Day 2: Millwood's presence, several pitchers impressive
With physicals out of the way, the Orioles got out and on the field on time today. As usual, Millwood was one of the first ones out and ready to go. I spoke with him yesterday for the first time and he struck me as a little quiet, but a nice guy. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz said he’s been really impressed by the veteran’s work habits, a fact that really sets the tone for the young guys who are in their first few camps.
“The results aren’t always words as they are his actions,” Kranitz said about Millwood. “He’s always the first one doing something. Always. Whether it be the first one in the clubhouse or the first one doing drills. Let the young guys see that and follow.”
As I mentioned in my feature story that will be up on the site later, Millwood’s locker is in between Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman, with Brad Bergesen on the other side of Tillman. That’s not an accident, as Dave Trembley and Kranitz have made it pretty clear what’s expected of Millwood. And Millwood, who did the same sort of thing last year in Texas, has accepted that role, he’s been chatting with Bergesen and the younger guys and he threw his first bullpen to Wieters yesterday.
Millwood on his initial impressions of the clubhouse.
“A lot younger than me. But, a lot of good guys and seems like there’s a lot of talent here. So it’s pretty exciting to be a part of maybe helping mold these guys a little bit and help them all on their way.”
Trembley said Millwood’s presence will help take the pressure off the younger pitchers and allow them to “be themselves.”
“They don’t have to try to be something other than what they are,” Trembley said. “I think that’s the biggest tendency that happens with players at the big league level. They think more is better and they put their foot to the pedal.”
*Trembley had rave reviews for some of the guys who threw today, including Kam Mickolio, who he believes will eventually be a back of the bullpen guy. But not this year obviously, with Mike Gonzalez occupying the closer spot. When I talked to Trembley on Tuesday, he had mentioned Mickolio as one of the guys he was really excited to see. When I told Kam that he seemed pretty pleased.
“It means a lot when another coach, especially the head coach or the manager says they are excited to see you throw,” he said. “It’s always a good feeling they got a close eye on you.”
Mickolio has been down in Sarasota throwing for over two weeks, and said on Tuesday he had thrown about 10 bulllpens. So today’s session would make 11.
*Koji Uehara was another guy who impressed, with Kranitz raving about the late movement on the right-hander’s ball.
“I was real pleased,” said Kranitz. “It was night and day from today to when he threw in Boston back in September.”
*Other notables mentioned in today’s workout were Jake Arrieta and Alfredo Simon, who is less than a year removed from Tommy John’s surgery.
“[It’s] to his credit,” Trembley said of Simon. “He must have worked real hard to get to where he’s at.”
*Adam Jones, Felix Pie, Justin Turner and Blake Davis were a few of the position players who have been working out and taking batting practice before the full squad workouts start Feb. 23.
If you’re curious, the above photo is a back shot of Nick Markakis, who was barely recognizable with a full length beard and the noted, umm, interesting attire. He brought his son to watch some of the workout.