Another season begins

Greetings from Sarasota, Fla. where I won’t bore you all with a weather update, but just casually mention it’s supposed to be in the 70s all week.

The Orioles pitchers and catchers will officially report to the Ed Smith Stadium Complex tomorrow with their first workout scheduled for Wednesday –following player physicals– beginning at noon. For those interested, those take place on the back fields and are open to the public to watch. It’s hard to say how long workouts will run, especially with manager Buck Showalter, but it shouldn’t more than an hour or two on Wednesday.  Thursday switches back to the Orioles regular spring schedule, where the players take the field around 9:15 a.m.

The position players report on Friday with the team’s first full-squad workout this Saturday.

This year’s Spring Training schedule will be different with the World Baseball Classic taking place, and the Orioles will lose a trio of players temporarily in centerfielder Adam Jones (Team USA), and relievers Luis Ayala (Team Mexico) and Pedro Strop (Team Dominican Republic) although exactly when and for how long is still not set in stone.

Already from years past it seems to have a different vibe this spring, as–at least in my opinion– it seems more fans are turning their attention toward the Orioles early in the year. I’ve been asked in the last few days what I’m most excited for this spring, what positions are up for grabs and how the players will react to the team’s lack of offseason moves. I think the starting rotation competition will be intriguing to watch as will what will happen with left field between Nolan Reimold and Nate McLouth. As for the player morale, I can’t say for certain yet –the media won’t have clubhouse access until Wednesday morning– but I’d be very surprised if it’s not an upbeat, confident and cohesive group. That’s just how Showalter does things and it trickles down to the players.

In case you missed it, I wrote a preview for Spring Training with some important dates, roster projections and questions heading into camp. You can read the full story here.

So, what can you expect in terms of coverage this spring?

I got a lot of positive feedback last year about the daily camp blog post  featuring photos, injury updates and other tidbits, so I’ll continue to roll out something similar to that this year. This will be my fourth year on the Orioles beat and you can expect daily features and notebooks up on Orioles.com as well as the up-to-the-minute coverage on Twitter that you get during the season. You can follow me by clicking here: https://twitter.com/Britt_Ghiroli

Some of you who follow me on Twitter may already have noticed I started to use my Instagram account midway through the year to share pictures on and off the field while traveling with the Orioles. This year, I plan on integrating that into my spring coverage. If you have Instagram you can find me at brittghiroli. While I’ll still post daily pictures up on this blog, there will be more on that account and as we progress during the season photos of different stadiums, cities, food, etc. I’ll try to limit the Michigan State stuff but those of you who follow me on Twitter know I have a hard time not boasting/annoying everyone when it comes to my alma mater. There will also  be daily video up on Orioles.com, including various player interviews, and I’ll spend a few days again this year at Minor League camp to update you on what is going on there.

Finally, if you have a question, comment or story/feature you’d like to see, don’t hesitate to leave me a note on here or send me an email at brittany.ghiroli@mlb.com. Let’s have some fun this spring.

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