Baltimore Orioles: Success begins in Spring Training
The Baltimore Orioles will report to Spring Training under manager Buck Showalter in February of next year. It’s not as far away as it sounds. Pitchers and catchers report two weeks after the Super Bowl!
However after this past season’s debacle, perhaps Showalter and his coaching staff should look at how they’re handling spring training. And I’m not talking necessarily about one thing in particular. Workouts, drills, games – it should all be on the table.
And I’m not suggesting that they should go full throttle from the get go. That’s not feasible, nor is it smart. However the path to winning begins in February – not April. And certainly not June.
One thing I’ve noticed with the Orioles the past few seasons is that the travel roster is almost predictable. Now in fairness, that’s true of many teams. However in general we haven’t seen the full Oriole team in road grays until perhaps the final week of Grapefruit League play. Again to be fair, these aren’t days off for veteran players. They still show up at Ed Smith Stadium to work out, practice, etc. It’s still a very regimented day.
However I did notice teams such as New York and Boston throwing the likes of Judge, Betts, etc. onto their travel rosters here and there throughout spring training this past year. And why not? The more game situations that guys start seeing earlier on, the more prepared they’ll be.
Does this attest as to why Boston and New York went to the post season and the Orioles didn’t? No, not at all. Far from it. But perhaps there’s something there. If for no other reason, perhaps it reminds veterans or everyday players that if you aren’t getting the job done, there’s always one or two hungrier guys in the organization behind you ready to take your spot.
Again, I’m not talking squarely about veterans coming on road trips. That’s just one very tangible thing. But are they going too hard or perhaps even too soft in workouts? Are the drills not enough? All of that makes a difference. And all of that should be under the microscope right now as the coaches plan their way for spring training.