SARASOTA, Florida–What’s happening? The Orioles have signed a major league catcher Robinson Chirinos. Chirinos, 37, is the only receiver on the 40-man list. He will receive a salary of $900,000, can earn $75,000 in incentives, and will receive $50,000 if traded.
The Orioles begin their second day of training on Tuesday. With just three days to go until Friday’s Grapefruit League season opener against Toronto, manager Brandon Hyde is trying to adjust.
“It’s a big challenge,” Hyde said. “We have guys coming from all over the country. Guys are going to be different ways physically now. To be healthy dismantling the camp will be a huge challenge. Having only four or five days before games start makes you nervous.”
The regular season starts on April 8º against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. There are 19 games this spring, and Hyde hopes that by then, the starters can work five times.
“I think this is the best case scenario,” he said.
The Orioles’ top pitching prospects, Grayson Rodriguez, who is not on the 40-man roster, and DL Hall, who is, are at camp. In a conventional camp, Rodriguez and Hall would have enough entrances to impress.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Hyde said. “We have 19 games. We have to try to get everyone there as much as possible.”
Hyde said the Orioles could add “B” games and simulated games.
Executive Vice President/General Manager Mike Elias said he was looking forward to seeing Rodriguez and Hall.
“This is a kid who probably would have done it already, but under the circumstances we had to endure the last two spring training sessions,” Elias said of Rodriguez. “So this experience of pitching it to Aaron Judge or whoever he’s going to see, that’s something he hasn’t had yet. This is going to be big.
“He had a spectacular season at Double-A. He logged a lot of entries. We took great care of him. He’s someone who’s been here since the opening of minor league camp, so he’s pitching and he’s well prepared now, but we have to prepare him for a full season and one that I hope will include a lot of time in the big league whenever it does. come. But I think it’s within his grasp – if not immediately, very soon. We’ll have to see.”
Hall missed most of the season with an elbow injury and played just 31 2/3 innings for Double-A Bowie.
“I think if he’s throwing punches, he’s pretty close to being ready for the big league,” Elias said. “We might see this guy in the big leagues this year and we might see him quickly if it’s the right thing to do… He’s one hell of a talent.”
What happened?-Spring training started on Monday, and Hyde feels a different rhythm.
“It’s going to be a quick assessment,” Hyde said. “We’re going to be very, very careful, especially with young guys. We’re not going to force them out before they’re ready to face another uniform.”
Right-back Jordan Lyles, who is expected to start behind No. 1 starter John Means, was at the clubhouse, and Hyde noted the 31-year-old’s experience.
“It’s huge to have a veteran influence on the rotation,” Hyde said. “He’s been with a lot of clubs. He has a ton of experience. He must feel that he knows what to do to prepare. He likes where he is now and we just need to keep him healthy.”
Midfielder Cedric Mullins, who revealed he was dealing with Crohn’s disease in January, has answered questions about his condition for the first time. He underwent bowel surgery in November 2020.
“It was a shock to have to go through this,” Mullins said. “My main concern was to be ready for the season and not have to miss a single moment. Fortunately, I was able to do this. I just had to build my body back up over the course of the season.”
What’s with Anthony Bemboom? The Orioles signed two catchers with limited major league experience – Bemboom and Jacob Nottingham – to minor league contracts during the lockout.
Bemboom played 54 major league games with Tampa Bay and Toronto from 2019 to 2021. He said there were a few factors that drew him to the Orioles.
“The opportunity to make an impact at the big league level,” Bemboom said. “Being able to step into an organization that is trying to build a strong culture is appealing to me. Being with a lot of different organizations, that’s something that’s important to me.”
In addition to the Rays and Blue Jays, Bemboom has played in the Angels, Rockies and Dodgers organizations.
“I want to help a team win, whether it’s on the field, support, player, whatever,” Bemboom said.
What is what? The opening of spring training, 26 days after scheduled, made an unusual first day. Generally, pitchers and catchers report first. Position players are scheduled to report several days later, although some are there initially. The first game is usually about 10 days after the pitchers and catchers exercise for the first time.
This time, after a 99-day lockdown, all players reported at once, and the first game is five days later.
“I don’t think anyone had any idea when we would start, so the guys are in different places physically now,” Hyde said.
For the first time in over two years, members of the media who are fully vaccinated and reinforced have been allowed into the clubhouse. Masks were mandatory.
What is the word? “I was so excited to call our players. That was the hardest part was four months with nothing you could communicate with your guys. When they reached an agreement, I called most of the guys that night. It was a great relief.”-Hyde on the effects of the lockdown.
What’s the number? 62 With the signing of Chirinos, the Orioles will have 62 players on the field – 40 on the major league roster and 22 players on minor league contracts. There is a possibility that more will come.