his wife, Margaret Valentine, were spotted taking in the sites of the club in Sarasota. Interestingly enough, John is becoming a regular in the public eye.
With news of a new chair for the Maryland Stadium Authority being nominated, John is enjoying time away from Maryland. He was seen talking with manager Brandon Hyde and met with GM Mike Elias before answering questions for about 40 minutes.
One of the first things John addressed was the partnership group and the Orioles’ future in Charm City.
“Absolutely no plan to change the partnership group or transition out of what we have now,” Angelos said. “The Orioles are always going to be in Baltimore.”
On Elias and Hyde, he said they, and he, are here for the long haul.
“We are all fully vested,” Angelos said. “We’re not going anywhere, and nobody’s a short-timer. Nobody is expiring in a year or two years or anything like that.”
He also mentioned he would meet with reporters during the spring and discuss finances (he has said this before, so we will see if it actually happens). He said he hopes a new stadium lease becomes “an All-Star Break gift.”
Also, turning heads in camp is John Means. Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, fans are anxious to see his progress as they await his return in July.
Manager Brandon Hyde has said Means is due to throw off a half mound next week. Means said he is currently in the “deload” phase, which is basically just slowing it down and ramping it back up.
Hyde also emphasized the size of his pitchers in camp.
“We’re physically a bigger team,” Hyde said. “We have a lot of tight-end-looking guys.”
How that size translates to production will be something to watch. We know how intimidating Félix Bautista looks on the mound, but it’s the production we need from these players to be successful.
Speaking of size, Tyler Wells wants to hear no talk of his return to the bullpen. After a strong breakout performance last season, it’s easy to see why Wells, as well as others, could see this as a step back.
“When somebody doubts me, it’s usually going to cause me to do a lot better,” Wells said. “I enjoy the doubt.”
Hyde also said that with Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander departing for the World Baseball Classic in a couple weeks, it will give more at-bats and game action to left-handed hitters.
This will give the O’s a chance to look for a left-handed backup option for Ryan Mountcastle. This will give ample opportunities for those players to be on display, such as Lewin Díaz, Ryan O’Hearn, Franchy Cordero and, of course, Terrin Vavra.
Speaking of Mountcastle, Hyde spoke on how Mounty had a lot of bad luck last season. This was outlined in an earlier article from us, as Mountcastle is considered one of our breakout players for this season.
Hyde said that Anthony Santander will play some first when he returns from the WBC and emphasized that you can’t just stick someone at first base.
As of this morning, all players have reported to spring training camp and are ready to get things going. There were no bullpen sessions or live batting practice on Monday.
As things will pick up more tomorrow, we will see how full squad workouts go and how things start to come together. The Baltimore Battery will be back at it tomorrow with more news and updates from Sarasota.
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