BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Orioles are on the verge of welcoming back pitcher Chris Tillman, who agreed to a one-year contract Monday.
As the O’s get ready for day two of full squad workouts on Tuesday, so far, we’re seeing a familiar team. Twenty eight players on the spring training roster played for the Orioles at some point last season.
They’re familiar, but will they be better?
“It’s great having everybody back together and, you know, having a full team workout today,” said outfielder Trey Mancini. “It’s always pretty fun to get back out there with the guys.”
It’s the first day of school, but already baseball observers say the Orioles are destined for a failing grade, because their roster is mostly the same from the team that finished in last place in 2017.
“It’s not rocket science, we do need additionals, it’s not rocket science,” said outfielder Adam Jones. “So I know that Dan has been very patient.”
Patience could be wearing thin, however, for a fan base that fears more failure. But Orioles players are accustomed to low expectations and if once again they’re cast as an underdog, they’ll play the role.
“I think as a whole, we’ve got the guys in here to get the job done,” said first baseman Chris Davis. “We’ve never had the sexiest team on field, we’ve never been the pick to win the division and I don’t think we ever will be and that’s fine. I think we embrace that role, I think it’s something that we have accepted and that we’re going run with.”
There’s optimism and sunshine in Sarasota while clouds of doubt gather elsewhere in forecasts for the O’s season. So the team will again have to work harder to exceed expectations.
“I kind of look at Baltimore as a city like that,” said pitcher Kevin Gausman. “You know, kind of a blue collar, chip on their shoulder type of city, and so, the fact that they do that to us every year, I kind of seem like it fits, and, you know, I think I can speak for everybody in that clubhouse that we love proving people wrong.”
Gausman is a big part of the Orioles starting rotation that has to improve, for the Orioles tor prove their doubters wrong in 2018.
Stay with WJZ, sports reporter Mark Viviano will report from Orioles spring training all this week.