Spring Training news & notes Day 1
Was technically yesterday Day 1 of camp? You can make the argument. But, I’m going with today –the first official workout for pitchers and catchers– as the start of the daily blog recapping all the events. This main entry will be updated a few times a day, recapping workouts, providing pregame notes (when they start with games), pictures and other tidbits.
Some of the more newsy updates will be broken out into story form on Orioles.com, where you can always find daily video from Spring Training as well as longer features. For instant updates, follow along on Twitter. I’ll also be posting pictures on Instagram and Facebook to make getting the Orioles spring news an easy part of your daily lives.
Welcome to Spring Training 2015, everyone. And thanks, as always, for following along.
*Matt Wieters held court at his locker for a little while this morning, after throwing back-to-back days, and he will take a rest day today. Wieters is still on track to be ready Opening Day and, as I wrote yesterday, isn’t cleared to throw full-throttle to the bases until March 17.
“There’s still a lot of ifs,” Wieters said. “God-willing, everything will keep going how it’s going and keep progressing. We’ll be two weeks for being behind the plate, especially if I’ve been able to hit and been able to really catch other than throw. It should be plenty of time if we can get those two weeks in before Opening Day. This whole year is going to be a matter of how the body feels. It’s a surgery I’ve never gone through and not many catchers have, so it’s going to be seeing how the body feels and go from there.”
*Steve Johnson re-signed with the Orioles organization this winter and is pretty much good to go physically after having a spur shaved down behind his right shoulder.
“I calmed it down a little bit. I usually throw a little bit more,” Johnson said of his offseason regimen. “Mainly I’m trying to be ready for opening day and make sure that happens, but if everything goes well I don’t see myself holding back at all. I might not have thrown as much before I got here, but I may not have needed all that. I might just be fine the way I am right now.”
Johnson said comfort was a big factor in deciding to return to Baltimore as they’ve seen him pitch, as both a starter and a reliever, firsthand. He doesn’t have a preference as to his role this season and didn’t indicate that his shoulder would be better served in one capacity over the other.
*Lots of talk this morning among the pitchers regarding the new rules about pace of place (which you can read here.) One of the main concerns was how strictly the rule about batters keeping a foot in the box will be enforced, particularly among superstar hitters.
*Count Chris Davis among the early position players to arrive as the first baseman was seen in the clubhouse this morning, adding to an already-big group of early guys.
*Also, in the Maryland area….Zion Lutheran Church will hold its fifth annual baseball talk at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 23 in the church’s sanctuary, 2215 Brandywine Lane, York. This year’s event features: Fred Manfra, radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Baltimore Orioles; Mel Antonen, baseball writer for MASN and Sirius/XM talk show host; and Dan Connolly, Orioles/national baseball writer for The Baltimore Sun. The panelists will discuss the upcoming baseball season – including their thoughts on the Orioles and Phillies — and will answer questions from the audience. There is no admission fee, but a freewill offering will be taken to benefit the church’s youth attending the National Youth Gathering this July in Detroit. In addition, signed copies of Connolly’s soon-to-be-released book, “100 Things Orioles Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die,” will be available for purchase for $15 following the event. For more information, contact the church at 717-767-4673.