Taken by Roch Kubatko

Pitchers and catchers officially report to the Ed Smith Stadium Complex today in Sarasota, Florida for the O’s.  It’s an exciting time.  Tomorrow feels like it will be Christmas to me.  The first photos, reports, quotes, interviews, and even video of pitchers and catchers at their first team workouts.  Bullpen sessions will begin.  Pitcher fielding drills will occur.  Catchers will get working on other exercises.

It’s an exciting time.  The baseball season has officially begun.  While Baltimore Sports Report does not have anybody covering Spring Training or these initial workouts in sunny FL, we will be sure to still provide you with all of the news and reports from around the blog’o’sphere that will keep you up to date on the status of the Orioles and camp.

To start, here are a few notes:

  • Renovations of Ed Smith Stadium are still going on, but the fields for practicing are practically finished for the players to get on to start throwing and working out.
  • Koji Uehara is feeling healthy and ready to go, and was seen throwing today.
  • Troy Patton, who had that DWI incident in January, is at camp, and is not commenting on his situation with the charges, but in good news, it turns out he may not have to leave camp for a scheduled hearing later this month.
  • Though position players do not have to report until next week, Mark Reynolds has arrived in Sarasota.  He is working out today and then taking a few days off to go to Disney World with his daughter.  Good to see him excited to get out there and work hard.
  • Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman arrived together.
  • Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton got to camp about 5 days ago to start throwing, Britton because he wanted to be able to throw and the weather conditions at his home in Texas weren’t allowing him to much
  • The bullpens at the main stadium have been relocated to the sides of the field, as opposed to behind the back wall like they were before.  Pitchers supposedly preferred that spot over being hidden behind the stadium.
  • Brad Bergesen was seen throwing with Jeremy Accardo and non-roster invitee Mitch Atkins.
  • Jeremy Guthrie and Mark Hendrickson were seen pulling in to the complex.  I’m sorry to report that the Mark Hendrickson sighting is the honest truth.  Really.
  • Jason Berken, who is coming to camp still on a high from the Packers Super Bowl victory, is down about 30 pounds.
  • Other pitchers seen and reported on being seen (meaning others could be there but not reported yet): Brandon Erbe, Clay Rapada, Josh Rupe, Wynn Pelzer, Not Alfredo Simon.
  • Coaches had an initial meeting today already with Buck Showalter.
  • Most importantly.  Of utmost attention and caliber.  Top priority.  I can’t stress the importance and value of this: Ronnie Deck has arrived.  He has been in Sarasota since the beginning of the month.  He has been there so that any pitchers coming in early would have a catcher on hand.  He’s just that good.

I had to get all of that info from somewhere.  Here are some links if you feel like reading more in depth:

  • MLB.com beat writer Brittany Ghiroli, who says coverage on Orioles.com will begin tomorrow, posted her initial thoughts on her MLBlog here.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports posted his first Spring Training report here.  And more.  Annndd more (which includes some background on non-roster invitee pitcher Ryan Drese, no news, just the story behind him).
  • Steve Melewski of MASN Sports, Roch’s partner in crime, who most likely will not be reporting from Sarasota this year, gave us his thoughts on some controversies and questions heading into Spring Training.
  • The Sun is yet to post anything.  Boring.

Will keep this list updated throughout the day if anything else is reported.
On a closing note, here is a look at the new grand entrance to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota:

Which is a hell of a lot different than it looked last Spring when I was down in Florida: