Written by Doc Shorebird
It’s not exactly spring, but the sounds of baseball pounding leather and bats cracking in the mid-sixties air gets the baseball blood flowing. Can spring be far away?
It’s the first day of the Orioles pitchers’ mini-camp today (Tuesday, January 14) – Eastern Session. There will be a Western Session to follow.
Rain has hampered the first day somewhat as the fields are wet. The morning started at 10:30 with meetings and the rain stopped in time to allow outdoor activities such as sprints, light throwing and limited infield practice.
Since this is more of an informal affair with Manager Showalter promising that no judgments will be made here, it still is a good time for coaches and trainers to assess conditioning and get to know the players a little better. The players can be given specific assignments to carry out to best get ready for spring training.
Among those in camp today is 2011 1st round pick Dylan Bundy. Dylan has had a very rough year including the passing of his mother and ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction (better known as “Tommy John” surgery). Dylan is hoping to be able to throw competitively in late June and work his way up, perhaps starting in Delmarva, and going as far as he can this year. He looks in great shape and is already throwing from 60 feet. One neat thing about the surgery, is that the ligament removed from the forearm is looped through the bones in a figure eight pattern which can give the arm more strength. Also, the rehab exercises can add strength.
Also in camp is 2012 1st round draft pick, Kevin Gausman. Kevin gained good experience last year and is ready to go. He has given up eating the doughnuts during the game in favor of trail mix. The doughnuts were more of a superstition and way of handling nervousness, rather than being a source of energy.
Last year’s 1st round pick is here too. Hunter Harvey did exceptionally well in his short time with Aberdeen and he is ready to get on with his learning process. He will be working on his change-up, among other things this year.
Tim Berry will be getting a good look by David Wallace, the new pitching coach. Tim has what Manger Buck Showalter calls a “quick arm.” That;s not to be confused with a “short arm” pitch. Tim’s last part of his arm delivery goes very quickly compared to the rest of his arm motion and this throws batters off.
OF Henry Urrutia is working hard and getting stronger. He looks very different than when he arrived at Minors Camp at Twin Lakes last year. Henry played Fall Ball in Arizona and has taken only a week off from training all year. He is much more muscular through the shoulders and chest now.
Jack Cust took infield practice at 1B and hit in the batting cage. Jack was really impressed with the new complex—especially compared to what he had 10 years ago in Ft. Lauderdale.
Also present in camp are T.J. McFarland, Steve Johnson, Tommy Hunter, Ryan Webb, Josh Stinson,
Brad Brach, Parker Bridwell, Eduardo Rodriguez,
Mike Wright, Michael Ohlman and Steel Russell. I may have missed them, but lockers are ready for Delmon Young, Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Liam Hendriks, Shawn Riggens and Michael Belfiore.
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