Eager Orioles Flock to Sarasota Early

Gary Kendall Eager Orioles Flock to Sarasota EarlyRavens fever is still in the air, but there are some Orioles who just can’t wait to get started.

Pitchers and catchers don’t officially report to spring training for five more days, the O’s are getting a jump on things.

Double-A Bowie manager Gary Kendall (pictured) figures that about 25 players are coming to the Ed Smith Stadium complex to work out. It started out with just a handful of players on January 9th, but now, major leaguers outnumber the minor leaguers, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko.

“It’s going good down here,” said Kendall. “Everybody’s getting their work in – throwing progressions, hitting. They’re taking BP and ground balls, getting their defensive work in.

“It’s a plus thing. It’s a good thing.”

The club has put together similar workouts in the past, “but it’s never been this structured,” Kendall said.

“It’s something that Brian (Graham) and I kicked around a little bit in the offseason the last couple of years. It’s always been a winter program, primarily pitchers because they’re the ones who have to get it going a little sooner.”

Kendall added that there are more staff members on hand at this camp, including new Gulf Coast League Orioles pitching coach Wilson Alvarez.

The workouts take place five days a week and usually go until around 12 p.m. Some O’s then stay at the complex to do some weightlifting.

“We were down here early last year and I don’t remember it being as intensified, where we’re out on the field as long,” Kendall said.

Players on hand so far include the likes of Brian Roberts, Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Ryan Flaherty, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Steve Johnson, Tsuyoshi Wada, Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland, LJ Hoes and Xavier Avery.

Miguel Gonzalez and Zach Britton will likely arrive on Thursday while manager Buck Showalter flew in to Sarasota on Wednesday.

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