SARASOTA, Fl. (WJZ) — After a week of pitchers and catchers, Orioles fans finally get their first look at the Orioles team and instead of pitch and catch, some pitch and hit in the first full-squad workout.
Following a team meeting with their new manager, 60 players got to work on six different fields at the Sarasota complex- under the watchful eye of new leadership, general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde.
The stadium field featured live batting practice, and with the first spring training game this weekend, the new look O’s are getting busy quickly.
“I think guys were really ready to get on the field and when you’re a competitor and trying to win a big league job that’s what it’s all about,” Hyde said.
This Orioles spring training is all about competition- wide open competition, a casting call of mostly young players auditioning to be part of the team’s present and future.
The O’s are undergoing a rebuild, they’ve torn down the team and are starting over, a plan that is viewed differently by rookies and veterans.
“It’s a word that I don’t really remember growing up it. It wasn’t something that was thrown around, seems like a newer thing that helps to explain why maybe a team is where they’re at in a process or a window of competition. I think the less it gets thrown around…the better,” said Mark Trumbo, designated hitter.
“Being a young guy it screams opportunities. We’re going to get our chance and rebuild for me means opportunities,” said Austin Hyde, outfielder.
Fans factor into the rebuild equation too, they’ve been told what to expect, and they too have differing reactions to the rebuild plan.
“Disappointed because I want a championship caliber team and I’ve been an O’s fan pretty much my entire life and I like to see em win. I don’t think they’ll be doing that for a couple years,” A fan said.
“I’m going to ride it out. I have too many years invested so I’m going to ride it out, absolutely,” Another fan added.