A few notes…
*According to the very handy website MLB Trade Rumors, the Orioles have 11 players on their 40-man roster with less than five years service time who are out of Minor League options: Robert Andino, Chris Davis, Dana Eveland, Jim Johnson, Jai Miller, Troy Patton, Clay Rapada, Nolan Reimold, Alfredo Simon, Pedro Strop, and Taylor Teagarden.
What does that mean? A player who is out of options and isn’t on the 25-man roster must pass through waivers –where any other team can place a claim — before he can accept an assignment to the Minor Leagues.
This is important to note because, as I said in yesterday’s inbox, the Orioles will probably look to make a late-spring trade and at least get something in return instead of potentially losing certain guys on waivers.
Andino, Davis, Johnson and Reimold jump out as near-locks to make the Opening Day roster (barring injury) and Simon and Strop will get a long look in the bullpen –along with Patton and Rapada — in a competition that won’t be short on arms. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has said before that the crowded starting rotation –where Eveland will try to win a spot — could shift several arms to the bullpen, making the pitching the most intriguing storyline this spring.
Teagarden was traded for because the Orioles thought he was a capable backup to Wieters, so that will be interesting to watch. I also know very little about Jai Miller, who was acquired from Oakland as another outfielder. Where does he fit?
*Click here to watch Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. speaks at the 2012 Hutch Award presentation at Safeco Field in Seattle.
*Nearly 150 Sarasota-area youth will have the opportunity to receive professional instruction from current and former Orioles players at a series of baseball clinics the club will host during the coming weeks. Through OriolesREACH, the team will host children from the Central Sarasota County Little League and Cal Ripken Baseball League at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex on Saturday, February 4. The Orioles will then travel to the Miracle League Field for a clinic with members of the Miracle League of Manasota on Saturday, February 25. The club then plays host to youth from the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Clubs at the Ed Smith Stadium main field on Saturday, March 10.
An additional, free public clinic is planned for April, with details to come. All participating children will also receive giveaway items and player autographs at the clinics.
Former Orioles Mike Devereaux, Dave Ford and Jeff Tackettt, along with Orioles Hall of Fame catcher Chris Hoiles, will instruct over 80 youth from the Central Sarasota County Little League and Cal Ripken Baseball League in pitching, hitting, fielding, throwing and baserunning on February 4. The clinic will be held from 10:00 a.m. – noon at the Orioles’ minor league facility, the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park, located at 6700 Clark Road. The Oriole Bird will also appear at the clinic, and the Orioles will provide all participants with a complimentary lunch following the event.
Current and former Orioles, including Jim Johnson, former infielder Mike Bordick and Hoiles, will conduct a clinic for over 25 members of the Miracle League of Manasota on February 25. The clinic is part of a field dedication celebration of the Miracle League Field and will begin at 2:30 p.m., immediately following the dedication ceremony. The Oriole Bird will also participate in the event and refreshments will be served to the kids. The Miracle League Field is located at Longwood Park, 6050 Longwood Run Boulevard.
On March 10, Jeremy Guthrie, Bordick, Hoiles and other Orioles players will welcome 40 children from the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club for a clinic on the main field at Ed Smith Stadium, located at 2700 12th Street. The clinic will begin at 1:00 p.m. and include instruction in pitching, hitting, fielding, throwing and baserunning. The Oriole Bird will also be present and refreshments will be provided.