With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Orioles squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The offseason is over.
The Orioles will open Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday as pitchers and catchers report in advance of Tuesday's first workout. Joined shortly by the position players, this is a group of players largely familiar with each other and ready to put the bitter taste of last season's loss in the American League Wild Card Game behind them.
Gone are catcher Matt Wieters, designated hitter Pedro Alvarez (both to free agency) and Yovani Gallardo (traded to Seattle). But make no mistake, this O's club is largely intact and optimistic in what looks to be another tough year in the AL East.
While there aren't many roster battles, there's still some intrigue and plenty to satisfy that baseball thirst before Opening Day.
Here is a glance at the Spring Training picture for the Orioles as camp opens.
Pitchers/catchers report date: Monday
Full squad report date: Thursday
First Grapefruit League game: Feb. 24 at Tigers (Lakeland, Fla.)
Outfielder Seth Smith joined the team in the Gallardo trade, while the Orioles also signed catcher Welington Castillo to take Wieters' spot. Always active in the Rule 5 Draft, the Orioles selected two outfielders, Anthony Santander and Aneury Tavarez, and there will be plenty of eyes on them as Baltimore looks to continue its recent success of keeping Rule 5 players.
Interesting non-roster invitees
With the Orioles' thin infield depth, Robert Andino and Johnny Giavotella could be in competition for a bench spot. Outfielder Chris Dickerson, like Andino, has suited up for the Orioles before and has a good amount of outfield experience.
Prospects to watch
Catcher Chance Sisco, who is considered to be the organization's top prospect, is a non-roster invitee. While he's slated to start the season at Triple-A -- and he'll likely remain there this season with Castillo's signing -- his progress is still a major storyline.
Gabriel Ynoa, the young pitcher the O's acquired last week from the Mets, is another prospect to keep an eye on. The righty is on the 40-man roster and the team believes he can be a successful big league pitcher.