Orioles planning for pitchers minicamp in mid-January in Sarasota

Camps had been held in Baltimore for the past two years to coincide with FanFast

November 20, 2013|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

For the past two offseasons, the Orioles have held a pitchers minicamp in January at Camden Yards to give the club’s young pitchers and new acquisitions a jump-start on spring training.

With three days of workouts each year, the club’s coaching staff received its first look at the group of pitchers. The minicamp coincided with the team’s annual FanFest. Pitchers would arrive a few days early, participate in the camp and stay for FanFest activities over the weekend.

But because FanFest is so late this season -- it is scheduled for Feb. 1, just 12 days before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for spring training -- the Orioles instead plan to hold this year’s minicamp in mid-January at the club’s spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla. They are aiming for the week of Jan. 13.

About 15 to 20 pitchers attended the minicamp in each of the past two offseasons. This year’s camp will include the team’s new pitching acquisitions, as well as any pitchers with medical issues. It’s also geared toward the organization's younger pitchers, because under union rules, arbitration-eligible players can't attend.

New pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti also will have a chance to see the group of Orioles pitchers on the field in person at the minicamp.

The Orioles also have signed two players to minor league deals after watching them throw at the minicamp -- right-hander Stu Pomeranz (2012) and left-hander Mark Hendrickson (2013).

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